In 48 hours, I’ll be on an airplane. So I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m living as if I’ll never leave. In a fit of denial, I’ve refused to begin packing (something I know I’ll deeply regret tomorrow) and instead have chosen to ignore the fact that I won’t be in Brussels this weekend.
After two months, I have grown accustomed to my life here. The hardest part about leaving isn’t missing all the beautiful buildings and the “European look” Brussels has. The hardest part is accepting that everything is going to change. I’ll no longer be able to go for drinks with my co-workers (who have ended up becoming my good friends) or pass my daily breakfast spot on the way to the metro station at the end of my street. I’m in mourning for the life I’m leaving behind but, as they say, all good things must come to an end.
I have a lot to look forward to when I return to the States. I’ve missed my family (especially my cats) more with each passing day. I’ve missed my friends, for whom the six hour time difference has been a huge hurdle. But mostly, I’ve missed America. I miss the warm weather and the kind people. Mostly, though, I miss the free water.
Every time I imagine going home, I picture the scene from the airplane window: Belgian fields and buildings stretching into the distance, growing smaller and further as the airplane pulls me against my will to North America. Of course, I don’t have a window seat. So, I’ll have to remember Brussels the way I’ve come to know it instead of a series of tiny buildings and toy cars fading into the distance. In a way, this is less romantic. There will be no official closure between us and I’ll never have the movie moment in which I looked back and it was fading fast. In a way, I’m grateful for that. To acknowledge that it’s disappearing is to let it go, to leave it in my past, just a surreal episode in my life as a 20-something.
I won’t look out of the airplane window. This city won’t fade into a blur of buildings and streets. Brussels will always be as it is to me now: vibrant, loud, close, and very much life sized.