Recently, I’ve been soul searching. For what, I can’t be sure.
It might be that I’ve been spending a lot of time indoors, alone, working on school work, so I’ve been thinking a lot. It might also be that I’m studying abroad – an experience that everyone assures me will change my life and will be one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I’m not saying it’s not.
In fact, studying abroad has been amazing, and an unforgettable experience. I’ve met incredible people, most of whom I really want to keep in touch with when we all head back home in three weeks. And I definitely think that studying abroad has changed me. But how? And why? And when? I think these questions have led me to be a lot more introspective than usual.
I’d like to believe that every experience I have changes me – for better, for worse, anything. So studying abroad should be no different. But while I’m still here, in Ireland, staring at the green patchwork hills and storm clouds billowing along the sky, it’s hard to say exactly what I’m feeling.
It’s almost a nostalgia for something I think I had once – or am supposed to have now. It’s a want for something more than just an ordinary, college girl life. I almost feel like Belle, longing for a life elsewhere.
But shouldn’t I be feeling the opposite? Studying abroad is supposed to be the big adventure in the great wide somewhere. It’s supposed to be the break from the mundane, the normal, the university life. And though it is – I’ve done more traveling in the last four months than I could have ever imagined – I still feel like I’m missing the bigger picture, or the more major point of it all.
I place so much value on the experiences I’ve had here. I’ve never felt so inspired – I’m writing so much poetry, I almost can’t believe it, and hey, I’m writing on this blog again, so there’s that. I’ve never felt so whole. Back home, at school or at home, I have always felt like I’m 7/8 of a person, or that I’m missing a part of me. Maybe I’ve found it here. I feel like a more well-rounded person now.
Or maybe, because I’m putting so much weight on everything, it’s too much pressure. I’m overthinking it. I’m expecting to change, so I can’t stop looking for that change. I’m expecting something major to happen, so I just keep waiting for it.
But maybe, just maybe, that’s the point.
I’ve already changed. Something amazing and major and wonderful happens every day I’m here. Maybe I’m soul searching because I’m trying to rediscover who I am now that I have changed.
I think, much like Belle discovers, I just have to open my eyes and my heart to these experiences. Change is gradual. I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and realize that oh yes, studying abroad has changed me and here’s how. I just have to know that I have changed somehow, and I’ll figure it out later. I just have to keep my arms wide open to new things, new people, and new experiences. That’s the only way my soul searching will find something.
I just have to know: I will find something.