Friday, 30 July 2010

'Twas the Night Before Departure

“Just remember, the same as a spectacular Vogue magazine, remember that no matter how close you follow the jumps: Continued on page whatever. No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That's how your whole life will feel some day. This is all practice. None of this matters. We're just warming up.”
--Chuck Palahniuk

So, uh, here I am. Well duh, I’m here, since I’m writing this and all; but I mean here I am, bags packed, room clean, (some) goodbyes said. Here I am, my last 11 hours at home. My last 11 hours with my family. My last night in my bed. My last dinner with the fam jam. This is too crazy to even put into words.

I guess those of you who’ve known me long enough knew that this day would come. The day where I pack up my bags and venture out into the world. It’s no secret that I can’t stay in one place for too long. Just ask my parents who every two years have to deal with the frustration of me begging to switch schools. I like change, I like adventure, and I don’t think I can really get more of that than to go on exchange.

I’ve been counting down for tomorrow since 270 days. But back then it was just a far off date that likely would never come. Even in April, when I hit the 100 day mark, it was still so far off. Of course I’m excited, but I’ve spent the past nine month dreaming about being in Denmark, and not once while I was day dreaming did I think about this; the goodbyes. Never did I think about standing in the airport, hugging my parents for the last time for eleven months. Never did I think about how hard it’s gonna be to walk through those doors, looking over my shoulder at my friends and family for the last time. I was so excited for the Denmark part, that I never really thought about the leaving Calgary part. And right now that’s all I can think about. At this moment, it’s impossible for me to know what my life will be like 48 hours from now. I don’t really know my host family besides a few emails, I don’t know who my friends will be. In this moment, the next year is a big question mark; a bunch of unknowns. But I know exactly what I’m leaving behind, and it’s easier to focus on what you do know rather than what you don’t. That being said, I am still unbelievably excited! I can’t believe that in a mere 11 hours I will be on my way to the airport! It’s such a crazy thought!

So thank you to everyone who made this all possible. I’ve heard so many stories about kids who’s parents don’t want them going on exchange, and I have friends who had to make power points and information booklets, and I feel so lucky that my parents supported me right from the get go. And of course to my Rotary club and outbound counsellor for giving me this opportunity! I can’t believe that this is really happening.

So I guess this is it. I can’t put into words my emotions right now. Excitement, fear, nerves, excitement...

It’s all come down to this. My bags are packed. My room is empty. And only a sleepless night and saying goodbye stands between me and Denmark!

The next time I talk to you will be from the other side of the pond!