Monday, November 22, 2010

erutedankfest - thanksgiving

Danke/Thanks. I have used this word a ridiculous amount in the past 3 months. In perspective, I don't believe I've said it enough. My first thanks is to Rotary International. This is my life right now. Thank you for this exchange that is teaching me how to appreciate the life that I have. I'll never be able to thank my parents enough for my life, my idols, and my best friends. I'm thankful for the McGaw YMCA Camp Echo, where I learned to enjoy life and be myself without any inhibitions. The list continues in no particular order: my friends. My brother. GLEE. My pets. Good movies. Good books. Peanut butter and Nutella (which are NOT the same thing). My mom's cooking. My dad's smile. Sunshine. Blue skies. Ellen Degeneres. My bed. Smartwool socks. Good music. Chicago. Public transportation. Meeting new people. Hot chocolate. The list will always grow, but these are just a few things.
Now, when Rotary talked to all of us about the "Holiday Blues", they were talking about Christmas time. I think that for me that starts now, with Thanksgiving rolling around. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday with all the food and family. I'm not unhappy where I am. I actually have a lot going on in my life that I'm excited about, but there is an unpleasant feeling that come with the revelation that life goes on without you on the other side of the world. At first, I had this illusion that life in the US would cease to exist while I'm living my life here, but that's not the case. A bit of advice to future exchange students: try not to feel excluded and remind yourself that it was you who chose to leave them.
One last thanks before we wrap up this post. I'm so amazingly thankful for the friends I've met in Germany. My fellow exchange students have become shoulders to cry on, comedians to laugh with and peers to confide in. I wouldn't be able to make it through the year if I didn't know they were going to be right there with me the whole way. Happy Thanksgiving.--sjinternational

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