It is 5:20 am and I have been faced with the choice to either sleep for an hour or blog...that's right, I have not yet slept tonight as the craziness of preparing to leave has forced me awake. As deliciously tempting as an hour nap sounds before I have to embark on 24 straight hours of travel, I feel I owe you more than a fleeting thought. So, blog it is.
You and I have gotten to know each other well these past 5 1/2 months. We are more than contemporaries or acquaintances and more like...soul mates, kindred spirits even. As surprisingly different as we are (diametric opposites perhaps), we have found a way into each other's hearts, the good mingled intimately with the bad.
When I first met you I had no idea what to expect. I was scared, excited, thrilled, and on sensory overload. There you were in all your complex beauty; raw, real, and not even trying to hide your flaws. You were intimidating. You were inspiring. You were so foreign from everything I had ever known, yet somehow I felt drawn to you. The more I got to know you, the more I realized how many layers you had...sometimes you withheld yourself in ways that frustrated me and sometimes you revealed yourself in ways that left me in awe. You are a bizarre conundrum, the best part being that you make no qualms about it.
I have to admit, somewhat bashfully, that you have seen every side of me...sides I thought were forever dormant. You saw my tears and my triumphs, heard my laughs and my screams. You broke me down into the tiniest fragments of myself while simultaneously bestowing on me many treasures that will change the course of my life forever.
As much as I wanted to hit and kick you in my moments of turmoil, I admit that your trials presented me a view into the world that I had never seen. Like using alcohol to treat a wound, you burned like hell yet somehow made me better, cleaner, and sent me down the road to healing. You amazed me, surprised me, infuriated me, made me feel on top of the world, made me feel worthless, challenged me, slapped me around, and even made me physically ill...but the most valuable thing you ever did for me was teach me.
I can't say for sure why you chose me to come here, but it's undeniable that you did. I'm sure in due time I will gain more understanding of everything I have seen and done with you, even the parts I don't like remembering much.
As I now prepare to leave you, it is with a bitter-sweet spring in my step. I am ready to leave your certain oppressions and sufferings yet I am afraid to fly ahead for fear I may have missed something you wished to show me. I take great comfort in knowing that you will always be a part of me, no matter where this life may lead, and will therefore never cease to affect my very being. You are curious and unique and though I will never understand you completely, I will never stop appreciating you. Thank you for touching parts of my heart that I almost forgot existed.
You have been life's greatest challenge in my quarter century of existence, yet somewhere inside I know you have also been life's greatest gift.
With the deepest of sincerity and gratitude,