Full Circle

I've gone full circle. The weather, my wardrobe, everything. Once again I'm faced with impending departure and once again I'm faced with empty suitcases to fill with memories.

When I came it was summer. The sun beat down furiously with only the gentle Rabati sea breeze to cool me down. Then  winter came, whirling in with a torrent of downpours and shivering nights. The thin shirts and sandals were abandoned and replaced with thick sweaters, bright blue rainboots, and of course my WLGS jacket. Then the rain let up, the clouds slowly left, and the sky was split open by the sun once more. The summery clothes are back, but different. Purple sandals from Marrakech, poofy pants from a secondhand souk, and hair somehow an entirely different color from when I arrived.

Even the Medina is back to the way it was; bustling with tourists as they escape here from their homes in hopes to spend spring break in a warmer, more exotic place. In the winter the Medina was ours. We knew every pothole, every puddle that approached us. When the streets filled we calmly waited and wove our way through the masses. The shebekia place on the corner became our Starbucks, and dark, cloudy days were a norm in those alleyways. Now the sun beats down once again, and the shops that were hibernating all winter creaked open their doors and flung out their best keychains and magnets and posters. The Medina is different now. So familiar, but yet so... not. It's like seeing an old friend when you both have changed.

I've gone full circle. I'm back where I started, but it's different. I'm different. The acne scars and the stretch marks aren't the only thing that this year has imprinted on me. Every little moment has had it's impact, and every little moment  has helped me become who I am today. I'm the same, but I've grown.

So here I am. With just about 6 weeks left here. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking about what to bring back, who to buy gifts for. Just 9 months ago I was sitting on my bed back home contemplating the very same things. I've come so far. It's a different feeling this time. So familiar, yet so... not. It's like looking in the mirror, but not being able to read what your shirt says because everything's backwards.

People ask if I'm ready. I said this before, exactly 7 months and 23 days ago, that there is no way to be ready for something like this, ("Are You Ready?"). Sometimes I do feel ready, but then the anxiety kicks in and my heart starts pounding faster and faster and faster and faster. What am I so scared of?

Is it saying goodbye again? Is it knowing that this country will never be the same to me after I leave? Is it going through all this all over again? Is it going back to what I knew before? or could it be the fear of going back to something entirely different from what I used to know?

I've gone full circle. I'm back where I started, but I've grown. How many times have I found myself in this same position, and how many more will I? I guess it's just part of this. It's part of experiencing new cultures. It's part of learning to call someplace home and then accepting it when you have to say goodbye. It's falling in love, and then going through heartbreak. It's taking pieces from everywhere you've been and everyone you've met and using them to rebuild yourself. It may be hard, but it's beautiful, and it's worth it. I've gone full circle, but then again... a circle never ends.

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  2. So proud of you lady. Praying for you.

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