Only two short weeks until my parents are upon me. That's right, I'll be travel guide extraordinaire once again. It's actually been quite a while since I've had the chance to play this part, and I'm really looking forward to it. It's just the planning bit that rather gets to me. Looking for hostels, thinking of the best places to go, how to fit it all in, etc. It's not like living in Hong Kong and having everything right there at my fingertips. There was plenty of space for them to stay in my house, and plenty of activities to take part in within easy walking distance. But Europe is...well...it's big. And there are SO many things that they should see. Obviously we can't do it all in two weeks, especially when I have to work most of that time, but I'm really hoping to make it a memorable experience.
This week I had to turn in my official decision for next year. I've known all along that I wasn't going to stay another year, and sending it in was more of a formality than anything else, but it had such a ring of finality. Last year I waffled up until the decision, and after as well, having decided to leave and then opting to stay. This time, the choice was easier, and yet it still left me feeling a bit strange after I'd sent it in.
It's true that I'm ready to head stateside and be closer to my family again. True that I feel there are things for me to do and figure out that I can't do so well here. True that my school situation is likely to change dramatically as my boss is moving on to something new, and the person taking her place is someone that I really never want to work for. So many things that make this the right time for a change. But I've put a lot of time and effort into this place after all. I've made a sort of home here, and I've connected with lots of different people during my three years here. It will be strange to pack up and say goodbye. Granted, I'm hoping to take a piece of this place with me in a very tangible way, but it's still the end of an era, and that's always monumental. Not to mention the fact that I have no idea what in the world I'll do when I get back to the US.
I've also been thinking so much about writing lately, and yet feel so dry on the topic. I'll have a line or two that could make a good start to a story, and yet no feeling for what should come next. When I was a kid I had stories in my head all the time. Granted, there are few people who would ever have been interested in them, but they were endless. Characters floated about various plot lines and I felt that they really did exist. Now I'm left wondering what I still have in me that could be of value to anyone. What words can I speak to the people of this world? Do I have anything left to say that can inspire? Are there stories yet within this little brain of mine? Or do I need to set aside the dreams that have been with me as long as I can remember. I've ALWAYS wanted to be a writer. So why haven't I managed to produce anything? For so long I had aspirations of getting into the field while I was young. I wrote two novels in high school, and even sent the first one to some publishers. I attended writer's workshops and subscribed to writing magazines. But I'm not so young anymore. At the age of 31, what do I have to show for my dream.
People, especially Mark, tell me I need to just write. But what? I could sit and do a stream of consciousness, bringing back visions of Ms. Staley's classroom, Enya lilting in the background, but where will that really take me. Nostalgia for nostalgia's sake isn't really worth a whole lot on the literary market. (sigh)
So I'm trying to make plans about so many things, and yet finding myself with the desire to just curl up and finish reading The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand, which I've been working on since Christmas break. At least I'm getting out another blog, another attempt to remain in touch with my ability to put words on the page, even if they're read by only a scant few...