Tonight, I have to do the inevitable. I knew it was something I’d have to do eventually. But I had no idea it’d come so quickly, and I had no idea it’d be so hard. Tonight, I have to pack up all my things and prepare myself to say goodbye to this country and its inhabitants. This is hard for a number of reasons:
1) I have truly enjoyed myself here. The people, the excursions, the activities, and especially, the language. I thought I loved Spanish before I arrived in Mexico, but the love I thought I had before dims in comparison to the love I have for the language now. I’m not sure I can readjust myself to a life where I am not able to speak this language every day (and be understood). I don’t want to stop learning this language, even for a second, and I don’t want to leave this environment of people who truly love life and everything that comes with it.
2) I don’t want to leave these people. I can’t stretch that enough. My host family here has become something of a real family: the first people I see when I wake up, the last people I see when I go to sleep, the people that care for me, and at times, the people that frustrate me. But I don’t think that that I would have enjoyed this experience as much as I have if these people hadn’t been a part of my daily life. Never in my life have I been exposed to people so kind, so hospitable, so caring, and with such a wonderful sense of humor. I truly hit the jackpot. We all did.
3) I’m afraid that my life in the States will seem dull after this. One thing about being in Mexico was that there was always something to do. Whether it was going to school, visiting a bar, going to the mall, going to the 4D movie theatre, or just walking downtown, there there was never a moment that wasn’t completely filled with awe and excitement. (Except maybe the homework!) And I feel that when I return to the US, I will quickly grow tired of the familiarity of things… but still, it will be nice to see my family again!
4) I’m afraid I will lose my Spanish. Even though I’ve spent years studying different levels of Spanish, I know that when you’re not constantly practicing a language (or anything, for that matter), it is easy to lose it over time. I don’t have any friends or family members that are proficient in the Spanish language, and I fear that practicing the language alone will not be sufficient enough to retain all that I have learned this summer. I do, however, plan to immerse myself in Spanish novels and dictionaries, because I plan to make this experience count.
I have changed so much. And I would love to continue to stay here to grow and change more. But… I know it is time for me to go. To share my change with others. And to show the world my growth. My suitcase awaits.