Three Months in ITI.

2015-02-11 07.35.46And after long days for three months straight, my first term at the Intercultural Theatre Institute has come to an end.

Just a blink. Just a gentle breeze. Just a cycle of dawn to dusk.

Looking back at the plenty of moments I have made and kept for myself, the lessons I attended and the little notes I have made on knowledge earned, I am pretty surprised how a small chapter just closed.

It still seems to me that I just started writing in this new book days ago, and that this new phase just begun for me.

Of course, I am not saying that I did not face any hardship along the way so my days went by so quickly. I have had moments where I stayed up all night crying or wondering if I missed out on something in class. I have had pent up frustrations about plenty of things – big or small. I have had days when I let Stress scrawl its big ugly name on my forehead as I drag my feet along the school’s corridors. To be very honest, I am still trying my best to adjust to the routines, timetables and the sudden restriction to the number of things I can do/want to pursue beyond the hill.

I am still negotiating this give and take process with myself.

Those negative emotions and the low moments drown me occasionally. They made the days seem long, dark and lonely. It also does not really help that half the people I talk to have no idea what ITI is or what I do in school. Some cannot even remember what the full name is, or where it is at.

But despite all those tiny details, the general process has been one full of loving and sharing.

Exchanges about cultures across the globe. Friendships blooming from every day interactions. Working hard on Noh. Singing and eating cake on all the birthdays. Climbing the hill. Greeting, petting and walking with all the cats that call Mount Emily their home. Smiling and walking past residents that exercise at the park. Staying open-minded and constantly questioning anything under the sun.

The positivity, good vibes and the nature around me played a big part in how I am surviving so well. I rarely feel afraid and can easily explore, breathe and just live in the now familiar spaces. It has been a joy, and for that I think I am really lucky to be here.

And I have already been given so many things to miss: the lovely exchange students from Australia, the green room and the pantry spaces.

It has been nothing short of incredible – emotionally, mentally and physically. Really.

I really am not sure what exactly I am expecting when I first stepped through the gates at Emily Hill, but now I know that there will be plenty of things to look forward to after this well-deserved week-long break.

Forever grateful, and looking forward to learning even more.

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