Achieving & Achieved

Aniqa Raihan
November 14, 2015

Preface: I am sorry for letting so many weeks pass without an update and yet I am not, for I have been living so fully and presently that I have simply lost track of time. I promise to try to be a better blogger from here on out.


Today may be The Last Nice Day. Every nice day in Amsterdam may be The Last Nice Day, to be fair, but today feels extraordinary somehow. Today it is 61° and sunny and I am sitting by a canal writing a love letter to a city instead of the final paper I should be writing for my anthropology class. I am thinking about the fact that we live our whole lives, entire infinities of human emotion, on a scale smaller than a grain of sand in comparison to the vastness of the known universe, and the hippie in me knows that I am exactly where I need to be. The universe in its magnificence will always fascinate me but right now, the reflections of trees on canals and the contemplative silence of early mornings are enough for me.

Amsterdam will be beautiful in the winter, I'm sure, but there is a part of me that wants it to always be the way it was when I first fell in love. Maybe that's selfish, or maybe it's human. Maybe it's both. The changing of the leaves marks the passing of time, and that is what really makes me want to hold on. I only have three seasons with this city and they are passing me by more quickly than I am ready for. I cannot imagine, as I feel right now, that I will ever be ready to give this city up but someday, too soon, I will have to.

I love Washington, DC. It's a great city but more than that, it's the only place in the world where I have ever been completely and uninhibitedly happy—happy with my whole being. The only feeling better than being in DC is returning to DC after I've been away, whether for a weekend or a month or three. Stepping out of the Foggy Bottom metro is home for me in the most overly dramatic way possible. I step out of that metro and I know that here, I am solely responsible for my own happiness and that here, I have felt and loved and been happy and can always do it over again.

Three days ago, I felt that way returning to Amsterdam.

I had one real goal for my time in this city, and that was to make it my home. In the past few weeks I have been to several beautiful, incredible cities—London, Edinburgh, Dublin, and Paris—but what amazed me most was the overwhelming rush of relief, comfort, and belonging I felt each time I stepped out of Centraal station and saw the lights of the Victoria Hotel reflected on the Damrak. I can say now with full certainty that I have realized my goal and that Amsterdam is home.

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Aniqa Raihan

<p>Hallo! My name is Aniqa Raihan and I am a junior at the George Washington University majoring in international affairs. I&#39;m hoping to take my international education beyond the classroom by spending a semester in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Join me as I meet new people, explore new places, and hopefully, find my home away from home.</p>

Home University:
George Washington University, The
International Studies
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