09 December, 2009

The truth

I have an exam tomorrow, and if I'm very, very lucky, I will get a passing grade. I'm incredibly unprepared. But because it's in another country, as long as I pass, it doesn't matter.

What I don't understand is why I came to this fucking country in the first place. That's the strange thing. I literally don't remember ever feeling excited about this. I visited this city once, for a week, and liked it. I mistakenly thought there were going to be some medieval studies courses that turned out to have been courses from 2008. And that was enough to go away from the only place I've felt completely happy and accepted and competent? Most of my friends didn't want to study abroad. Why did I do it?

I spent the summer freaking out about applying for a visa, so I could have a job, but I didn't finish in time. The day I got here, I didn't feel good. I never started feeling good; sometimes I imagined it was starting, but it never lasted long. For a few days in early October, it got really bad, so I started burying myself in fandom, writing, and music, which was better than the alternative, but made it hard to get any schoolwork done.

When I was first thinking about studying abroad, I asked my favorite professor at Oberlin if she thought it would be hard to make friends, and she said no, that she'd had students who went to Edinburgh and were fine. So what happened to me? I didn't make enough effort, I guess. Is that it? I guess I just get too tired and scared and I can't make myself try anymore. And the people here are different. But I could have done things differently, they're not all different, there have to be people in this city who are the kind of people I can understand.

When I get home--please, please, please let me live long enough to get out of this country--maybe it will hit me how much it sucked here, how much I've genuinely been Somewhere Else--my brain skidding along while I walk down unrecognizable streets. What will it feel like to reenter my body. What the fuck was I thinking?

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