A few days ago was the ten year anniversary of me leaving Peru.
Ten years. It seems hard to believe. Ten years, I remember packing the last minute items in the suitcase, taking one final look around, and getting in the car for the airport.
Ten years, I remember waiting there anxiously for 8 hours because our flight was delayed. I remember I was a mess of emotions thanks to hormones. I remember trying to sleep on the uncomfortable airport chairs, because we got there at 9pm and left Lima at 6am.
Ten years, I remember those final weeks like it was yesterday. The thrill of finishing high school. The excitement of graduation. The disappointment of being left out of the senior video. The pride of getting my last report card and getting straight A’s – 4.425 GPA. finishing well.
Ten years. Did I cry at all? Was I sad to leave? Did I truly understand? I have been back to Peru only once in that time, eight years ago. Everything is so different now, I’m told. My dad’s office, where we spent so much time, my “home” – it was torn down and now a high rise. The mission guest house, gone. My high school is still there, and the church is too. I want to go back, but with what money?
Ten years. Ten years ago I was a shy, scared 18 year old off to college. I had never been kissed. Never driven a car. Never been in charge of my own bank account. Never had a job. Now here I am, wife and mother. College graduate. Homeowner. I’ve not only driven a car but I have owned two of them. I have held down two steady jobs in addition to a few other internships. It seems like yesterday, but so much has changed in 10 years. I’ve changed.
I wonder where I’ll be in 10 more years? And will Peru always be fresh in my brain or will the memories fade?
(This post about saying goodbye remains one of my favorite creative writing pieces.)