Please find your seats quickly, class has started.
For those that don’t know, a montage is a film editing technique that condenses a section of film into short scenes, the aim is that they flow in a way that tells a longer story in a shorter time frame.
A perfect example is the infamous running scene from Forrest Gump. As we all know Forrest goes on a run that ends up lasting 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours, all of which is chopped and screwed into just 7 minutes of footage.
Now class I’m sure your wondering what the relevance of my opening is.
It is with a heavy heart that in 6 weeks Le intern Abroad will become Le Intern at home and unemployed, how’s that for a title huh?! Having said that with only 2 blogs to go it’s time that I create a ‘montage’ (hence the in-depth definition and relevant example) of my American experience as it draws to a bittersweet close.
My blog has mainly focused on how I myself have developed over this year and I plan to finish it the same way. I’ve done a lot of fun things, road trips, basketball game, football game, Duffy’s nights, nights out, days out, beach days, beach nights, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Delray, Kennedy Space Centre, Animal sanctuary, science museum, the list goes on.
To be honest even thinking about it now as I type my thoughts, I’m not even quite sure how to structure this, like how do I not miss things out, skip important detail and yet still give you the whole story (said every person that ever created a montage). Well its impossible.
Nonetheless and without further ado, I think it would be best to start with a flash back, so allow me to reintroduce myself….
(If it was a movie this would be the narrators part. I would probably choose Morgan Freeman to narrate my movie, just cause you know its Morgan freeman, duh.)
Its August 22nd, Chantelle, a spunky, (you know what, I hate that word but it’s fitting for the sentence), anyway. A spunky 23-year-old is on the cusp of her biggest dream turn reality to date. She’s crying alone in duty-free avoiding eye contact, waiting for her boarding gate to be announced for her one-way flight to The United States of America. Scared yet excited, feeling vulnerable yet confident she’s ready to face life on her own.
Looking back now, I think it was all a little dramatic, rational, but dramatic all the same. I mean if you’re at the airport and you look over at this young lady balling her eyes out like her dog just died, you’re going to think ‘pull yourself together love’. Despite this I’m 90% sure I would react the same over and over again, if the scene were ever to replay itself.
September 21st: Almost one month on I was settled, things were falling into place and we were getting into the swing of things at work. Staying with my aunt was just like a home away from home and made the move feel a little less drastic. Having my own place was a shock, I did my laundry everyday (mum would cringe), left my clothes unfolded (mum would cringe) and washed my dishes when I pleased (mum wouldn’t be surprised). I soon realised how annoying it was and acted how mama raised me!
October 31st: Reality check nùmero uno! Even though I was enjoying my time out here, still in the ‘honeymoon phase’, I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was living outside of myself. I was having fun and living a life completely parallel to home and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. I wanted to enjoy myself, yet at the same time, I didn’t want to get used to a lifestyle that (at the time) I felt I couldn’t have at home. The sceptic within me in a sense made me feel bad for feeling free, something I haven’t felt in a while.
My favourite line in this one; ‘create your own utopia, design your wonderland and let no one tell you to wake up’. In hindsight, I just needed to take my own advice.
Oh yes and of course surviving a hurricane was fun, they’re nothing to be taken lightly, but there was a twisted excitement surrounding the whole thing.
November 19th: By Far the best thing I did this year. 5-hour road trip down to Key west, jet skiing, parasailing, bar crawling, physically drunk crawling, drunk cycling, 2 am IHOP visits and a picture at the southernmost point of America.
There’s no words, just watch it…
December 31st: My first Thanksgiving, in all honesty I was rather disappointed not to get any time off to travel to my aunts and spend it with her. However, when I apply logic to my previous statement, getting time off during a busy holiday in hospitality is an urban legend. Sometimes you just have to make the best of an unideal situation, round up your new friends and have a Friendsgiving. This was my first taster of southern hospitality and boy did it go down a treat.
Christmas away from home was painful, once again we found ourselves looking for the silver lining. The Christmas party was the start of that, they say America does it bigger and better. Compared to drinks down the pub and a mince pie, this party was the business! Food was lovely, drinks were well poured, raffle prizes were to die for and the after party? Well, lets just say it was eventful. Work had been tough and the party was the perfect release.
Christmas itself was amazing, I’m going to go ahead a beat my own drum here and tell you straight up, I put together a spread good enough for a royalty. We ate till our bellies were full and drank to our hearts were content, our livers weren’t so happy, but we soon forgot we weren’t home.
January 24th: I found myself feeling very distant from home, I came to realise I was ‘wasting my best years, planning for my pinnacle years’. I was starting to have so much fun here, I was wondering why I couldn’t do the same at home. My mentality and outlook on life needed to and WAS changing. I’m not saying not to take life seriously, but I was taking life so seriously and critiquing each step, I didn’t give myself then chance to enjoy the fruits of my labour.
America has shown me that.
February: Visits from home were uplifting! Another trip to Miami, beach days, nice meals with great company, showing friends and family around my new home. It was exactly what I needed.
March 31st – April 30th: I found me. This journey highlighted so many things inside myself I didn’t know existed. I was sure of myself and what I wanted for my life but I never incorporated any leisure time into my plans. I didn’t know how much I desire to travel, learn and understand different cultures, trying different cuisines, reignite my passion for cooking and just making memories worth telling my kids one day.
I’ve given my blood, sweat and tears in every role I’ve ever had, whether it be as a chef, a waitress, a miserable unemployed/stuck at home daughter or a stressed out ‘I’ve got 2 assignments due in 2 days and haven’t started’ student. It may seem cocky to say but I’ve worked hard and continue to work hard as well as give my all in everything, I’m hard on myself and expect to always achieve highly. Taking that all into consideration, I finally realised that I deserved this opportunity. It was mine to have and I’m even happier to say I made the most of it, took the reins and rode it.
Would I do thinks differently, well yes of course. But who says I can’t come back.
Sticking to the same theme, this year has indeed been a movie, I’m not quite ready to talk about it in past tense as it’s not over yet.
Could say it’s been the best year of my life. But I’m certain there’s better to come.
Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different”
– C.S. Lewis