In order to save myself from writing a couple different blog posts about my last two weeks in Prague, I decided to compile little descriptions of what I did into one post.
We had our last two concerts (one informal and the other formal) on a Friday and Saturday, back to back, but that Thursday I actually had the chance to perform Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living (which I sang the spring of my freshman year). It felt like everything was coming full circle for the juniors (now seniors) that were in Prague, since we all got to sing it together for a second time. In the Friday informal concert I actually got to sing one last solo (even though I didn’t find out until the song came up in the concert order). It was great getting to close out this semester with a solo in Prague, especially since when I got there I didn’t think I’d get to sing any solos at all.
Lucky for me, I only had 2 actual exams for my finals. In my history class I got to choreograph a dance piece that demonstrated the life of Jews in Prague over the years. I owe a massive thank you to Matt for learning how to do contemporary and for putting up with me so that this piece could actually happen. In my creative writing class I got to write a 14 or 15 page piece that I’m actually really proud of. (And thank you to everyone who edited it and just read it to be supportive. It means a lot.) Which leaves intro to sociology and comparative worldviews as my real exams. Luckily, nothing was too terribly hard – probably because I over-studied – and I left everything feeling relatively confident in my grades.
I have this terrible habit of being really shy and borderline unapproachable. Which means I don’t make friends easily. I don’t come out of my shell for a while, and this semester it meant I didn’t say much until the last few weeks. So to all my friends that I barely got to be friends with: I’m sorry. But it doesn’t make you less important to me, and it makes me so excited for the chances I’ll have to see you again in the future. If you’re ever in D.C. or Baltimore, I hope you let me know.
I am reminded daily how lucky I am that I got to have these experiences. So many people don’t get to see even half of what I managed to. I am incredibly grateful to my parents for making this happen, to my family and friends who supported me, to my school for having this program, and to my fellow choir members that made this trip so special. I didn’t cry on my last ride on the metro or on the way to the airport or on my last walk across Charles Bridge or as the plane taxied to the runway. But my heart does hurt. It longs for Prague and adventure and the friendships I fear are left behind forever; it craves new experiences and going out of my comfort zone; it aches for the beauty and mystery and complexity of it all. I’m so happy to be home, back with my people and in a place that speaks my language with all the comforts I’ve missed so much, but I think part of me will always long for Prague and Europe and the experiences there just wasn’t time to have.
As much as I can’t wait to go back to Europe, I remind myself that I have to live between my steps. Life doesn’t only happen in those individual moments that change everything, it happens in the tiny, insignificant moments that add up and completely shift your perspective. The big moments are great, and they’re important, but if you only count the big things you miss out on the majority of life.
“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”
Thanks for the fun. I’ll treasure it always.