For the past few days, I’ve been trying to find ways to accurately describe how I’ve been feeling the past week or so, having settled into my new apartment, enrolling in my subjects at my host university and finally getting a somewhat steady routine schedule (however frequently interrupted by the hundreds of strikes and public holidays that Argentina has each week), and so forth, and I could never find identify myself with a particular emotion.
And then, funnily enough, I came across a BuzzFeed video (I’m still subscribed to their primary YouTube channel however I’m no longer a loyal subscriber, I just watch certain videos from time to time that catch my attention – such as this one), entitled 11 Names For Emotions You Feel But Can’t Explain, and I stumbled upon this particular word: Alexithymia. According to the video, it is an English and Greek word, defined as ‘being unable to describe exactly what you’re feeling’ (BuzzFeedVideo 2017, 1:22). And that’s me in a nutshell as of now.
I was having a conversation with one of my new friends, that I’ve made here on exchange, during our walk home from class today, and we were talking about how a lot of our friends, ourselves included, have been in such weird moods lately. Although we don’t know the underlying reasons behind them, but we have noticed little differences in our behaviours the past few days or so. I can’t speak on behalf of them, but for me personally, it’s been a plethora of reasons.
- I’m slowly on the road to recovery after catching the flu last week (due to lack of sleep and Lollapalooza which happened this past weekend) which has led me to saying no to going out with my friends, not having 100% attention and concentration in class and spending more time in bed
- The (small but still existent) stresses of balancing how much effort should be put into my tasks and assessments at my host university versus the tasks with my home university and the workload that comes with having to keep up with all the classes
- How my anxiety had gone haywire when I thought my sense of direction had worsened and dropped immensely after not being able to find my usual Citibank ATMs yesterday (even though I had visited them only 4 days prior) because the people around me saw how confused and lost I was, and the fact that I’m Asian shows that they know I’m not from here, only to realise that it had been bought out by another company and ALL the ATMs had completely disappeared overnight. Which now means that I can no longer withdraw money without any conversion or withdrawal fee aka I lose more money because we can’t buy any pesos here in Argentina, and the thought of having to open another account with another bank is such a hassle (ok I’m rambling I need to stop)
- I’ve had, however, such fun and super crazy weekends the past two weeks, having gone to Las Cataratas de Iguazú (or Iguazú Falls) and Lollapalooza (I will put a link to the vlog here)
- Even though I’m trying not to think about all the expenses I’ve had to pay in the past couple of weeks because money shouldn’t be an issue and shouldn’t stop me from experiencing amazing things, but I am a tad upset at the amount I’ve spent solely on the processes needed to actually apply for my student visa here (which by the way I’m only going to do next Monday after being here for over a month now lol). And sure, I can claim some of that back because of my insurance and what not, but it’s gotten me thinking about being more strict with my budget and what not, which hurts my brain at times because me and numbers aren’t friends lol
- The realisation that I won’t be seeing my family until November (which I had already known but it had only hit me now that I won’t be seeing them for another 7 months made me miss them a lot, especially after FaceTime-ing them with my grandparents yesterday for the first time in two weeks)
- And I don’t even know if I’ll get to see Aldric at all this year
- Like, I don’t necessarily feel homesick, so to speak, because I haven’t really felt like I’ve been missing Sydney, but I do know that I’m missing their company and just being with my loved ones again
- I can definitely feel God challenging me with my faith during my time here on exchange. I won’t go into much detail as I’ll probably save this for another blog post, but it hasn’t been easy to actively live out my faith and have God at the centre of everything that I do here, even though I am living in a country that’s predominantly Catholic. But I think it’s because I don’t have that sense of accountability like I do back at home because I’m not surrounded by people who believe in the same things that I do and at times that can be a struggle for me
But for the most part, I’ve been having a blast so far! I’m definitely not being a Debby-downer or anything like that, because I am trying to look past all the mishaps and little spurts of stress and anxiety I get every now and then. And at the end of the day, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to study abroad for a year, I have great teachers and supervisors from my host university, and even greater friends to help support me along the way, and I’ve already been able to have some amazing adventures and experiences so far and it’s only April! Some prayers would are always appreciated though, especially in terms of my prayer life.
Hasta luego, ¡besos y abrazos!
Love, Marie ♡
EDIT: I was also having a conversation with my boyfriend during his drive to work and I think he summed up how I’ve been feeling perfectly: “The honeymoon phase is over now that you’ve settled into your new life there and what not, and you’re no longer feeling like ‘OH MY GOSH, everything’s new and exciting’ now. And that’s okay” (something along those lines I think haha). But thanks, beb. 🙂