Goodbyes Again

In January, I said goodbye to all my coworkers as I left a job I had for 5 years (more or less). Goodbyes are tough. After you graduate school or leave a job or move cities, you don’t know what the future holds, but you know it will never be the same. I think it’s good when goodbyes are tough… It means you’re doing something right.

Today I said goodbye to a community, specifically a school, that took me in for three months and let me live as one of their own. I had a life here – a routine, habits, friends, good days, and bad days. I was a bit of a mini-celebrity: I couldn’t walk down the street without bumping into at least a few students and hearing the familiar “Ciao Nick!”

Last time leaving the train station after school:

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But now that life, that version of me, is history. It goes into my box of old lives that I keep on the shelf, along with high school, college, that summer I worked in a summer camp, old apartments, old friends, old romances, and old jobs. I take the box out every once in a while to reminisce. I like to reminisce. And I’m sure that for the rest of my life this will be one of my favorite periods to reminisce about.

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I haven’t even yet mentioned the wonderful family that’s taken me in as one of their own. I’m spending the weekend with them but come Monday morning, it’s bon voyage. (I’m heading to the Cinque Terre and after that, a few months of traveling.) It’ll be tough and I’ll always remember them. (More pics with them to come this weekend I’m sure.)

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It’s good to keep a few mementos to bring the memories back. Today we went on a field trip to Genova, and the teachers I’ve been working with wanted to give me a gift. One of the students got sick so they didn’t have time to go buy while in Genova. On the way back, we stopped at a rest stop and in desperation they bought me this wonderfully cheesy mug. Now whenever I drink my “American coffee” (aka “dirty water”) I can remember them fondly. “Il Mattiniero” means “The Early Riser.”

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This is what I signed up for when I signed up for this program. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. Now it’s time for goodbye. Monday I head to Cinque Terre.

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