As of today, I have been back in Canada for a whole month. A lot has changed, but somethings feel like I never left. My family is still the same loving group of people I left over four months ago, and they continue to amaze me – not only with their feats and accomplishments, but also by their love and support. They’ve been excited about my adventures abroad since the moment I heard I got accepted to study in Lyon, and they continue to encourage me to do what I love and what makes me happy.
School feels the same as ever, trekking across campus three days a week to attend my English and History classes; most of which I am really enjoying, with only two I have yet to find the passion for. The University friends I left behind in August all carried on with their Carleton days while I was away, but have thankfully welcomed me back into their lives as if I had been there the whole time.
When I’m immersed in my school life, it sometimes feels like I never left Carleton’s underground world for the little tabacco factory of a school in Lyon, France. I guess some things never change, no matter how long you are gone or how much an experience changes you. I still get to spend my Fridays running errands and lazing around the house with my mom. She’s still there to nag me and hug me whenever necessary. My sister and I still drive each other crazy but would be lost without each other. Chris and Jon are still the nerdy, protective older brothers I’ve relied on my entire life. Dad is still working his ass off trying to bring some law & order to this crazy world we live in, all the while finding time to worry about and love his four children.
And my friends, well, I would be a mess if not for them. Whether in Texas getting her drawl back, or in Vancouver enjoying her yoga and ocean-side views, or back in Lyon struggling to keep up with the circus that is France, or even right here in Ottawa (and surrounding cities) where I left them, waiting to welcome me back with open arms, ears and hearts. My friends bring me back down to earth when life gets overwhelming, or just remind me to laugh things off and enjoy life because we’re young and we still have so many more adventures to embark on together.
Not that I don’t ordinarily enjoy life to the fullest, but sometimes it’s hard to have to face the reality of life after living in an ignorantly blissful world while on exchange. So many questions run through my head everyday: what do I want to do with my life; am I making the right choices to make me happy in the future; should I be volunteering more; should I give yoga a second chance; what should I eat today, etc. Sure, some of them are easier to answer then others, but when they all start cramming their way into my head, they start to take their toll and life gets overwhelming all over again. I know that my time on exchange has changed me as a person, and even though I’m yet to fully understand how I’ve changed, I know that it has affected my life here in Ottawa. My mom has always said that everything happens for a reason, so whether or not I’ve decided if my changes are for the best, I know life will sort itself out and I’ll be back in the world finding new adventures for myself in no time. As for now, I’ve got fantastic friends (old and new) and family to help me get readjusted to my life here in Ottawa. And look at that, I’ve made it a month and I’m still pretty much in one piece – just a few battle wounds to prove I can make it through the rough patches. I’m excited for life, whatever it holds; hopefully I have more travelling in store for me, which means more stories for me to share with the world. But for today I have Uni readings to conquer and a sister to bother.
Love to you all, xox, B.