It’s been more than 3 months since I got here in Bordeaux.
I wish I could tell you i’ve drank more wine and learn a thing or two about it but no. Also, my french is nowhere good at all. I came to this country where I don’t know anyone nor do I speak their language and I was fully aware of that. Yet I still chose France. I still chose to challenge myself.
Don’t get me wrong. I love it here!
But since I got here. Every single day is a fight. A fight to get up, to eat, to shower and get ready for school. Once school is done, the fight still goes on. The fight to do some chores, practice and study french, get some groceries or even go to the city and see one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Sometimes, I fight just to breathe and relax.
I have so much free time on my hands that I really don’t know what to do with it. My mind wanders a lot when I’m not focusing on anything. Without truly realizing it, I get paralyzed by this feeling and I try so hard to fight it. Even when I am surrounded by hundreds of people, it still cripples me. This feeling cripples your mind and body, that you makes you think it’s impossible to do anything.
And every single day, I have to put up a smile or act like everything is totally fine. Cause nobody wants their friends and family back home to worry. Also, you don’t want your new friends to think that you’re weird. So you tell yourself over and over and over again the same lie every day. Trying to convince yourself that everything is fine. That there’s nothing to worry about. Because really, there’s nothing to worry about.
I keep lying to myself that I got this, that I can do this. But it’s not easy. Not everything is easy. It just drains all of my energy.
For someone who loves to be around with people, who loves hugs and physical affection, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to live on your own for the first time in a new country. It’s not easy to find someone who can understand you, much less speak the same language as you. It’s not easy to be with a stranger that you have so little or don’t have anything at all in common with, especially when it comes to humour. But I still keep on fighting. I still find ways to go out and make new friends.
The real struggle, though, starts when people back home starts to ask. I am, then, bombarded with questions of “how are you?”s and “how’s school?”s. I know they mean well and that we both miss each other. I haven’t been away or out of reach for this long, I guess it’s understandable. So I reply with a half-hearted, mixed with panic laugh of “i’m okay”s and “school is great”s. “Yes, I get a bit of homesick.” “Yes, I know a few people now.” “I can understand a bit, but I still have a hard time conversing in french though.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”
I tell them these half-truths and to myself too. I want to believe in whatever I tell them. I want to believe that I will be fine. That I will, eventually, figure this out.
Though there are days that I allow myself to feel them and sometimes its too strong not to be felt. And I just have to breakdown for a while and let the helplessness take over me. Whenever it happens, I do my best to hold on and just breathe. I just keep on breathing and reminding myself that I can do this. That I got this. I just keep on breathing until my chest relaxes. Until I feel stronger to fight the unwanted feeling. And I will, I always do.
It’s hard to talk about it without letting other people judge you and think how weak you are. When in fact, you are strong and brave to face it alone. I salute every single person who have fought and/or still fighting. They inspire me to be better, to be stronger and to continue in believing myself and in the things that I do.
I’m still figuring out this whole independent thing and I don’t think it’s easy to get rid of these feelings. But still, I am trying to be better. For myself, for my family and for my future. I’m pretty sure I would figure it out someday. I don’t know when but I know someday I will. Maybe, I’m just going to keep on convincing myself until I don’t have to.
Love, J ❤️