a brief vignette.

Please picture: three years ago.

I am smaller. Or am I? I haven’t grown so very much since then. I feel bigger now. I only took up the necessary minimum of space in those days.

My hair’s a lot shorter, and I had no idea how to make it look nice.

My Swedish is a great deal rustier and has fewer good memories attached to it.

I am a lot more scared.

And a lot less tired.

And I hang out with people I don’t know and don’t understand.

I have a sister who is a sophomore in high school, and she has a swim meet only an hour or so down the road from me.

So when she and my dad suddenly appear on the steps of my dorm as I am coming back from the gym with my confusing posse of friends, I cry. I am thoroughly surprised. I needed the taste of home more than I realized, and dad’s flannel shirt scratches my face.

Fast forward to now.

I am not as small. I am not as shy (still quiet, though). I have marketable skills now.

My hair’s down to the middle of my back.

I’ve been to three times the foreign countries that I had then.

I am a lot less scared.

And a lot more tired.

And the people around me help me make sense of the universe.

I have a sister who is a sophomore in high school, and she has a swim meet only an hour or so down the road from me.

And so tomorrow, I, by the ever-constant kindness of my boyfriend, am driving to see her swim. I might cry again. She might be thoroughly surprised. I need the taste of home.

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