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Bunches and Bunches

July 24, 2007

Bunch of Greenery, Auburn, CA

Well, tomorrow I leave for Canada to see all these folks I’ve been writing about. As I’ve sifted through my journals, remembering adventures and friendships and really, really bad food, I’ve started missing my friends bunches and bunches. It’s like when you’re hungry, and you’re waiting for dinner, you just get more and more hungry. As it gets closer, I’m getting more and more anxious to see them all.

Opening 3rd journal at random: “(in St. Petersburg)… I went for a walk with Darren to downtown. It was pretty uneventful. We walked and walked and walked; I got spooked a few times, we went down lots of backstreets and parks and saw lots of stray dogs, lots of ordinary people. It was kind of nice to walk around the city with my buddy Darren. Watched fishermen fishing off the bridge, saw a pool of blood and broken glass, and finally were sufficiently exhausted to go back to the hotel.”

Again, I just love my journal writing. Blah, blah, blah, walking around, blah blah, pool of blood, blah blah. What? And I love that, oh, we just kept on walking around St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1993.

And, finally, “(in Helsinki, last day)… My head hurts, my heart hurts, my stomach hurts… I can’t imagine the pain of saying goodbye to D’Arcy and Finland. I simply can’t believe the year is over, and we’re all going home. This is so strange… despite all the hell and however much I hated it, I have come to love this country and most of the culture. Now it’s time to go home, and, as Darren wrote, pick up the pieces. So. My exchange is over, and I’ll never be the same. What a trip it’s been.”

It’s interesting, after I got home, I tried to continue to write in my journals, but I just couldn’t keep it up. It’s almost like once I got home, I just didn’t have anything to write about. Which isn’t true at all, but I remember trying to keep up my journals and just feeling like, what’s the point?

I felt so lost once I got home. I don’t know if I anticipated that. I was definitely lost in so many ways… and then, I’m not sure what happened. I thought I was happy… but I wasn’t. Thankfully, finally, in the last two years (even with all the various stressful events), I’m finally finding my self, and my happiness again. I feel like I’m coming back around to my old self in so many ways. I’m not sure what I could have done differently. But it doesn’t matter now… what matters is that I’m feeling more myself than I have in a long time. It’s coinciding nicely with my trip and reunion. I feel bad about some things I have said and done in the past, to different people (and to myself). I feel ashamed that I let friends down in some ways. I feel sorry that I strayed from myself so much. Nothing terrible was said or done… but I certainly wasn’t very authentic and I think I forgot what was really important to me.

But one of the best things about being alive is that every day you can start over. You can make amends, you can rekindle friendships. I’m hoping to do that with the friends I’ve talked about here. D’Arcy, Ismail, Monica, Darren, Melody and Shelley… such important people to me. I can’t wait to see (most of) you in just a few days, and to hopefully stay in better touch with everyone. These people were and are some of the most important people in my life, and I hope that after the reunion, we all stay in better touch. I think we were all a little bit heartbroken at leaving each other. I know I was. I was kind of crushed. Maybe it takes awhile to get over that kind of heartache, and start a new life. And then, later (now), maybe we can find ourselves again and find a way to stay connected.

So, to D’Arcy I say: Twin, here I come! Get out the Rocky Horror and the brownie recipe!

To Ismail: Let’s find you some corn beer and we can discuss the merits of various styles of tie-dye. And argue about it, for a really, really long time.

To Monica: I know there’s a foreigner up there just waiting for you to ask, “Hey, are you a foreigner?”

To Darren: And we took beer, and we took beer, and we took beer…

Mina rakastan kaikki! (and Ismail, I’m sure my grammar is wrong somewhere, but oh well)

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