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Matt left for Sweden yesterday and thankfully, after two plane rides, a layover, a missed train stop, and a van ride, he made it safely to his apartment in Karlstad. I chatted on skype with him earlier today and he is frustrated because he had been awake for over 30 hours and everything in Sweden is in Swedish and he can’t understand it. (It’s like he’s in a different country!)  He is having culture shock in a big way and I wish I could just hold him and tell him it will be okay but I can’t. This is the first journey we have not had together in almost a year, and while it feels liberating to a point, it also makes me ache for Matt.

It’s tough when everything reminds me of him–a V8 Fusion, plastic spoons, chili, computers, cell phones…..and every time I see one of these items, I get this sharp, instant reaction to cry but it only lasts a few seconds. I’ve been eating and shopping to fill this void and Matt is only my boyfriend of two years. It makes me wonder how married people can be away from each other for so long.

My sister Gaby leaves for Florida State on Wednesday. She is the top student in her Bachelor of Fine arts degree program in Acting and she is speaking at her freshman convocation. She is SUCH an overachiever.

But she is completely hilarious. She does all sorts of accents perfectly–she can hear someone speak one time and she comes home and re-enacts the entire conversation. She makes me laugh so hard that I forget about all the other troubles of the world and just let her make me laugh.

So now she is leaving. It will just be me, both parents, and both dogs for two weeks. I am not funny like her, and I only speak when I have something to say, so it will be quiet in this house. And I will have to face my mother’s fear of being an empty-nester by myself.

As much as I want to go study in Europe, I find myself wondering why I feel like I need to. I am leaving my parents, friends, sister, doggies and all familiarity behind so I can..what? Learn French? “Find” myself? But I feel like I have to go. Will my family be okay without me cleaning the kitchen and walking the dogs? Will my mom be okay without me nagging her to eat healthier and go to Zumba class and telling her that she is fabulous? Will my dad disappear if he doesn’t have me to sit next to him and watch Law and Order?

It is clear that I need to find a peace of mind, I just don’t know where to begin.