Do you know why this post is titled January 20th? Do you know why I'm really really looking forward to that date? Because I found out that starting January 20th the light starts to come back and I'm really really excited about that. Mostly because it means spring will be coming along, and spring means good things. Spring has become a kind of symbol for me, like maybe it's going to be the best part of exchange, though right now, it doesn't really feel that way.
I've been feeling really down lately. Just kind of blah. Apparently, I'm not being social enough which is what people keep telling me. My host mom, my host sister. In fact yesterday I had a conversation over dinner that went something like this:
Me:"What do you want me to talk about?"
Raisa: "Oh anything"
Guest: "Life here...are you bored?"
Me:(Forgetting that the words for "boring" and "To miss" are similiar)"Very bored"
Raisa: "You say it's boring here, but you never call your friends and go do anything. you sit at home and do nothing"
Me:"Oh, no! I'm not bored, I meant to say that I miss my family."
And then somehow Raisa made arrangements for me to go ice skating with my host cousin this afternoon which I'm really hoping falls through. Not because I don't want to go ice skating, but I just don't want to go with him. I'd rather go with one of the girls I know and have actually hung out with and had a conversation with. Please don't make me go with my host cousin and his friends. Please! And I couldn't say "no I don't want to go" because that would've just reinforced the fact that I'm anti-social.
I think I'm failing as an exchange student. Recently I really have been trying to make an effort to call people and hang out with them. But apparently, it's not enough. I've really been missing my family lately. Actually it wasn't the holidays that set it off, it was Aita being here.
Having here here was both a good and bad thing. Like there were times I really enjoyed it, and times that I didn't. sometimes, I'd be sitting there with Raisa and Aita and I'd feel like part of a family, which was a good feeling, because I miss that feeling. Yet at other times I'd feel completely isolated, like I was just this random extra person in the house, just kind of there. Like Raisa and Aita would be having a mother-daughter moment and I'd feel awkward, like I was intruding. The other thing that was really hard for me, was the fact that they'd like go do things together, even mundane things and not even ask if I wanted to go. Like the other day the dog did something to her leg, and they were taking her to the vet and it was like, "we're taking the dog to get her leg checked, we'll be back later" and leave, not even thinking that maybe I would've liked to go and seen if and how taking the dog to get her leg checked was different than in America. Or maybe I would've liked to go, just to go.
Maybe that's my problem. Maybe that's why I sit around the house so much. I was trying to think of what I do in america. I mean, yeah, I hang out with my friends, but I do that in America less than you'd think. I realized part of the reason that I spend so much time in the house here is because I don't do any family function type things. Like in America I might go shopping with mom, or go do something with my parents, or grandparents. Here, I don't. It's kind of like Raisa and I are just two people who happen to be living in the same apartment, but we have our separete lives. Which is cool in some ways. It gives me a lot of freedom. Yet, I miss that feeling of family, because back home, my family is huge and obnoxious and they're a big part of my life, and I love them.
But then, maybe I am just anti-social and a bad exchange student. How would I know? It always makes me feel better when I hear that other exchange students are having the same social problems I am. It makes me feel less like a failure.
I talked to Raisa last night and I think I'm going to see about getting a new family. Not because Raisa's a bad host mom, but because I want to see how other families function and what's cultural, besides, I think that the change might do me some good. I'm hoping that the club can find me a family with some kids at home. I think I'd like that.
So once again, I'm playing the waiting game. I'm waiting for school to start back up, for my friend Nina to come back from her trip to Moscow, for my feelings of "blah" and cruddyness to go away, like I know they will eventually, waiting for spring, because I feel like everything will get better in the spring.