As I sit here in the Springfield airport I find myself shifting emotions too rapidly to keep track. One moment I'm excited, nostalgic the next, followed by nervous, then plain scared--always coming back to excitement.
This journey I am about to begin is one that I never imagined I would undertake; one that came about by a good deal of luck, and one that I already know will be unforgettable. Saying "see you later" to those I love was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but I know it is just that: see you later. I will be back, and I will see these wonderful people again. I will see Springfield again. And hopefully I will be able to touch the lives of all those who have touched mine. These past 17 years have been more amazing than I could have dreamed for, and a large part of that is due to the influences I have been blessed with in my life. To all you who have helped me along the long, winding path that lead me here... thank you. To all those who have helped me these past weeks as I prepared emotionally and physically to leave... I will never forget it. The support, belief and love I have felt this last week have touched me beyond words or measure. I will never forget any of you. I am so excited for what the next 5 months have in store, and I promise to keep all of you updated!