Well, I am officially past the halfway point in my exchange. I have the odd sensation of feeling like I just got here, but also feeling like I’ve been away for so long. These past 5 months have been the craziest of my life. Some good, some bad. Don’t get me wrong, I love this experience and feel extremely lucky to be here. From the beginning, everyone congratulated me, told me how wonderful it was that I got the scholarship. That I’m going to have the time of my life. And they were right. What they didn’t know, however, was the hardships of leaving behind not only your friends and family, but your life as well.
I am now aware that I will not be coming back to the life I had before I left. My friends have all started college, my best friend now has a beautiful baby boy, and my brother is back in jail. Sometimes I just have to sit back and wonder how things got to this point. It seems like just yesterday I was starting high school, getting my drivers license, having my heart broken for the first time, being on the homecoming court, and graduating high school. These all seem like milestones that I couldn’t wait to make happen. At times I feel like I would give anything to have made that time last longer. At other times, I am glad to be past that and starting the next chapter of my life.
So here I am, in the next chapter of my life. Trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Where I want to travel, where I want to go to school, what I want to make a career of. And to be honest, I really have no idea. I’ve gone from my lifelong dream of working at a place where handicapped children have therapy with dolphins, to teaching 5th grade science, to wanting to work for CNN. There are just so many different things I want out of life, and I would hate to make a decision, and in 20 years from now look back and wish I done it differently. As hard as it is for me to do so, I suppose I just need to take things one day at a time, and see where they go.
On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
In the mean time, I need to take advantage of these next 4 months. I have compiled lists of places I’d like to travel, although not necessarily all while I’m here (but it would be nice).
-the Baltic Coast
-The Black Forest
-Berlin (I will be going for end of stay for CBYX)
As of today, I have 134 more days until I leave Germany. I am hoping to mark as many places off this list as possible.