After a ten hour flight Thursday, I’m finally home. I spent Friday catching up from jet lag, and as I write my dad and brother are cooking pancakes and bacon.
It’s hard to believe that I’m back already. I’ve spent at least four years planning my study abroad in Germany, two years preparing for it, and many months stressing about packing. And now all of a sudden I was packing once more and trying to lose four kilograms from my overweight suitcase.
Everyone was asking me if I was looking forward to coming home, or if I was sad to be leaving. Honestly, it’s bittersweet. I had been missing my family like crazy; any little reminder would trigger a deluge of homesickness. But at the same time, I was drinking in Germany as much as possible, because I had no idea when I’d be back. I will miss stepping outside my room and hearing German all around me, or being able to hike within five minutes of my dorm.
Because I spent so much time adventuring through Southern Germany, I had little time to write about it. But my life is transitioning to senior year, and I will have more time and less excitement to write about in the months to come. So I hope to continue to share my experiences in Germany with you, don’t worry about that! They’ll just be after the fact.
I’m already missing you, Germany. But when it comes down to it, there’s no place like home.
Whoa, it’s been almost a month since I’ve written anything! Hello again. I had an entirely packed June, including a day hike in mud and on cliffs, a visit to the Markthalle, five days in Berlin and Weimar, the birth of my nephew, two days in London, a two-parter picnic birthday, a hike in Alsace, a three-week-long cold, and a visiting friend.
*whew* I’ve officially decreed that July will be a time of rest and catching up. Oh, and homework too!
My birthday officially marks the completion of my first year of a twenty-year resolution. When I was younger, I would hold myself up to high standards. Whenever I made a mistake or a social gaff, I would lie awake at night wondering how I could be so stupid and whether the other person would stop liking me. I became very timid socially.
As I grew older, I realized that no one really remembered the little mistakes. Our lives are too full of memories to dwell on the insignificant stuff. And, if someone focused that much on every small thing I said or did, then I probably wouldn’t enjoy hanging out with such an unforgiving nitpicker!
My middle brother, Josh, always told me to stop regretting so much. Life’s too short to spend it wondering how it should have been, and fact is, the past isn’t going to change; the only thing you can change is the future. So instead of worrying, enjoy life. He was right, of course.
So, on my twentieth birthday, I resolved to live a life without regret. This resolution came about when I encountered this quote by Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I love symmetry, so I was happy that I could apply this quote to my own life on my twentieth year. ”The last twenty years were spent becoming an adult. The next twenty years will be spent learning how to live life without regret, and learning to be uninhibited by fear!” I also knew that I would be going to Germany in a few months, which made this quote all the more poignant. I was scared to leave and do big things.
But I had to face the fears, travel the hundreds of miles, meet new people, adapt to a foreign culture and a foreign language. And, after this first-year trial run (has it been a year already?), I’d call my birthday promise a success. Here’s to another year of exploring, dreaming, and discovering. Happy (belated) birthday to me!