This incredibly sappy moment has been brought you by, "I HAVE LESS THAN TWO WEEKS HERE". It really is my life right now. It's almost time for me to go home, where my roots are. Where my family is. I need to pack up my life to prepare for the journey back to the states. All but one thing and the most important thing I have here. Friends.
Yesterday in London, I cried. Not outwardly and not noticeably, but I did shed a tear or two. It was the last time I may ever see Big Ben. Buckingham Palace won't be a point of reference anymore. Just when I have mastered the Tube, I have to leave it behind.
I have become accustomed to life here and now I have to pick it all up and basically start over again in the States. I look to my friends here and I see them now as family, and I have to say goodbye soon.
No one ever tells you when you sign up for this that you're going to fall in love with the places and the people. No one tells you that saying goodbye to these people (perhaps forever) will be one of the most painful encounters of your life. No one tells you that you have to leave a piece of you in Europe forever.
Which only means one thing... I will be back. To be cliche, these will not be "Goodbye"s. They will be "I'll see you again one day, my friend"s. The people I have met here have literally changed my life. I have done wild and crazy things I would never do, we've become regulars at a local pub, and we teach each other new things every day. Saying goodbye will be a moment full of tears and anguish, but hope as well. Hope that miles will not alter our friendship. Hope that we will keep in touch. Hope that we will meet again.
Lucky for me, the best friend I have here (and now one of my best friends, period) lives just a state away in Ohio! Phone calls and texting will be obvious, and road trips to see each other will be inevitable. Our farewell will be sad, yes. We can't see each other every day. We can't complain about the Canteen food. We can't walk down High Street. And we can't have our late night bus ride philosophical conversations. But, we will see each other again, soon. This I am sure of.
Not so lucky for me, the other best friend I have here (and now I would consider him a brother) lives in France. That's not exactly close to Illinois. Knowing how difficult time zone difference are, keeping contact won't be easy. I keep praying that he will get an internship in Toronto, Canada. Because I can drive there if I absolutely want to. The cold realization hit me recently that soon, I can't turn around and ask, "Hey! How do you say this in French?". I will miss him, and think of him often.
Yet, my family and friends are calling. My life at home is dying to take off as soon as I land. I soon will be able to hug my father, enjoy my mother's famous potato soup, and tease my sister. I'll be able to feel the warmth of my boyfriend and enjoy some drinks with my friends. I can start making money again instead of spending it and I can begin preparation for student teaching.
All that stands in the way of my plane ride home is one 1,500 word essay, a five day trip to Paris, a test, and a presentation. And that scares me to death.
Although I am upset to close the door on Winchester, it's time. It is time to go home where my life is. I will miss you Winch. And I will never forget what you have taught me, what you have blessed me with, and what I have gained. But, I need to go home and give a hug and kiss to the two people who made this all possible.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.