Tag Archives: Cry
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When home is not the place to be a child

27 Sep

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “When Childhood Ends.”

With him recovered (recovering?) and me having lived abroad for more than two years now, it is sometimes easy to forget (pretend to forget?) that I grew up with an alcoholic father and a depressive mother. When I see them laughing together when we skype, or hear them ask me what could I possibly not be happy about given everything they offered me, it is easy to wonder whether it had really been that bad, or whether I had simply been imagining it.

But then, holidays come around and I go back to visit home, and get to see the mark on the wall left by a glass he threw in a fit some years ago, and get to look at the cards I gathered from these foreign places we were at for Christmas and New Years Eve, where instead of dancing or being out celebrating, I was in was room, comforting my sister, as we listened to our mother cry. I also see the fridge that I still shudder to open, dreading to hear the clinking of dozens of beer bottles and am still uncomfortable going in the basement for fear of seeing cases of alcohol. Then I remember not having ever had friends over, because I never knew if he was going to be awake or not, embarrass me, or worse and recall setting up longer practice hours and more tutoring session just so I wouldn’t have a reason to come home before nighttime, when I would sneak past his room and lock myself in mine.

I remember my sister crying herself to sleep every night and me not being able to stop her; I remember the screaming matches and the fear I felt for my mother and me not being able to protect her; I remember the pain in my grandmother eyes when mother would come home from working overtime to cover for him and me not being able to ease her; I remember me, sitting on the ledge of my balcony, thinking it would end if i were to move an inch and not being able to do it because then who would sit with my sister and play piano for my mother and help in the kitchen my grandmother? And then I remember the day he raised his hand and me, an 11 year old blond, blue-eyed girl blocking it.

That girl cried herself to sleep that night but vowed to never do so again. Crying never helped anyone. It caused headaches, and puffy eyes, that would raise questions in class next day, and would make it hard to focus. No, crying would not do it; working hard in class and on the court, getting ahead of everyone else, and being accepted in a college abroad more than eight years in the future, that was the way out. That girl never cried because of him or because of home ever again. But that girl, she was not a child anymore.

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Australia or my newest 6 month relocation

12 Mar

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Study Abroad.”

The question today’s prompt asked is where I would choose to go for a year if I had the chance to study abroad. Coincidentally I am currently on a study abroad program in Australia, while already being an international student in the US.

The why question is one I got a lot recently and the easiest one I can answer probably. Why not?

I am young, only 20, I am free, not bound to any job or place and when else would I get the chance to explore a new culture, meet, live and study with people my age but raised differently and simply travel some more.

My initial choice of studying in the US came easy. It was far away from my parents and my own country that I had grown disappointed in, I got a chance to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, enjoy a world-renowned education and experience a permanent summer. UCLA meant all those for me.

Leaving now for Australia was an even easier decision.

I needed a new change, a new adventure. It was again one of the furthest points I could find on a map. LA-Canberra  time difference is 18 hours. It was the best choice for a school in my field. ANU is ranked number 7 in the world for political science. I got to add number 34 to my ever growing list of countries visited and I had always had a fascination for the unknown land down under. The fact that is was actually cheaper to study here than in LA as an international student came as a bonus.

Now one month in my newest adventure I must admit I have mixed feelings. I came in overly confident that I had basically no need to adjust whatsoever. I had already been an international freshman and had done quite well. I had already moved to an English speaking country and hadn’t had any problems. I had traveled the world and never felt lonely. But I was surprised at how many challenges I encountered.

Nobody cared about me. The freshmen wanted to make friends with others who would be here as long as they were. The uperclassmen already had tightly knit groups of friends. Semesters run quite differently than the fast-paced quarter system I was used to and doing research by myself without being constantly tested requires all my determination. Tennis training proved to be a huge issue since Melbourne is the tennis capital of Australia and not Canberra. Slang use is wide-spread and I often find myself nodding and smiling and having no idea what the other person is saying. Even traffic being on the other side of the road requires daily reminders to look right before crossing. And on top of that, to my impression, Australians are so laid back and content with their country my international background and capabilities make no impression. Oh, you speak five languages, cool, let me grab another drink.

However, by all means, I do not and will not regret the decision to come here. Worse case scenario if my situation doesn’t improve I will have cut off a country from the list I mentally keep with possible ones to live in after I graduate. In any other possible course of events I emerge more mature, more confident, more open-minded, more cultured, more knowledgeable than before I left. How could someone regret that?

