I was reminded recently through a letter in the mail from my grandmother of my very first time visiting Disney World at the age of 4 (Mom, is this accurate?). I had been apparently talking nonstop about going and couldn’t wait to finally be there. Our first day in Disney World, however, was not under the most ideal circumstances. It poured. All day. And I’m not just talking a slight drizzle. It was a downpour. As we waited in line for the “It’s a Small World After all” ride, a man accidentally bumped into me and I fell into a puddle of water. Luckily, my mom used to pack an extra change of clothes for us almost every time we left the house to go anywhere. So I changed into a new set of clothes and we continued on. Until...I am in a stall about to go to the bathroom and the automatic toilet flush scared me enough to pee my pants. Literally. I was four, guys, it happens. I then had to change back into my wet, soggy clothes from earlier. Needless to say I was cold and wet and my first day of Disney was “ruined.” As my grandmom put it, all I kept saying was that I didn’t like this vacation and all I wanted was to go home. But I didn’t really want to go home. I didn’t want to give up either. Because after that minor setback, there were blue skies ahead and the rest of the vacation was awesome! (of what I remember, I was four…).
Fortunately things have changed. Somewhat. It has rained here in Dublin. It has down poured and there have been times when I was done with this “vacation” and wanted to go home. But amidst some of the stormy skies I’ve encountered (like being in bed for 4 days straight with Tonsillitis and missing Halloween and being on 3 different medications), there was always that light at the end. Yeah it really sucks that I got sick and missed out on some great opportunities, but these things happen. Late nights, different diet, not as much exercise, lack of sleep, cold and damp weather, wet hair in the Ireland wind (as Ann tells me is the reason for my sickness) can do this to you. This past weekend was very much a low point of my trip. I wanted to be in the comfort of home with my parents taking care of me like they do when I’m sick. I wanted to be with Sean who usually holds a warm cloth to my head when I have a migraine as bad as I did this past Thursday night. I wanted to come home. But looking back, I didn’t really want to come home. I didn’t want to give up either. Much like in Disney, I was met with an unexpected road block that with a little prayer and rest and positive thinking, I could push through and overcome it.
And that’s what this adventure is all about. Not everything is going to be rainbows and sunshine (I am in Ireland after all). If you are not faced with difficulties and struggles and challenges in life, then how will you ever learn to grow?
All I can say is thank God for antibiotics. And Irish doctors who charge way too much for “surgery” (their word for an appointment) and use index cards as their patient filing system. By Sunday I was feeling well enough to attend Mass in the morning followed by our first Gaelic football game. The Ballymun Kickhams vs. St. Vincent's. Decided to root for Ballymun simply because I happened to be wearing their colors. Definitely an awesome experience, not to mention confusing. Picture soccer, but you can use your hands too. And the coaches can run onto the field at any time to talk to their players or give out water to anyone all while the game is still going on. Picture a stadium filled to capacity with intense, screaming Irish fans getting mad about a punt that just barely missed the goal posts (yes, goal posts like in American football). In the midst of getting lost in the screaming fans and trying to figure out the rules, the game ended as a tie match (so anti-climactic) after a grueling overtime. Still awesome.
After finishing my meds, I am now recovered and ready to take on Ireland! Well actually Scotland…flight leaves tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 6th at 7pm!!) for the weekend! Couldn’t be more stoked. And nervous! But also totally ready for this next adventure I’m embarking on! Cheers!