Guys, a participant who is taking my place next semester emailed me today to ask me questions about my school and city, and I am not ok. HOW? How did I get here? I was just emailing a girl who taught before me asking the same questions.
And so begins the waves of FOMO.
Someone else will soon tell First to stop staring at her lips in her compact mirror and go literally insane over a 60 pound kid flipping a water bottle. He'll put on a stern face when EP2 starts another fire in the classroom. He'll order my favorite drink from Sunni and hear the two suns theory from a Australian man wearing camouflage shorts and a wolf tank.
And I'll be gone. I'm painfully aware that this year is probably one of the best years of my life. My heart aches for home, and I'm confident in my choice to leave in October, but once I'm home, what I've experienced will only exist in my mind and in the minds of a handful of wonderful, dear friends I've made along the way.
Leaving, even thinking about leaving, feels very serious because I know that once I leave, I can't come back. Students graduate, coworkers change jobs, shop owners retire. It won't be the same, ever. It's now and a few more weeks, and then it's over.
To participants preparing to move to Thailand reading this blog, you have no idea what's coming, but it's better and stranger than anything you can imagine. Screw coconuts on the beach and cute poses next to elephants. When you come, soak up as much time as you can from your students. Drink as much Chang as you can with your coworkers. And burn into your mind the shade of pink the air in front of your face turns when the sun sets.
It's incredible, and yes, you are the only one who will remember a lot of what you experience, but that's the price you pay for living in two different worlds. Loving people in two worlds. Feeling time fly past you in two worlds.
And believe me when I say that when you get to the end like me, you'll wish you could do it all over again.