The first night I got to Australia, around 6:00 PM, I ran back to my room after a housing meeting and didn't even get the door closed before I started sobbing. I'm talking like, snot-everywhere-and-I-couldn't-breathe sobbing. I had been fine all the way on the (multiple) airplanes, so this breakdown of sorts really scared me. I guess that was the moment when it became real to me how long it was going to be until I'd see my favorite people again.
One of those "favorite people" is my mom, who is one of my best friends and strongest supporters - especially since I've been in college. Everyday I think about if she's doing okay and if she's giving my dog enough treats. I think about all the family dinners at Grandma's house and nights on the lake I'm missing out on. And then I want to smack myself because I'm in Australia for Christ's sake. I should be relishing in this adventure and enjoying every day. And I'm trying, honestly, but sometimes I just can't help feeling incredibly lonely.
It's nights like this one, though, writing and listening to sad Adele songs, when I have to remind myself of my strength. Then, I have to acknowledge where I get it from: my mom. I don't know how I'd be on the forward path that I am without her. There have been a lot of struggles in my life recently that I don't think I'd have been able to manage if my mom weren't supporting me as fiercely as she did. Making the transition to college, struggling with depression, having existential crises about my future and now leaving the country for six months... Again, I look back on the past two years, as well as the entirety of my life, and I realize that despite everything that's gone horribly wrong, she's the one thing has gone absolutely right.
My mom is the person who keeps me grounded. I think about her when I'm anxious and when I'm feeling like I want to give up. I think about how much she's sacrificed for me to be the person that I am today, and it's too much to take for granted. I wish I could share this experience in Australia with her. I know she'd love marveling over the kangaroos and playing with the monkeys in Bali. She'd love to take a walk through the Fremantle markets with me and hit up as many wineries in Western Australia as possible.
Mom - I assume you're reading this. Know that even though it's hard being this far apart, I'll be home soon, stronger and wiser than before. I'll also be more than ready to see my dog so make sure he's nice, clean and ready to see his best friend (that's me, I'm his best friend). I can't wait to tell you all there is to tell about my time in Australia. I'm so grateful that you've supported me with this whole experience. I miss you so much.