The End is Nigh.

Well, people, 41 more days and I’ll be landing at perhaps the most heinous airport in the world, Detroit Metro. I purchased my ticket, everything is official. I’m excited to go home and see my family, friends and dogs. I can’t wait to eat Mexican food and drink Oberon. Yet, as I sit in my apartment, I get an anxious knot in my stomach.

This knot is not only from the incredible task ahead of me — sorting through all of my belongings, deciding what to keep, toss or leave behind for next year, taking the train and two airplanes back to Detroit with all my luggage — but it’s also from indecision. Should I be happy to leave? Should I be sad? Do I want to leave? Do I want to stay? Am I really about to leave?

This year has been the best year of my life. I’ve met so many new people who I love and get along with really well. I’ve been able to explore a new country, expand my German skills, learn how to live completely on my own and take care of myself. I’ve partied in countless cities and seen the sun rise on many-a night out. I have no regrets.

But the end is in sight. Since my Easter Break in the Czech Republic and my last weekend partying in Graz, it feels even closer. I’m not sure who I’ll see again before the end of the year, I won’t go to Vienna again and probably not Graz. My teachers never seem to need me anymore (I’ve worked 4 of 13 hours this week) and boredom has reached an all-time high. I just want to be home already.

41 more days… I know THE END won’t hit me until a few weeks later. And though I’m coming back to Austria in 4 months, next year will be a whole different experience with new people and places.

I look at this past year as another phase in my life. I’m a big believer in phases. High school was a phase, college a phase, Freiburg was a phase, and Bad Aussee, Austria is my most recent phase. I made memories and friends in each phase, and some people have made it through to the next, but many have been left behind. I’ve taken what I could from each phase, and soldiered on to the next one.

I don’t know, I never know. I’m rambling — that much I do know.

“What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by.  I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them.  I hate that.  I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it.  If you don’t, you feel even worse.” ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 1

I hear ya, Holden.