What’s a blog if you can’t be honest with your feelings and emotions? And I mean all of them. So I’m here to tell you that I cried this week. A couple times actually. And if you know me, you know that I tend to keep my sadness to myself and don’t like to show it. So why am I publishing it in my blog for the world (or just whoever reads it) to see?
Because I learned something in all of this. And I want to share it with you all.
You see today is my mom’s birthday. Her 50th which is kinda a big deal (she may not like me sharing her age with you all but I told her she should be proud of being so wise). My cousin Meg who is studying in Florence this semester is here for the weekend on her fall break to visit Ireland. Yesterday we had an amazing trip to Cliffs of Moher on the West Coast (definitely a must see if you are ever in Ireland! Feels like you are on the edge of the world). However the DART I usually take into the City Centre is shut down today for the National Bank holiday this weekend, so I couldn’t get into the city to see her. Normally not a huge deal. But that on top of having to pick classes for my last semester of undergrad, plus trying to schedule a date for the GRE’s when I get back, plus applications for post-grad service and masters programs, plus my 25 page Honors project, plus not a lot of sleep in the past week or so, plus finally realizing that I’m gonna be actually living here for an extended amount of time really starts to take a toll on ya. Stress and little to no sleep can make anyone burst into tears over a shut-down train.
I like to think of myself as an adventurous person – someone who regularly likes to go out of their comfort zone, try new things, meet new people, etc. This is why when people said it will be hard and I should be prepared for homesickness, I never thought it’d happen to me. But I’m here to tell you that it’s pretty much inevitable, especially when you have such close ties to your family, friends, and school community. After being here for 3 weeks now, the feeling of being on a really cool extended vacation is starting to wear off. The reality of actually living in a different place far from home is hitting me like a bag of Gaelic footballs. I have found myself thinking about home quite a bit recently. Like when one of my best friends turned 21 or my awesome boyfriend Sean ran the Tough Mudder this past weekend. I think about how badly I wanted to be there to celebrate with her or hug him as he crossed the finish line! It’s the little things like that that make me think, “man I wish I was home.”
However, when I look back at everything I have missed and will be missing, it seems to pale in comparison to what I am gaining. How many people get to say they had the chance to live in another country for 3 months and experience another culture? How many people get to say they went bog diving (see last blog post) or stood on the edge of a cliff or visited a castle from the 1100s? I’ve had these opportunities and am blessed with many more in the next months to come.
I know it’ll be a hard transition but one that will be worth it. As a wise man (Jeff Abel) once said, there are two types of fun. Type A fun where everything you’re doing is fun and you’re having a blast and really enjoying your time. Type B fun, on the other hand, is when situations come up that make you uncomfortable or anxious and are just plain rough. But, in hindsight Type B fun was actually really great and looking back on it, you realize that you actually had a good time even if you didn’t think so in the moment. I went into this study abroad experience thinking it’d be all Type A fun. However, I think a mixture is okay. Maybe some of these stresses and anxieties are a way for me to step even further out of my comfort zone and to grow as a person in ways I never thought I would.
For now though, I am content with getting through this wave of homesickness by chatting with friends back home (Thanks, Kait), making some fun plans for tonight, and giving it all up to God. He knows what He’s doing, I just have to trust.
HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY to my wonderful amazing mother! I can honestly say that I would not be the woman I am today without the guidance, love, and support you have shown me all my life and continue to do so! I can only hope to be as wonderful of a wife and mother as you are one day!