Saturday, June 10, 2017

T minus twelve hours

As the title would suggest, I'm leaving in twelve hours.

I will leave my house early tomorrow morning to fly from St Louis to Washington, D.C. to join my program-mates at our pre-departure orientation and officially begin my Turkish-Azerbaijani adventures.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not even really sure what to write about right now. I'm sitting up in my bed, looking all around me at my room's newly decorated glory comprising of maps, flags, and photographs, with my bags all packed away in the corner, a few clothes drying at the foot of my bed, and a couple of books that I have yet to put into my backpack strewn about the room.

Enjoying a few final moments of introspection and contemplation as a dream of mine comes to life before my eyes.

For the past couple of days, I've been very busy and happy, mainly due to hosting my dear friend Paula at my house, who is soon to set off on a CLS adventure of her own in Gwangju, South Korea (which I will write about in due course). But due to how busy we were, I haven't begun to truly process and realize my own feelings on my rapidly approaching departure.

Until today, that is.

As my mom and I drove through St Louis on our way back from some final pre-departure errands and a quick stint at the pool, watching a delicate rosy glow envelope the crimson skyline, I began to think of the rumble of the engines, the stomach-drop of the ascent into the air, and the fact that at this time tomorrow, I will be in a completely different place, with people who I mostly have never met before, on our way to a place we know so little of, our new home for the next two months that has become so tantalizingly tangible.

How a dream of mine that I have fostered and aspired to ardently since high school, since my NSLI-Y program, is about to become my fully immersive and all-encompassing reality.

And how I'm going to be revitalizing and bolstering my knowledge of a beautiful, dynamic language that is so deeply special to me at last.

My heart is overflowing with excitement and joy, and I cannot wait for all that awaits.

I will sign off with my two favorite lyrics from all the different dubbed versions of "I am Moana" (y'all knew I had to weave a Disney reference into this somehow), the opening and closing lines of the Norwegian and Danish dubs of the song respectively, that I find particularly beautiful, empowering, and appropriate for the coming times:

Jeg vet en jente fra øya, gav godhet til alt hun holdt // I know a girl from the island, she gave greatness to everything she held;

Du tror på mig, jeg finder vej // You believe in me, I will find the way.

Thanks for reading.

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