Once again, I'm engulfed by a huge wave of sadness. These waves come and go, like it does for everyone, but in the meantime, the big waves crash into me like I'm the shore and everyday's a full moon. I honestly didn't think it'd be this difficult to be away from home.
Overwhelmed is the best word to describe what I'm feeling. On top of the list of why I'm feeling like this is the language barrier. French, while a beautiful language, is terribly difficult to learn or even be familiar with. Being completely and utterly lost in a sea of indiscernable talk makes me feel isolated from everything and everyone. The introvert in me is inclined to curl up in the darkest corner of the shell, if only to find a little bit of comfort within myself.
Also, the signs all over the country have no English translations (even grocery shopping can be a challenge) and it's not easy to find someone who can give you directions in English if you get lost. Having to deal with that for a few days on vacation is doable, knowing you'd be dealing with it for at least a year is disconcerting.
Besides the language, there's also being away from the family and everything familiar. I already feel alone because I can't understand what everyone's talking about, having the family several thousand miles away makes it doubly difficult. Realizing that the people you count on to be there are nearly half a world away and you have no one to run to is unnerving.
If you haven't been in the same position, then you can't really say that you know how it feels. You don't really understand until you've gone through it yourself. I always thought it was a bit dramatic when someone sobs uncontrollably when saying goodbye to be away for awhile. I figure that at this time and date, where technology makes it easier to be connected all over the world, living continents apart for a while is a piece of cake. It isn't. I get it now.
Having said all that I said, I want to thank my family. They've been really great. Thank you for going the extra mile so I don't feel as overwhelmed as I am.
I know they don't usually sleep late, but they Skype with me at ungodly hours of the day (in the Philippines). They take the effort to make me feel less lonely with little things- reminders, stories, worrying about me, reassurance, reaching out to me without me having to ask, trying if they don't get through the first, the second, or the third time. Things like these make me really grateful. Love you guys. You're awesome.