18 June, 2009

Looking Back

Rereading my old posts this evening I have noticed a few things. First, I think it is safe to safe that I have had a really tough year. I wanted London to be an exciting adventure, and instead it has been an absolute trial. But the second thing I noticed is how I have changed so much since I moved here nine months ago.

In my reading I ran across this entry, entitled I Hope Nostalgia Makes This All Seem Better dated 18 November of last year. I talked about hoping that I would look back on that first term when I faced my fear of failing and think about it as a good ol' learning experience. Turns out that the learning experience I would look back on would be an entire year of consistent failing and fighting and picking myself up over and over again. I had no idea what was coming for me.

I had no idea that I would learn to accept failure and get over it quickly. I had no idea I was capable of being smacked down so many times and getting back up again. I had no idea what hard work really was in fact.

I had no idea that the hard work would not pay off. I had no idea that the school would be run by rule-enforcing monkeys who see in black and white. I had no idea that CSM would in fact turn out to be a fantastic school for students who already know exactly how to do what CSM wants. I had no idea that I would learn so much DESPITE CSM and not BECAUSE of it. The girl who wrote that entry would never have guesed that she would be so fed up with the bullshit at CSM that she would secretly be glad they were throwing here out so she could pursue other interests.

I had no idea that I would ever be able to get an internship. And NEVER would I have guessed that I would have the presence of mind to choose to stay in London and seek out opportunities instead of going back to the comfort of my boyfriend. The girl that wrote that on the 18th of November had no idea about anything.

And yet despite all of it, I still struggle with many of the same things I always have. The long distance relationship is still incredibly difficult for me. That has not gotten any easier- in fact it has gotten more difficult the longer I stay here. I still face the same hurdles when I get stressed out. I still struggle with feeling insignificant and untalented when faced with the talented people I study with. I am still prone to fits of utter hopelessness and despair when faced with an impossible situation, and I still find myself being unreasonably furious at The Boy when he isn't there to give me a hug and calm me down. I still find that although I am MUCH better at taking criticism, I do not have a sense of confidence within myself that will ever match the strength of complimentary words from others.

It if for all these reasons that I know I am not ready to leave Europe. I am not the person I want to be when I return home. I am far from it. But someday maybe I will get to look back on this year and find that nostalgia will allow me to see the value in the experience.

It wasn't a total waste.

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