So here I am again.
I'm not really sure what to write, so bear with me.
I'm back in the States. Back in California. Back in the bedroom that was mine in high school. I'm back amidst my golden foothills, driving along the same roads that it seems like I've known forever.
Where was I? It's a long answer, and I apologize if even a long, drawn-out blog is less than satisfactory.
I had a European Spring Break with my mom. It was amazing and difficult and I wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world. I wouldn't have wanted to spend those three weeks with anyone else. We went to Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Lauterbrunnen, Dijon, Lille, and back to Paris again. That's five countries in a little less than 21 days. I had to translate when my mom blew the fuse in the hotel room with her blowdryer not once, but twice. I fell in love with the people in Flandres. I found my version of heaven in a library in Amsterdam with free internet and a grand piano. I found that the water in Switzerland was so blue that it looked fake. My mom and I got stuck in the Swiss Alps and had to get a ride home from a local in the fanciest Audi I've ever laid eyes on. I missed Dijon and referred to it as home. We visited Guillaume, our ex-exchange student, who happens to come from the nicest family I've ever met. I heard more about Rick Steves than I ever cared to hear. I started mourning the loss of my grandfather, something of which I've just barely scratched the surface.
I found out that I got into ASU's Nursing program while we were in Switzerland. I got a job tutoring incoming freshman for English 101. I'm headed back to Tempe in July, and I'll be living with the same girls from last year.
And just as that part of my life was starting to fall into place, the rest of it was spinning out of control. During my mom's last week in Europe, my grandmother was admitted into the hospital. A week later, she was put on hospice. A few days after that, she was gone. I had one incredibly difficult long-distance phone call with her; I held back my tears until I had hung up the phone, then hit my knees, begging God to let her stay. I wasn't ready to let her go, and in many ways, I'm still not ready to face a world without her. I haven't been to the ranch yet, and I don't think I've really accepted that she's gone.
My dad and my brother flew out a few weeks after that, so that Aaron could see Europe, and so they could make sure that I was alright. I was excited to see my dad, but ecstatic to see my brother. He will always know me in a way completely unique to that of any of my friends. He will always understand me better than everyone else. While they were in Dijon, everything felt okay.
And then all of a sudden, finals were coming up, and the reality finally hit: I was leaving France, and I didn't know when I would be coming back.
I can't really tell you where the past four months went, because I'm not sure how to classify it all. I know that it was difficult. I know that I loved it. I know that I met amazing people who I never expected to meet. I know that I cried less than I would have expected, even when my world as I knew it was collapsing. I know that I miss speaking French and riding busses and wearing leggings and eating delicious sandwiches for every meal. I know that everything feels different after living completely outside of my comfort zone for the past four months.
And so here I am, awake again, trying desperately to put it all into words...