Different

Hello World! I was surprised so many of you actually read my rant–thank you. I’m touched.

So today, I feel different. Different is okay, I think.

At my new job, I’m working with International students who come to take an Intensive English Program at IU. Today was “Coffee Hour” where students literally come for coffee, doughnuts and conversation (brilliant, isn’t it?). The whole goal is to give the IEP students a place to practice their English skills with low pressure. So, I took it upon myself to meet some of those students.

I’m afraid to try and spell the names, lest I ruin them horribly, but I met two young women today who are from Saudi Arabia and wear facial coverings. One of them wore a full burka. We talked about our husbands, living in Bloomington, their children, and places we’ve visited. Their English was in varying degrees, but they were fascinating all the same.

It only occurred to me for a moment to be shy. Maybe it has something to do with having lived in other countries where the culture is very different. Either way, what could I possibly lose? Only the opportunity to personally speak to someone from the other side of the world–and what an opportunity! Miss it? Never! Suddenly, I didn’t feel so different, sitting next to those two women. I felt like we were real friends, and I hope they felt the same.

I realize that, although my problems may be specific to me, they are still shared around the world. My life is no less hectic, confusing, worrisome or on-top-of-it than anyone else’s. I worked hard (like I said in the last post) to put my worries out of my head. And I did, for the most part. Today, it was a blessing to meet others who had the same worries, even though the worries were slightly different. That’s the benefit of friends.

So, today, I feel different. Different is okay.

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