I never expected writing a separation letter to the ones I care about the most to be so hard. Since I am not an emotional person I expected this letter to be easy to write without feeling overwhelmed with emotions. I decided to share my letter with my mom and sister since I know they will be the ones in my family will worry about me the most. Prior to sharing my letter, I thought of how to share it without scaring them, making them feel too sad or coming off a bit too “grown.” To do this I spent one of my last few days in America in going all over New York City since I live right outside of it. This gave me the chance to feel my last full rush of being a New Yorker while clearing my head at the same time. I felt that this was one thing I needed to do to give myself closure and ease my separation.
To express my letter to my family, I decided to catch them off guard at my sister’s house because I know that would evoke a more reaction fresh from them. I read them my letter and my sister continuously nodded her head in agreement and understanding while my mother seemed very nonchalant about it (I am assuming that is where I get my attitude about most things). After reading that I asked how they felt and my sister surprisingly pointed out my Veronica Roth quote, “Change, like healing, takes time.” She agreed that this quote will be true for both me and my family since I will be on my own in another country and for them I am no longer a domestic phone call away. We agreed on checking in every so often, but I advised them that there may be a point in time for a few weeks that I may not be speak to them and to not worry that is just me going through my journey of separation.
A few hours after having this conversation with with my mom and sister I sat and thought to myself if I really felt a difference about this separation process. I honestly did not feel a huge difference, but I felt more willing and free to embark on my journey to not only study abroad, but become a new individual as well. Last week I went through the emotions of “Oh my gosh is this real?” “Oh my gosh what did I get myself into?” and this week I am more relaxed and taking everything one step at a time, while hoping everything comes together nicely. I think one thing that may hold me back from fully separating is getting used to the unknown, and missing what I already know. I feel that I will get over that quickly as I make new friends while studying abroad and hanging out with a few old friend from Quinnipiac.
A successful study abroad process for me would be that when I come back from Barcelona, I would be able to say that I immersed myself in both the Spanish and Catalonian culture, along with seizing every positive opportunity at hand. I chose to study abroad in Spain due to all of my Spanish teachers being from Spain and always talking about the culture there, along with the art and the history. I know I may not get to do everything while I am there because I will be doing other things such as traveling to other countries and being an actual student, but I want to get more out of Barcelona than the night life. I think just going to Barcelona for just the nightlife and partying every single night will be an unsuccessful study abroad process for me. Although I do want to go out and explore the amazing nightlife Barcelona has to offer I want to come back with stories other than, “Oh this one night at the club…”
I leave on to Barcelona on Sunday and I think I am almost done coming to terms that this is happening to me, that kid from New Rochelle who never even thought of doing something like this before. I am ready to accept the unexpected, the last time I felt this way was when I was when I first left home to become an orientation leader and that turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I am hoping this one will be too. I want to go into this experience with an open mind and open heart. As for being in a big city full of many people and different cultures I am not worried since I am used to diversity being right outside of New York City and know a great deal of Spanish some I am prepared for what may consider a culture shock.
To express my moods as I been going through this journey I decided to channel my inner child hood friend Lizzie McGuire because she is an almost accurate representation about the 1,000 emotions I felt so far on my journey.
Well I leave in about 36 hours. I am still not packed, but will be soon no worries people I got this!