For weeks everyone has been asking me if I’m nervous for the big trip. I kept waiting for those feelings of slight panic and fear-of-the-unknown to kick in, but honestly, they just never came! No pre-departure jitters, no feelings of homesickness, no unrest about what’s to come. I think this is probably due to a number of factors:
a) I’ve done this before. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy over the summer in 2008. Granted, that was only a 2 month extravaganza, but I still feel like I successfully left my comfort zone and lived in another country for an extended time period (and loved every second of it).
b) I’m so sick of working in medical records. At this point, I’m ready to get my patootie out of this mind-numbing job and onwards to bigger and better things.
c) Israel is going to be incredible! I’ve always wanted to live abroad and work towards social justice in some way–this gives me the opportunity to do both. I am so so excited and grateful for what’s ahead 🙂
However, those creeping feelings did manage to sneak in on Monday. Though brief and not too intense, I finally experienced the jitters that accompany every big life change.
Evan’s sister Leslie left for her study abroad trip to Paris on Monday. When I saw her leaving her family, her house, her friends, her pets, etc I started to get those same feelings of unease. I realized that, like Leslie, I too would have to leave everything that has made me feel at-ease over the past few months (and years before that too!). I’m taking a huge step outside of my stable life into an atmosphere that is totally new and therefore uncertain.
I’ll be leaving my parents who love and care about me probably more than anyone else is the universe. I’ll be leaving my brother, though he is at school right now, but I won’t be able to talk to him on the phone as frequently. I’ll be leaving Evan, which will be insanely hard because he’s such an important part of my life. And I’ll be leaving the farmhouse roomies, my uconn friends, and my friends from home which is going to be really tough.
After a few hours of reflection and small amounts of panic, I realized that I can’t focus on what I’ll be losing for 5 months, but rather what I’ll be gaining. Sure, I’ll have to leave everything that I’ve known for the last 22 years of my life, but that’s where the excitement lies! I’ll be leaving everything I know and embarking on something totally new and life-changing. This experience will undoubtedly have a huge impact on who I am and who I will become. I’ll be in a totally new environment where I won’t know a soul, but there’s something remotely comforting about that. Almost like going off to college all over again. I’ll get to start anew, form new friendships, and redefine/figure out what exactly makes me, well, me.
The actual moment of separation from my friends and family will hurt, but after that there’s nothing but excitement that lies ahead. I’ll have these 5 months of adventure and I’ll always be able to come back to those I love at home. While nerves are to be expected, I am so ready to head off on this new journey.
7 days til I’m here: