Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bon Voyage (Reflections)

I am blessed with an amazing family and great friends.

A week ago Monday I said goodbye to my little college family.

Last Saturday I said farewell to my amazing group of HSHSPers and had a final Qdoba meal with my college roomie.

Last Sunday I met up with three of my best friends from high school and we had lunch at Olga's and then played Settlers of Catan for a few hours/

Today my family celebrated an 28th anniversary, a 21st birthday, and a Bon Voyage (mine!) at our family reunion.  We consumed our usual fare of hot dogs and hamburgers, took family pictures, gorged ourselves on three different cakes (one for each celebration, though mine was a cookie cake - absolutely delicious!), swam and cannon-balled into the pool, and just plain-old talked.

How did I get so lucky?  As my grandpa said on his 83rd birthday two weeks ago, "When you surround yourself with good people, you have no regrets."

I am so lucky to have been (and still be) surrounded by such a great family.  I'm already treasuring the cards I received because they show the support and love I will have carrying me away to a land that ticks 13 hours ahead.  I love how my Dr. Seuss card puts it:

You're leaving?  You're kidding! It just isn't fair-
you're packing up Here and departing for There!

The Heres left behind are bummed to the max.
It's hard to accept, but they have to face facts-
there's nothing the folks Here can do but insist
you'll be warmly remembered and mournfully missed!

Just know, as you're headed off into the blue,
that a big piece of Here will be going with you!
When you've arrived There and completed your quest,
remember those Here wish you only the best!

I cannot wait to take pictures of my soon-to-be home (yes, even things like the toilet as has been requested) and share them with my family and friends here.  I'll be the "world traveler" as they called me and serve as a cultural ambassador of things both mundane and extraordinary.  Perhaps I'll even video record the first time I try to turn on the shower...  I'm sure that will be a hoot.

Driving away from my cousins house was bittersweet because I know it will be more than a year until I see the sun set over the fields again.  It will be more than a year before I set my foot back into that house.  I'll miss Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Fourth of July, birthdays, anniversaries, and even the next family reunion.

That's... tough.  To say the least.

This weekend the Perseids will be lighting up the night skies.  Many different cultures have myths about shooting stars: the Ancient Greeks believed that if you followed the path of a shooting star and found a meteorite, you would receive a year of good luck from the gods of the sky.

I'm counting on that luck and I think I'll choose to view this phenomenon as a blessing (yes - even though it happens every year!).

I'm excited, nervous, full of trepidation, curious, beating my head against a wall, trying not to hyperventilate, worried, wanting to procrastinate, ready to get it over with, biting my nails, wanting to cry, want to run around, going to stir crazy, wondering, wishful, thoughtful, scared... you name it.  I half want to back out and half want to be there already!

I guess you could say the waiting is killing me.

Whatever it may bring, I will grow from this experience.  I keep telling myself that I just need to take every day as exactly that: another day of my life.  A day in which I can make mistakes, take risks, accomplish things, create memories, learn a little more, laugh a little harder, smile a little brighter, and feel a little deeper.

Here's to a year of good luck and new experiences!

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