Tag Archives: Studying Abroad

When in Ireland, write through the uncertainty.

2 Jul

I have yet to sit down and write since I’ve been in Ireland (not counting this blog). I really do hate to admit that, even though I do have a pretty solid excuse of: I’m in Ireland. However, over the past few days, that hasn’t really felt like a reasonable excuse, partly because there have been snippets of days that I’ve just sat at my computer wondering what to say.

Attempting to work on my memoir while I’m here feels out of place and very foreign. And yet, at the same time, I hear that voice in the back of my head asking why it seems like such an impossibility. Truthfully, I can’t see why it is. Maybe it’s connected to the fact that I’m doing something huge right now and I want to enjoy every minute of it. Though I have no doubt that that may be part of it, I also know that my strong need to write has increased since coming to Ireland. I don’t know if it’s the beauty, being in a completely different country, or just being surrounded by so many different people. However, either way….I feel it. I feel the wheel’s turning in the way that only a writer’s mind can work, and I’m done ignoring it.

A few years ago, if someone would have told me that I’d be sitting outside of an Ireland university typing a blog post, I probably would have just smiled nervously and pushed it out of my mind. Come to think of it though, not much has changed…except for the fact that I am now in fact here, sitting outside of an Ireland university typing a blog post. The thing is, I’m still scared. I love it. It’s exciting and new and wonderful, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared. Not of anything in particular really. Just the uncertainty. The uncertainty of not really knowing what the next few weeks hold, all the while realizing that I’ve just got to grab it by the hand and run like hell with it. I don’t really have much of a choice at this point.

Uncertainty can be truly terrifying. Though I know I’m not to the point of “terrified,” this trip has tested my limits in ways I’ve never been tested before. Though I am with a group of students, I knew no one before coming over here…meaning that no one knew anything about me until they saw me on day one. There’s something wonderful as well as scary about that…having people around me who don’t know my history, my past, what I struggle with. Though I have only mentioned my CP to 2 people so far (my roommate and a guy in my group who asked last night), sometimes I have the urge to scream it from the rooftops while other times I’d rather just sit in silence. It’s hard to not say anything when I’m sure people are wondering why I’m lagging behind the group a bit or why I’m not staying in the same housing as the rest of the students in my group. Yes, a huge part of me is screaming, “It doesn’t matter!!!” but another part of me is wondering, “Would it put me at ease if I didn’t constantly have the worry about my group leaving me behind?”

My program directors know my situation, and they have been sure to include me in everything and make sure I’m an integral part of the group, which is good. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t sit and worry about the group leaving me behind. Thankfully, it’s not a new worry, though at this point I don’t know if that would be considered good or bad. However, it is something that I’ve had to consider every time I’m put in a situation where a group of students is going somewhere, especially when it’s a kind of walking tour. Oh, walking tours, they are the bane of my existence. Okay, maybe not quite that extreme, but they still suck. So, that being said, the worry is not a new kind of worry, but I guess it’s at a new level, especially considering the fact that I’m in a new country with people who I don’t exactly know exceptionally well.

Realizing that this is something that no one else in my group is struggling with is hard, but it’s not a realization that is new to me. However, sometimes it would be nice if my worry was more “normal,” like worrying about cultural differences or staying in touch with people. Even though those worries have been on my mind, my mind is primarily reeling with the thoughts of trying to enjoy Ireland as much as I can without overexerting myself and trying to step out of my comfort zone to the point of where it gives me a thrill of excitement but not to the point of being utterly terrified.

So yes, the writing…the words…they were there. I guess I just need to sit down and sort through them, even if they don’t exactly flow. But you know, sometimes writers need disorder and chaos and confusion, and above all, uncertainty, to get back on track again…to feel somewhat in control again.

Let the packing begin!

16 Jun

I leave for Ireland in 3 days! Ah, excitement!!!!! Today marks day 1 of my packing, which will also count as day 1 of list-making for the last-minute things that I still need to get. From the experience of packing for previous trips, I’ve found that I often don’t think of the things that I still need to get until I start putting things in my suitcase that I know I’m definitely taking. Therefore, I’m just going to start pulling out all the things I know I’m going to take: clothes (including a raincoat….a  necessity for Ireland), toiletries, important documents, chargers and adapters, PicCell phone, camera, computer, etc.

I better go hop on the packing bandwagon before I waste too much time looking at the blogs of all those that I follow on WordPress. However, I’d love to hear of some of your packing tips when preparing for a long trip. Yes, I know the whole “pack light” mantra, and thankfully I’m a pretty concise packer. However, what are some of your packing tips? What are certain things you’ve found that you can’t leave home without when going on long trips (the only thing included in this category for me are my computer, my PicCell phone, and my camera)? Packing tips….stories…important things you’ve forgotten….I’d love to hear it!

Dreaming Of Ireland.

17 Mar

Since today is Saint Patrick’s day, I’m thinking of Ireland. And…..breaking news! On Thursday, I got the call that I’ve been officially accepted to API’s Summer Irish Studies Program in Galway, Ireland! HUZZAH! Even though I was pretty sure I’d be accepted into the program, it’s exciting to know that it’s official now. I’m finally going to Ireland. For four weeks. AHHH! 🙂 I can’t wait! It’s going to be such a great experience, and I’m excited to share my experiences with all of you!

I’m currently in Blacksburg, Virginia, visiting my best friend, Skidmore. She was a designer for her first fashion show last night, and I drove up from Asheville in order to support her. I’m so glad that I got to be part of such a wonderful moment, especially since she won Best New Designer in the fashion show. I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud. Since she won Best New Designer, her 4 designs will be displayed in a store window in downtown Blacksburg.

Today, Skidmore, her boyfriend Sam and I got to have a photo shoot by Skidmore’s friend, Sidney. I’ve been wanting to have really great photos of me taken for a while, and I finally got to have them taken. We headed to a field that Sidney knows well. However, Skidmore, Sam and I just looked through all of the pictures, and they look absolutely amazing! Plus, the pictures we’ve seen are before Sidney has edited them, and they are incredible. It was so nice of Sidney to take photos of us today, and I loved the experience so much!

Anyway, since today is St. Patty’s day, I’ve been thinking of green. However, I have no doubt that the green fields around the US are nothing compared to the all of the green scenery that I’ll be able to see while in Ireland. Now that everything is official, I want it to be Ireland already. I want to be experiencing something new and growing individually all at the same time. It’s going to be so much fun, and I am so happy that it can feel real now. 🙂