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The Saddest Part is Seeing the End Coming

It is impossible to believe: I have already been in Chile for a little over 13 weeks. I had a website do some math for me (seeing as my own math skills are hardly up to par with such a task), and my time here so far is equal to 96 days, or three months and four days, or 2,304 hours, or 138,240 minutes.

Considering that I am only here for another 1 month and 16 days (or a little more than 6 weeks, or 1,128 hours, or 47 days), that is a lot of time that has passed and that I can never get back. And it feels like nothing. It feels like just yesterday I was at the IFSA orientation in Olmue, walking around the town center, being lovingly followed by a pack of dogs that hated each other. I can’t help but cringe while I write this phrase, but…Looking back, skydiving in Mendoza does not feel like it was nearly a month ago. I could swear that I was in Peru and the north of Chile only a couple weeks ago (it was, in fact, well over a month ago).

Perhaps because my stay in Chile is limited, it feels like time is speeding by at an alarming rate. The worst part is that I have no say in the matter. You know that over-used ice-breaker question, “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” Well, If I could have one superpower, I would be able to control the ticking of the world’s clocks. That way, I could make each hour here longer. I could create more sunny days at the beach. More night hours for both homework and carreteando. More days for trips to the countryside and the center-south, both places that I haven’t explored yet and still have no firm plans to go to (ah!!!). More time to pass talking with Chilean friends. … More time to make Chilean friends.

More time. I just want more time.

I would extend my stay by another semester in a heartbeat, even with the student movement and everything, because I love living in Chile. I love the nature, the cities, the people, the dialect, the food (well, the hallullas, I’m not completely crazy about)…I love almost everything about Chile. The problem is that it is impossible to both extend my stay and stay an English major. I would not graduate on time. Once upon a time I was considering changing my major, but the truth is, I love being an English major. And in a backwards kind of way, English might help me come back to Chile in the future–after graduation. You see, I want to teach. In fact, I want to teach English. English teachers are in high demand in Chile. Why not, if I still like the sound of it in a year and a half, and if I can scrounge together the airfare to Santiago again, come back to Chile in the future to be an English teacher?

Hey, it’s an option.

But back to the time issue. The saddest part of having only one semester (in total, 4 months and 19 days) in Chile is that, at this point, I can see the end coming. I have November and early December planned. I am scheduled to leave Chile about four days after my final big trip (to Patagonia), assuming that I can’t find a good enough excuse to merit the fee to change the date of my flight back to the States so that I can stay a few more days. (Or a week, perhaps. Or all of winter break. Or my entire life. That would be nice.)

I can pretend all I want that I don’t see the end coming. I can try to take it one day at a time and try not to look at the calendar–other than to plan trips and weekends. In other words, I can turn my head, so to speak. And trust me, I’m really trying to focus on the time left here instead of the part about having to leave. I am desperately trying not to look too far forward. Even still, with my head turned to the side, trying to ignore the inevitable, I can’t help but see nasty little Mid-December from the corner of my eye. It is making faces at me, taunting me, grinning evilly. It smells my fear that it will approach before I am ready to face it.

 

I apologize for the heavy dose of sobriety. My next post will definitely read happier.

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