“It’s good to feel uncomfortable” -Sameer Gadhia. I am sitting here typing this up thanks to this quote by the lead singer of the band Young the Giant.
Reality has stepped in. We had our first week of classes. Not bad at all actually, I was looking forward to them in fact. But at the end of the week, I woke up with severe tonsillitis. I couldn’t eat, drink, or sleep. Missed two classes, along with all the fun for the week. I sat on my bed for four days straight. Walked through the supermarket looking for “Miel” (honey) with chills of fever, so that it will ease the stabbing pains in my throat.
A few days prior to this I spent a whole day with the extended members of my host family. It was really an enjoyable experience, but also a very tiring one. I found myself having to turn my head every few seconds as I tried my best to respond to a room of thirty Chileans speaking faster than I could process.
I found myself overwhelmed once again, but this time in my film photography class in a room of twenty one Chilean students. The idea of taking a class with zero other American students combined with the pains of tonsillitis may have been the reason. But somehow I made it through a four and a half hour class that day without comprehending over 94% of what was said.
Oh and the week prior to that I got on the wrong bus stop after class. We got further and further away from the city. Soon as I back over my shoulders, I found myself sitting in an empty bus. The bus driver asked me “everything ok buddy” (in Español of course). I frantically told him that I need to get to Manuel Mont. He opened the buss door as we pulled into the bus station (yea, the place where you park the bus at the end of your shift…) He told me to walk back and that there would be another bus stop to take me back. So I walked. It was getting dark. I walked past the most rural and one of the more dangerous neighborhoods (according to my host brother) of Santiago. Half way thorough the walk, I took my credit card out of my wallet and put it in my socks (for mug-free purposes). Soon I found the bus stop, got on, and experienced the most beautiful of sunsets I have ever seen in my life on the ride back. The entire sky line was lit up in a neon pinkish-red illumination (sorry didn’t have my camera with me for a snap).
Now, let’s get back to the introductory quote. Yea, it sucks to be uncomfortable talking to a houseful of strangers in a language you suck at, or being lost on a bus, and walking through sketchy neighborhoods. But if it wasn’t for these uncomfortable situations, I wouldn’t have learned to use the “micro” (bus system) nor gained the confidence to speak to Chileans in my film class.
Living thousands of miles away from your home is not just about having good times with your American friends. These next four months are also about stretching myself. Stretching beyond the discomfort, and growing from situations that create awkwardness and fear. So yea, it does feel good to be uncomfortable. Lets keep it that way.
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<p>Hi! I am an observant incandescent light bulb. I may seem dim idle, but I am constantly taking everything in. At times I flare up from the stimulus I receive from my surrounding environment. I try to capture these unique moments through the sharp opening and closing of my camera's shutter by a mere click of a button. I use these captured images to give meaning to that moment and connect it to me, life, our world and the things and people that fill it. Won't you join me in putting this world into perspective?</p>