In my fear to categorise my friendships, I found myself surrounded in multiple forms of diverse and multicultural respect and affection. However foolish it may sound, I am always astonished at myself when I see how different people understand reality. It is so easy to forget that people do not perceive the world that you do. What key words they hear in conversations, what food catches their eye, what gestures elicit the strongest responses. What hurts their feelings and what makes them laugh until they are rolling around in the Chaplaincy floor, replacing the peaceful vibe with whimsy.
Despite having come to Edinburgh for a higher education in Business and Spanish, I can safely say that the places I have learned the most have been in kitchens and bedrooms, coffee shops and supermarkets, walking in the Meadows and into the streets of residential areas in misty rain and skin-piercing cold breezes. My best teachers have been all of the people I have had the pleasure to meet, no matter how brief, in this quaint and loving city in Scotland and all the other countries it lead me to.
I often notice how people easily consider this place “home”, and it makes perfect sense. University itself is a life-changing journey that forces us to be with people we would have never otherwise met, and therefore are given the opportunity to finally live a life without many kinds of constraints and pressure- whether that be parental, societal, cultural, political, we are gifted a time to grow in all directions. For those of us lucky and privileged enough to come from far away lands and still be able to feel a sense of belonging in an environment so completely and utterly opposite from the one from which we came, it is magical and phenomenal all at once. To meet such a fascinating and wonderful bunch of souls from all over the globe, who have granted me access into their minds and shared with me the workings of their thoughts, countries, and ideologies, I realise more and more that we are all somewhat the same and totally different. But the even more beautiful observation is to acknowledge these elements and yet be willing to make effort to get to know each other for the simple pleasure of kinship and kindness. To know that blood runs deep, but passion runs even deeper, evident in the bonds of love that we create in the people who we choose to surround us. That no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always a reason to keep an open-mind and an open-heart. Thank you for the love! THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE. Regardless of all the hardships and difficulties, the pain has never overshadowed the sweet bliss I have received.
I write this on my last night in this part of the world, uncertain of when I will return…at the end of what seems like a four-year long montage filled with all the classic tropes in those coming-of-age movies I never stop obsessing over. This is a period of my life that will be bursting with sentimentality so long as I have ability to string words together.
Edinburgh, you are my hearth. You are the location in which so many precious memories and aspirations were born. The friends that I have met here have become part of my globally roaming family, who will never be far from my thoughts no matter where I go. It will be impossible to stay away…and it’s too difficult to say goodbye…so I say instead: