Transitional Life: I Guess This Is Goodbye Then

The end of a series, the end of my life as I knew it. In a few hours, I’ll be on a plane to Dublin. From there on, as if I wanted to be slowly let down in the warm bath that is the United States, I’ll make a stop in Chicago before I set foot in Saint Louis, my new home. I have written this post many, many times in my head. The last few days were days full of goodbyes. I hate them; both the days and the goodbyes. REM sings it in what I believe could be their best song, I feel it in the eyes full of tears that are burning in my neck whenever I (had to) leave miss Missouri, and it’s evident in the handshakes of friends that may be the last in a long time: “it’s easier to leave than to be left behind”. I’m going to build a new life in a new country, together with the love of my life and the best friend I could ever have. And still, I hate leaving.

Whenever you leave your country, you come to love it more. I’ve seen it in this last year. The national anthem has a little more meaning, history gets just a little more personal and my home town is a jewel amongst other cute little towns. Every goodbye suddenly stands in the perspective of today: my leaving. It’s not that I won’t come back, it’s more that it will be coming back rather than having been there.

And I'll probably have to buy some new shoes, too.

And I’ll probably have to buy some new shoes, too.

At the same time, maybe not on a last night, I know that this is what I want. Sometimes, it’s not about easy. I get to build a life on a clean slate, something others would hope for. I have the freedom to be on two continents whenever I want and I will be staying in a country that welcomes new dreams, my enthusiasm and hopefully will keep attracting me for years to come. I have realized that I am more Dutch than I would have ever known if I’d only stayed here, but I also know that I am more American than most Dutch could be. In the believe that combining two worlds may bring out the best in people, I am bringing my own world to Missouri. Sure, it won’t be visiting anymore, but as long as it feels new enough, I will keep blogging. For now, I leave you with a song that captures my mood like no other, and a promise. Sure, it’s in German, but it’s engrained in Dutch culture. Best of all, the text and music dance together to tell you what I would want to tell you. The promise is a little poem that I wanted to write, but I want to look over it once more, because it turns out I’m horrible at poetry. I’ll have tomorrow in a lot of airplanes to see it again. Now, it’s time to go to bed. Early flight in the morning.

I’ll translate the text in the comments 🙂


15 thoughts on “Transitional Life: I Guess This Is Goodbye Then

  1. English translation of ‘Gute Nacht, Freunde’ (from a Dutch translation, and all in one take, so haters can write their own):

    Good night friends, it’s time for me to go
    What I still have to say
    will only take one cigarette
    and a last glass, while standing in the doorway.

    I thank you for the day,
    for the night under your roof.
    For the place on your table,
    every glass you gave to me.
    For the plate, filled with food,
    as if nothing was more common
    in this world.

    Good night friends, it’s time for me to go
    What I still have to say
    will only take one cigarette
    and a last glass, while standing in the doorway.

    Thanks for the time, I spent talking with you,
    for the patience we sometimes needed too
    for never asking for me to come or go,
    for the door always open, now just as so.

    Good night friends, it’s time for me to go
    What I still have to say
    will only take one cigarette
    and a last glass, while standing in the doorway.

    For the freedom, as returning guest I thank,
    for never asking what’s in return,
    maybe it’s because from the outside,
    the light here seems so warm.

    Good night friends, it’s time for me to go
    What I still have to say
    will only take one cigarette
    and a last glass, while standing in the doorway.

  2. “Whenever you leave your country, you come to love it more”. I can relate so much to the heartache of saying goodbye, not that you won’t be back … just that you won’t be there. When we moved from the U.S. to Romania as full as I was in the spirit of the move , still it ripped my guts out! That being said, I can honestly say I didn’t come to love my country more, Ironically when we moved back I/we went through reverse culture shock for close to a year.

    Welcome to Missouri, may the wind be at your back and the son shine upon your face!

    • Thanks for your welcome. I meant to say that my country has grown more important in my mind in the last year; it would be interesting to see how it would work the other way around. It’s always good to see other who went through a process, and to keep in mind that that’s what it is.

  3. I applaud your changing your life for the love of your life. These words above make the mark. In my nationality, we have a similar song that makes me cry every time. This one is very sentimental too. Have your heard, “Oh Danny Boy”? I am not Irish but I cry every time I hear it.

  4. I’m so excited for you! Its best to look forward than to look back anyway, and the people that you leave behind will still be in your life, however more sporadically, or they werent worth it anyway. Wishing you all the luck and love in the world, does this mean that the blog ends too or is it the start of something different?

  5. Pingback: Memory Of Holland | visitingmissouri

  6. Oh my gosh, this sure brings back stuff for me. How wonderful for you that blogging already exists while you’re only just beginning your life here. I’m looking forward to reading many more posts. There aren’t actually many blogs with the Dutch take on America, and you are starting right from the beginning. Good luck in this new life.

    • Actually, I started two years before the beginning. Or, the beginning was two years before goodbye. You get my point. It was so funny to stumble upon your blog, I’m excited to read more!

      • Same here. Tomorrow I’m going to start reading you retrospectively. I suppose you’ll have to change your blog title now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s