Don't worry too much about the title. I'm fine, no one has died or anything like that. But I am in mourning.
I'm not mourning the death of someone I know; I'm mourning the loss of things I didn't know I'd lose when I went on exchange. Don't get me wrong, I love who I am and I love my exchange and I am so entirely grateful for this unimaginably wonderful opportunity. But my exchange is ending soon (sorry, I won't be sharing my return date with anyone who isn't family), and that's made me start to think about what I'll be returning to.
Since I went on exchange, my brother has moved out of our parents' house, my brother and his wonderful girlfriend had a baby, my nephew Wesley turned one and is starting to stand, and my parents have started eating and living healthier. These are, in some aspects, life-altering changes. But in the big picture, not much has changed. Except one thing: me.
I am such a completely different person now. I think differently, I speak differently, I look different, I feel different. The things that were important to me before I left aren't the same as they are now. My motivations behind doing things has changed. The way I carry myself is different. So, the fact that I'll be returning to an environment in which little to nothing has changed poses problems.
What am I mourning? I'm mourning the loss of the things that I cared about and the things that were most important to me before my departure on August 15th. I'm mourning the fact that I will probably never feel like a band kid again. Band was my life before I left, but when I return, I'm graduating and losing that part of my life.
I'm mourning the loss of my motivation for schoolwork. Before I left, school was the biggest driving influence in my life. Now that I have lived an existence in which I could focus on something other than school, I know I won't be able to go back to that.
I'm mourning the loss of a few of my friends. I'd like to say that exchange brings you closer to the friends you had, because you have more to talk about. I would really like to say that. But it just isn't true. Whether you like it or not, going on exchange means losing friends. Because you change as a person and your friends weren't there to witness you changing. So, when you talk, they say that you're so different and you're not the same. But they don't say it in a good way. The truth is, I'm glad I've changed. But I will miss the friendships I had before I left Oregon.
I'm mourning the loss of my brother's presence. No, he didn't die! But he is moving to a different state before I come home. I know I'll see him again, but it's going to be very hard to adjust to living somewhere where I can't just call up my brother and hang out with him. Connor, if you read this, I am so happy for you. I'm so excited to hear about your adventure and to know that you are doing something that will bring you joy. I love you so much and I wish you all the happiness in this magnificently large world.
Finally, and most of all, I'm mourning the loss of the person I was. Don't get me wrong, I love who I am now. I know what things I enjoy and what I don't, I have world experience, I have the knowledge that I can exist outside of a small town. But I will always miss the person I was before I got on that plane. I don't know why, but I will. There's just something about looking back and knowing you'll never be the same that is just kind of heartbreaking.
So, there it is. This post is rather melancholy and for that, I apologize. But I needed to get this off my chest and I needed to update my blog. Don't worry too much about me though. This is just kind of the way exchange goes; there are great, wonderful, fantastic times and there are lonely, depressing, and heartbreaking times. I'm glad I went on this exchange. I'm glad I've felt the emotions I've felt, even the bad ones.
Until next time, I love you guys.