Tonight was one of those times that you tell yourself "Don't forget this". So I thought I'd write about it. Short and quick before I get into bed.
Today a family friend, Saskia, came back from a year in the US. A group of about 20 of us waited to greet her at the airport.
But before she came out...A teen guy walked out with the same look I did on my first day. His host family was waiting to meet him for the first time. I was in aww. At first I smiled and laughed, as if watching a family movie of myself. But my smile quickly faded. Realizing that seeing him was confronting me with my year. That was me. That was a scared young girl arriving in the first foreign country in her life. That was me arriving at a huge train station after dark and looking around frantically to where my host family may be waiting. There was me 10 months ago.
Then Saskia came out. Flabergasted and unable to speak German, she didn't know how to react to leaving one life for the next. In a matter of minutes, I saw my year flash in front of me. I saw my first moment in Germany. And through Saskia, I saw my last.
We all headed to Saskias house for a welcoming party. But my head was a blur. I cried in my host Moms and sisters arms knowing this party made me realize how close I am to the end. I realized my year has flashed behind me.
The party ended up being amazing. But coming home at 11, riding in the dark of the countryside with my family, seeing the planes fly over and the trains pass where all you could make out was lit up windows, I realized how much moments like that mean to me. Simple moments where I think with all my heart "I'm happy"- as easy as that. The end is coming, and its sad, but the ride is so enjoyable that one just has to close their eyes and act like the end isn't coming.
I've begun to count my own "simple moments"- the kind words, the caring glances, the simple gestures of my friends; the beauty of the German country, the charm of Luebeck, the warm summer evening that ends just too well- over and over again I'm reminded of my astounding luck. The little things may be little, but they make a world of a difference.
I'm happy to be here.