Saying Goodbye

I tried to write this blog over and over again in the last few weeks I was at home, but I could never quite get it right. I think this whole thing felt too surreal. I couldn’t even begin to process the idea of leaving home.
I kept getting stuck on this idea: I am so ready to Go, but I am nowhere close to being ready to Leave. Despite the fear that I feel about the next eight months, I’m excited. I’m excited to meet other Fellows. To remind myself of the Spanish I’ve forgotten in the months since graduation. I’m excited to eat Ecuadorian mangoes and hike through new mountains. I’m excited to begin my work at the women’s shelter and meet my host family. I’m ready for all of that.
At the same time, I don’t know how to let go of the life I have here. How am I supposed to say goodbye to my best friends? How am I supposed to go months without talking to my dad? Or hugging my mom? Or buying flowers from the farmer’s market? Drinking a latte at my favorite coffee shop? How am I supposed to just put my life on hold?
Lost and confused, I asked my dear friend, “Why am I leaving when my life is so good here?” She reminded me of why I decided to do this program in the first place. “Because you’re going to come back so much stronger and you’re going to have all of these beautiful new adventures and memories and people in your life. Because there’s another really good life waiting for you there too, you just haven’t met it yet.”
I’m going to miss home so much. I’m going to miss the way the light comes in through my bedroom window in the morning. I’m going to miss honey-cinnamon lattes and ginger molasses cookies. I’m going to miss late night honest conversations with my best friends. I’m going to miss drinking coffee with my parents on our front porch and watching the cat chase bugs in the front yard. I’m going to miss the way the city looks right when you get off the highway, river on the left and trees on the right. I’m going to miss driving past the library and reminiscing about late night exam cram study sessions. I’m going to miss crawling into my bed after a long day of work and falling asleep to the sound of frogs and trains.
I guess I just have to remind myself that there is a life like this waiting for me. I’m going to find new people to watch the sunset with. I’m going to find more music to listen to on the way to work. I’m going to find another city I love as much as home. I’m going to find a way to grow into life in Ecuador. I’m going to find new adventures and people to share them with.
I’m still not really ready to Leave. But I am ready to Go.