Well Leute, this is probably going to be the last blog post of my exchange year. In just a few weeks I will be packing up everything I have known for the past year and heading back to the United States. If that sounds crazy to you, just imagine how it sounds to me. With the year coming to an end, it is impossible to not think about it every minute of the day. Even when I may forget about it for a few minutes, it is guaranteed that someone will remind me. I have been asked at least once every day this week if I am ready to go home, or if I am happy to be going home in a few weeks, and if I were to answer this question simply and truthfully, I would have to say no. Then again, why wouldn’t I answer truthfully? But behind this little word that takes up only a tiny fraction of the space on this page are many feelings that lead me to such an answer. Let me give you a little inside look on what I mean. I have the greatest friends and classmates I could have ever asked for, and quite frankly I am not ready to leave them. You may now be thinking something along the lines of, “she hasn’t seen her family in such a long time, how could she say such a thing?” However, the thing is….I will always have my family back home…they will always be there….I don’t have to worry about that. What I am not so sure about is though, when I may see my friends again. As the year is coming to end, I have to think that there are people here that I will never see again…and maybe it is something I do not want to come to terms with just quite yet. Austausch ist zu lernen Leute so zu vermissen, um sie nicht in die Vergangenheit zu stecken, aber sie nicht so doll zu vermissen, dass es dich selbst davon abhält in die Zukunft zu blicken. And see the thing is, I knew from the very start that I would be eventually going home…but that doesn’t make it any easier. Now imagine taking the word no, cutting it up in to 100 tiny little pieces, and then picking up one piece out of the pile…that is about how much of an inside look you guys now have on my thoughts.
Exactly one year ago, my mom, sister, and I packed up the car and headed to California to drop my sister off for a summer internship. She too wrote a blog, and I recently stumbled upon one of her entries. This next part of this post is taken from what she wrote, but changed a little to fit my situation.
“I have seen a lot of hummingbirds lately here and there flitting around the backyard or by the pool. Each time I catch a glimpse I am amazed by the tiny creature. I decided look more into hummingbirds and sought help from my close friend Google. What I found, whether it be true or a collective opinion, is a startling definition of how I feel about my time here in California.” To begin with, I haven’t seen any hummingbirds around here, but you get the point.
“The hummingbird (according to the Internet) teaches us to laugh and enjoy creation, to appreciate the magic of being alive, and the truth of beauty. This bird serves to remind us of the beauty and wonder of the world. While their speed may startle us as they fly by our front porches, their flight brings attention to things around us that we may not always appreciate. My time here has been more than I could have ever wished for and since I have moved to Germany, I have learned to appreciate all that I have been given big and small. Some of my favorite moments since being here are tiny instances, nothing extravagant, but life-changing.” Just last night as I was talking with a friend, I stopped and took a moment to think about that fact that I can now communicate with my friends in German just the same as I would with my friends in English, and I was overcome with happiness. “Nothing extraordinary occurred but it was a moment that I took time to appreciate the beauty of being alive. Playing soccer with my brother, dancing with my friends, and even going to school are moments I will never forget.
Hummingbirds also teach us fierce independence because they expend so much energy to stay flying and to stay alive. Being so far from my family has taught what it means to live on my own and where I see myself going in these next few years. I will always have my family, but there comes a time when I have to decide who I am without them. Finally, hummingbirds beat their wings between 60 and 80 beats per second.” As I have mentioned a thousand times, my time here has raced by and is continuing to do so.
Now, I haven’t said much about what I have been up to the past few weeks, but I think giving an insight on my thoughts is much more valuable than telling you about my trip to Helgoland (though it was pretty neat). To end this post, I have added a series of pictures that I have taken since the last time I blogged. Now it is up to you to imagine what I have been up to. Enjoy!