As I tore down one of the few remaining posters that my roommate Marah had posted in a move-in decorating frenzy, I contemplated saving it. Ripped straight out of the magazine, these high-fashion glamour pictures never seemed as appealing as they should to me, but I felt like I wanted to keep these. I began to notice little things that I hadn’t before in my apartment haunted with emptiness, like the fact that Marah had covered up a “pog” that was glued to our closet door with Carrie Underwood.
I felt like I was throwing away memories, as I dismantled the apartment where my study abroad experience had all began. This, to me, marked the finale – the tying up of loose ends before the completion of the story.
If it feels like I am skipping something, it’s because I am. I have many stories about my family visiting: the went-wrongs and the went-rights. I had an amazing time travelling with my family. Unfortunately, I cannot do the stories justice at the moment because of limited time. I didn’t want you to think that I forgot about you guys, but I have been on the road with my family and in the last two days packed up my appartment. I will catch up with you soon, and I won’t skip a memory.
I leave my newly abandoned apartment in the morning. Last week I began something that will continue until I leave Milan- a European adventure on the road.
As for today, I have decided to share with you a little about my thoughts and feelings about my continued travelling and my fast-approaching return home.
I am so torn between coming and going these days. With my family’s visit, I have become even more confused.
By living in Europe, I have been forced to become more independent, adapt to new cultures, and really just live in the moment. I have learned so much about myself, as I have literally been a fish taken from the aquarium and put into the sea.
I conquered the sea – I did. I felt so alive filling in the blanks of the world through my own perspective. However, my family came to visit, and by the end of the trip, I felt like I had returned to my tank. I became warm and cozy in that little tank with a hand that fed on a regular basis. How wonderful it is to be taken care of! We all know it.
The problem was that when they left, I felt like I was being let back into the sea. But only, this sea was darker and colder than I remembered.
I feel like I have lost my newly acquainted “street smarts” all too easily. Have I merely turned into a chameleon, adapting to whatever situation I am in? Or have I really changed for the long run? When it comes down to it, I certainly am worried about being without a safe haven this last month in Europe.
About coming home, I’m torn between the person that I was and the person that I am now. I miss everyone so much, and I can only imagine how wonderful it will be to see you all again. I literally cried when I first saw my family, so I see more tears in the future. However, I’m worried about being swept into my old shoes. How easily New Jess buckled upon interaction with familiar territory of Old Jess. How long will this impression last? When I think of my experience in Banff, it feels like a sad old memory that no one can really relate to with me. I only wonder how long it will take for my new feelings to fade into my old ones. I will hold on tight regardless.
As you can tell, my feelings are mainly those of confusion. It is partially due to the limbo that I am currently in – leaving soon, but staying in a place where it’s not the same as it was. I’m left with feelings of not really wanting to stay but not really wanting to go home and admit the end of my adventures.
For now though, my adventures continue. I am travelling to Dublin in the morning to meet my friend Kevin and travel across Ireland with him for a week. Seems safe enough to travel with a guy, but I’m worried about the flights that I am taking alone. It seems ridiculous in my head – I have successfully travelled alone to places I’ve never been. I have even been to Dublin before (the place I fly into) and someone is waiting for me there. What is my deal? My calluses have been smoothed and sensitivity exposed.
I am officially on the road. I will provide an updated blog as soon as I can. I am eager to share some stories about travelling with my family, and I am sure that I will have more to say after this road trip in Ireland. I will see you guys in three weeks, and I will write again shortly.
Love and miss you always,