I sat in my class today feeling empty, alone, and void. A sinking in my stomach clenched when I thought about home. Without realizing, I was missing my host family in Franchimont. A ball formed in my throat, the edges of my mouth turned down into a frown, my nose and my face burned, and my eyes blurred as the tears filled the corners of my eyes as I consciously became aware of my feelings. For the second time since I have lived in Belgium I cried.
Yesterday, I moved in with my second host family with the help of my first host family. Christine, Pascal, and Louisa stayed to eat the dinner my second host mother cooked. We made small talk for some time, but Louisa expressed that she was fatigued, signalling her desire to go home and sleep. My first host family was walking out the door when Christine turned and suddenly said, "I feel strange leaving you here." She said what I was exactly feeling. I did not want them to leave, however, I told myself that this was an experience and it is a rule that Rotary exchange students must change families three times. With this in mind, I waved goodbye as my family I have lived with for 5 months drove away into the abyss.
Only at that moment, while I sat in my class, I couldn't contain my feelings in a box any longer. My emotions came raining down on me. I squirmed in my chair, trying to control my countenance, and drive away this cloudy moment of depression. I hid my face in shame in my moment of weakness. I re-adjusted my composure and looked about me; no one seemed to notice my little outburst. My teacher turned to me and said I needed to pay attention and that was what I did. Distraction is the anecdote for eliminating any emotion.
I skipped my next class because I did not know if I would have another break down. I sat by myself and closed my eyes. Could it be possible that after only 6 months I have fallen in love with a family that would never be mine again? What I recall fondly about my family was the way my host mother cared about me. Christine always listened to me with a patient, motherly look. She treated me as her own child, not some stupid foreigner. If I could turn back time and relive the few moments I shared with my first host family I would do it time and again. My second host family are not bad people, but I had a connection with my first host family that was special. I hope in time my feelings will diminish and these feelings of loneliness will leave me.