Good Egg11:44 AM
The great thing about being on an exchange is that you meet people from different walks of life. Whether it's someone that you silently sit beside on a night train, a fleeting conversation with a stranger in a grocery store, a 48 hour best friend that you meet in a hostel, or a special friend that you want to hold on to for the rest your life.
I've met some brilliant people, calm people, worried people, strong people, and mixture of characters in between. What I've realized is that each of these interactions has taught me how to empathize a bit more. They've all demanded a bit more of "me". For example, conversing with anxious people has challenged me to be more caring and patient. It's so easy to meet someone, to label them, and then to just give up on them all together. We're all so complex and everyone is going through their own situation. Time doesn't always permit it, but if you wait long enough, you can see such a different side to someone. I've concluded that it's best to encourage those that don't really deserve it, and treasure those that you don't deserve. Make sure that someone knows how much you admire them. Make them know happy you are to see them, and how proud you are of them. Why not share a laugh or a compliment with someone? You'll never know how much they need it.
I had a weekend surrounded by such good-hearted, generous people that I call my friends.
It all started with an idea. Then an exchange of home addresses, phone numbers, text messages, metro tickets, RER train times, and finally - packing pillow cases and blankets. My three friends and I met up in Paris, then headed off friday evening to Brussels. We finally made our way out of the thick of Paris' friday night rush hour. In order to stay awake, the guys shuffled between our two CD options of the Black Keys and Owl City. Everything up until that point had been planned, and the GPS assured us that we were well on our way to Belgium. Everything that would follow I couldn't control.
Let the chips fall where they may.
We arrived at around midnight and were welcomed by one of my friend's roommates. We excitedly said our hellos, where are you froms, and dropped off our bags in the living room. I was a bit worried that the apartment would be crowded, having my friends with me and all. And it was. But thank goodness the apartment was big enough for everyone. I didn't realize that more roommates were moving. I met about four people that emerged from their rooms, explaining that they had just moved to Brussels for their studies or for work. It was an insanely full house, stuffed with old friends, new friends, all equally interesting.
The most amazing thing was that everyone bonded so quickly. It was one of those weekends where things just fell into place. We took our sweet time each morning. Easing into the day, having breakfast together, talking some more, having lunch, and then heading to central Brussels for the afternoon.
|the boys, churning away at the salad|
|The Brussels Comic Book Museum brings out the child in all of us|
Being at a table surrounded by young and ambitious individuals just made my spirit soar! This is terribly cheesy, I know. But good friends are so hard to find, and I think it's so important to keep the right company around you at all times.
We shared countless laughs together, talking about our education, jobs, career prospects, life after uni, and our aspirations. Saying good bye was extremely difficult, but I hope to see them someday soon.