Thoughts Written Back in June
I came here straight off the train from university- a week between graduation celebrations and boarding the plane. I barely touched down at home before I was off again, and for the first time in my life, I miss home in a profound way.
I miss the place, the lakes of the summer, the beach near my grandmother's (several hours from where my parents live, but still home). I miss both my cats, though one's been gone for 2 years now. But mostly, I miss being home with my family. Its funny that at this age, just out of school, I am not living back at home out of necessity as I often thought I would. I will likely live there for a while upon my return, but I'll be going because -- though I wish to visit many lands-- there is honestly no where else I'd rather be, and no one else I'd rather make time for than my family great and small. It's funny to be young and know that. I love them, but I have never felt too tethered. I've been away from home for longer than I am now. But being gone, the luxury of spending time will never be wasted on me again.
I am profoundly grateful that I have an opportunity to realize that, about them and about myself. I am grateful to have such a challenge that will open doors within myself, and hopefully professionally. I am grateful to live with people I care about, who cook food for each other, in a place where the fruit is fresh, the people hospitable. I am grateful that my housing, my flight, and my lunch every day is paid for, so I am able to save all the (potentially tax-free) money I earn.
I am trying to enjoy the opportunity while I'm here, and not just count down days. I know I'll miss things when I'm gone. I'll regret it if I hole myself up all the time. I'll regret it if I don't explore. So far, I've been surviving. But I don't want to waste time. If I found out I will die next week, I'd want to go home and see my family. But I wan this place to give them a run for their money.
So far, things I love include; sandwiches with eggplant on fresh bread (they cost about 80 cents!); the bustle of the bazaar, dates, lolling about my boss' house as a well-taken-care-of guest; the food (particularly the breakfast spread) at my boss'; his two-year old daughter's mischievous smile; doing stretches and acrobatics with his older kids; back-rubs with Sara and Bekah; meals together; the light at sunset; men in traditional Kurdish clothing; the man playing saz in the music shop; the $50 guitar Bekah and I bought; that row of houses with streetlights you can see from our window, that looks like an Old West town after dark. How much sky we have, horizon to horizon.
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is a freelance adventurer. She lived in Erbil, Kurdistan (Iraq) from June-August 2013.