i’m sitting in my room in groningen at 4 in the morning. i’ve passed the halfway point of my time here and i feel different. i remember getting on the plane on december 19th and feeling terrified and gloriously independent all at once. i wrote a “journal entry” in a notebook and then tore it up once my plane landed—i’m not a writer. i got to johannesburg and it wasn’t what i expected, but it made me sad. i don’t think my family belongs there. i didn’t want to leave them there, and now that i’m gone, i don’t want to go back.
and then i came to groningen. the first day was so scary and overwhelming and i cried in my room by myself (i’ll admit it now) and wondered why i decided to come here all alone. but i cried every day for the first week of elementary, middle, and high school, and eventually i figured out that nonsense, didn’t i? so i put on a brave face and went downstairs and talked to people who i thought i had nothing in common with. now three months later, everything is different and we’ve all learned to love each other, but most of all i think that i’m different. i can’t explain it, but this was the right thing for me to do. i feel so at home in this city, which took me into its arms and gave me what i needed—a fresh start.