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Yet another text I mean to send but eventually think better of it after reworking what it should say five or six times. Usually these texts would be directed toward an unresolved conflict with an ex, or some confrontation with a girl who shouldn’t be able to bother me, but today my drafted message carried a bit more weight than a “hey what’s up” or “screw you,” it was more like “hey, don’t lock me into going back to school ‘cause I might never even come home.”

I got home today to find my youngest host sister creating some dessert from cream cheese, dulce de leche, and crumbled chocolate cookies.  She mixed and taste tested at the table while I repeated the spread-salt-eat pattern with my own feast of cream cheese and quinoa crackers.  Out of nowhere, she blurted out one of her question/statements: “you’re going to spend more time in Argentina after your program….?” Over our respective snacking creations, I explained to her how my parents said I don’t have enough money to stay.  She was relentless: Did I have any more money? Did I tell them about the boy? Did they know I was getting good grades? What if I got a job here? As if I hadn’t already imagined every possible way I could stay here longer.

Yet, while repeating yesterday’s idiocraty by grinning about the boy while walking to the gym, my mind contorted my hypothetical life plan, looking for anything that would allow me more time.

I remembered at Stonehill College’s pre-departure meeting, we were told we could email the school if we decided to stay and study for the year.  I began wondering if it was too late to do so. 

In the few blocks I had left for my contemplating, my head swarmed with pros and cons. I imagined myself five, ten years down the road, the words spilling out of my mouth over a cup of coffee in a countryside breakfast nook: “If I could do it over again, I would have stayed.” I asked myself, why wouldn’t I do this now, stay while I can instead of wishing I did years later? Who says this has to end? I still need to work on my Spanish and am in the ideal situation here, with a family who loves and cares about me. I’m sure me wanting to stay has nothing to do with the boy either…

But it becomes a give and take, which makes me realize I want to have my cake and eat it too. Scenario 1: I take a semester off from Stonehill so I don’t have to pay $40,000 just for my credits to transfer (I don’t need any more credit for my major anyway), and stay studying in BA for the year. I would be able to stay with my same family, which is a big part of the decision. I can very easily see my stay here being extended over and over until I eventually never return home… it’d be so easy to do.  Scenario 2: Return home, to Stonehill, where I’d travel to Germany with a class over Spring Break, and eventually, the following year, go abroad to France to study. There’s no appeal in it, the returning, especially seeing it written out now. As it is, I’ve thought about dropping the French part of my major just so I can stay here longer, because I don’t know how I could possibly be allowed to study abroad for three semesters. I just cant imagine being in a better situation than I am now.

Yet, I didn’t send the text. Ultimately, I assure myself that I cant have this forever, this happiness, the perfection, that I cant freeze this moment in time, as much as I would love to. I’m just not ready to leave it behind yet. 

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