dimanche 26 septembre 2010

Plus ou moins 5 semaines

So it's been about five weeks in Belgium now. It's been a tale of ups and downs and seeking solace in the future, maybe not the best place to seek it... Either way, sometimes I feel like I really don't want to be here and that there is no up, that there is no way that this could get any better. But fortunately that isn't very often. Most of the time frankly I just feel normal. Not happy or sad. Just kind of...living. There are also times, like on the train this morning, where I just can't wait to learn. Times where I feel like I can see how great this experience can be. Unfortunately very rarely do I feel exited to be living in the moment in which I'm living. As I said earlier I generally seek happiness, excitement, in the future. The next step. But it's not often that I find it in the moment I am living. I'm not sure if it's because it's difficult to live at this point in time or if I concern myself to much with the future while forgetting to enjoy the moment at hand, Nate style. I'm leaning toward the latter.

Another big part of my life, other than my ever changing emotional state (I swear it's by the minute), has been the French language. After five weeks I feel like at the bare minimum I know how to say more than when I got here. I can generally express my thoughts without using some dumb idiomatic English translation, and instead using the real, often idiomatic, French phrase. I talk more like a Belgian, and less like a kid who took French for a few years in school. That's not to say it's fluid speech though. Often I say things twice after realizing I made a mistake on my first try. That kind of sucks. Because then people decide you don't know ay French. It's kind of all or nothing. Either they think you're awesome and speak too fast or they think you know nothing and start waving their arms. Really I just need to hear it twice. It's usually just a word or two I don't get. Nonetheless I've kind of relaxed over the past few days about the language. Everyone says you're kind of screwed for three or four months anyway. So I've stopped giving myself such a hard time. That's not to say that I'm not trying. I try all the time. It's just that that perspective allows me to see the language as something very beautiful. I realized (after clearing my head about learning quickly) that I love to speak and hear French. And that the journey (that will never end) of learning it is really wonderful, and that I can really enjoy it. The cool part about learning a language is that you use everything learn so you're really motivated. In math I can't say the same, but in French I can guarantee that if I learn a new word I will hear it within the week. And then feel good about understanding that little bit more.

Another big part of my life (these parts are all intertwined I'm just bad with transitions) is school. School is like the best and worst thing ever here. It's great because it makes me speak French, hear French, read French, and more importantly gives me the opportunity to meet people. But also it sucks because it makes me feel left out, overwhelmed, and kind of stupid. To understand a lesson (other than in math) you have to have an amazing amount of vocabulary. Little words that you use once a month can bring together an entire lesson. So if you don't know the word you don't understand. This means that for most of my classes I copy notes and don't really know what's going on. Sometimes I don't even know what the notes mean. But it's cool. I'm kind of used to it. Sometimes also the subjects are actually difficult like math and physics. And I honestly don't know if I would understand in English. That scares me a little. Makes me feel stupid. But again I'm trying to relax. Physics...

School also brings into the picture the idea of friends. I have little to say on the topic other than making them is difficult in no matter what language.

So that's it. I feel like Romeo with how much I complain. Life here really is excellent here to. I don't know what I would be without French. My host family is wonderful. It's beautiful when it's sunny. So really I probably don't much to complain about. Though I realized a long time ago that human emotion isn't logical.