Please understand… I’ve been wanting to leave ever since I learned there were roads willing to take me anywhere I wanted to go.
Think of how many times in your life you’ve said goodbye.
You say it almost every day, right?
Some are for the night, you’ll see them tomorrow.
Some you say while fighting back tears, questioning when the next time you’ll see them.
And some, well some are never said, because you don’t know it’ll be the last time you see them.
I build goodbyes up in my head.
I crave close friendships, but reject goodbyes.
When I left Evergreen, I stood in the Miami airport with my new friend Megan,
and then we just walked away from each other.
That was the goodbye.
Leaving Stillwater, I simply walked away from my friends Sammi and Chelsea.
My roommate and I wouldn’t have hugged, but our moms made us.
We didn’t want goodbyes to mean anything,
because in today’s world, we are so connected, do they mean anything?
But now I’m actually facing the largest goodbyes of my life.
Moving away from the home I’ve lived in since I was two years old,
and not to mention, the parents that raised me.
Saying goodbye to every friend I made for four years of college,
who I couldn’t go Christmas break without missing,
and I’m leaving my beloved home state, and my country.
Those are goodbyes that I don’t even know how to handle.
I am excited, that’s the problem.
I often get more excited for the next step,
and I forget to wrap up the end of the phase I’m in.
But some goodbyes are a little uglier.
When I left my first summer at Magic Sky,
I remember standing in the dining hall,
and Colleen and I bawling and holding each other,
Only for moments later, for me to continue the bawling in Super Nova with my program staff family.
I remember watching our exchange student head back to Switzerland,
we watched from outside security at Will Rogers airport,
and we both cried.
And now 9 years later, I will board a plane in that exact airport, heading to the exact same country.
How do you say goodbye to everything and everyone you know,
for an entirely new life?
This is my dream being fulfilled, so I have no doubt in my mind, that when I board that plane in 20 days,
It is exactly where I want to be.
But an international move is not easy.
I recognize it’s called growing up,
and I recognize, it’s everything I want and need.
But I also know, relationships will strain, things will change, and milestones will happen.
I take solace in knowing I am not the first.
I am inspired and honored to join the ranks of some of the most beautifully brave women that have gone before me.
Jenine Addison, Kelsey Pelttari, Jessica Dyer.
These modern-day women paved a path,
and for different reasons, made new countries their homes.
They show me it can be done.
So when July 19 comes,
there will be pictures and hugs,
there may be tears,
and there better be cheese fries,
But I’ll board that plane with a smile
and ready to be back in a country that’s been welcoming me home since 2010.
But hey, don’t forget about me folks!
It is so hard to leave–until you leave. And then it’s the easiest goddamned thing in the world.