Shew!!! Its been a while since I have been on this ole blog of mine. Forgive me friends…. it has been the craziest couple of months. After the Holy Cross crew departed, I hosted my best friend from Middlesex, Danielle for the week. I have so many awesome photos and fun to share, but that will have to wait until I catch up on posts. I then went on an amazing trip to Prague and all around Italy—ringing in my twenty first birthday in Rome. Then I hosted my brother for four/five days in Galway for birthday celebrations and Easter. Then BOOM………. I had one week left to soak it all in, finish my papers, and say my goodbyes.
I leave super early tomorrow and the entire thing is so surreal. I can remember last August sitting down and writing my first post. I was so ready to come here, but I was so naive about how hard it would be. I often blog about the amazing things I do here, but it was certainly a culture shock at first. The people, customs, and way of life is completely different than that of America. I had to learn to live without the comforts I am so used to and adapt to the oddities that come with living in Ireland. I got homesick along the way, it wasn’t always fun, and I had my fair share of emotional overloads.
BUT. No other time in my life will ever compare to this. It has been the BEST nine months of my life for so many reasons. I have grown more through this experience that I ever could have imagined or ever could have if I had stayed in the United States. The Irish people have taught me that letting lose and being yourself is far more beneficial than holding back and worrying what others think. Because of this my self-confidence has skyrocketed since arriving. I am so grateful to my Irish friends for bringing me back to my old self– the one that didn’t care if someone didn’t like her, but moved on to those who did.
I am even more grateful to my Galway Girls– Julie, Molly, Molly, and Fiona. They restored my faith in girls (after a rough go of it my first two years at Holy Cross) and taught me what true friendship is about. I have never laughed harder than the moments with them— from Molly falling off the chair in Dingle to Molly stealing the mop at TFD to Fiona giving Dean her number to Julie stealing anything and everything she could from a bar…. these girls injected an energy into me that inspired me to go out and just have fun. They accept me for me (which can’t always be easy), support me every second of every day (even when I am annoying), and easily have become my best friends that will last far beyond my Holy Cross years. Cheers to you girls— you will never know how truly grateful I am for you all.
I believe in fate and that it does crazy things to connect your life. The first day of second semester I had close to 20 girls in my small little kitchen for a pre-game before going out. Though I love them all and am still close with them… I couldn’t be more grateful for the two that I can call my closest friends– Jessie and Emily. They are my West Coast biddies and without them I don’t think my experience would be the same. They remind me to relax and take life a little less seriously. Jessie is the classiest wild-child–the prefect blend of sassy and serious– I have ever met and my red-headed sister in crime… the girl has my back and answers my morning facebooks without fail even when they consist of the annoying emojiis she hates so much. Emily finds humor in the most random things–she keeps me laughing and keeps it light. She has shown a strength this semester in herself that I admire so much— and she always reminds me to just “let it go”.
Though my main priority here certainly wasn’t classes, I have actually learned so much. Perhaps its because the pressure in the classroom is substantially lower than at home, or perhaps I am learning about things I actually find interesting, but the amount of information I gathered here has been shocking. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to take classes about the Irish culture, family, history and more…. it helped me understand the world I was living in for so long and without such knowledge I don’t think I could have been truly immersed.
I have made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way. So thank you Mom and Dad—- it is because of you that I got this opportunity and got to do it in the best way. You encouraged me, supported me, and cheered me on every step of the way from the time I said I was going to apply to pushing me onto that plane. The eleven days in which I welcomed you and Zach into my world were the best days I have ever spent with us as a family– memories that stick out so strong in my entire year here. I am so much closer with Zach because of those days and that is a gift I cannot express enough thankfulness for. Thank you for letting me travel all around Europe and flying me home at Christmas— I know this experience certainly wasn’t cheap, but the rewards are more than I can even express in words. From the bottom of my heart (and it will never be good enough) THANK YOU. I am a completely different person than I was in August… someone I am truly proud of… I owe that to you.
I will miss this place more than I could have ever imagined when I first arrived here. I can honestly say that Galway is my second home…. and homes are visited more than once, so I know I will be back. Nothing will ever be like this though–pure perfection in my mind. Thank you Ireland for absolutely everything. I plan to spread some of your Irish magic everywhere I go in America… I am forever grateful.
Cheers folks…. thanks for following me on my journey, supporting me along the way, and leaving your little comments of encouragement.
If only I had known when I made my tagline “the world is a book and those who do not travel only read a page” that it would hold so much meaning at the end of my experience……..
get out there and do something crazy… you never know, it might just change your life.