Friday, May 18, 2012

A Bittersweet Ending

Today was the last day of school.  My last day of American high school.  Ever.  I kept looking around me today, noticing the small things that I never paid any attention to before.  The scuffs on the stage floor, the single burnt-out christmas light in the green room, the massive scratch on my locker, and the peeling and faded flyers that decorate the bomb-shelter hallways.  Little things made me choke up, and I realized that this was no longer my home.  I would never make another costume for a Heritage High School main stage production, I would never perform in another high school talent show, I would never angrily elbow someone out of my way while huffing it to my next class.

I said some of my first goodbyes today, and I was fine until the last one.  I went from office to office, saying goodbye to old teachers and telling my story to others.  Many hugs were given, but my eyes stayed dry.  I can't explain why.  Perhaps because all of them had been more formal relationships in a way, it felt odd to cry.  Then I headed to the main office to say one last goodbye.  Mrs. Moody.  She was sitting behind her desk, putting away some books.  "What can I do for you, Ms. Summer girl?" she asked.  I explained that I was there to say goodbye.  This seemed to make her happy.  I then had to say that I wasn't coming back next year.  She gave me a huge hug, and mentioned how she would miss me, and how I brought a certain "something" to the school.  As soon as she pulled away, I noticed she was crying, and that's when I broke.  I managed to hold it together partially until I got to my car, where I really started crying.  It's the small things that get you.  I've had numerous interactions with Mrs.  Moody.  Partially because I lose things and go to her asking if someone had turned it in.  Partially because I genuinely enjoy talking to her.

The cotton has begun to cover everything.  It floats down constantly, coating the trees, the grass, the people.  It's the first thing I notice as I walk out of the school.  Summer is here, bringing along with it the fluffy tree seeds that I tend to inhale and choke on every once and a while.  Soon the weather will soar to scorching temperatures, and thunder storms will scare me under my bed.  I have work to do.  Summer classes (Government, Economics, and swimming) and learning Turkish.  There are orientations to go to, and friends to talk with.  It's concert season, and I hope to go to plenty (Linkin Park and Warped Tour anyone?)  The time will begin to fly now.  Before I know it, I will be boarding a plane to New York City, where I will meet my fellow Indonesia, Ghana, and Turkey YES Abroad scholars for the third time, and we will begin our journey.  At the moment, I don't know what to feel.  I'm terrified and excited.  I don't know what the year will bring.  However it may play out, I know that it will be the most emotionally and culturally jam packed year of my life.  Here's to us my friends, my fellow YESers.  May we all have wonderful years.  And here's to you, class of 2013, may your senior years be as wonderful as you make them.


Let's just add to the feeling of nostalgia, shall we?

On something not exchange related, it has been five months since my great grandma passed away.  I still miss her like mad.  Time may heal all wounds, but this one still seems fairly fresh.  I love you dearly and wish you were here.  I know one thing though, I will have someone familiar with me for every moment of my year abroad.

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