One month left…
15 April 2013
I write this entry as i’m sitting with my back against an oak tree, sitting on long green grass, looking over a field with a view of the Canterbury cathedral in the distance – FINALLY. This is how I always imagined my days in England would be spent. I wish I could say every day I’ve been here has been like this, but I’d be lying. It’s been such a cold winter (this March was the coldest they’ve ever had on record, in fact) and so every minute outside has typically been spent wishing I was inside. But today isn’t just any normal day…one month from today I’ll be boarding a plane. It feels like a normal excursion, but this time it will be a one-way ticket.
I’m in a really weird place right now with my experience. With exactly two months left as of today, I’m torn between emotions. I just sent in my availability for my summer job and began working on things for my home university’s events for next year. Things like this, combined with thoughts of warm weather and seeing people I miss from back home, gets me in a mood that is just SO excited to be back on my home ground again. But as soon as I start thinking this, I have to snap myself back. Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I feel like I’ve become jaded being here for so long. Going to London for the weekend is casual, hopping on a train to Paris is easy, and passing beautiful countryside and rows and rows of fields is just a typical part of my daily run. But now, especially since spring has hit, I’m realizing how much I really do need to treasure every moment I have left here. Realistically, I don’t know when the next time I’ll be back will be, if ever. Of course you say, Oh yeah, I’ll be back soon! But in reality, as soon as you return home, life kicks in and suddenly those things become so much easier said than done.
It’s kind of creepy, actually. Because the entire time I’ve been here, all I’ve wanted to do is feel accustomed to Canterbury. To feel like I know the ins and outs of the streets, to have a local pub I always go to, and to have a secret study spot in a field somewhere that is just mine. I can’t say that I’ve found these things, but I’m starting to realize that every day I spend looking makes me a part of Canterbury, too.
That’s the beauty of Canterbury. It may seem like a small town, but no matter how many times you venture into the city center or go for a hike, you ALWAYS see something new. I’m constantly saying “Wait, has that café been there this whole time?!” Just yesterday I went for a walk and discovered two streets of shops that I had never seen before. It’s crazy.
So for now, I can be excited to get home and start my life again, but I can only let myself think of it for a split second. Because the time I spend here is so much more important. And I don’t want to go home with any regrets. I don’t want to go home and think: “Wow, what do I really remember from Canterbury?”. Living in a place for six months gets you comfortable to the point where you forget that you won’t be there forever. So for now, I need to start taking TONS of pictures. focus on cherishing every moment, and soak it in while I can – who knows how much I’ll miss it when I’m gone.