Sad, funny goodbyes
Well, I am done being an ALT after three years of working in Taiki Town, Japan.
My final days at my five schools were stretched out over three weeks. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride in a Belle and Sebastian song. I would break into tears at school, at just the thought of saying goodbye to my amazing students. Then I would actually say goodbye and cry more. Then I would walk to my car, sobbing. Then I would start driving and sob more. Sometimes I would even moan with the physical pain of the sadness and sense of loss.
I felt loved during my last days of school, but I also felt confused and at times frustrated. I suppose it was fitting, since those emotions were a normal part of my experience being the only foreigner working in my schools. I received drawings, letters, origami, posters and so on from my elementary school students. At one of my schools the students made a human tunnel with their arms that I had to walk through. I still remember when a sweet, little first grader told me that his first grade teacher and I were his favorite people in the world! Oh, melt my heart!
I knew that saying goodbye to my students would be difficult, but the reality of it was more raw and ache-y than I ever could have imagined.
I know without a doubt that coming to my little town, sight unseen, and working with these kids for three years was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I feel truly blessed by God to have experienced the good, the bad and the unbelievably blissful.
As I drove away from the little fishing village for the last time, the clouds were heavy, like my heart.