Final Thoughts

Dear Family and Friends,

I don’t know what to say. I have lived with people, I have talked to people, I have eaten their food, slept in their beds, I have tried to see their world through their eyes.

What should I say? There is nothing that can express both the fulfilling happiness of being in Latin America, and the dizzying chasm of emptiness at the thought of leaving.

It’s like I found my other half, here, where I least expected it to be. I am okay with myself now–more complete, more open, more accepting. I’ll be honest, I’ve changed. I don’t know what the change is, but I know it’s there.

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m excited to go home. Home.
Yes, I am.
I also wish dearly that I could stay for just a little longer.

They say “home is where the heart is”. I am torn. Where is my heart now? It is with the family and friends I will see again, but it is also with the “family” and friends that I may not see again.

I’ve been given much to think about.
I don’t know how to sort it out.

I’m glad I have questions. I would rather not know what to do all the time. Sometimes it frustrates me that I know myself so well.


It’s hard to meet people and then leave them.

Yes, I am happy.
Yes, I am sad.

Thank you. Thank you everyone who has supported me from the start. Thank you new friends, thank you old friends. Thank you family. Thank you for allowing me a glimpse of the world through your eyes. What a privilege I’ve been given.

I hate goodbyes.


We’re flying to Miami tomorrow. This is my last night in Central America.
I don’t know what to think.
I don’t know what to say.

If only I could have both.

I’m ready. Again.

Thank you. Good bye.

Elise Arvidson


3 thoughts on “Final Thoughts

  1. moonshinemakesmehappyXD says:

    Wow… it IS sad…

    Do you think it is wrong to see the people in terms of how much can i learn or benefit myself from that person?

  2. Elise, you are a beautiful person, and I always love how involved you let yourself become with others. That’s the risk of love; you open yourself up to others at the cost of much hurting later, but I always felt that the hurt was something beautiful, and something I would willingly go through time and time again. I can’t wait to see you, my dear sister.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hello Elise,
    Thank you for putting some of those feelings into words. How is the adjustment to Elkhart going? I am just beginning to think again, following a weekend of REST.
    -megan g.

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