“All my bags are (not) packed,

I’m (not) ready to go–“

I’ve meant to pack since Monday but haven’t gotten into doing it for real. I’ve spent my week catching up with a couple of friends and staying at home to bond with my family before heading off to my adventure up North. This morning, my barkada gave me a going away present that brought me to tears, and just now, I received an email from my dear friend, Chelsea, which I don’t think I have the courage to even open. (Hi Chels, if you’re reading this, I love you!)

In denial is what I’m in now and I don’t quite understand why. I cannot believe that it’s less than 24 hours before my departure and I haven’t packed a single thing. Half a year is a long while, but I still can’t feel it sinking in at this point. All I know is that I want to leave and even though it’s going to be a hard goodbye — family, friends, the familiar feeling of home — it’s a necessary farewell that I need (and want) to take.

I haven’t really put things in bluntly, but I’m leaving for San Francisco. Yearly vacations are no longer my pretentious reasons for calling SanFo home because this time around, I will actually get to live in the city my heart always calls out to. It’s going to be a great beginning and I know that every bit of sacrifice that I’ve done to get into this exchange program will all be worth it once I step inside the gates of USF.

by Kara Santiago
A photo I took last April 2010, a bird's eye view of San Francisco

Perhaps what I’m saying is that I’m scared but, at the same time, looking forward. Around this time last year, I was barely even entertaining the thought of applying. Who knew that three months later, I’d get in?Β It’s been a grueling prep-time since early March and it is only recently that I’ve come to terms with the reality I was getting myself into. There’s no turning back and, ready or not, I must embark on a journey of my own — a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to reconnect with who I am, make my parents proud, and go after my goals in life.

What scarred me these past few months I hope to heal there and my dreams from since I was a little girl I wish to fulfill in the city I love the most. Take me with you, San Francisco.

See you in 24 hours.

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