Do I really need that?

As the clock ticks, my heart bends.

I have now said my last goodbyes to those in Madison. The Sunday of was rough, the Saturday prior was rough, and the Monday following was rough.

I think I went to Madison all but one night this week. I love my friends so much and wanted to spend as much time with them as my work schedule would allow, while still leaving time for my family. That usually meant 11 p.m. visits lasting well into the morning.

On Sunday, my final visit before leaving to study abroad, a group of some of my closest friends and I met at Paul’s dumplings by State Street for food and conversation. I am so thankful for their support in my study abroad experience.

Goodbye dinner at Paul’s

They joined me on my late night run to Flamingo Run and Bean and Creamery for my favorite snacks and some Babcock ice-cream. It was windy and cold, the kind of weather than makes you relish staying inside and studying. That’s a pretty clear sign of solid friendship.

The past two weeks I’ve been engorging myself with anything that seems edible. Call it stress eating or call it the appetite of a college student, but I can’t stop. After a full meal I’d have the cereal out, counting down the minutes till a Culver’s run.

I don’t even like Culver’s that much. Unless someone hands me a free scoop coupon, I literally never go to Culver’s and would never choose to go to Culver’s unless I was with friends. But for some reason I tell myself I’ll miss it in the next five months.

I find myself scheduling in a time to go to every local restaurant, at least 10 times of course, and making sure I eat the three extra cookies because surely New Zealand doesn’t have cookies.

My irrational behavior wasn’t limited to food. I bought two new pairs of jeans and two new pairs of shoes, along with a couple other items. I did not need more shoes. The goal was to reduce the piles of clothes that already wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. And two pairs of shoes? I justified this with a classic “treat yourself” that I played on repeat for two weeks.

Just because I could have bought the shoes doesn’t mean I needed the shoes let alone should even have considered taking the shoes abroad.

I ate like New Zealand doesn’t have food and shopped like it doesn’t have stores.

I realized my favorite shirt that I could never ever part with in a million years was strangely the one that’s sat in my dresser unworn and wrinkled.

Last night in a mad rush, clothes flying my room, I narrowed down my shirts to my real favorites. I just made the weight limits for carry-on and checked baggage.

My heart hurts right now. But I’m sure some adventures in food and overseas shopping sprees can ease the pain.

My curiosity is just as big as my appetite, so I’m ready to experience some adventure. Tokyo, here I come!