Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Everything Is Round

I made it back to Quito last night! After nearly twenty hours of airline travel, layovers and connections, the first thing I did was sleep for twelve hours. It was some of the best sleep of my life. While traveling such long distances, I yearn for a bed above all else. Oh, to sleep in a horizontal position! Not in a constant state of motion, no children kicking the back of your seat, no turbulence, no constant announcements over intercoms, and not having to take all my bags with me when I go to the bathroom. Just peace and pillows and the cat-like stretching of my toes.

I had a wonderful month in Kansas with my family, friends, and relatives, though I didn't get to see everyone I had hoped. I di, however, get to eat amazing BBQ and make beer with my dad and see my nephew on his 3rd birthday and visit my grandmother twice and play with my cousins and get too many documents done and taken care of and cook and bak until I got burnt out and have long talks over coffee and go bowling and watch basketball. This may not sound like much to you, but to me it meant the moon and more.

Saying goodbye to everyone this time was more difficult because it was so different. Things have once more changed. I am to get married soon, I have a new contract with the university, I don't know when I will come home again. And while I try to keep in my mind the thought that every day lived could be your last, it is unspeakably strange and heartbreaking to create a worthy farewell. I am terrible at it. I do one of two things: either I bawl and blubber like a snotty-nosed kid, I cling and I whimper and I stain loved ones shoulders with mascara. Or, I try to remain in control of my tear ducts and appear totally indifferent, unconnected and therefore ingenuine. I would prefer something that lies in the middle of this wildly swinging pendulum. So it goes...

My unexpected trip home was meant to happen, or at least that's what I tell myself of everything, in order to feel grateful for the opportunity to learn from the situation. It put me close to my family for the holidays, it allowed me to get some things in order that I have been needing to do, it enabled me an opportunity to see how my relationships have changed with friends and family back home, and to take that into account.

People grow and change, there is no stopping them. It is like trying to forbid the leaves from turning into such vibrant colors, and then lazily falling to the ground where they will crisp, crumble, and mulch. Such is the way of life and who would want to stop such a beautiful thing?

That said, I am beyond grateful for all the wonderful people who are still in my life. For those of you who are no longer, I will miss you and I wish you the best.

For everyone who helped me (even those of you who think you didn't, let me assure you that you did indeed) I want to thank you with everything I've got. I am not nearly as independent as I'd like to think I am. I am like a spider, held up by a web of unconditional love and support in every sense of the word.