Now, from what my last post talked about, I hope you don’t misunderstand. I’m loving it here! And the pros, while they may be short in list, the quality of experience by being away from home is innumerable.
Through the minor difficulties in my experience here, I’ve pushed myself to another side of me that I haven’t, and most likely wouldn’t have touched if I hadn’t been here. I got to know myself a bit more. And I’m still working on this acquaintance. Each and every day, I have worked to learn new things, if not about me, then about the culture, the history and the lifestyle of people here in Taiwan.
I’ve learned that I can be brave (sometimes). I can commit to writing daily (errrr… at least most of the time). I can rise up to the occasion (so far…). I can handle minor discomforts and homesickness (kind of, though I have cried once already 😛 Don’t judge!) I have come to the conclusion that I really do have “gay-dar”! Also, being open-minded and friendly can take you to tons of places! Though natural instincts do have an effect, to be or not to be judgmental is a choice.
Another important lesson I learned is just to work on being more social. Yes, I love to talk. Yes, I love to meet people. However, normally, I’m the type to build a wall on first instinct/impression. I get a tad bit weirded out when people try to dig deep on the first meeting. But I’ve been pushing myself to be more open and I’m so thankful for that. The Taiwanese students that I’ve met here so far are ridiculously friendly!!! It’s like they take friendliness to a whole new level! I’ve never felt so at home with new friends in such a short span of time! And from what I learned also, is that friendship is a two-way street. Though many of the Taiwanese students have taken the initiative to talk to me and to have invited me to places, it is up to me to accept whatever invitation comes my way. Sure, my Chinese is abysmal and there will most likely be some form of language and cultural barriers, but if one stays optimistic and hopes for the best, these intercultural friendships could go a long way!
Lastly and importantly, I am growing in God. Or I’d like to think I am. Yea, I think the lack of hugs are getting me and I don’t necessarily understand myself. Therefore, I can only turn to the One who does. And yes, though it has been fun outwardly (in a secular manner, if that makes sense), I feel like as if I need something inexplicable.
So here I am, reflecting and evaluating my life as an Exchange Student in Taiwan. Still trying to figure life out, but not getting very far. At least I’ve moved forward, and I think in terms of human development, a slight difference still means that I’ve gone somewhere.