I'm a senior now. Have been for a little while actually. Now that I've made it this far and am still going in spite of the many hurdles thrown in along the way, it is pretty incredible. And the timing is perfect, because now I have the itch to go. I want to go far away from here, is that crazy? I try to make sense of what I'm feeling, but I can't totally.
When I returned from Ireland this past winter, it was one of the hardest adjustments imaginable for me. I had experienced The Big and had come back to The Small. All my friends were so very lovingly welcoming me back, which was very helpful, but when they asked,"Does it feel good to be back?", I couldn't give them the answer they expected to hear. It didn't feel good, not in the least bit. I missed my friends from oversees with all my heart since our time had been so short, all the while trying to find my place here again.
The winter, as usual, was heavy and cold here. Many days it was difficult to find the beauty around me. Not that snow isn't beautiful; it definitely is. But it was a cold one, and so much colder than what I'd experienced overseas.
I fell in love with my little college town again, especially with the onset of Spring. Since I'd been away for so long and came back to all-things-covered, everything looked like a new wonder when the snow melted. The ice melted off the canal and all of a sudden there was colorful water and a fabulous walking/biking trail beside it. I started to enjoy the outdoors daily.
It took a couple months to get in groove again and to reconnect with friends here, but by the end of the semester many were graduating. I had to say goodbyes yet again. And since I was staying in the local area for the summer, I wasn't sure who I'd get to stay connected with. These are the joys of living in a college town.
I also entered summer with stress from my living circumstances, and stress from trying to figure out if I could secure an after-graduation job. I started looking into jobs, even applying for some local ones because I wanted a good summer internship or a job where I could use my degree skills. After some time with no hopeful prospects, and the stress from that driving me crazy enough, I decided to stop worrying so much. I was planning on taking classes during the second part of summer anyway, and really needed to just enjoy the time I had in the first two months of summer. So I planted a tiny garden, and helped friends out with projects. I went on adventure trips around the local area. I never realized just how many cool waterfalls there are in the backwoods of the U.P. And taking weekend day-trips in my local area reminded me of those wonderful day trips from back in Ireland.
This is the time in life when I try to find my place in this big world(which really isn't all that big now that we can fly everywhere). After going abroad I've really considered applying for work outside the U.S., say starting with an internship or program. But after much thought, if I live overseas again I've decided it needs to be for a year or a couple at least.This is because the going, adjustment, leaving, and then readjustment, are otherwise too hard on me. Being that I'm currently single, I have many open choices before me. Whether I ended up staking it out in a foreign land or starting a life for my single self here in the Midwest/North, each has pros and cons. But deep down I know God is guiding my steps. What I do know is that I want to work hard and happily, and use my degree. I love what I study and so even though college has been difficult, I may go for my Masters too.
On a phone call recently with my sister, I marveled how God's timing is really so much better than mine, because he intimately knows me better than I know myself. He cares for all of us, better than we can care. In the beginning of summer, as I said, I was desperate to figure out work stuff. But I didn't. I didn't get the marketing internship that I wanted. But here near the end of my academic summer, I applied for another local internship. And guess what, I nailed it. I'll have to fit it in with finishing college full-time and doing my work-study job too. And I may be crazy; I don't know how it will go. But the adventure and posing challenge excites me. I say bring it.
~Oh and P.S., I'm actually going back to Ireland, to visit, for realz.