I can barely believe that my time in Ireland is almost done. It seems like only yesterday that I was writing this post, ranting about being scared to come to Ireland but also trying to be ready to learn, and all of those melodramatic things.
When something is coming to an end, I guess retrospection is inevitable. One looks back on a book end experience, and analyzes that places in which you grew, the things that you learned, and the beautiful places that you experienced. I feel like by this time in my life, I should sort of be used to the whole post-trip emotions/anxieties. But, I’m not, because, thankfully, all of these experiences have been so unique from one another, and something I think that is something I forget.
I often idealize my year in England (09-10). When I lived here, with 180 of the greatest people that I have ever known. It is easy to relate “abroad experiences” with one another. This is largely a result of the community that you return to, after saying goodbye so often. Believe me, people stop asking questions after awhile. Anyway, when I look back at my time in England, I have always thought of it as the best year of my life, and the year that I was “the best version of myself.” Even though this term seems anything but harmful, I have lately come to realize that it has effected me, and my relationship with God. I have this ideal version of myself, and, because I spent a year of my life being her, I feel like I am in a constant state of trying to find her again, but always falling short. I have been carrying around this misconception that at one time in my life, I was living out the life of who God created me to be, but, ever since leaving England, I haven’t figured out how to do that again.
So, honestly, there have been times when I have unjustly compared my time in England with my time in Ireland, and i have felt disappointed at what this trip “could have been.” But, the other day, I was reading some old entires in my journal, and I was reading about a conversation that I had with a friend in a Starbucks parking lot, and I wrote down something he said to me:
“You are not trying to be who God made you to be, Kinsley. You are her right now and you are her every single day.”
Although the words spoke to me at that time, I think that those words were meant for this moment, right now. For me to understand that I am living the life of who God created me to be every single day. No matter where I am in the world, who I am around, or what I am learning. And, yes, there are good times and bad times, but there are not unimportant times.
And, when I free myself of these false ideals, I am able to understand that, on a daily basis, I can grow and learn, and praise God for giving me a brain, for giving me a sensitivity towards beauty, for giving me music, for giving me friendships, for giving me experiences, and for creating me to be a human with the capacity for all of these things.
I have never been more excited to return to the beloved Upland, and then to spend the holidays with my dear family.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.