That first Sunday was a lot of crying. So was Monday.
I wasn’t getting any sleep, be it from absurd jet lag or just the terror of falling asleep in this new place.
I wasn’t eating. The food was intimidating, I didn’t know the names or how to order, no one spoke English. I didn’t know where the grocery store was.
I told my parents I’d give it a month.
Before I left people would ask what I was most nervous about and I would always answer, “Making friends. I’m nervous about making friends. Or just, being lonely.”
Turns out I was dead on.
It is my first time living alone. First time living in a country where people can’t understand me. I up and walked away from my life. From every comfort. From every loved one. Those first nights loneliness didn’t creep, it seized, like an electric shock, and throbbed over and over, each new wave effectively sapping every ounce of confidence and strength I had; leaving me wide eyed and shaking in my new bed (which is a fucking rock by the way).
The year stretched out in front of me like…….Alright Idk, whatever metaphor you can think of involving something terribly long and suffocating and impossible to overcome. Use your imagination.
So anyways I was miserable. I wanted to quit. I’m still recovering from those days actually. But people adapt. They survive. So I did. Do I still feel the occasional pulse of pure loneliness and smell the singed tendons of my heart? Sure. But I swallow my terror.
Obviously my situation improved. I met my co-teachers, and while four of them are here with each other as couples, I still get to enjoy their company on the walks to work.
I bought groceries. I found a pizza shop near my apartment (don’t judge me I’m transitioning). I put up my pictures and cards from my friends and family. I cleaned.
Most importantly I started my job. 8 hours of teaching smart, beautiful little children leaves me tired and happy at the end of a long day.
More to come.