Coming home to the United States necessitated two visits: my home in Fort Wayne, and my second home at Butler University. In leaving Italy, I had these two places to look forward to, in effect distracting my mind from what I was leaving. After returning to my home in Fort Wayne, it was only a matter of time before I knew I would need to return to Butler.
It was an odd moment of returning. I was there to visit friends: friends from freshman year, from my fraternity (Phi Delta Theta), from the English Department, or just the random people that I’ve met over the years.
What my two days of visit turned into was a string of meetings that left me exhausted and with a face sore from smiling and recounting stories. The only problem was that two days was not nearly enough. Not to mention that I had actual business to take care of–meeting with my landlord, meeting with the fantastic Kristen Raves–and planning for my summer return to the Butler campus. The trip was well worth it, and left me looking forward to my return to butler as a resident.
What do you do when you’re running headlong into the future and then you come to a cliff? I’ll tell you what you do, you stop running. If it were possible to set time in reverse, that’s certainly what I’d do, but given that this is an impossibility, I’m doing me best to slow down the daily routine and appreciate everything that I have here before it vanishes.
Class these three weeks have probably been the most unreal of the semester. With only a week left of classes, I have none of the motivation to continue as I was before. And it’s not that I’m planning to bojangle (slang: avoiding things of a productive nature) the final days, but I don’t want them spent in my room reviewing all of the irregular conjugations of Passato Remoto. I’m still going to class, but I’m realizing that pretty soon my progress is all going to come to a halt. How do you deal with a change like this? I have yet to figure out. I almost feel suspended between the time of intense work I had for three months, and the final day or two of packing that will inevitably come before my plane.
As such, I have compiled a list of things to accomplish on my final days here:
1) Play Pool at the local pool hall: this is a dream I have harbored since the beginning of January, and have yet to realize. But it will happen soon.
2) Visiting the South of Italy: Will be discussed in future posts
3) Souvenirs for family and friends: Oh how I’ve worked on these, yet I feel far from completion.
4) Souvenirs for me: Weird to say, but it was actually quite easy to forget.
5) Goodbyes: To friends American and international, I am now fighting an uphill battle to have goodbye celebrations, say goodbye and thanks to everyone who affected me. The hardest part.
Tagged: america, Andrew Erlandson, depart, end, Italy, of, perugia, return, sad, states, the, united, USA
Try not to be intimidated.
Frisbee: the name of the sport I play and the dog I adore. When I’m away at college, I forget about my poor little Pomeranian (he tries to be manly, but a puff-ball can only do so much). When I returned home for fall break, he was one of those little pieces that I realized I missed despite not thinking about him for the past two months.
That’s what college does: the ordinary and routine of home life suddenly deepens. It turns out—and let this secret slip—that our parents and loved ones do a lot for us. It’s not until you’re away from it for a while does the appreciation grow.
So, this goes out to all of the mothers and fathers out there who do so much for their children. I want to send them a message of hope: they will be grateful. But probably not until they leave. And for those of you planning your collegiate exodus from home: consider what you have now. The few seconds it takes may make you a happier part of your family.
Tagged: appreciate, Butler, dad, daughter, depart, endearment, familial, family, farewell, father, grow, growing, happy, leave, love, mature, mom, mother, parent, return, son, understanding, university