Is it possible to miss people and places before you even have to leave them?
Because that's how I'm feeling tonight. Nostalgic for Russia before I'm even gone! I know that makes no sense, and that I should live in the moment, etc etc...
But I can't help thinking tonight just how much I'm going to miss living here. How much I'm going to miss the people who make me smile day in and day out.
My adult intermediate class tonight asked me with hopeful smiles on their faces, "You're going to be our teacher in September, right?" When I said no, they all seemed so disappointed. Which is definitely flattering to me as a teacher, but it was more than that. Even though I've only been teaching this specific class for a month, I've really bonded with them and I truly look forward to my Tuesday and Thursday nights. They're such an eclectic bunch - two of them, a husband and wife, are surgeons at the Children's hospital in Moscow, another student holds some senior position in the Russian Navy (and is VERY dashing and handsome to boot!), and another works for the municipal government here in Mytishi. All of them are funny, insightful, interesting, and enthusiastic about learning. And I can't believe that in just a month and a half's time, I'm going to have to say goodbye to them.
I'm not sure if, while reading this blog, you've wondered what my plans are for next year or not. I've decided not to return to Russia for another year - as much as I DO love it here, I want to experience other places and adventures as well. I don't want to play my life safe by any means, and even though last year I probably would have laughed at the thought that Russia is "playing it safe", the thing is, Russia really has become my home. And I love that. But I want to see other parts of the world too, and let other parts become my home as well. I want to keep challenging myself, and try new things and meet new people.
So a few months ago, I started considering working as an au pair for a family in Europe. I worked as a nanny last summer and absolutely LOVED the experience and loved the special bond I built with the children - I feel like a big sister to them!
And so I am very, VERY excited to say that I have found my perfect second family. They live in southwestern England and truly remind me of my own family, with similar values and interests and craziness! :) So that will be where I am headed this coming fall - watch out UK! (or should I say, watch out Chelsy Davy because my sights are set on your on-again/off-again boyfriend, Prince Harry! hah!)
I am looking forward to next year more than words can describe, but tonight I am still feeling more than a little sad that I'm leaving Russia behind. I feel like this is the right decision in my heart though. I will ALWAYS love Russia and who knows? Maybe at some point I'll return to live here again. I do know that I will continue to study Russian (or attempt to!), to devour Russian books and music and culture, and dream about Russian hockey players. I'm only twenty-three, and my whole life is ahead of me - and you know what? I don't find that a scary thought anymore. It's exhilarating. Like...bring it on, life. I can't wait to see what you have in store for me!
That being said, however, I will miss my students and friends here so much. But I guess I need to take my own advice and just enjoy my next month and a half here before camp starts. And make sure that all my students (ok, well maybe not ALL...I'm still freaked out by that kid who asked me about charred flesh once) have my email address and know that if they're ever in Canada, there's a spot for them at my dinner table (uhh, maybe I should check with my parents first...right Mum and Dad?)