Friday, February 3, 2012

Changing Perspectives

I'm not exactly sure what this blog has turned into. I say this in a good way. While I'm not updating daily, and I'm not writing every single thing I do each day, I think this blog has captured my study abroad experience better than I could have expected. I feel as though it encapsulates the developments in my character, personality, and my overall growth as a human being. Growth, however, never comes easy.

Lately I've found myself pondering, "What exactly do I want to do with my life once I return home?" I'm homesick, but I dread the thought of going back into my major back home. I don't think I necessarily have what it takes to continue as an English literature major. I've always had a love-hate relationship with writing, but I think it's more a masochistic pleasure than anything else. I know better than to compare myself to authors of classics, but as a writer, I really hate how English is taught, and how students are encouraged to analyze readings to death. I think it's fantastic that teachers try to get students to question information rather than take it in readily, but is it really necessary to analyze all the time. Anyway, time to get back on topic.

I feel like I've been beating myself up lately because I don't know what I want to do with my life. I'm only 20 years old, sure, that's fine. But I'm also only two semesters away from graduation. If I change majors now, it means I've wasted time and money chasing something that is useless. Do I stay with a major in English Literature for the rest of my term in school, or do I drop where I am now and pursue something like Anthropology or Social Linguistics?

I never realized how lonely it could be inside your own head.

I think I'm very fortunate in the fact that I haven't been struck by massive waves of homesickness like many of my friends, but it's times like this when I miss talking to my family, boyfriend, and best friends back home. Then again, I don't want to be known as the girl that only talks to the people back home when there's a problem. I need to learn to listen too.

When I was drawing to relax earlier, I remembered a conversation with my Mom I had when I was little. At that time, I suddenly realized that I wasn't the only person seeing the world. I realized that the way my eyes see the world is individual in itself. Isn't it amazing that so many people are seeing the world in so many different ways at once?

I mention this because I've been hearing so many things from all of my friends and family. Part of me wants to relax, but I know I shouldn't waste my time. I need to stop speaking English. I need to hang out with my Japanese friends. I should be keeping a blog in Japanese, not English. I should be focusing on the correct words to use instead of being vague. It's overwhelming to me.

Did I come here with the goal of becoming fluent?

It's been so long since I've actually thought about why I've come here. I see kids staying in their room and studying their asses off, and I see kids that party and enjoy a social life. Living in between is difficult. I wonder if I'm somewhere in the grey? I think I give myself too much credit if I say that's where I lie. I think I've been off the scale in my own world here.

I've gotten too caught up in the way words sound when people say them and the meaning in the words. But this is why I hate my English major, and why I want to study Linguistics. What I hate is what I love, and my thoughts spiral into this annoying paradox.

And at the beginning of this cycle is the self-evaluation.

What do I like about myself? I'm passionate, creative, and adapt well to new environments. What do I dislike? I'm pessimistic, stubborn, quick-tempered, and unable to finish things through. I have to realize that it's okay to be hard on myself. It's okay to relax. It's alright to enjoy your time in a foreign country and work when it's time for school.

Then the other side of me says, "Go talk to more people in Japanese!"

What I want to study is useless for becoming fluent. The relationships between culture and words is no use if I'm unable to communicate fluently and effectively in the language I'm studying, right?

I'm not even able to do this in English.

Do i listen to everyone pressuring me to become fluent? How do I enjoy myself if I'm studying all the time and trying to be the best in my class? Is that the same thing as being fluent? I'm not sure, but that's what I've always associated. I'm not a language prodigy, and I never have been.

I guess I should learn to laugh at myself and accept the fact that I don't excel at everything.

I'm one of those people that's just average at doing everything. Someone who does nothing well as well as someone who does nothing terribly.

This is the time when I see myself later in life as a freelance writer who smokes and drinks boxed wine.

A small voice in my head smiles and says, "You're the only person who's good at being you." Yeah, that's true.

I have to learn to accept me before I can ever succeed in anything I want to do. So I'm back to the beginning of the board game. Whoever is rolling the dice, please be kind to me. I'm not as strong as you'd think.