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"Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting."

- Peter Pan

written last night around midnight

This is my last week in Germany. Yeah, I know.

I really don't think it's fully processed yet. And, quite honestly, I don't think it will for another month or so. This is primarily due to it signifying another beginning (to a month of travel) rather than an end.

I had my last night in my apartment last week, my last guests in Europe and now I'm in my last place of accommodation until I leave. Each day this week is another last - last Sunday of open gym and nothing being open, last tiring Monday and exhausting benchmark course, last Tuesday where I missed the fruit free-for-all at work, last gymnastics catch my drift. A lot of lasts.

At the end of my experience, these are going to seem quite trivial - and I know this. What's really going to impact me is the change in connection. Now, yes, this is something I had to deal with when I first arrived, but there was a very definite element that eased that change. Knowing that I only had a set amount of time for my internship and that I would return for school made the changes easier to accept because they'd eventually revert to the way they were. It's different here, though. I've developed my own little routine and support system. These incredible people that I interact with on a daily basis are going to be what is so hard about leaving. I mean, that and this beautiful country - this home.

I don't question the ability I have with keeping in touch, but there's nothing finite about aspects of a return or visit after this. And, by this I mean that when I return, who will still be here? How much will have changed? When I'm back home and have re-acclimated to my time-zone, who will still keep in touch? When will we all cross paths? The physical frequency of interaction will be removed, so how is the connection going to change?

Change. That's the key word. It's not an easy idea to grasp. It's a shock to the system. The connection aspect is fascinating to me - it's a huge reason I'm in the field that I'm in, among others. The change part, however, is what unsettles me most. When I was a child I used to hate change. I embrace it more now, but, as much as it excites me, I'd be lying if I said it didn't scare me just as much.

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