I’m in the airport right now, waiting for my plane to get here in about three hours. My plane’s a red-eye flight, leaving at 1:30 AM and getting to HK at 5 AM HK time. That’s a 15 hour flight. Nobody’s here yet, since it’s so early, and since I have plenty of battery to burn and nothing better to do, I figure it’s a good time to summarize my thoughts.

Leaving is harder than I thought. Saying goodbye is the worst feeling in the world, because you only have one chance to make it perfect. If you mess it up and forget to say something, or miss a chance, or do anything wrong, you’re stuck. That’s their last memory of you, and that’s their last impression. There’s no redos when you say goodbye.

I said goodbye to my dad last night. We sat out on his apartment’s balcony and chatted about the future, dreams, aspirations, everything. When he walked me home and I had to say goodbye, he looked like he was tearing up a bit. Seeing your own dad on the verge of tears is humbling to say the least.

Said goodbye to my sister earlier today. I think she wanted it to last a bit longer, but it was awkward and rushed since she said it in passing as she was leaving for work.

Said goodbye to my mom a few hours ago. She was the only one that actually cried, hard, and she hugged me outside security for what felt like forever, and I hugged her. I wish I could’ve cheered her up, but I was about to cry too, so that was out of the question, and eventually I had to go through security and wave goodbye.

I’ll see everyone soon enough. Eight months isn’t really much time at all.

But really, waiting at the empty gate C34 at Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 10:56pm, August 22nd, 2013, I can’t help but feel lonely.

This is it – this is what I’ve been planning for 11 months now. This really is the first day of the rest of my life. This is the point where first impressions start happening, and where pre-departure becomes arrival.

I forgot to tell my mom something when she left. I read a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson earlier that I think works pretty well for what’s happening right now.

The years teach much which the days never know.

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