all of a sudden I find it hard to breathe, harder still to keep my tears at bay. Even though, I have lived with myself long enough to know that they will eventually find their way across my cheeks, I look towards the sky trying to force them to dry up through the sheer power of my will. High above me the scenery is breathtaking. The sky is just about to turn pink in what is going to be the last sunset I will experience in Vienna – at least for a while. It looks odd to me at first, though, the blues and pinks all mashed together, as if a child had used too much water while colouring. Seconds pass before it finally dawns on me that the watercolour effect is created by those stubborn tears of mine, still flooding my eyes, obscuring my vision until I blink and two perfect pearls roll down my face.
That’s the start, the beginning of the end – so to speak. It’s goodbye. Not just to you, July, as you are leaving for another year with this very sunset, but to anything else I have known my entire life: the cities I have lived in, the people I have met and loved*, the places I have gone to, enjoying my free time; goodbye even to my own language. It’s me turning my back on truly wonderful years in Austria, replacing them with new experiences and Swedish adventures. Mostly, though, it’s an emotional rollercoaster ride. One minute you are way up high, filled with excitement and anticipation, the next you are plunged down into a sea of tears, filled with dread and anxiety. And you just try not to drown, holding on for dear life, goosebumps spreading over your entire body, because, ultimately, the carriage is going to ascend again, bringing you to level ground and with it to a feeling of peace, of trust that you have made the right decision.
As with any other rollercoaster, the ride does not take very long. In fact, only minutes pass before I can see clearly again – figuratively and literally. A feeling of calm enthusiasm has found its way into my body, relaxing me until I can look up towards the sky once more. Now, I can not only make out the distinct shades of blue, pink and even orange, but also the first stars that have gathered around the darkest parts of blue. There are only a few to be found just yet, but with every second I can see more of them appearing, until their group has finally grown to an entire crowd, until a whole army of stars blinks down to send us off, July – you and me.
* You know who you are; my people, my very favourite human beings. I am so grateful for the wonderful moments we have shared together and I know there will be so many more inside jokes, brunch dates and hours of sheer laughter to come, even when I am living half a continent away. Let’s never be strangers again, because I love each and every one of you and wouldn’t want to miss you for the world. Thanks for everything!