Tag Archives: Ireland

Saying goodbye to Ireland tomorrow.

25 Jul

Since I’m flying home tomorrow morning, this song seemed appropriate. Gotta love James Taylor! 🙂

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When in Ireland, find a quote that fits.

23 Jul

I’ve been thinking of my writing mentor, Mike, a lot today. One of the reasons is because he has written an article about me that will appear in this week’s issue of the Columbia Star newspaper. I’ve read the article multiple times, and it brings me to tears every time. Since there are no amount of words that can convey how grateful I am for his support in my writing and in me, I thought I’d settle for a quote I just found:

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because
someone else thought they could.”

When in Ireland, visit Dublin, the city of street performers.

22 Jul

Since I’m a lover of live music, I loved all the street performers I came across in Dublin yesterday!

 

 

When in Ireland, hurl yourself into experiences.

21 Jul

Today I went to Dublin with my study abroad group, and it was a blast. Even though my favorite thing we visited today was definitely the Book of Kells at Trinity College, the highlight of my day was sitting with my study abroad program director, Finn, after visiting the Book of Kells and just talking.

I told Finn about my writing, my home, and just gave her a bit of a look into who I really am. She has been a wonderful person to be able to count on while I’ve been in Ireland, and I know that I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself as much if it wasn’t for how comfortable she’s made me feel and how accomadating she’s been. Anyway, during our conversation she said, “A few days ago Kevin [her husband] and I were talking, and we both mentioned how we hope that one day our kids can grow up to be just like you. You are a true inspiration.”

Cue tears. No really. It made me feel so so amazing, and I’m still in shock. I’ve heard numerous people tell me over the past few months and years and practically my whole life how much of an inspiration I am…not just to kids with disabilities, but people in all walks of life. No amount of words can express how touched those compliments make me feel. Most of all, however, it’s hard to know how to react since in my mind, I’m just being myself.

Finn went on to say this: “Amelia, not everyone in your situation would go out and take life by the balls. I know people who would just sit inside all day and list all the ways that they are limited. But Amelia, in my eyes, you’re not limited. You’re doing this…full force and without hesitation. You’ve broken down those limits a while ago.”

Though I understand what Finn is trying to say, I know deep down that I still have limits. However, even though I am limited, I still go out and do as much as I can for as long as I can….here in Ireland and in life in general. However, in terms of Ireland itself, there hasn’t been a choice. Sitting around and missing out on things isn’t even an option. I don’t know when I’ll get this opportunity again, so I’ve got to take it while I’ve got it. So I’m going out and doing as much as I can so that I can get the full feel of this experience. Opportunities like this don’t come around every day. And even though I know that one day I’ll be coming back to Ireland, I’ve got to experience as much as I can now. Right now, I want to completely hurl myself into these experiences. It’s what I’ve done so far, and it’s been absolutely amazing.

When in Ireland, dream of the Blue Ridges.

20 Jul

 

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.-John Muir

The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina are my home, and one week from today, I will be back among their beauty and serenity. I even believe that my coming home calls for a trip to Max Patch Summit, a grassy bald that offers a 360 degree view of mountains. It really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I haven’t been to Max Patch in about 2 years, so it’s definitely time for another trip since Max Patch is quite literally the most inspirational place I know, the perfect place to go and think. The thought of sitting on top of Max Patch all day and just writing my heart out sounds like just what I need after being away from home for the past 5 weeks.

When in Ireland, sit in comfortable silence.

19 Jul

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” -Anais Nin

Friendship is completely wonderful, but in the beginning, it can be a bit scary. How do you decide which people to allow entrance into your world? How do you pick the ones who you not only speak to about the petty things…but the deeper things…the things you know aren’t necessary to share? How do you choose one person from another? What makes one person more worthy to hear your story…to enter your world?

I’ve always been really good at making friends, and after a good chunk of years spent in counseling, I’ve become very open regarding who I am. Even now though, I know that I still have to be careful when choosing who I can open up to. It’s a hard decision though. So many times I just don’t even want to go into the deep things because I know that I already have a friend who has heard all that crap. However, another part of me aches to open up to people because even though I know that my past doesn’t define me, it is what has made me who I am today. Without it, I wouldn’t be the person sitting here writing this blog. I’d be someone different.

