Sometimes I wish I could start this year over, not because I have many regrets about my time, but more because I have the feeling of “if I had known then what I know now…” I remember coming here in August and thinking about how long nine months seemed, and in the beginning I couldn’t help looking at my planner and calculating the months and how I’d pass them. Slowly I adjusted to life here, and though I still looked at my calendar sometimes and counted the days, I did it with nervousness instead of excitement. It was one thing to leave the United States and the life I knew I would always come back to, finding everything virtually unchanged. But it is another thing to think about leaving the life I have here, since I don’t know when I’ll be back and since the circumstances won’t ever be the same.
It is the always bittersweet feeling of knowing it will be a good-bye to some, a see-you-later to others, and an oh-how-I’ve-missed you to those in Wisconsin. But as I wrote a few a months ago, it’s hard for me to be terribly upset about anything, because I feel so lucky to have had the chance to see this place from the perspective that I have. Though I might never be sure how exactly I wound up here, I think in the end I turned up right where I was supposed to be.
On an unrelated note, the photos below this post are of some of the paintings I have made this semester in my Indian miniature painting class. I have toiled many hours with my watercolors, and for someone who hasn’t painted anything since freshman year of high school, I feel okay about the results.