Hey friends it’s been a while. This semester has had some ups and downs but has definitely been a learning experience.
I was unable to run for quite a while because I hurt my knee doing a race in the mountains back in October. Where I am used to running is always flat and unfortunately the decline during this race was much steeper than expected and I hurt my knee pretty bad. So I had to take some time off, had an MRI, and it turns out that I had torn some cartilage but it’s healed now. I just started running again a few weeks ago, and I can’t really go more than 3 miles but I am loving being able to run again especially with the weather being nice.
So the biggest thing was that 3 weeks ago I changed host families. Basically I was feeling for a long time that my host mom (Anne) didn’t really want me at the house, and that Airbnb was more important to her. She would complain about my study abroad program, and make comments about every little thing that I did. Plus she cleans all the fucking time. And not just like some minor cleaning but extreme to the point where the house looked EXACTLY the same all the time. And then she would get all pissed off if I used the kitchen because she didn’t trust that I would be able to leave things as clean as before. Like one time I was making pasta and she came in an yelled at me because I put the spoon next to the pot on the table after stirring the pasta because apparently I was getting water everywhere. So finally I decided that normal people do not live like this and that I did not have to put up with this any longer. So everything was arranged with my program that I’d tell her one day in advance that I’d be changing host families. She didn’t react well when I told her and dinner that night turned into a huge disaster which included her yelling at me the entire time, calling me the worst student she’s ever had, and saying some pretty nasty things about me, including saying that I was “mentally ill” and should have never been let out of the United States since I go to counseling here. But dont worry she got over the fact that I was leaving pretty quick because I’m pretty sure my room was up on Airbnb the next day.
So the next day I moved to the complete other side of Grenoble, closer to the city center. I live in a small apartment with a lady named Catherine who is probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. She’s a vegan and is super into art and the environment. She always gives me information about things to do in the area and has me help her cook since I really suck at preparing food myself.
But looking back on it I cannot believe I put up living at that host family for 7 months. I was considering changing back in December but I just told myself I can put up with anything for another semester. But how ridiculous is that? I knew it was possible to change host families but I preferred to hate where I was living instead of putting in the effort to improve my situation. And I’m starting to realize how little I care about my own happiness. I have such a hard time getting myself motivated to do anything that’s actually good for me. I am constantly hard on myself to the point where I’m unable to enjoy what I am doing. But this is something that I have always done, and that I have been working on improving this semester. And normally I tend to keep these things really private, but after the comment that my Anne made about me going to counseling, I feel like is something I should be able to talk about. Yes I go to counseling, but so what? At least I am taking advantage of the fact that it’s available to me and I working on these things that I know I have difficulty with. Anne’s comment really bothered me, but it’s those kind of people who need help the most and it’s sad that they never get it.
So yes, this semester has had it’s rough moments, but really so much good has come out of it. Honestly if a year ago someone would have told me where I’d be today I would have never believed them. I’ve really met some really amazing people here, and I feel like my time here is too short but at least now I know I’ll be able to enjoy it.
Also here’s some photos of Nice from the latest trip with my program: