The Day Before

Saturday January 21, 2012

Hallo und wie geht’s? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? In case you haven’t heard, I’m going to study abroad in Germany this Spring 2012 semester. Today is my last day in Florida, and hopefully, through this blog, I’ll be able to cope with these mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension, and share some good stories with anyone who is interested. As for now, I am sitting in my beloved bedroom, trying to grasp the reality that is about to be mine:

Tomorrow I am leaving.

I am leaving not just my family, my friends, my bedroom, my cat… but all that is familiar to me. And honestly, I’m finding the thought a little disturbing. …Okay. Maybe REALLY disturbing. Frightening even.
Here I am, all twenty years of me, sitting in a room that has kept me safe since my babyhood. It is my womb. And I’m lacking all of the experience in the world. I’ve never lived outside of Central Florida. Never lived alone. Never flown. Never been on a train. Never left the US. Never seen snow. Never said good bye like this. Never had to. And yet, here I am about to accomplish many of these in just a matter of days. 

And it terrifies me.

It terrifies me so much that this day doesn’t even feel real to me. Today is not a day in the life of Princess. It is a transition, or more existentially, a transformation. Today -and my days for the next 6 months- are going, to some extent, define me.
From now on, when I am recounting all the wonderful adventures of my young adulthood, I will refer to any experiences of consequence in terms of “before” or “after I went to Germany.” It is a new chapter in my life.

And here is one consolation:
Today I am going to say good bye to a little piece of my naivety. And more importantly, to a limited perspective of what the world is like. I am going to rid myself of the stereotypes I have held for a land, which until tomorrow, will have only existed in pictures, books, and the words of my teachers. This time, I’m going to really see it with my own eyes.

And I’m going to be a better person for it.

I’m going to be stronger. Wiser. Experienced. Prepared. -Ready for wherever else life takes me. So I’m not going to let these nerves get the best of me. -I’m going to run, head first, into what is sure to be one of the greatest experiences of my young life. And I will embrace it with an open mind.

As another coping method, I am also planning on making a list of expectations, a “bucket list”, and a list of “firsts”. Perhaps I will share these later.

Until then…

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