I’m going back back to Cali Cali.
The time has come. My bags are packed.
I’m not ready to go. In fact, I don’t want to go. If it wasn’t for my family and a few of my favorite people, then I would not go back to California. If I had known how much I would love it here, I would have applied to do my PhD. here and stayed for another three years. If I had known how things would turn out with the liar and cheater, I would not have wasted my time here thinking about when I get back to him. This is my home. Scotland has my heart.
My last day here was one of the rare sunny days. The weather was nice, and I was able to take a walk and see a few of my favorite places one last time. I had a horrible meal in the dinning hall, but I got to share it with the people I enjoy, so it wasn’t so bad. I’ve had people wander my direction all night to say goodbye and wish me well. I feel loved, I feel sad, and I feel hopeful for the lasting friendships I have made here. This will be more than the high school adage of “keep in touch” when we knew we never would. I’m already planning to save to visit all of the places my friends will now inhabit.
These 8 months have changed me for the better. I started my journey running away from my problems at home and with the idea of a future and how the next 70 years of my life were going to be, and I am going back ready to face anything and everything that comes my way. My future changed; my plans changed; I changed. I learned how to stand on my own, how to find value in myself, and how to really use my skills to help others. I’m going home a lot smarter than I was before, both academically and emotionally. I learned how to survive in a new culture, how to make lasting friendships and connections, and how to change my whole mode of thinking. While the snark and sarcasm is still there, a lot of the negativity is not. Instead of going home depressed, I am going home ready to tackle the PhD, ready to find a job, and ready to write one hell of a dissertation on the importance of critical literary analysis of children’s books. I feel different. I feel smarter, more mature, calmer. The adjustment period will be a bit rough, and I know that I will have to get used to my new surroundings, but I know that it will be good for me to be back among my family while I complete the last leg of my educational journey.
The thing is though, I hate goodbyes. Hate them. I have been dreading this day for weeks. Part of it is because I am not ready to say goodbye to my home and my friends here, and part of it is that goodbye feels so final. I know this is not the end of my love affair with Scotland.
So instead of saying goodbye, for now I will just say, “see you later”.