that makes saying goodbye so hard."
--winnie the pooh
whenever people tell you why you should study abroad, they tell you the good things.
they tell you that you'll learn about yourself, that you'll speak a new language and adjust to a new culture.
but what they don't tell you is that it hurts.
sure, it hurts to be away from home and to bite the dust in language and to constantly embarrass yourself in foreign etiquette. that's normal. but it's not that bad.
what hurts is the missing. the countdown of days. the awareness that you will be both returning home and leaving home at the same time, the feeling of constantly saying goodbye, the knowledge that your year is about to end.
it is unpredictable, because it creeps up on you at strange times -- in math class, or lying awake at night, or walking through a crowded city street -- and it makes you frustrated, because you don't understand. you don't see how in less than 12 months, one can fall in love... not with a person or a thing, but with an entire country... and you are upset at yourself for not seeing it earlier. for not, somehow, avoiding this ache.
and yet you ask yourself if you would give up this year, this crazy tangled beautiful mess of a year full of excitement and disappointment and learning about yourself and making stupid mistakes and overdramatizing and having heart-to-heart talks and traveling and making memories and dreaming bigger than you've ever dreamed in your entire life...
no, you wouldn't. not really.
and because your goodbyes hurt,
because the thought of leaving is painful,
because this is so hard,
how lucky you really are.