School here is amazing, with smaller classes and professors who insist on practicality (policy briefs instead of essays is just one example). ANU and Camberra are truly international spaces where I’ve met people from around the world. And I haven’t even begun to explore the rest of the country or the other major cities.

It’s true. I’ve had some tough days when I missed my already established routines and friends at UCLA. But I also enjoy the challenge of making it here as well. To consider myself an international citizen or part of the globalised youth I should be able to have a positive experience here. And even while eating lunch alone ( a feat I am definitely not used to ) I am certain I will find my way around. And if not, one can live through anything 6 months right?

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The post I dreaded the most or Do I have to give up tennis?

2 Jan

I need to change my about page . And this is killing me.

I learned to embrace change as a positive thing some time ago. It usually means development, evolution. But today, I am uncertain if this change I need to make can in anyway be for the better. And the dramatic part is that I cannot avoid it.

In short, I am no longer a tennis player on the international junior tour. My last year as a junior has officially ended on the 31st December 2012. And today, in relation to this game I do not know how I stand and what I am.

Questions regarding my future in this sport arose again. Questions I have tried to deffer for as long as possible. That means for the last 10 years, as I have been under constant pressure from my friends, parents and teachers to give it up in order to focus on school.

I know I have always know I would not become pro. I am aware I am not that good and even if I was the career is too uncertain. Even if you have tremendous success you need to retire at 30 and rethink and restart your life over. Of course I dreamed of such a life and quietly hoped I was going to be good enough for it to become my obvious choice.  But despite my hard work and wishes it did not happen that way.

At that point where it became obvious for everyone, including me, that I did not have a future on the pro tour, I came up with the middle way between that life and quitting. I could not even start thinking of giving up, it was that painful. Playing college tennis seemed the answer. I would continue my sports career for at least four more years, have a way to fund my studying and overall be happy. Continue reading

Daily Prompt: Immortalized in Stone: Grandmother’s Love

27 Dec

Today I’ll write a response to the daily prompt, but this is also day three of this week’s writing challenge.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Just Do It!.

Daily Prompt: Immortalized in Stone.

Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?

This prompt made me think of all the significant events of this past year. And there were certainly not few. I feel I have evolved so much. I feel I changed so much. I feel my focus, my dreams, my goals and my future has changed. People came and go. I became estranged with many former friends and with my family, despite living in the same house with them. I made new friends, people who I would have never thought would come into my life and mean so much to me. But I have always thought preserving the past does you no good, and the people who just arrived will be there tomorrow. So what or who would I keep a memento of for forever?

The answer is simple. It’s the reason I have become who I am today. It’s the person who raised me since I was a few days old. The person who loves me most and unconditionally. The person who forgets all my mistakes and forgives me each time I do wrong. It is she who has stood by me every single time I needed help and offered me her shoulder to cry on far more many times than I could recall. It is she who told me good night and tucked me in, it is she to whom I ran every single time I had a nightmare. It is she who learned all lessons together with me and it is only her that I can say “I love you” to without lying. Continue reading

Confession or about not feeling anything anymore

25 Dec

DPchallenge

via Weekly Writing Challenge: Just Do It!.

With this very personal post I begin my challenge of the week.

Christmas has come and gone and I wonder why I didn’t feel anything.I kept waiting for that feeling, either the night before, a feeling of excitement or of festivity, or, in the morning, a feeling of happiness while opening my presents. A feeling of happiness, of joy that has always accompanied such celebrations. But nothing came to me. Not even now, in the aftermath, I do not feel. Inert, empty. These words should not describe a person on Christmas, especially since no tragedy has come upon me, nothing bad happened.

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Daily Prompt: Just a Dream

20 Dec

»Daily Prompt: Just a Dream

via Daily Prompt: Just a Dream.

You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.

Ever since I was little, I have had very vivid nightmares. Sometimes I would know I was dreaming but was unable to wake up, and sometimes, I was so caught in the action, I would scream out loud or get up in my sleep.

This part of dreaming, that you have no control over your actions or whatever is happening, is the most scary to me and so for this dream, the one in which I have to chose between three doors, I am again a spectator.

I see myself facing those doors, and I immediately feel a lump in my throat. something is not right and I want to warn that person I see, I want to warn me not to proceed. But I have no voice to scream, no body to move and stop her/myself, I only have eyes to watch me open the door from the left, (I always chose the left side, even when I’m awake), and stare at the horror behind.

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