I do not know how to start my blog but I will begin by just thanking you for even reading it. I do not know what I will be writing about throughout my year as I do not even know what my year contains, but for now, I will just write about the things I think about.
As a graduate from the Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong, I carry with me a lot of nostalgia with me as I embark on my journey for Ecuador. I write this while listening to my roommate sing, and remember days of rage against biology classes lived through her guitar. If I were to look outside the window of this small dorm in Stanford University, I would see the same stars I looked at on my back in the “Designated Crying Area” of the roof with a very close friend. My backpack reminds me of countless journeys through the beauty of a city of Hong Kong, lost in a city of Cantonese and cell phone addiction with a variety of friends that cannot ever be properly acknowledged.
But this nostalgia is not a new concept to me. I moved schools almost every year of my life, with three two-years-in-a-row exceptions. My purple suitcase reminds me of my biannual struggle to fit my entire life inside of it. My blue coat reminds me to strict school rules in Palestine, and my jean shorts of the lax days in the veranda of my Ohio home. The scar on my left arm shows the remainder of my first job at a now-shutdown ice cream shop, and half of my clothes belong to a mother that will never return to reclaim them.
Yet these memories I can’t get rid of will only increase. I already foresee missing this amazing week of Pre-Departure Training in the Redwoods of California and in Stanford University, with a seemingly endless number of people to meet and infinite things to learn from them. Going to Ecuador for a year will only attach new memories to my life, and create new nostalgia for a home that I may not be able to ever return to as well, with new people and places that will not be the same after I leave them for the final time.
But all of that is all alright, as when you cannot turn back, you must continue to move forward. That is the lesson of my life.