As I finished writing the last sentence of my essay this morning, I realized one thing:
I was done.
I had finished my final exam.
3 months went by, just like that. And now I look back, and I’m like: “Fabiana, that wasn’t that hard, or was it?” It’s funny how when we’re facing challenges and difficulties, it’s so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we’re like, “Man, I just can’t do it anymore.” We fight with ourselves. We cry. We want to give up. But when it’s all finally over, when you’ve been on the go for days now, you look back, smile, and say “Agh, that wasn’t that bad.” Haha.
Although I have seen my roommates start pilling up their papers filled of Chinese vocabulary words written over and over again, corrected homework, and not-so-pretty exam grades, I just can’t make myself start doing the same. Yes, I am done with the semester, the grades are all in, and I do feel like a weight has gotten off my shoulders. But nevertheless, I do not want to get rid of my Chinese books or tests, or those laborious and tiny “study tips” I like to do with a pink pen on top of my already summarized study guide. Yep, welcome to my world.
Although I have finished this semester, I have not finished learning Chinese.
I think to it as a never-ending project. It’s been a while since I started learning Chinese~ as soon as I start to feel comfortable with the language I realized, “Wow, I know this much. If only I knew THAT much more.” Chinese just keeps challenging you. I love it.
In retrospect, I now look at those 5am morning coffee sessions I had with my Chinese book everyday. I see myself there working, listening to that one “The River Flows in You” Pandora radio station. No one’s up and I am just there absorbed by the new vocabulary words. I smile and laugh for no apparent reason. I’m in my medium.
People often look at me and say, “how do you do it?” The truth is that I simply enjoy studying. I enjoy waking up at 5am knowing that by the time my 9am class starts, I’ll be prepared to answer every question and feel happy with myself. I have truly tried my best.
It’s not very practical, I confess. But it’s what makes me, me.
Now, I sit on the high-speed train making my way to Luoyang. The trip has finally started, and I’m starting the “gaining new eyes” part of my study abroad.
2 weeks of discovery and new landscapes.