Sunday, July 18, 2010

conclusion (?)

I'll start this out with a story.

About 2 months ago I had a goodbye party. I set up a big white tent in my backyard and spent the night out there saying goodbye to my friends and drinking beer until I couldn't really feel sad anymore. By the early hours of the morning all the faces I had come to know and like throughout the year where gone. I still had a week left in Denmark at that point, but for a lot of them, we wouldn't be seeing each other again.
The following night I was at Jason's goodbye party with all the other exchange students from Koege. We met at the station in Greve and walked/road bikes to where the party was. Latter in the week we met up in Solroed, where I had gone to school, and went to the beach there. That was the last time we all hung out together.
Wednesday was St. Hans, the longest day of the year. I went with my host family to a small town in southern Zealand to have dinner by the beach. And Anne and my host mom played the St. Hans song with the band on the beach while we burned a big stuffed witch on a stake. By 11:00pm I was back in Koege again at our beach with Zenia, Simon, Rasmus, and some other friends. We stayed late, and it never really got completely dark out. The next day I watched Denmark loose in soccer with Zenia and Niklas, then said goodbye to them.
The day after that was probably when Anne graduated gymnasium. We all waited out side the door to congradulate her as she finshed her last exam. The next day her whole class came to our house in a giant wagon (a danish tradition) and drank beer for about 15 minutes before hitting the road again.
A lot of little things must have happend between all this but before I knew it, It was time to drive to Copenhagen and say goodbye. Like I had suspected, I couldn't feel it. I don't think they could either. The car ride conversation was normal. We got the the school were I needed to be dropped off and we all sat down and ate the cookies they had sitting there...the table conversation was just like any other... until it really was time to say goodbye. One of the volunteers came around and sad they had to get going. That's when it hit...after we all hugged...after there was nothing for them to do but just walk away and nothing for me to do but just stand there. That's where all the messed up confusion I had for the past week, turned into pain. It was the worst 10 seconds of my life. But probably the most outstanding too.
The camp was strange. It was weird seeing all these kids again. There were only a few out of the 100 something that I saw on a regular basis throughout the year. Most of them I had only seen at camps. I hadn't seen a lot of them for a year, not scenes the arrival camp at the beginning of our big adventure. It was cool seeing how so many of them seemed to have changed so much. and some of them seemed exactly the same. Made me wonder how much I had changed. I feel like I had already left Denmark when we where at the camp, so leaving the camp and heading to the airport didn't faze me that much. It was sad saying goodbye to some of my best friends, but for some reason I didn't feel much of anything that day.
The first plane ride flew by, and feeling the plane land on American ground was a weird feeling. What was weirder was getting off the safety and comfort of my Scandinavian airplane and entering the airport... the real US. It was shocking. Everything was so new to me, I did not feel like I knew this place at all. I remember waiting in the terminal for my next flight, wondering if the girls sitting across from me where speaking english. They were American! Of corse they were! But I couldn't make out half of what they were saying. I couldn't understand half of what anyone was saying.
After two more flights and a lot of hours without sleeping, I had landed in Detroit at about 12 midnight. The place was empty, And I knew that somewhere in there, my family was waiting for me. The family I hadn't seen for 11 months. I walked, then walked faster...then jogged a little, ....and then I saw them. As I was ridding down the escalator they appiered in front of me. My Dad, my mom, my sister, and my twin brother. It was nice...relieving...strange. But not very dramatic. I had run through that scene so many times in my head throughout the year and it was always BIGGER than what it ended up being. It was almost like, the second we were all in the same place again, looking eachother in the eyes again, everything had gone back to the way it was before. Like I had never been gone. We waited for my stuff to come out of the shoot thingy then we drove home, were I saw my two other brothers, my sister-in-law, some cousins, friends, our exchange student and my dog (!)....... I'm sitting here trying to remember how I flet then but I don't really know. I was happy of corse, but among a lot of other things too. tired being one of them.
In a way It didn't take long at all before I felt like everything had gone back to normal. Struggled pretty bad with english for quite a few weeks but besides that It was just kinda, same old same old. It was all pretty refreshing for a while but that only lasted so long. You are so cought up in being home again, that it's not till after that wears off that you truley're gone now...your're not there's over. And that what I've been dealing with for the past month and a half or so.


I havn't blogged for almost 2 months. I don't know If anyone even checks this anymore but writing this has been importiant to me. So I felt it needed a conclusion. Or just a last post becuase there can't really be a conclusion. Everything just keeps going. Parts of Denmark stay with me. My exchange year will coninue to be a big part of my life for a long time. It's made me who I am. When I think about myself at the begining of my exchange year and look at my self now. I see that I've grown up. I've grown up even scenes I've been home. My exchange year was a trial and error period. It gave me the chance to learn so much. Now is the time to apply it.

A high school exchange year will improve you. It will make you work and grow and expierince thing you would'nt be able to in ANY other way. But most of all....It will mess you up. An exchange year will confuse you. It will make you think and it will make you think again. It will make you change the way you think. It will make you're world so much bigger and you're not going to like it. Becuase before you know it, your closest friends will be very far away. You won't know where you belong. But you'll know who you are. And you'll know a lot of stuff other people will never know. And you'll lead a pretty kick ass life from there on out.


. said...
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. said...

Hi Joe, I just read your blog and I really enjoyed reading it. I'm thinking of going to denmark. Would you recommend it? Also if i am going my sophmore year (10th grade) would that limit me in any way?
cool blog!

Anonymous said...

That was a powerful post. I know it was a few years ago but if you ever read this - good job and I hope everything worked out well for you.