Since returning to the States, I have turned to my journal time and time again, in order to relive some of the more intimate moments of my last four months. I keep going back to one entry that seems to encapsulate my entire experience, putting into words the kind of indescribable feeling that I have trouble relaying to the myriad friends and acquaintances that inquire about my time in Amsterdam. Since this blog has truly become a repository for all my thoughts and activities connected to abroad, I thought it might be fitting to end this literary journey with some literal journaling. Fair warning, it gets a little sappy.
April 17, 2014: Happiness
I just want to take a moment to revel in and record what happiness feels like. I am currently sitting at my desk in Amsterdam, with my window open, gazing on a beautiful, rainbow sherbet sunset, the backdrop to beautiful Dutch architecture and light-rimmed canals.
My life here is surreal, blessed, kissed by angels. I still have responsibilities and concerns and isolated bad experiences, but the majority of my day, I spend immersed in activities and pleasures of my own choosing. I live on my own time, unless traveling or with friends, but those situations constitute happiness in their own right.
I'm baffled by how much I love it here. I never expected to fall so in love with a place. I love the cobblestoned streets and the trees with the dainty green blooms. I love the canals and their little bridges and the moony lights that line them. I love the quirky and endlessly unique homes and buildings. I love the Dutch culture of moderation, family, and taking things slow. I love Dutch policy in its pragmatism and progressiveness.
There is so much cultural and aesthetic beauty here, and I wonder if I will be able to see with these eyes when I return to the U.S. I hope so. I want to be this happy for the rest of my life, no matter where I am.