I’ve been a student in Russia since October 2015, and I’ve lived in two Russian cities, and travelled to two others in that time. And finally, I returned home for a month in July. I was really happy to go home. I missed the beach sooo much, and I went to it a few time. I went to the beach and soaked in all it had to give. It was fun.
But I’m even more happy that I returned home so that I could grow. Just before returning home I return to Facebook as well because a lot of my acquaintance at home use it. I wanted to see what they were up to and now I could because I was returning home and I wouldn’t feel so far away or homesick, because I would be seeing them soon, or at least be near to them. I got home. I told very few people I was back and spent time with even fewer of them. Everyone is so busy. Life, right. I spoke to some people online, and tried to with others and found that I had changed too much from the person I had been at home in some cases, and in others that the other person had changed to and that we simply had nothing in common anymore. No spark. Conversations were like the cold, harsh white of flourescent light. And this happened for about the first two weeks or so. And then I remembered my more eccentric friends, the one I spoke to so rarely when I lived at home, but whose presence always meant the warmth of comfort of a red-orange flame. And it was just perfect. I’m an introvert and I’m most at home in one-on-one so that’s what we did except for that last night which I spent a few hours with two friends.
I went to the beach with one of the few persons with whom I quickly clicked, Xandria and we spoke about our country and our educational journeys and our need to be healthier people. We delved into the problems and discussed them with detail. And I went to lunch with a schoolmate and fabulous creative soul, Launesha and we spoke about everything and it was amazing because in most situations there’s a need to finish one topic, but as we spoke we moved through topics as minds moved and no matter who changed the topic the other was always right there. That usually doesn’t happen with me. People usually want to finish one topic before moving onto the other and my mind is usually spitting some many things out a lot of which I want to say but can’t. But with this friend I just let my mind lose and we just synced like we always do. I don’t think I ever realize how easy it was to listen or to speak with her before. We jumped from topic to topic for a couple of hours at lunch (one hour to order and get the order another to actually eat and get the cheque), and then another on the drive home, and then we spent a day together. That’s how well things went. And then I spent sometime talking to another schoolmate, Elorna and then simply silently being in her home. It reminded me of visiting her home years a little before coming to Russia and I felt as though I was in my home too, missing a few people but still home. And these for me were perfect meetings. Meeting with people who made me feel free to grow and in finding that I still had at home who had themselves developed away from the persons they were but with whom the present me could still communicate I found that I could let go of my old self, the person I was two years and months ago. I’d been trying to hold on so that I wouldn’t seem so strange. But as I communicated with these women while being the me I’ve come to be I felt good, and me, not the old me, the new me or the transitioning me, just me. And it felt so good to be.
Now, I can say I am extremely pleased that I went back home, so that I could get the permission I felt I needed to grow out of the younger me and into the present me, to go on my journey fully, knowing that no matter how much I develop they’ll be an eccentric few who are growing in their own directions but who will still be a part of me, who will still hold me as a near, dear friend despite distance, despite change. For some reason I really needed that and when I found it, my heart became light and it was so much easier to move through the world, so much easier to get up and go.
I felt as though in that instance I became an adult which is strange in a world where there is no real event which pinpoints the becoming of an adult. But maybe that’s not what I really mean. I’ll use other words. When I say adult, I mean I felt as though I could now be in charge of me entirely. A lot of times we live according to the standards we think others have set or which society has set and I think and I would like to go against that. Living according to other people’s expectations is what we do as children and it’s what most children try to get away from, but I think I was inadvertently doing that. I was trying to be me, and be responsible to me but also think about how others would view me, perceive me because their perception of me would impact our communication, and therefore our relationships. So I was afraid to be responsible only to myself, because that would mean losing those around me, losing my connections to home. So finding that these women and a few others, men included, accepted me was to me permission to not be held responsible to them or anyone else except myself. And so at 28 years old I feel like I’ve become an adult, a person with responsibilities but who is only held responsible by myself and God, of course.
Going home has pushed me further into being free. Onwards and upward.
Have you had a similar experience in which you felt you became an adult, or receive permission to be one?