This will probably be my last post in Australia.
Such a weird feeling to be writing that sentence. Ever since I decided to go on exchange, and started the process of applying, I have been avidly reading blogs of exchange students. I would get so excited at their 'last post in home country' entry, eagerly anticipating the time when I would be in their shoes.
Well, the time has come, (I leave in 2 sleeps, on Thursday afternoon) and I can say that this period of time is a time of a crazy amount of emotions. I am constantly thinking about exchange, and everything that I do is about exchange now. I only have two sleeps left in my own bed, and then I will be away for a year. The countdowns have well and truly started, some already having finished.
Can I just say that saying goodbye sucks?! I have felt so emotionally tired from all of the goodbyes I have said. I think I'm going to make it without crying... and then they smile at me, or say, "I love you" and I lose it. I'm a silent crier. I scrunch my face up and cry silently, and so forcefully that I can't speak. My brothers (particularly Grant) make fun of my crying, and I have exposed many people to this style over the past couple of days. Saying goodbye to small things, like crunchy peanut butter, no. 2 at the petrol station outside of maccas, maccas visits after church and youthgroup, Martin's lookout, the smell of gumtrees, walking at home in barefeet... these are all goodbyes that I have said 'goodbye' with sadness, but with a knowledge that I will return home and they will still be there. Saying goodbye to friends, especially my friends starting uni is another matter. This year, in particular, is a year of huge change for my friendship group... people starting uni, moving out of home... I will return from my year on exchange, and everyone will have gone through a massive journey. I sometimes feel left out of my friends' world; as I'll be experiencing and I'll be apart of their life from the side lines. I'll be watching, cheering them on (via Facebook and Skype of course!), but I won't be there physically. This isn't to say that I've only just realised that; I knew this was a part of exchange. It just doesn't make goodbyes easier.
This is a photo of me and my sister-in-law at my farewell party that I had on Saturday night. I loved the party so much. It was such a celebration of the friendship I have with everyone, and I felt so blessed to have so many people there farewelling me as I embark on my exchange. It was a little sad, but overall, a celebration of life, friendship, and of the adventures of exchange.
I said goodbye to some of my relatives tonight. We had a family dinner. Oh so sad, I thought I would never stop crying. To make matters worse, my goldfish died. Long story short, I had a hate relationship with my fish. Galileo was given to me for my 16th birthday, almost three years ago. He was black. After about three months, he turned gold, indicating he was sick. I always made jokes, "Just die!" (Though, now that he is dead, I think of him with fond memories!) Dad loved Galileo. He would feed him often three times a day, when I would go three weeks without feeding him. When I was in charge of Galileo, his tank would be green before I cleaned it; with Dad, the tank would be cleaned at least once a week. So with all my, "Oh I don't care about you, you stupid fish!" what did I do when I found out he was dead? I cried. It was just another sign that everything about my life right now is coming to an end. Last Thursday I cried for about an hour because I realised I wouldn't have my dog Bonnie with me all the time. I seriously don't know what I'll do without my white ball of fluff. Cutest. Thing. Ever. Tonight I sat with Mum and Dad and watched an episode of House (second last episode of season 5). Tomorrow we'll finish off the season, and then it will be an end of an era. No more sitting in bed watching t.v. shows on DVD with them before bed. At least for a year. The luxuries of my life now are being taken away, and in no time will be replaced with new luxuries of my new host family. It's sad though. I will miss my parents and family and friends beyond measure. I will miss their familiarity, and the comfort of their hugs, and the way that I know what makes them tick. But they'll be here, and when I get back, we'll be together again.
So, goodbye Australia. Goodbye my family and friends. Goodbye home. Goodbye Bonnie. Enjoy your year, I know I will, and I'll see you in one short year.