Sami, outbound to Sweden

Thoughts on Glasses

I've worn glasses since the third grade. But every year at the ophthalmologist I guessed at fuzzy letters on the screen - usually getting them right. Finally last year, I spoke up and admitted to guessing. Two weeks later, I put on new glasses with a brand new and stronger prescription. When I first got my glasses, I got headaches and was dizzy everyday from the new strength.

What does this have to do with my exchange? Well, a few days ago, I took my glasses off to wipe raindrops off of them at the bus stop. I looked out at the town, and everything looked flat. Like a painting. Or something from a comic book. And I thought about how I used to think that something so flat was normal.

And I think that's what exchange is. Exchange is like getting glasses. It's headaches and dizziness at first. And then slowly, without you realizing, you get used to this new, vibrant world you are seeing. And sometimes, you stop and remember how flat the world looked before. And you think of how much you have grown. How much more you've seen. How much more depth the world has than you ever thought was possible. And it's like magic.

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I know this is quite short, but I keep finding it very difficult to figure out ways to articulate this rollercoaster that I’ve been on. I plan to pick more thoughts like this out of my journal and share them.

I’m having a brilliant time. Not very moment is sunshine and many days it’s just about getting through. But I know I am growing. And I can feel it in my bones. I truly think I am making lifelong friends and that I am finally getting a breakthrough in the language where I can understand bits and pieces in class. It’s not a 24/7 adventure, it’s not a vacation, and it’s not always easy. But I can promise – it’s a good life. A VERY good life. And I am oh-so lucky.