In retrospect, most things seems simple and clear. In retrospect, every challenge pairs with growth. In retrospect, life becomes a movie where the pain of the temporary never quite hits because the hope can be seen on the horizon. Looking back at my time abroad, I can see the lessons, colorful memories, and true friendships. I can see the journey from when I arrived to where I stand now. However, I am not done yet. I have two weeks left in India. Two weeks left to soak it in, to finish my internship, to travel back to Jaipur, to visit with my friends, to finish writing a 20 page paper, and to give a final presentation. Two weeks left to thank the place that has welcomed me, pushed me, broken my heart and put it back together, and that has filled me with awe and exhaustion. I am trying to ground myself in gratitude, to not wish the time away.
However, there are times in every day when I cry for the slow turning of time. Typically, I am not an overly emotional person but something about the last month at my internship, uprooted from my program friends, my supporting teachers, and host family, has left me stuck deep in homesickness (In my program, I take classes the first part of the semester; the last month of my semester is comprised of an internship – not classes). I have managed the majority of my study abroad experience only minorly scathed from the burn of being far from home. There have been days when everything I love feels as far as it is and days when I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through. Yet, each of these days were met by a small group of people from roughly the same place and adapting to the same space at the same time as me. Here, at my internship, I have had to build a whole new community with people from different places, all adapting to India at different paces. However, building up support one loving, kind person at a time, I have found the courage to stand.
I am ready to be home. I am ready to see my family, friends, boyfriend, and dog. I am ready to lie on my couch against a warm fire, go on long runs in the snow, and eat my favorite holiday foods. I am ready. However, readiness doesn’t change reality. I want to say that I am holding to hope, grounding myself in gratitude, and appreciating my fleeting time left. There are some moments where I feel like I can and some moments where I feel like those words simply fall through my mouth without sticking to my heart. As I write, as I let the frustration out, as I cry to both my dearest friends and strangers, I realize that even when the words feel empty, I am making it. I am soaking it up, I am feeling this fully. I am ready to be home but I am not going home just yet and I am finally allowing myself to sit in this uncomfortable space of heartache. I am here and I am managing. I am smiling, crying, learning, and loving. In retrospect, I know this time will bring growth. In retrospect, I know my reflection on my time in India will be too full to put into words. In retrospect, I know I will miss the excitement, the life, and the color of these days. Instead of diving with energy and joy, today, I am just trying to feel it all. Thank you for those who read, good luck with finals, and know that you are capable of making it to the end.