I’ve spent the last five hours packing a year’s worth of stuff into suitcases. And I’m not going to lie, it was quite overwhelming, mainly because I was unsure if my checked baggage met the 50 pound limit requirement and if I really needed to bring the pretty red lace dress AND the blue floral print one. However, with the help of many overly specific what-to-pack lists and a continuous soundtrack of The 1975 humming in the background, I have managed to finish packing for my year-long adventure to Jiangshan, China.
Besides dealing with all the dang packing, I’ve had to also go through the process of saying goodbye. I started with the biggest and most important goodbye of all: The one to my sisters, Kate and Mary.
A few weeks ago, I visited them for the last time until I return from Jiangshan. Days were filled with nothing extravagant, just lots of good ol’ quality time with each other. We broke out our massive collection of board games and watched the Disney classics. We dug deep into the files on our computers, searching for the most embarrassing photos from our very early childhood. And as time ticked by, the day I had to leave came quicker than expected, as always. I had spent a considerable amount of time the night before wondering how I wanted to say goodbye. Should I make a big deal out of it and get all gushy with them, or should I keep it light and happy? I didn’t really want to create too big a fuss, since I hoped to have the last few moments with my sisters be happy ones.
What helped was reminding myself that for the past two years, I have lived in a completely different state from them. And that despite the distance, they have accomplished so much and matured so well without me right by their side, so I should be very confident in knowing that they will continue to do great things in the upcoming year!
And of course, I couldn’t forget my friends. With family living out-of-state, my friends have become my main support system over the past several years. So nearly every moment of these last few days in Lincoln have been dedicated to spending time with them! Whether it was taking a walk around Holmes Lake, grabbing a drink downtown, or spending hours at a Mexican restaurant, I was bound and determined to meet up with those that have woven their stories into mine over the years.
Each get together was most certainly a celebration of friendship, as well as a beautiful reminder of all the fantastic things I’ve accomplished in life with these incredible people at my side. Beyond all of that though, we were celebrating my upcoming journey to China, and all the great people I will meet there.
In less than 48 hours, I will be in Shanghai and all I can say is: Let the adventure begin!
Until next time,