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She Had a Language of Her Own

Photo courtesy of Pexels/Edgar Arroyo

She misses her cats.


That is the first thing she thinks about in the morning, her abuela’s breakfast, her mom’s hugs. To be an exchange student is to wake up not knowing where you are sometimes, missing your bed, looking at a different ceiling, not remembering where your classes are, or whether you finished your homework.


Did she call her mom? Something is missing. She has a language of her own, she can not go to the people around her and say Pura vida instead of greeting them with a good morning. 


Photo courtesy of Pexels/Jason Toevs


To be an exchange student is to get on a roller coaster for the first time, not knowing what is ahead of you. One day, you are at the top of the world and the next you are in an ocean of tears. You have a stranger in the mirror, not knowing that’s you. 


She had a language of her own, she would meet people, and realize how different she is from them, how they realize she has an accent, but she’s proud of it because it lets her talk about her country. 


She misses her friends from Costa Rica. 


You meet people, strange, wild and free, young souls, happy, sad and cold. 


She had a language of her own. August late summer, she just moved to a new country with no friends, no family, just hope and dreams, fixing her hair blowing in the wind hoping someone says hi. 

Photo courtesy of Pexels/Killian M

To be a foreign student is to watch your leaves fall in autumn and bloom in spring. To never experience watching those leaves change in your country. But it is different, it is brave. 


She is brave for waking up in the morning, knowing she is not saying Buenos días to her little sister, getting up in the morning with a heavy soul and teary eyes, missing what once was. 

She had a language of her own, where she showed love differently and cared deeply, like her Abuelo once taught her. 


She has a language of her own, talking to her older self as if she’s a child missing her mom: “Please leave the lights on in case I lose you.”


She says she thinks she lost herself, once again but now in a different country, being quiet where memories reside. 


She speaks a language of her own, she sings her favorite song “Then I got on a plane and flew far away from you though unwillingly I left and it was so, so hard to do. The streets here at home have rapidly filled up with the whitest of snow and they don’t make no excuse for themselves and there’s no need, I know now I miss you more..” (“To A Poet” by First Aid kit). 


It is true, she doesn’t make excuses for herself, there is no reason to be sad, the weight of what once was, it’s bittersweet, but she’s brave. 


She had a language of her own, like leaves in autumn, a chapter concludes, and a die is cast. No more crying about what once was, the echoes of yesterday slowly falling by, but not my culture, she always stuck with me, she reminds me that i am me, that the girl in the mirror is not a stranger, she’s beautiful, she has past, a present and a bright future, she can do this, she is strong, she’s my language, shes me. Costa Rica, the country of peace they say, her true language, her own.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Ramirez
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