I’m sitting in my bed, tucked into my rainbow comforter, wearing a huge high school sweatshirt, surrounded by the bright orange walls of my bedroom, filled with mementos, drawings, and photographs. Superlatives deeming me, Most Likely to Sleep In, charcoal sketches from Chinese school art class, a homecoming court sash and IB medallion, and hand-developed photographs from ninth grade.
Clothes are everywhere, along with books, stuffed animals, and old mementos.
I have so much stuff. How am I going to fit my life into a suitcase, carry-on, and purse?
It’s an understatement to say that I’m panicking a little bit. I’ve always known I wanted to go abroad for a full semester, but now that it’s T-minus 16 days away, why the hell do I think I can handle this?
I’ve never been away from my family for more than a month. I go to college 30 minutes from the home I grew up in. I’ve always roomed with my best friends. I don’t know what it’s like to have a completely blank slate in a completely new place. This is going to be an adventure, and a learning experience, like none other.
I would say I’m 40% panicking, and 60% excited. When I’m sitting on the couch, curled up in a blanket next to my parents, having a family movie night, I panic. Soon enough, I won’t be sitting in that couch for five months.
When I’m looking up pictures of Vienna, making trips to see my other friends abroad, and talking to my Vienna buddy, I’m ready to go.
I have a wonderful life here. And I’m leaving it behind, or maybe a better way to put it is I’m putting it on hold for five months. But people move on without you, my friends are graduating and moving to places all over the country and the world, and some people I may never see again for years.
I’m scared shitless, but I’ll be okay.
Home is not a place, but a time and a place. Here’s to spring 2014 and my new home: Vienna.
“It’s hard to explain, but if you get there, come find me. Nothing will be able to tear us apart then."
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.