by Theodora Hannan, USA
*overenthusiastic waving* Hi!!!
So, I realize it’s been a while, but I hope you enjoyed the post from our excellent guest blogger Nikita. Now that the semester is back on track, you’ll be hearing from lovely me more often, promise! I hope all of your holidays were happy (and those to come as well – I’m looking at you, Chinese New Year).
I have two things I’d like to share today, and I’ll start with the most adorable one. Last night, two of my friends and I watched the film Love, Actually, possibly the most hilarious, inappropriate, and endearing Christmas movie I’ve ever seen. I’m sure you’ll agree with me if you’ve viewed it, and if you haven’t, go see it asap! Among the various couples in the marvelous ensemble cast, this time my eye was caught by the characters of Colin Firth and Lucia Moniz, who respectively are a Hemingway-esque author vacationing from his life to write and his housekeeper. Firth is an Englishman and Moniz is Portuguese, and neither speaks the other’s language.
From just before Thanksgiving to just after Christmas, Firth’s character stays in his cottage writing with Moniz working around him, and various blunders on both sides are made. Each forms an attachment to the other, but Firth returns to his extended family in London before anything happens between the two of them. Regretting his departure, Firth spends the next couple of weeks trying to learn Portuguese and rushes to Moniz’s home to propose to her in broken, but relatively coherent, Portuguese. Moniz, in turn, agrees in fairly fluent English. A month later, the two are seen returning to London, comfortable together and teasing each other easily.
Cliché as this might sound, these two people fell in love without ever exchanging words intelligible to the other. Now, I will happily engage in a debate about love and its qualities at another time, but my point here is that it really didn’t matter that they were from different worlds, with different languages, different everything. It didn’t matter. Both of them made the effort to bridge that gap, and got their Hollywood-rosy-colored-glasses happy ending. Realistic or not, I thought this was absolutely uplifting and wonderful.
My part two is…connected? Somehow? Give me a chance. My family life has had some significant changes in the last month, and my father just accepted a job offer at a university approximately 650 miles from here, South Bend, where I go to school and where they’ve lived since I was two. I’m going to miss them; even if I don’t go home every weekend to see them, it’s nice knowing they’re right there if I need them, that I can walk twenty minutes from my dorm to my dad’s office to get a hug if I really, really need one. Maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet, but actually, I’m really happy for them. This is good, it’s going to make them both really happy, and that makes me happy. And even though they won’t be here all the time, even though my dad won’t know everything that’s going on here before I do anymore – they’re still there. Really, this probably sounds a bit strange to international students, because you all have left your own families much farther away than mine to be here. But it feels like a departure to me, and that’s what counts, right? But it will, in the long run, be for the best in the long run. And that’s why all of you are here too, right? So we’ll relish in the adventure, keep our loved ones in our hearts and minds, and look forward to the coming future approaching in all of it terrifying and beautiful glory.