Considering what blogging habits were before coming here, I guess 15 days between posts isn’t that bad. But considering how bad I am at posting pictures of my time abroad and how Thinking and Talking About Things often feels like the only way I can process or share this experience, I’m frustrated at myself. Both for not posting and for the reasons I didn’t post.
I haven’t felt very present in Lithuania these last two weeks. I graduate next semester and have a lot to do and some very big changes to look forward to once that happens, and those changes have been on my mind a lot since October started. As such, I’ve been going through my routine here with one (or both) eyes always focused on home.
Knowing this experience is temporary, that my next steps (and many of the significant players in it) lie somewhere else, makes me want to simultaneously squeeze all I can out of this semester and avoid (or maybe just not bother) getting too attached. I’m not sure how to best handle my time abroad—am I a student? A tourist? A part of this community, however temporary?—and in my confusion, I often feel like I’m squandering it. (Another study abroad, Buddy Hocutt, wrote a much more eloquent post about this the second week we were here. I don’t know if he’s still as confused as I am, but he explains the question on how to interact here well.)
Yet at the same time, I feel extremely blessed to have something to return to. I’m not having a hard time here because I don’t like it here; I’m having a hard time here because my identity isn’t here. If I were staying in Klaipeda, I’d throw myself into it the way I threw myself into Fox. It’s tough, because adjusting to a new environment is always tough, but it’s not miserable. LCC’s classes, company and city are all pretty good. But my friends, my family, my future are (currently) in the United States…and honestly, I’m eager to get back to them.
I’m glad I came, but I’m equally glad I didn’t know how it would feel before I got here. I don’t know if I’d have mustered the guts to do it then. But then, that in and of itself has taught me a little more about who I am and what I care about and how I might best handle the rest of my living in this crazy world.
If only I can figure out what how to best handle these next two-point-five months.