Alright, here we go. Today didn't start off so well. First, I had to say what I thought was goodbye to Blondie (this would be goodbye 2.0, to be followed by goodbye 3.0 later this afternoon at the airport). Ugh. Then, Domenic left for Drake, and I had to say goodbye to my little brother at approximately 7:30 AM, knowing that, unlike my parents, I won't be seeing him in person until the middle of next summer.
So, with mom helping Domenic move in and dad at work, that left me alone to deal with my suitcases. My smaller suitcase was 45 pounds at the beginning of the morning. My second suitcase was pretty full, but I thought I'd be close-ish to 50 pounds. I couldn't have been more wrong. It weighed between 80 and 90 pounds, according to the scale in my parents bathroom.
Cut to me having a minor breakdown as I had to unload THIRTY POUNDS of stuff I imagined being able to bring with me to China. Really, why can't airlines just have the "as long as you can fit it in your suitcase without it busting open, you're golden" rule? I like that much better than the 50 pound weight limit. Needless to say, I ended up with my carry on and purse stuffed full, in addition to two suitcases weighing in at as close to 50 pounds as I could get them without going over. I also have two overflowing boxes of things for my mom and dad to ship to me ASAP.
Packing issues aside, I feel ready (kind of) to be in China. I'm one of those people that frets about change right before it happens, but once it actually occurs, I cope with it well. The last week has just been hard because it's been like a never-ending assembly line of saying goodbye to people I love and care about. And I'm not good with handling talking about emotions/feelings/etc., so I'm really not good at goodbyes.
All in all, there are a few things back home that I'm going to worry about once I first get to China, but I'm trying to let go and just allow myself to think that, "what happens, happens". I hate that saying because I'm quite a bit of a control freak...so it's really difficult for me to pack up and realize that there are some things I can't plan or predict and I'll just have to wait and see what happens in 10 months. (Oh, and there's also applying to law school while I'm in China and having to decide where I want to spend the next three years of my life. Should be sweet...)
For the most part, however, I feel ready. There aren't very many people who are lucky enough to live somewhere else for a year, especially with as good of a living/working/salary environment as Drake is able to set up for us. I still can't believe that I was one of the few chosen to be able to participate in this program, and I definitely plan on making the most of it. I know there will be hard times, and can predict where a few of those are going to be. But I also predict that the good times and experiences are going to more than outweigh the bad.
In the end, it's only ten months, right?
Also, for anyone looking for a way to reach me while I'm in China, there are two options.
Option one, my email: firstname.lastname@example.org is the one I access the most.
Option two, I have text messaging ONLY available through my iPad. It's a U.S. cell phone number that I can access through wireless internet on my iPad, so as far as I know, it doesn't cost anything more than what it would be to text any other U.S. cell phone from the U.S. The number is: (732) 436-7632. If you do text me, PLEASE include your name. I haven't had a chance to switch over all of my cell phone contacts to this number yet.