I’m sitting here on top of the chapel, back to one of the pylons, looking out over the drillfield. I can barely see this page to write, let alone legibly.
How many times have I wandered around this drillfield, this campus, at night like this? Seen Burruss Hall all lit up like that, those lamps lining the asphalt footpaths that crisscross the grass, that semicircle of 32 lights on 32 memorial stones? I remember walking around here freshman year, almost eight years ago, missing my home, lamenting on the phone or in my own head, wanting nothing more than to be back overseas.
And now I’m eleven days away from that flight I pined for, that flight leaving America behind for a new life elsewhere in the world. I never imagined then that I would be this torn up about it.
I’m really excited that within two weeks I’ll be on a terrace within sight of at least a small patch of the Mediterranean, with a fresh start and opportunities stretching out before me. Most of what I’m feeling this week – and will be for the next week and a half – is overwhelmed and terrified, as I sprint to the finish line of moving out of my apartment and to another continent. But an undercurrent I’ve been feeling for weeks, for months, ever since I started planning to move somewhere almost a year ago, is sadness. I’ve felt it as I’ve done a lot of things for the last time with friends and with my church. I felt it when I gave my cat away on Saturday, and as my apartment has felt a lot emptier without him. And I’m feeling it now, as I look out over this campus that became home after all. I’m glad I took this moment to walk over here and sit for a while.
I’ve left a lot of pieces of my heart in a lot of homes over the years. And now I’m burying yet another piece in this field. And when the plane lifts off the runway in eleven days, and when I’m sitting on that terrace or walking along the Mediterranean, I’m going to miss the piece of my heart that I left in Blacksburg, Virginia.