I don’t doubt that many people have moments in their life where they wonder what it would be like to live a different life. Maybe that’s what friendship creates for us. The opportunity to enter another person’s world almost in a way in which we can place ourself in that world any time we are with that particular friend. However, at the same time, even when friendship gives us the opportunity to get a glimpse into another possible life we could be given, it also allows us to see that if we are unhappy with an aspect of our life, we can try to change it. It may not be easy. It may be really hard, and it may hurt more than you ever imagined…but if a different life is what you long for, then the pain would be worth it in the end.

I’m grateful for the friendships that Ireland has allowed me to find, the most important one being the friendship with Alex, my roommate and friend. Since I’ve had some negative roommate experiences in the past, I was worried about having a roommate again. However, it’s turned out to be the best decision. First off, Alex and I get along really well, so sharing an apartment for the past few weeks has been fun. It’s going to feel so weird to go back home and realize that I won’t be having breakfast with Alex every morning. Alex has also been a great support for me and has stuck by me throughout this experience. Often times, even when I become friends with someone, I can tell that some people have a hard time hanging back and realizing that I can’t move at the same pace as everyone else. It’s really nice that my slower pace doesn’t bother Alex. However, I do make the point to remind her that she is welcome to have time to herself to go and explore things at her own pace. Thankfully, though we enjoy spending time with each other, we both also like time to ourselves, so it’s been a nice balance for the both of us.

I came to Ireland worried. Though I don’t have trouble meeting people and making friends…trying to make friends in an unknown place where you don’t know anyone is a completely different ball game. However, I haven’t had too much trouble making friends since being here. Maybe it’s because I’m in Ireland and it’s amazing. Or maybe because I’ve finally realized that not everyone needs to know every detail of my story. Since speaking about my past gives me a sense of relief, it would make sense to speak about it as often as I can. However, it’s not a necessity. In all actuality, not everyone is going to genuinely care that much. It’s not as if my soul will break if I don’t open up to most of them. Truthfully, maybe it shows more courage to not always bring it up. Because maybe true friendship is realizing when to open up and when to sit in comfortable silence, allowing nature to be the central focus of your “conversation.”

When in Ireland, music bridges the gap.

18 Jul

I’m a music lover. If I could listen to music every moment of every day, I would. Since being in Ireland, I have found it comforting to listen to country music because it reminds me of home. After playing around with my Itunes, I discovered that my roommate and I both love the Dixie Chicks.

The Dixie Chicks have a very strong connection with my childhood. I remember the days when “Goodbye Earl” would come on during a car ride and my brother and I would try to see who could sing the entire song all the way through. I can’t remember who won most of the time, but I suspect that it was me most of the time since I’ve always been really good with remembering song lyrics. I remember listening to “Cowboy Take Me Away” anytime I was in the kitchen cooking with my mom. In those days, the “cooking” usually just consisted of brownies or cookies, but I think that’s the best kind of cooking anyway. In general, I remember having the “Wide Open Spaces” album on repeat for weeks at a time. I’d just sit in my room and play the cd until I knew practically all the words to every song. The “Fly” album had its share of repeats as well. Though I’m sure that I played “Ready to Run” a fair amount as well, these days the only strong association I have with that song is Runaway Bride, since “Ready to Run” plays in the opening scene. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. A chick flick really can’t get much better. If you haven’t seen Runaway Bride, go watch it. Now. It’s so so good.

Since yesterday, “Never Say Die” from the Wide Open Spaces album has been stuck in my head. Honestly, I’m okay with it because the song is relatively cheerful. The Dixie Chicks had their share of really sad songs, and I would definitely rather have a happy song stuck in my head instead of a sad one since I’m missing home anyway. I thought I’d share “Never Say Die” with all of you. I couldn’t find a music video on YouTube, but this video is pretty cute too.