Culturally Shocked

13 Oct

Well this past week certainly has been one for the books. There were so many emotional ups & downs. My job has been testing my sanity daily with misbehaving children & unimpressed Czech parents snitching on me. Customs refuses to send me anything my mom mails me: including medication & winter coats. My apartment is certainly the fixer-upper, which my ‘landlord’ refuses to do anything about. My personal life has also been thrown all out of wack due to some awful unpredictable conflict. But, I try my hardest to be an optimist. Because it’s like that commercial says ‘A bad day in Florida is a good day anywhere else’ well, the same is true for Prague.

And you know what trying times teach you? Do you know why life kicks you down so many times? Why, it’s to notice all the people who are there to catch you. It’s to realize who is there to offer an outstretched hand to help you back on your feet again.


 I have felt so many emotions this week: fear, incompetence, guilt, uncertainty & sadness. But as I sit here & type this on a Sunday morning at 10:30am…the sun is shining through my curtain-less window. That week is over & I’m still here. Tomorrow is a brand new week & I’m going to be fine. But I do want to take the time to acknowledge all the people who helped me get through to this point:

My Parents:




Mom & Dad, having an impromtu Skype session with you on Friday was just what I needed. Sure, I have so many great new faces here in Prague with me but I missed the old ones. If I were to move home tomorrow it would strictly be to see my family. That’s who I miss the most. It’s bizarre to think that we won’t be reunited until late June. But I’m a sucker for metaphors & what’s more perfect than showing you my new home before returning back to my old one? 



Nothing puts a smile on my face more than seeing I got a new e-mail from the world’s greatest pen pal. I love you more than anyone in the world, Grampy. You are my hero. Your e-mails always have the right amount of humor as you tell me you & Grammy’s daily rituals like going to Barnes & Nobles, the hairdresser & Longhorn’s for lunch. I miss that familiar routine & spending time with you. No matter what you say or do, you always cheer me up my ‘recycled teenager’.

Friends From Home: or more specifically Courtney & Meaghan 



 Thank you both so much for your comforting words & encouraging pep talks this week. You are two of my closest friends to the point where I feel like we’re sisters. I know that if you were here you would take to the streets & hunt down the person who hurt me. Even though we’re so far away, know that I still miss you guys all the time. I am not sure when the next time is that I will see either of you, but I know that when I do it will be like nothing changed. That’s the thing about true friendship: time & distance can never affect it. Thank you girls, I love you both ❤

New Friends: Brandi, Kristin, Kathryn, Rebekah 


Brandi- Thank you for literally taking me into your apartment like a sad lost puppy off the street. Thank you for making me breakfast for dinner & gorging Chinese food with me & making me laugh. Thank you for all the advice you gave me & telling me that first I had to appreciate myself. I really needed that. I owe you forever, girl.


Kristin- Thank you for forever being the most awesome wing girl. Thank you for giving me one extra hug when I needed it. Thank you for going out with me on a rainy miserable night because I needed to laugh & just wanted to dance (even if you got elbowed in the face all night). I am so lucky to live so close to you Rebekah & Karen. It’s nice to know when I need to escape the world I have this loving safe haven so close up the street.


Kathryn- Thank you for forever being the greatest roomie, even though we don’t live together anymore. I have thought of you as a comforting mother figure ever since I was crying to you about money problems back in July. Thank you for checking in on me. I don’t get to see you these days nearly as much as I would like to but I just wanted you to know that I really do appreciate you.


Rebekah- Sorry you had to get caught in the crossfires of my crazy life, but thank you for making me feel so much better. I only tell super personal things to people who I know will handle the situation properly instead of making me feel guilty about myself. Thank you for telling me not to blame myself. I really needed to hear that.

Coolest Assistant Boss Ever: GillianImage

You are officially the cooler older sister who I never had but always wanted. Thank you for giving me the life advice that is halfway between my mom’s lecturing words & my friends’s empathetic sentiments. I owe you big time. I would not have gotten through this week if it weren’t for you. & I mean that. I would be an unsure emotional wreck. Thank you for always knowing that Mexican food & beer is the cure for all.

And most importantly (vainly?) of all: myself

I have been learning that in times of trial, you really truly only can rely on yourself. Life is going to throw you a ton of curveballs, my dear readers, & you are the only one who mainly decides how to handle them. Sure, crying, binge-eating & all day Flavor of Love marathons may suffice for a while…but sooner or later you need to stand up, brush yourself off & deal with it. This is still something I’m struggling with from time to time, but I just think of what Mama G always says:

“God always gives us the gift of a new day.”

& Whether you’re religious or not, this is still true. Because tomorrow is going to come whether you’re ready or not, so tell me–how are you going to handle it?




2 Responses to “Culturally Shocked”

  1. mgallygirl October 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Jessi, I’m always here for you, no matter the distance. And you know that I would do anything for you! Thanks for the shout out! Makes me feel good that even though I’m so far away (yet not really), I can still help you! I love you so much and am super proud of everything you’ve done so far! We will see each other soon around Christmastime! I need my dungeon dragon back in my lifeeeee! Love you so much! ❤

    • jgravesss October 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

      I love you so much too, salope! I am SO EXCITED for winter break! Let’s skype sometime when the internet isn’t being so European ❤

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