Hillary Klimowicz writes about her experiences abroad while playing professional basketball in Switzerland and France.
June 22, 2011
This cow knows what I'm talking about...
I wish I was talking about fast breaks or defense here, but that's not the way this entry's going to go. Now that I’ve been home for well over a month, I’ve got to say that I’ve kind of been feeling a little out of place back here. There are definitely a number of habits that I’ve picked up while I was not in the good ol’ US of A. For example, when I was in Switzerland ‘participating’ (and I use that term loosely, since French is still so incredibly foreign to me) in a conversation, my role was to listen; I would pay attention for whole conversations and not once give my feedback or input. By the time I left Switzerland I could really keep up with a conversation happening around me, but I still struggled to contribute. I would just listen, soak up what people were saying, and respond to myself in my mind. Guess what happens when I do that now, back home, where people actually speak my language…I’ll tell you! I come off as kind of a weirdo. When I’m talking to a friend, or anyone for that matter, I’m noticing that the people I’m listening to are wondering if I’m actually listening. Sometimes I get the impression that they think I’m judging what they’re saying because I just keep my mouth shut and don’t respond. I mean I am listening (usually!), but it’s just that sometimes I forget that I speak the language here and can actually respond.
On another note, I’ve also noticed that I’m having a hard time being around people for an extended period of time. Let’s be honest, I basically felt like I was in solitary confinement for the majority of my days (minus lunch and practice time). I was left by myself and whatever quirky thoughts were going through my head on any given day. When it came to space, I got to lay all of my stuff out in my apartment and organize everything the way I wanted to. I guess to put it bluntly, I was spoiled. I’m finding that now that I’m around people for extended periods of time, I’m a little more edgy when someone starts cramping my space or going about doing something in a way that seems bizarre to me. I’m constantly telling myself that although I like things done a certain way, that doesn’t mean it’s the right way.
I think the best way to put this is just to say that I'm actually feeling the effects of having been away for a while, which I wasn't entirely expecting. I mean, I re-organized my lifestyle to fit where I was, where even basic everyday tasks felt incredibly different. I have a feeling that I’ll be fully adjusted back to the American ways of things just in time to leave again.