my dear, dear reader. for what may be a final time, hello. i hope my writing tonight finds you well and happy, wherever and whoever you may be. we are now into the first few days of june and i have been home for almost three weeks. i will be perfectly honest and say that i have been intentionally avoiding my blog these past few weeks for reasons i can't even begin to describe. part of me came home, and instantly went back to the same mindset i was in before i left. i don't know if its good or bad, but i do know that when i adapted that quickly the part of me that was so happy to be back also just left belgium out of the picture. half of my head tells me belgium never happened. i was never an exchange student, i was not gone for nine months, and it was all surely just a dream. I have the same friends, i work the same boring job, i eat the same dinner, i drive the same car, i pet the same dogs, and i wear the same clothes. nothing has changed, and i must have been dreaming. maybe its like i went on a week-long vacation? i find myself answering questions about this almost imaginary place i apparently went to and knowing all the answers. i can tell you exactly what i did, who i was with, how i got there, you name it. but i just dont BELIEVE that i did it. i probably sound crazy, i know that. i hope you're starting to see why i haven't written since i got home.
nothing has changed, except for everything. nothing has changed, except for me. the other part of me sees everything in a different light. i struggled quite a bit speaking english the first couple weeks, and i still find myself saying "een beetje" (a little) and "ik weet het niet" (i dont know) in dutch instead of english. i see myself picking out shirts in my closet i thought i would never wear again in my life. and i hear myself saying a bit wiser, possibly more mature things. i got a desk in my bedroom to make it seem more like my belgian rooms. i eat fruit and granola in the mornings because that's what i did there. hell, i even bought myself a NEW BICYCLE so i could have one like i did over there. trust me, there's still a part of me that remembers..and will always remember.
iv'e been fairly busy in the time i've been home. i had about a week to get rid of the jet lag and figure everything out back here again before i started my summer job. (and for the record, i had a great flight home with nobody on my left and the isle on my right..then customs in chicago was a breeze!) so yes. i'm a cashier at the pool and i've worked almost every day for the past two weeks. i enjoy it, so i don't mind working all the time. besides that, its really boring so we just talk, eat, and read a lot of the time. i have spent quite a bit of time with my friends since i've been back too. maybe not as much as i'd like but as long as we can laugh at the same jokes from last year then it's perfect.
you know. i can't seem to think of a way to end this, because somehow we both know that it will never end. "jamie goes to belgium" started as an attempt to remember the important things, a time-filler to stay away from facebook, and a way to show my family and friends what i was doing. i never thought i could have my entire journey written down for the world to see! i suppose, as with most things in life. with my blog, with my journey to belgium, and even with fishing...
wishing you happy exploring, good eating, and a fabulous day! and of course, THANK YOU FOR READING! sincerely, Jamie M. South Dakota-Belgium August 2010-May 2011 :)