And now, it is July, which means the reality of what I’m about to do is sinking in.
In the logistical sense, I am so underprepared. I have hardly packed, but then again, there is only so much I can pack anyway, until just a day or two before my departure. Between now and then I have yet to go to the storage unit and get my belongings out of there and sort through them. I am still sorting through everything here, but it feels to me as though it’s a task which is impossible to complete, and the sheer amount of stuff I have is seemingly never-ending.
There are other things to take care of too – paperwork and vet appointments for the cats. Printing off the final version of my thesis and turning that in. Last-minute doctor’s appointments and working as much as possible to save up money for my arrival.
And finally, there are the goodbyes.
For the past year, this move has been something that I’ve been planning, but it was never quite a reality. It was always something distant, and safe. Now, it’s very very real, and I’m admittedly quite scared. I’ve been told by so many people how brave I am, how they admire what i am doing, and what an adventure it will be. And I know all these things.
But now I am faced with the negative aspects of moving 6,000 miles away from the only home I’ve ever had. Certainly I will miss the ocean, and the California weather, and consumer products that are regularly available here but limited in Germany. But more than anything, I have recently been struck with the hard-hitting truth that I’ll be saying goodbye to my friends.
Last weekend in Sacramento was the first of a series of goodbyes I had to say, and while it began as a weekend full of fun and debauchery, it quickly transformed into something intangible and sad for me. A lingering air of bittersweetness coated every interaction with my friends. There were a lot of tears – the first of many that will come over the next few weeks, I am certain. And there was this nagging questioning, this doubt, where I kept asking myself why I was planning to leave behind all these people I love, and move to a foreign country where I have a handful of friends, don’t speak the language fluently, and have to fend for myself.
As cliche as it is to say, it really has been a rollercoaster of emotions lately. I can’t tell from one moment to the next how I’m going to feel, but I’ve been trying to savor it all. Every time I feel inclined to be sad, I tell myself to treasure and relish the everyday moments. It usually works. But every time I do get sad, I remind myself of all the awesome things that are waiting for me in Germany. Sometimes that’s easier: looking forward to what I’m moving toward, rather than looking back on what I’m leaving.