I just finished my last regular class period in Japan. I have a few finals and an essay to turn in, but by this time next week I will be finished, and in 12 days I will be back in Missouri.
I should be happy that I made it through. I should be celebrating my success and the journey I’ve come along. But the most positive emotion I’ve got right now is blankness. There’s a sinking sensation in my chest because I don’t want to face the farewells and the alienation. I just want to sneak away without being seen. Duck out while no one’s looking and leave nothing behind. I’ve nearly finished what I came here to do and I don’t want to find out whether or not I made an impression or left a mark. I might be scared that I haven’t and don’t want to admit that maybe I received more than I gave.
Maybe I don’t want to tell anyone how much they meant to me because I don’t believe that it’s as much as I meant to them.
But that’s a naive fear to begin with, because the ratio shouldn’t really matter.
It wouldn’t matter if I weren’t so insecure.
I tend to forget how precious time is when it gives you a chance to breathe. I think back to summer time when I’d smoke out and drift off and imagine a lifetime passing by inside of an evening. Now I’m hanging on to every second. My room is never clean, I’m always up late doing homework and behind on my laundry because I allocate my time differently and my priorities are different. I drink too much on the weekends because it helps me lose track of time. But I can nearly count the days left here on my hands. It’s too close to worry, not close enough to care.
Everyone back home is ecstatic to see me. I’m looking forward to the affection and the interest they’ll show in me, but the rift that these four months have created are going to make it difficult to convey what I’ve experienced and how I’ve grown. I want to pick up where we left off in August, but so many things have come and gone. I just want to listen to everyone else catch me up up to date. But I don’t think I can do that in return. These are such fragile and personal memories. These are such abstract emotions. The best I can hope for is that they’ll like the new me as much as the old me and silently accept the person I’ve become.
I have a lot of goodbye letters to write that are going to drain me until there’s nothing left.
Maybe it shouldn’t be this painful but I’m just prone to the emotion of sadness.