So it’s the beginning of my first official week by myself on this exchange. I’m settled into my room, hugged my mum goodbye for 5.5 months, met most of my house mates and had my first couple classes. It’s also the period of time that I’m the most nervous about.
Well this is the moment when I’m essentially alone. I mean yes I’ve made some wonderful friends within the international student community and I’ve also met some lovely people at the new church that I’m planning on attending while I’m here. They all have been super great and they’ve definitely helped to make this transition easier. Many of the international students are all figuring this out themselves so we often join together and stumble around together.
But while those relationships are cool they’re also very very new. We’re all still getting to know each other; we’re learning our likes and dislikes, our favourite foods and bands, our perspectives and worldviews etc. Most of them don’t know that I’m a massive Doctor Who fan or that I sing or that I hate zucchini. (Sorry Mom). The new-ness of these relationships – while exciting – make it harder to feel that deep sense of community that we all so desperately crave.
It is at this moment that I have to learn how to stand alone. Sometimes it’s okay to be alone. To be in fear of being alone is as problematic as overextending yourself in attempts to avoid loneliness. It’s not a healthy way of living or learning to be fully honest. I think that overcoming that is rooted in embracing the periods of being alone.
Now before you freak out, I’m not saying to embrace loneliness but what I am saying is that we cannot be afraid of being alone because it’s fear that keeps us from doing things. Fear is paralyzing and keeps us from living to the fullest. Sometimes we are required to press in beyond the fear in order to overcome that which seeks to keep us bound.
So what’s my point in saying all this?
Well, I’m having to learn how to embrace being alone. Being alone isn’t always wrong. Being alone eliminates distractions and enables us to refocus our attention and perspectives. Being alone allows us to sit in the quiet and to simply be.
That sounds pretty good to me.
Until Next Time.
Peace & Harmonies