The week and a half of returning to school has been difficult.
I feel like I've had transitions piled on transitions lately. The last transition was hardest of them all, and that was something I was not expecting. Of course, I knew I was going to miss my Spain life when I returned to daily school life. Of course, I knew my walk to classes was going to be cold and snowy. What I didn’t perceive was to miss my old Northwestern life, and that hit me immediately when I moved in. I’m in a different dorm and farther away from my normal college friends than with a usual semester. My commute to classes got worse, and my moments of routine fellowship decreased. I’m left missing literally everything and everyone.
When all the hugs and the reunions are over, the truth glistens in the background: I’m out of place here. When returning from a semester abroad, you’re a stranger in the familiarity that seems different somehow, with friends trying to adapt you into the life they lived so long without you.
It’s exhausting. It’s depleting. It’s depressing. It’s difficult.
But it’s the best kind of difficult I’ve ever experienced.
Yes, I miss Spain. Yes, I miss the life I lived the first two years of college. Even knowing this, I would not have wanted this semester any other way because I’m different, and a different lifestyle is the perfect complement to that.
I’ve learned to receive my value from the source itself instead of from others. I’ve learned of the peace and confidence in Christ. I’ve experienced a joy that does not come from direct circumstances.
Sometimes when I think about Spain, tears will fill my eyes, but it’s not always because I miss it; it’s simply because I have joy in the fact that it happened. Even though sometimes I wonder otherwise, that semester definitely occurred, and it left a positive impact on me that allows me to experience the oxymoron of an easy difficulty with God at my side.
It has been difficult.
But it’s been the best kind of difficult I could imagine.