A single step

Trip Start Aug 02, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I cried today.
I cried once in college when my mother called me and told me my dog had died. Prior to that I can't even remember the last time.
My friends and family made me cry.
I think perhaps it was the first time I realized how much I truly appreciate them. Of course I had always enjoyed their company and valued them dearly in my life, but this is different. It took something as big as moving to the other side of the planet for me to understand that I love them. And I do. I love them.

It didn't really hit me until the night before I left for China that I would be gone for an entire year. No thanksgiving at my grandma's, no Christmas with my family, no birthdays with Mike and Enrique, no MSI dance parties with anyone from Marietta for an entire year. It will be a difficult year.

So as I stepped out of my house at four-o-clock in the morning I was greeted by a message scrawled in chalk on the front steps of my house. It said something like 'we will miss you' or 'have a great trip'. I don't really remember what it said . . . it doesn't matter. What mattered was that virtually every square foot of my driveway was covered with messages, drawings and well wishing sentiment. At some point during the night, under the cover of darkness, Mike, Enrique and Britney had coated every usable slab of that concrete canvas they could find.
I read them all. Waving a flashlight back and forth across the driveway, I felt like an explorer reading ancient hieroglyphics by torchlight. The only difference was that these words were written just for me and meant more than any historical document or religious text ever could.
Without a doubt the hardest thing about this year long adventure will be my own inability to see my two best friends.
It may have been the hardest thing I have ever done. Driving down that silent street while our car's headlights illuminated fluorescent text that had spilled onto the street and all the way down to the corner.

I will miss you all more than I thought I could
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