It was a good year...

One thing I'm not looking forward to when I return to the US is the "how was your year" question. Certainly I understand why people will ask; I mean, what else do you ask after not seeing someone for a year? For this I am not bothered, it's just that I'm not sure how to sum up a year other than by saying something along the lines of, "it was good." This seems like a pretty vague answer to me. So, now I am taking the time to attempt to bundle up this year into a blog. Wish me luck, it is sure to be difficult.

Having two weeks left of exchange puts everything into a different perspective. It makes me notice every minuscule detail of my everyday life. It makes me much more affectionate. It makes me cry at random moments. It makes me regret every time I was annoyed with daily life. It makes me feel like I haven't had enough time here and it lastly it makes me extremely appreciative. I now realize what an extraordinary time I have had here in the Czech Republic. I thank everyone for the support. I am forever grateful. Every moment here was worth it and you all made me so happy.

This is a year I will hold forever in my heart. I will often look back on it and remember it with happiness and surly for a period time with an agonizing longing for the time that once was. I will fondly remember the beautiful language and wish I was speaking it at that moment. I will remember my first host family and how comfortable and loved I was there. I will remember my second host family and their beauty and happiness. I will remember Lada's (my second host mom's) laugh and taking walks with Šarka as the sun set over Mikulovice. I will remember going to chorus lessons and laughing when I fumbled on the words. I will remember how my teacher yelled at me for not practicing flute enough; something I know he did because he cares. I will remember walking down a hall and having 30+ people say hello and turning down another hall to greet more. I will remember laughing, not because I understand, but simply for the fact that others were laughing. I will remember the endless winter. I will remember how difficult it was at the beginning and how worth it it really was. I will remember holding my fellow exchangers hands as we walked through Prague, Rome or Barcelona. I will remember crying to Domča when I missed home so much it made my stomach hurt. I will remember watching silly Czech movies and giggling at the ridiculousness of some of them. I will remember heart break. I will remember how the sunlight shone on the grass as it undulated in the breeze. I will remember unexpected love. I will remember "harmonizing" with Juli and laughing so much I felt like I just finished doing sit-ups. I will miss dancing. I will miss being able to play piano whenever I like. I will miss my life here because my life here is perfect. I am surrounded with people I love, I participate in activities I enjoy and my greatest worries are getting a painting or learning a song in time for a concert.

Ten months ago seems like yesterday. I remember my first day in Czech Republic clearly. I remember the first walk through my town and feeling like I was on the moon. I remember those sad moments when I wanted to be in the US and back then I would have never thought that now could come so quickly. Time crept up on me and has slapped me in the face. It slaps me every time I have to say goodbye to someone I care about, every time I am alone, every time I hear a song that reminds me of NY, every time I hear a song that reminds me of a moment here in Czech Republic and every time I count how many days I have left here. There is a big difference in saying goodbye to Czech and how it was saying goodbye to the US. The difference is that I don't know when I'll return here. And I know that when I do return, no matter how much I want it to be the same, it will never be the same.

So anyways, how was my year? Well, it was good...

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