Missions Misunderstood » Blog Archive » The Only Thing Harder Than Arriving? Leaving.

Posted May 15th, 2008 by E. Goodman

I’m not the sensitive emotional type. I never cry at weddings. I hate romantic comedies. I think that pictures of babies in flower pots should be considered cruelty. I don’t save souvenirs, birthday cards, or mementos.

As I pack up to leave the field, I’m experiencing this strange sensation- emotion. Everything I do is taking on a new meaning (“this may be the last…”). I’m hyper-sensitive to the uniqueness of the sights and smells. I have a new-found desire to take it all in, to enjoy my final moments here.

It might just be coffee with milk, but you can’t get anything like it in the U.S. I’m watching the European league soccer finals on TV here, yet I feel so close, so involved. I don’t want to lose that. The man at the kebab shop. The cashier at the store. My friends, neighbors, and the familiar strangers I see in the city every day. I don’t want to forget them.

So I’m taking it all with me. I’m taking pictures of mundane things like street signs, sunsets, rooftops, and advertisements. (I actually stole a menu from my favorite coffee shop!)

As I go, I’m wondering whether it’s made a difference at all that I’ve been here. I don’t imagine that the city will be any different after I’ve left. But all of the things that were so strange to me when I came here now seem to mean so much.

I’m mourning the loss of what was my life in Western Europe.

Tags: leaving, saying goodbye

Filed under:Personal, Reflections, Uncategorized