I am sitting here in Chicago on Jenn and Kaitlyn's "couch" as we have called it but rather it is just an air mattress and my bed for tonight and I am soaking it all in. It is my last night in the United States. I will not be back until May 15th. The excitement and overwhelming feelings are really getting to me now. I anxiously laid in bed last night trying to remind myself of all the fun and amazing memories I will make, while at the same time realizing that my friends and family will be missing from my life for the next four months. It seems quite unreal to imagine my life without the people who have made it so complete for as long as I can remember. The whole studying abroad experience especially now is bittersweet. I am out of my mind excited and words really cannot explain exactly how happy I am that I am doing this and how appreciative I am for being given this amazing opportunity. But at the same time, as the days draw to an end before I leave, I have realized just how much I love the amazing people in my life. I have been so blessed with the friends and family in my life. Friends who have enriched my days and given me memories that will last forever. These supportive people continue to amaze me and I am really happy that I got a chance to say good bye to many of them. I am at a loss for words to explain just how much my family means to me and how much I will miss them in the next couple months. They are all amazing individuals who have helped shape who I am today. Although it will feel like a small part of me is missing I know that with their love, support, and luckily skype :) that I will not only enjoy my time in Australia, I will make sure to live my experience to the fullest and keep my family close to my heart at all times.
My mom has said to us that she hopes to give us "both roots and wings" throughout our lives. I think my parents have done just that. I feel like my roots have helped stabilize me in my surroundings and given me strength, hope, and deep faith and love within my family and friends. I feel rooted and strong in who I have become and I give so much credit of that to my family. And now with my wings I am ready to spread them and explore the next phase of my life. I have strength, courage, and confidence to embark on this adventure with Steph Beattie and Michael Hall at my side. In less than a day now I will be boarding an airplane with my carry one and luggage but also my roots and wings.
- Hodding Carter -