I’m good at goodbyes. I’ve had to say them countless times during my trip to best friends, family, and those I’ve met on the road.
This is my goodbye to you.
I want to thank you for showing me so much kindness in a city I knew nothing about. I didn’t expect to meet you all. I kind of just expected to stay here by myself for a few days and move on.
I know my language is your second one, and I know my country is foreign to you, but when we met you reminded me of my home and my own friends.
It just goes to show that neither where we come from or what we look like can really put any barriers between us as human beings. At the end of the day, we’re able to share much more than a language or a heritage.
I see myself in you all. I see myself from two years ago doing a program very similar to your own, making friends just like you are doing now. Words can’t describe how comforting it is to be around that again. It feels like I stepped into a time machine.
In many ways I did this trip to reconnect with those friends I made on my Disney College Program two years ago. And it’s such an odd thing to see the beginnings of a similar situation between a group of other people. It feels like I’ve come full circle. It feels like someone planned this perfectly.
I want to tell you all one thing I’ve learned in the past two years.
I learned that what you have right now is the most valuable thing you’ll ever find. You will look back on these days and wish for them again. You’ll wake up in a different place, maybe in an empty room, and wish you could look across the room and see your friends there waking up with you. You’ll wonder where they are in this world. You’ll feel sad.
So many days I wish I could go back for just one day and have another 24 hours in that life I used to live. I guess I’ve gotten to do that in these past two weeks.
Now I want to tell you what you all have reminded me of. You’ve reminded me that belly laughter is more important than sleep. You’ve reminded me that time spent is the greatest currency. But most of all, you’ve reminded me of myself. Who knew that I’d find the last piece of me out here in Salt Lake City with you all?
This blog is called Finding Tom. This is because before I left I was very confused about my life, and I wasn’t myself, and I didn’t get excited much anymore. But I slowly found myself along the way. My friends reminded me of who I was. I started to remember.
But being with you all was the cherry on top. It was the final brick. It was the period on the last page. I know things now because of meeting you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Where to now?
For now I’ll go home. I’ll get back in my over-packed car and journey eastward to my home, my friends, and the house that I grew up in.
I won’t go home empty-handed, though. I have new friends, new memories, and a place marked on the map for me to come back and visit. Enjoy your time with each other, because believe it or not, these are the best days of your life. You’ll see.