Saying Goodbye

Well it’s official. My bags are packed. The cab is booked. The fridge is empty (or getting there anyway…). I leave Sydney tomorrow morning and I’ve never been sadder to leave a city behind.

At least I can say I’m leaving with a bang. This past week has flown by. Our last weekend was a blur and before I knew it, we were getting ready for the farewell dinner on Monday night. We had this crazy idea to catch a late ferry to Manly and stay up all night on the beach to watch the sunrise.

Well after much convincing, a small group of us headed out around midnight and caught the last ferry out. This was probably the stupidest idea with the most amazing reward. Getting through the night was awful, not gonna lie. The temperature dropped and I wasn’t dressed quite as warmly as I should have been. It was hard to stay awake in the bitter cold and wind. At first, we all talked and laughed and played games but after a while, there was nothing to do but curl up and spoon and pray for the time to go by quicker.

Anyway, it was definitely not something I would ever do again. But God was it worth it when we climbed up to the lookout, jumped the fence, and sat on the edge of the cliff looking out into the ocean. We sat and waited there as the day broke and the sun started coming up. I don’t know what it is about a sunrise that makes you forget everything except what is happening in that exact moment and in that moment, I was surrounded by friends I hadn’t known two months ago, slightly tipsy on champagne, and really craving a bagel… But I was happy. That kind of tired happy that stays with you in the coming days of sadness.

Just what I needed.

Especially since the next 24 hours consisted of sitting around and watching everyone pack and clean and say goodbye and leave. I crashed pretty hard that night but managed to wake up at 6am to say goodbye to everyone leaving on the group flight. Empty rooms are deee-pressing.

At least I had the ASTRA Awards to look forward to! After a loooooong rundown on Wednesday, I woke up early on Thursday and headed to the Sydney Theater at 10am for what was to be the longest work day ever (I got home at 4am). But it was also the coolest experience ever.

The day went by in setting up the media room, running around, checking on the red carpet, watching rehearsals, etc. The fun started around 5pm when it was finally time to take our positions and begin the show. My job was to be the runner for one of the photographers but I didn’t have much to do except stand there and watch the celebrities come through.

Best moment of the night was when Joe Manganiello arrived and my boss basically told me to take care of him until the show started and I somehow ended up in a room backstage with just him, his girlfriend, his publicist, and his agent. Like I was directly introduced to Joe Manganiello NO BIG DEAL BYE.

After taking them to their seats, I basically just stood on the side throughout the entire show making sure my photographer didn’t need anything. Once it was over, I went back up to the media room to meet with the rest of the team and congratulate them on a perfect night. Everything went off without a hitch and now it was time to celebrate at the after party!

The after party had an open bar and an open candy bar so you tell me how you think the night went. Lots of sugar and lots of alcohol later, it was time to go. I promised my team I’d stop by the office the next day to say a proper goodbye and finally finally finally reached my warm welcoming bed at 4 in the morning.

I slept in the next day and went into the office in the afternoon to help out with some of the coverage. It was really sad to say goodbye. It’s just such a small team and two months is just enough time to really bond and come together and it seems so unfair to have to leave now. I hope I can come back soon.

And that goes for Australia in general honestly. I don’t know why leaving here is so hard. Definitely much harder than leaving London. Maybe cause it’s only two months, I haven’t had time to be homesick yet? I don’t know why because I do miss London, especially my internship and the feeling of a city I wasn’t able to explore to its full potential. But this feels so different somehow.

Who knows? Maybe after graduation, I’ll come back here for good.

This summer has definitely given me a lot to think about. Hell, I feel like this entire year has completely changed the trajectory of my life. And that feels amazing. There’s nothing like jumping out of your comfort zone to know exactly what you want. And it’s still hazy for me, but I know one thing for sure.

I want to keep traveling. I want to keep exploring the world. I want to keep changing and discovering things about myself and everyone around me. I want to keep learning. I want to keep reading and watching and listening and writing and running.

Coming back to reality will be tough, though I do have plenty to look forward to. A few weeks at home with my family, a weekend trip to New York to visit Andrew, my last year at BU.

After this year, I feel like I can handle anything.

So bring it Boston. I’m ready for one final year before I step out and conquer the world.

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