Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hellos, Goodbyes, and everything in between

Nov 28, 2010

I had to cut grass today, yes at the end of November. Earlier, I had do make sure all of my papers for the Asia trip were in order. That meant I had to make multiple copies of my passport, itinerary, volunteering document (immigration officials in Vietnam I hear can be a pain), and travel insurance (which is ironic as the only time that I have health insurance is when I travel to developing countries). Between paperwork and yardwork, I have been listening to my iphone's music. It dawned on me that I have been listening to the same music that I have been listening to these past few months. For me, music leads to free-association and often times, it brings me back to specific people, places and times. Once in a while, I would run across a song and it reminded me of the ski trip I took with RU one weekend in Feb 2004. "Round and round" would make me remember AN and how she looked when I first saw her the summer of 2009. Now, a series of songs remind me of all the goodbyes I said to my friends before heading to Uganda, the hellos I made to some amazing people, and finally again, goodbyes to those same amazing people.
One thing that I am starting to begrudgingly recognize and accept is that in my life now and for the foreseable future, there will always be a constant cycle of hellos and goodbyes. This cycle is made up of saying goodbye to my mother and dog, some friends, and the comfortable lifestyle and hello to a mixture of culture shock and learning new ways of life and cultures. It will also include the hellos to inspiring friends whose friendships silently as if through osmosis, mature me. There is also the hellos to beautiful sights, people, and different ways of living that completely amazes and humble me. In time, it also include the sad goodbyes to those same friends as well as the culture and people I have come to know and love. For those seeking a certain career path, such as aid work, this cycle is a perpetual one, an accepted side-effect of the chosen path. I am a creature who hates goodbyes and goodbyes (the good kind) internally wreck me. I was an unhappy camper for days after JS left Uganda and was worse as my impending return to the US was approaching. However, I am happy to have the chance to undergo this cycle. I know that because of it, I will continually grow as a human being, and through it, my life will have some meaning.

1 week and 14hours to go...

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