mount pleasant, pennsylvania

I'm home.
That makes 12 days now.  I needed time before I told you, because I myself wasn't even sure how to handle it, how to explain the feeling.

My last days in Belgium passed by slowly.  I'd never felt as if I wanted to go home until the end, until most of my friends were already gone and I felt like it was time to begin the summer.  I felt sick with goodbyes, and wanted nothing but the last to finally say hello.

Nonetheless, there were some highlights in my final weeks, such as a trip to Amsterdam with my host family



 and a trip to a concentration camp in Belgium named Breedonk.





I felt kind of emotionless at the airport as I left; it seemed as if my excitement and sadness canceled eachother out.  I had accepted the end of my Belgian adventure, and I was ready to come home to begin another one. 
I was expecting myself to feel something, to cry, to run up to my friends and lift them in the air as I finally arrived in the Pittsburgh airport, but after about 4 hours of delays, I saw everyone and simply felt like I'd seen them the day before. I felt like I never left, as if Belgium was nothing but a vivid dream I had on the plane and I was returning from a week vacation. At the sight of my mother, my sisters, my best friends, I just stood there without any strong feelings.  Nothing seemed to have changed; I was dropped right back into the world I had left eleven months before.  Was it really eleven months?

The night of my arrival, my friends and I stayed up until 5am American time (11am Belgian time) talking about the year that had passed, taking midnight trips to Walmart, eating all the foods I'd missed at absurd hours (absurd to Europeans at least), and laughing.  That night, I got along with them all as I always had, as if nothing had changed, and it stayed that way for the week that followed. 

Not until recently have I realized that my relationships with my best friends here are more like sisterly relationships.  I'm with them out of habit, not necessarily out of choice.  I got along so well with my friends in Belgium, my exchange student friends.  They have a part of me with them; they've watched me grow and taught me who I am.  I never fought with them; I never tried with them.  We all just fit, fit so perfectly since we saw the world in the same way; we felt the world in the same way.

It's not that I'm unhappy, but I'm not completely content, not until I find those friends again, those friends to show me inspiration and make me smile.  I think I'm on the right track though.  I've realized that there are a lot of people who have changed in the past year in the same way I have, which gives me hope.  I get along with people now that I never really had before, and it's kind of opening my eyes.  There are so many people, so many opinions, so many outlooks on life that I never had paid attention to before, and now I'm beginning to learn so much.  To think I felt as if I was open-minded before I left surprises me; I speak with the people who I had shared opinions with, and I find them close-minded.

Slowly I'm beginning to realize how much I've changed, and how much more confident I feel with myself now that I've changed.

Constantly I say that I left the US as an exchange student, and I came back as Jordann.
It couldn't be more true.  I never had a name before; I was only caught up in what I wanted to be, but now I simply am.
In truth, it's liberating. 
I am able to see, breathe, feel.   

Have you ever stood on top of a mountain as the sun shines or sets or rises while the wind is breathing around you?  When you can lean out over the edge and feel the wind, the world embrace you?  You can let go of yourself, and the surrounding beauty seems to keep you standing.  That feeling, that's how I feel everyday.  I don't need to worry about keeping myself standing, because I see the world around me, its simple beauties, and I know it will never let me fall.
If you've never felt it, go climb a mountain, or at least a high hill, and feel it.  Please feel it, because that's life.  Or at least the life I know, and I love him. 
Maybe you'll love him, too.

and give to you my colours bright.

A week ago, I scribbled my name on the Berlin wall (or at least what remains of it).

The East Side Gallery: A section of the Berlin wall that is about a
kilometer long and stands as one of the largest open-air galleries of today,
consisting of about 100 paintings created by artists from around the world.
The artwork revolves around many themes such as one's basic right to freedom
 and the hope of a peaceful future for all of the world's people.  
For two days, my friend Breanna and I explored Berlin, a trip we had planned ourselves
(with help of the National Geographic travel guide) as a closure to our year in Europe.
I truly loved the ambience of the city:  we didn't feel the rushed, New York hustle and bustle like I had expected, but rather a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere that was also young and energized.  To me, it felt like a college town rather than one of the world's most historic cities (nonetheless it is home to Humboldt University, a school that Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, and Otto von Bismark had attended among many other remarkable men).


Holocaust Memorial: 2,711 concrete blocks which
aim to represent an ordered system that has lost touch
with reason, such as was witnessed during the Holocaust.

The Reichstag

The Brandenburg Gate

Checkpoint Charlie: One of the best known crossing points between East and West Berlin
 during the Cold War.  This was the sole crossing point for both foreigners and Allied forces.

Humboldt University of Berlin

I only have more 9 more days, and then I have to wake up.
Happy 4th of July.

PS: Today I went to the Lion of Waterloo and toured around the battlefield where Napolean was defeated (practically where I've been living my entire exchange) to display my patriotism.
Yes, I know, there's absolutely no correlation whatsoever.. It was the English who defeated Napolean, not the Americans. But hey, at least I kind of celebrated an important battle.  That has to count for something.  

midnight's cigarette.


And tomorrow,
our laughter will be the music I long to hear.

Chimay's beat so undefined, our hair interwined,
blonde and brown and natural,
dangling from the wooden heights of
our abandoned train tressle.

We feel our naked feet beneath us
in the cold, moonlit current,
dancing in the milkyway.

My toes, they're laughing, as they play
hide and seek
in these weeds we would never know
as nothing but our beauty.

The cool, damp earth
runs below us,
it's running to the sun.
But we stand still and watch the moon,
how is it that he's smiling?
He'll leave us soon, as will we,
we'll leave,
but we refuse to move.


And then the earth,
she shakes beneath our muddy toes.
A hand he grasps one the other,
our fingers tangle, intertwine.
And then the earth,
she overturns and casts us into the sky.

We are scared,
and we try to hold on,
but we know we can not
as we free-fall in the stars.

The sky, he takes me,
and I lose you.

He takes me home.

this is a blog

that you may find profound, deviant, or insipid.

It may teach you, inspire you and leave you lost in thought; or it may bore you and cause your eyes to drag slowly shut.

You may read it for an hour, or maybe not at all.

Maybe you'll get to know me, maybe in ways I don't even know me.

I left the United States in August 2010 as a Rotary exchange student. I'll leave Belgium in July 2011 as Jordann.

about me

My photo
Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
I follow the sun.