"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Love Affair with 'Merica: Debriefing

It is my last day in the states for potentially 2 years. It's crazy and I have to say I'm feeling much more prepared for this move than the last one. But, it is that time once again, to write so that I can process through the life I'm living.

So I had a ton of fun in America and I know that next time I return I need to plan more time so that I get to some more places to see some more faces and concerts. Mostly I want to get out to Colorado, and possibly to Omaha. Can you say road-trip  I also didn't have enough time to get some of my vaccinations  so I'm heading to Indonesia without the most important one. Yikes :S My 3 weeks here was way less stressful/scary than I expected it to be. While I enjoyed my time here I finally realized yesterday that I'm ready to get on with seeing new things and having the adventurous life I desire. This round of leaving seems easier in a lot of ways and harder in a few.

I found packing much easier. Last year I packed 3 bags plus a carry-on, this year I packed 2 and one is a third filled with a sleeping bag. I'm pretty sure I have everything I need too. It's crazy how I'm able to fit my whole life in 2 suitcases. I'm also finding that I'm not as overwhelmed by the insanity of moving. Last year I was constantly thinking about my move. This year my freak-outs just come in small waves, and then they are gone, and I forget about the whole dilemma.

The goodbyes have been a lot different. I thought last year was the last time I would ever see two of grandparents, now I pray that it was the last time I say goodbye to two of them. They have both lost it, and are no longer happy, so I hope they can go and leave their families behind in peace.

Saying goodbye to Daryn was a lot harder since I'm not sure when I'll see him next, and I feel like our relationship is changing. Not exactly for the worse, I just know it isn't the same, and it scares me. In a good way I think. When he hugged me goodbye he told me that after this I could only have one more country because he hated doing this too much. The fact that even he is saying this is a good sign that I probably need to come permanently sooner, rather than later. Time will tell.

Saying goodbye to my mom has been easier. I know I get to see her in a year, and I know that she will always be there for me. I talked with her about it and she feels better about it too. She said our relationship has probably gotten stronger in the last year and that she is really proud of me and what I'm doing with my life.

I do not want to say goodbye to my niece and my nephew. Q will be 3 the next time I see him and K will be 6. That's just plain crazy! It breaks my heart that she told my mom "I like skyping with TT, but playing is much better."
At Bradford beach with Q&K

So here is a brief summary of what I know after this trip:

Firstly, I love Minnesota. I love the people, I love the beer, I love the music, and I love being so close to my family.

Something that surprised me: I prepared myself for a lot of the shocks. The first thing I noticed that I hadn't thought of was all the different kinds of cars. Trucks, vans, SUVs, America has it all, while Albania has only one. The grass was also still a major surprise. Enjoy your lawns America. The rest of the world doesn't have them.

Something that changed that I didn't expect to: The beers. So many breweries and beers I hadn't heard of or tried. I don't know what I'm going to do when I come back in 2 years. They will basically all be different.

Something I learned about myself: I like to pretend I'm an independent person, but in some cases you just have to become a reliant person. These weeks taught me that I rely on my family for a lot of support, and I still don't think I've acknowledged that enough. There is no way I could have made it through all this stress without them. Shots, appointments, a packed schedule, and visa troubles. You guys rock!

Something that makes me feel awful: The 27 year old girl who lives next to my parents has never been more than 30 minutes away from my home city. And she has no desire to travel anywhere else. AGH! This is horrible.

Something about myself that changed: Does anyone have any ideas? I haven't noticed that much, but I've been living with myself for last 10 months, and you haven't. I feel like basically the same person. I like my IPA, my bluegrass, my grilled food, and my late nights with my brother. Maybe I'm a little bit more independent?  Or potentially I'm more flexible? I noticed myself wondering why everyone kept planning things so intently. Then I remembered that this is America.

Something that stayed dramatically the same: I need time to myself. Yesterday I just couldn't take it anymore. I decided to workout. My niece came to try and talk to me while I was doing so, and I though I felt a little awful doing it, I turned my music up and ignored her. I just needed my hour to myself to process my life. After I said goodbye to Daryn I had to go downstairs to "nap" or just listen to my music and cry for an hour.
Smelling the fresh air of Wisconsin
Something that confuses me: I sat down for dinner with my best girlfriend. We got to talking about boys and our issues with them. After a little while she noticed my face and commented "oh my...you're still not over him are you?" I responded with "Nope. I keep trying to remind myself about all the awful things he did to me. I've put 3 years and half a world in between us, and I still can't get over it. Something has to be wrong with me." She assured me nothing was wrong, and that if anything this just proved that I was a strong headed woman who stuck with the things she cared about. But why do I still care so much?

Something I want to copy: My brother is crazy passionate. I'm so happy he hasn't changed too much as a person, he just took his passion and multiplied it. by like a hundred. It was a reminder I needed. He taught himself several new instruments and began playing with several more bands. I love listening to him talk about the gigs he played and the band members/friends he has met along the way, while noticing his eyes light up with his descriptions. Listening to him play some new song and falling in love with the lyrics will be one of my favorite memories of my time home. I feel like last year I didn't meet many people with passion like this. I hope I can take this lesson to heart and think about ways to multiply my passion next year.

Well, there you have it. For my last day in the US we had sticky buns for breakfast while dancing in the kitchen to some great tunes. After morning nap I am going out for brunch/bloodies with my family and bestie, followed by an afternoon of laundry/packing. This evening we are having my homemade mac&cheese for dinner followed by popcorn and a movie night.

And that's it folks. I'm outta here. Time for a new adventure to begin.
And may it always be so...


  1. It took me about 4 years with my awful breakup before I didn't get a tight "This feels terrible" knot in my chest. You're not crazy or weird.

    Indonesia. INDONESIA! You're going to be amazing.

  2. You are the best and we are proud of you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Done cleaning carpet for today and about to make supper. Your plane landed 7 hours ago. Please let me know before my bedtime that you are settling safely. Huggs! Mommy