Saturday, November 24, 2012

eleven thousand miles

I have been thinking a lot about this post. In all reality, I have been contemplating how this was going to end from the very beginning. Yet, I still stumble over how to quantify the things I have learned and the parts of myself which I have come to better understand. Thankfully, an answer came to me today, somewhere between grating carrots this morning and eating reheated candied yams this afternoon. The fact of the matter is this:

I flew over 11 thousand miles to get here, a place I did not know and a place full of strangers. I turned down opportunities for summer internships and fall semester jobs. I never experienced July 19, 2012. In each of those actions, I actively decided my future.

If you had asked me when I applied to this study abroad program or before I left or once I got here what I was hoping to experience, it would not have been this. Not because I did not want what I have experienced, but because I had no way to imagine it. Reading up about politics, looking online at funny lingo, trying to pretend I know what I am talking about when I contemplate what this country will/does look like - none of this could have prepared me for what it was like to live here. To live in Australia.

And that is the thing - I lived. I lived, and so did you - dear internet reader. That is the point of life, after all. Amazing experiences have come from things like swimming in the ocean, and watching penguins come home from sea, and feeling the majesty of the earth after hiking down its rusted rock. More importantly, however, has been the opportunity to discover that 11 thousand miles away from home I am still me. And you are still you. And we're all (hopefully) a semester smarter and we're all (definitely) at different places in our lives. I have come to see opportunities, whether personal, academic, or professional, as experiences which do not have to define us but can and should improve who we are.

Life is beautiful, and  I am thankful for it. I am glad to have been here. 11 thousand miles away from home. 11 thousand miles older, wiser, happier.

I'll see you soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eight, Seven, Six...

I leave this Saturday.
How did time fly away this quickly?

I am also never good with countdowns. Mostly because I never know what I am counting down to, were is the one and where is the zero? Should I count how many days I have left? Does that include the fact that I have a next day layover in Brisbane? Is the count for how many days till I land? And if so, how do I count the strange fact that I am going to live Sunday the 25th for a VERY long time? Also, which time zone should I be counting the days - yours or mine? I don't know. And clearly, I have put too much thought into this.

Yesterday, because all my exams and final assignments have been completed (more or less), I adventured off to the beach. It was so warm out, the sky was brilliant blue, the ocean smelled like fish and salt and laughter. After reading for a while, my friends and I packed up and headed to Beaufort Street to check out a festival of food and music and art and other festival-ly things.

And today is sunny again! And just beginning. I'm going to go out there and enjoy it with my best frannds!!