38 days, it’s a weird concept to think about. This whole year has been filled with plans months in advance and looking forward to the changing seasons. There’s always been the idea that hundreds of days from now I’ll still be sitting here, in my little school in my little Dutch village.
It’s finally starting to hit me that this is no longer the case.
I don’t know what it is; the summer weather, a visit from my real mom, or the end of the school year back home in America, but something has recently set me off and made everything seem so short and so damn close. In the grand scheme of my year here, one day has never seemed like much. I’ve had so many days that it is impossible to remember each and every one. I’ve never been overly afraid to waste a day here because tomorrow was a new day and sometimes you just need a day off.
38 is different. 38 days is just over a month. 38 is easily countable. 38 days is the amount of time that one could go on a long vacation. 38 days is about the average lifespan of a house fly. Therefore, out of the 6,303 days that I have been alive so far, 38 is but a fleeting moment. And yet, just like a housefly, I’m trying to live a life within these 38 days.
I still have so many plans and the next 6 weeks are jam-packed, trying to make the most of my last days here. However, I also need to remind myself to take moments to enjoy the little things, the things that I may not expect to miss but will yearn for once I’m back in the U.S.
Over the span of the year, I have built up an entirely new life. However, I don’t see the end of my year as a death sentence. When I leave, my exchange year isn’t over; it never truly can be. I’ll have friends all over the world, keys to a house that will always welcome me with open arms, and a charming little language that has become more comfortable to me than English. Those feelings of home will never go away, I’m sure of it.
It’s overwhelming, knowing that you’re living in a countdown clock. Now that I’ve finally realized just how little time I have left, the task is fitting more seconds into each minute. Getting ready to go home is hard when you’ve suddenly got two of them.