Lo que he visto... El último.
I posted this note on Facebook, but for those who don't have Facebook, I will re-post it here. I can't believe I leave the day after tomorrow.
Packing a year in two suitcases.
It's funny what makes me cry. Of course, certain goodbyes are rougher (much, much rougher) than others. But they all suck. But it's not just hugging people goodbye that kills me. It's these little things that sneak up on me.
I began packing my bags today and it was probably unwise of me to listen to The Weakerthans as I did so. I cried as I opened my largest suitcase to find the hot pink and white metro pass from my very first night in Madrid. Too many Americans racing in the August heat to Plaza del Sol to have that first beer abroad.
I cried when I carefully tucked away the stack of doodles from friends and club promotion cards I had plastered over my wall for the course of the year. Including the little note "Para Laura" that sat in front of the cookies Tony baked me my first week here.
I stacked flight itineraries from amazing trips (the largest stack being all of the many papers from the Italy trip that Fernando orchestrated with Miguel and Arisa. Los locos.) And notes left on my door from Chiara and Giulia, always being some of the sweetest girls I know. Coasters from every Monday night at Pub Quiz with team The Major Ragers.
I folded skirts that I remember wearing upstairs before a long night of Spanish clubbing and asking Natasha and Chelsea over and over, "Is it fancy enough? Is it too fancy? With the belt or no?" Followed by Brandon and Alex's inevitable, "You're wearing THAT?" Every. Single. Time.
I tucked away the mini wooden shoes from Holland that Charlotte gave me and the yen ("buenas relaciones") from dear Yuri.
I cried when I folded that dress I wore that night I realized that Joakim was not, in fact, just someone with whom I could argue, but a truly amazing guy.
And then, the even smaller things got me. American dollars look like monopoly money. My California ID just looks like something from a movie. US wall plugs don't make sense anymore. I have to go back to eating dinner 4 hours earlier than I am used to. Everything is opened on Sundays in the States! I guess I am starting to panic about the whole re-adjustment thing, too.
But when I stop and breathe, I realize what a privilege and gift this whole experience has been. It would not have been complete without every single person I have met here. You all mean so much to me. My little Spanish family. And of course, I couldn't have done any of it without my American family and friends. You guys drove me through this year. Thank you.
Two days left. But I JUST got here.