I have one week left and let me begin by apologizing for the lack of blog posts! But how can I blog when I have been living a life I cannot express by words alone. Songs may attempt to do it justice and pictures may capture 1000 words, but nothing can capture the beauty of this life.
Now if you had asked me 12 weeks ago how ready I was to leave I would I have said that I have never been more ready for anything in my life, and that this is exactly what I wanted to do. You would have also seen me lie directly to your face, so to all that I have lied to I offer a sincere apology, because now I can look into your eyes honestly and say that I would make the same decision 1000 times over to participate in Oxford 2012!!
Why sure it is not a mystery that fear and anxiety are natural reactions when leaving America for the summer, but what I did not expect was the anxiety that accompanies coming home. While I may not make it another week without eating Mexican food (yes, 12 weeks is too long), or getting a hug from my Mommy, or sleeping in a comfy bed, or air conditioning — okay yes there are many reasons to come home, I have adapted to being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
I have ventured into cities knowing only the name of the city I am in, and let me tell you when you land in Prague only knowing that you are in Prague and it is only your second city… you know it’s going to be a long summer. But I have also never experienced anything better than learning how to read a map, and not having an iPhone or GPS. I have managed metro systems in different countries and languages (all without ever getting pick-pocketed!!). I have hailed taxis in every city, so I am now a pro at always having my hotel business card in my pocket clearly stating we need to get to [insert hotel name here] in any and every language! I have also successfully taken RyanAir flights and let me tell you those are challenging— only allowed to bring a backpack on a plane for a weekend trip teaches you a lot about what it important to pack. And I can easily get through customs now, even if it means frantically running to catch the midnight bus home. I can take the trains all over England (from London to Oxford, Oxford to Salisbury, Liverpool to Birmingham, etc.) yes I am quite the pro!
Oh and no one had cell phones and internet was always spotty so we had to communicate the old fashion way— Face to Face!! Meaning… when you said that you would meet in the lobby at 8, you had to be there at 8 because there is no way to text that you are running 5 minutes late. I have learned to put my faith and trust in others to to show up on time and to make decisions. While I liked being in charge most of the time at home, I have learned to step back and let others make decisions, because sometimes other people have better ideas than me.
Studying abroad is suppose to be an experience that teaches you about the world around you, but what I found more than anything else is that I am leaving Europe having learned more about myself. I feel older than when I left. I have learned to appreciate the cultures of others and to embrace some more than others. I have learned that the world is a lot smaller than I think it is! I have learned my strengths and weaknesses.
I have learned that life is short. I should always be on the move, never settling for something less than what I want, but I also need to stand still to recognize where I am! Life is comprised of little moments that define the world around you, and it is only in reflection of these moment that we see the impact that they have had on our life. I am in awe when I think of all of the moments that I have had this summer, that will forever shape the person that I have become. And I am blessed beyond belief when I think of the people that have shaped these moments and everything that they have taught me.
I left Woodstock with a 12 week journey staring me directly in the face… I had no idea what I would see, what I would learn, or who I would be with! Now I have one week left in this journey and I cannot help but wish it would not come to end! There are memories and friendships that have been made in these 11 weeks that have no doubt shaped my future! I cannot wait to get back to the states and to see where my new journey starts. Oxford has been an adventure unlike any other I am so happy that I got on the flight to Budapest, but I am even more excited to get on the flight to Atlanta! It is time to start a new adventure so this is my signing off point until I land in the states… all great adventure books (yes this is the picture of the book from Up!) come to a close and as one wise man (aka… my father) once told me, the end of this journey is just the end of a new beginning. So this final note is a reminder to myself, thank you to everyone who helped me get to this adventure, but this fall will be a fantastic new one!! :)
**True story!!!! Or when you fly RyanAir and figure out the seats are neon yellow!!
**hahahahahhaahaha… exactly how you feel flying RyanAir or EasyJet!
So it’s been awhile so first let me apologize, I’m so sorry, but now let me explain…
There are moments in everyone’s life I’m sure when you sit down and realize it cannot get better than this! Well that has been my life for the past week. From the second I landed on Worcester College I knew I had fallen in love!! There is a beauty here that no words can describe… literally NO words. Everyone should experience this bliss… please just spend a day here!
Well for the past week at Oxford I have been having moments like this… moments when I am in awe of the world around me, moments when I realize that this really is real life, moments when I realize that I am leaving here with a completely different outlook on life than the one I came in with. I am learning to not only think about others in my decisions, but to consider the fact that the world is a very small place!
So first off I will walk you through my typical day in Oxford:
7:30- wake up
8:00- breakfast in the main hall (eggs, bacon, all the fruit I could want, mushrooms, baked beans— yep weird but its all so good!! oh and coffee of course)
8:30- bible study on the bridge (there is this bridge overlooking the lake— best way to start my morning)
9:40- political science/US government (yes I know that it is wrong that I am taking it here… but I cant help it! lol)
11:20- go back to my room make a quick sandwich for lunch then hit up Oxford. there are bookstores and art stores and great food and literally everything I could ever want in life is here… yep I’m staying!!
2:40- CS class (okay so im not saying im changing my major or anything, but i actually like this class!)
4:10- Homework (I have to do it sometime)
5:30- dinner!! (okay so we all have dinner in this grand dining hall— its always super yummy!! the other day i had gluten free pasta- oh i love it here!!)
6:15- coffee and tea outside
6:45- more homework, shower, go out to the Pub on campus or out on in the town. there is so much to do here its crazy… every night is different.
Seriously… when I look to see how I spend my days I cannot imagine them getting any better than this!!
It’s been a crazy journey so far… and I really want to cry when I think that I only have 32 more days here :’( Mom and Dad are going to have to come get me!!
Activity wise there is not much for me to share other than the above… but I am taking in every moment that I can because I know that they are limited and that they are continuing to dwindle… I am so blessed to have had moments like this… where everything seems to stand still and I can just sit and be and think… all in my home of Oxford!! :)
CPC <3 in front of the Eiffel Tower! :)