September 14, 2009 § 5 Comments
Despite the feelings of homesickness which randomly hit me throughout my time here, I hang on, believing that the experiences here are good for me.
When a friend went overseas to study and came back changed and more ‘open-minded’, I was judgemental, believing that she should have had the maturity to withstand views different from hers and not succumb to them. Now that I’m here I understand the loneliness one feels and perhaps, the need to make friends with the people here, who more often than not, hold views radically different from my own that make me feel uncomfortable. And admittedly, it is difficult to be friends with someone and not learn to view her previously untolerated views in a kinder light.
Even while considering these, I have resorted to not making friends with such people. But that’s because I hold the rosy view that I’m here on exchange and who needs such friends when I’m going back to better friends in a few months. My friend on the other hand had to stay there for years. It was an imperative to make friends.
Still, knowing the loneliness which comes with this and the insignificance I feel because I haven’t been too friendly, I have the impulse to write a note of apology to that friend for being as judgemental as I have been. And, despite not feeling too great about exchange here and wishing to go back sometimes, I am grateful to be here because it has allowed me a better understanding of that friend’s initial situation.
Another reason I’m grateful for this experience is that it has made me appreciate more deeply my own friends back home, appreciate the ease and the quiet bliss I have when I spend time with them. Socialising and being with new people is far more different. Constantly having to think of what to say and remember names, constantly bombarded with radical views is draining me and retreating to my room, though dark and with spoilt electrical outlets, is something I look forward to.
Also, because of the lack of friends here and the challenges I face everyday, the need to abide in God has become more urgent. Listening to the christian songs on the radio or going to to jolly olde bookstore to hunt for some christian books are things which greatly comfort me and leave me thirsting for more.