15 August 2009

Finally ready to come home...

after 7 months of being away, I am finally ready to come home.

This is what I wrote my first night in Portugal... I was feeling really lonely :( Thank goodness for phones, because my dad was able to talk to me.


When Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home,” she knew what she was talking about. Sure, it could be the fact that Dorothy Gale was from Kansas and so am I, but it could also be because home is home, no matter where in this world you are from.

Every day I get asked by people if I miss home, my friends, my family. I joke and say, nope, just my dog! Being able to communicate with my dad through Skype has been great. However, it’s not the same as being home with him. It’s not the same as sitting and watching CourtTV and gameshows with my grandma on TV. It’s not the same as getting in my car and meeting up with friends, or going to a coffee shop to study, no matter how much I complain about school.

Isabelle made a comment today. She got tears in her eyes and she said, “I miss home. I try to pretend like I don’t, so I can be strong for my friends. But, really, I do. I miss home.” And, you know what? It left me speechless. I didn’t know what to say and at the time I wasn’t sure why I couldn’t be there for her. But the truth is, it’s because I miss home too. Being in Europe since January has been the greatest experience of my life. Not only did I learn to speak a second language, but I will have seen 11 countries in Europe before my 22nd birthday. I learned more about myself in seven months than every other year of my life. I have learned how important friends and family are, and that there is so much more to your hometown than you may think. Also, life isn’t about how much money you make, but instead it is about doing what makes you happy. It may get overwhelming going to class every day, doing homework, and studying for tests, but an education is very important. It’s not just the grades though. Finishing a college degree is about following through with something that you are not required to do. Finishing college means crossing one more thing off of that bucket list. In fact, make that three, since I have lived in Europe and learned a new language. I have also found out who my true friends are since I have been gone, and the ironic thing about that is the one who has been by my side the most is the one I least expected. I have learned that people hold grudges and payback can be a bitch, but so can karma. Life is a fragile thing, and I am thankful every day that I have been given this life to live. At the same time, though, there are people in my life that won’t be around forever, and I should take advantage of my time with them and make the most of it while I can. I learned that my dad has been there for me since the day I was born, and I didn’t even know it. He has always been the dad I have now… I just never knew it.

You know, there is an entire world out there just waiting for me to explore. But, until at least January, Kansas is where my heart is. When I get home, it’s back to the books and work for me. But, more importantly, I’m going to spend more time with my family and get to know my city because when it all comes down to it, I wouldn’t be me without either of those.

Less than 1 week till NYC... almost back in Kansas.

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