Friday, September 5

Day of 05 of 30: Faith Doesn't Make it Easy

Day 05 of 30: A time you thought about ending your own life. 
A time you were most proud in life.
(I'm changing the question today because I've never contemplated ending my own life)

After 48-hours of traveling full of delays and running frantically through airports, I had finally arrived at the place I had dreamed about my entire life; England- the land of Jane Austen, the Royal Family, high tea, beautiful hats, coat tails and gentlemanly behavior. Alright, so my idea of England might be stuck in an 19th century interpretation, heavily influenced by BBC productions of classic novels and Jane Austen period dramas, but still I had made it across the pond to a whole new country, an island of dreams, adventure and hope in my mind.

My arrival into England wasn’t exactly as expected. I was supposed to fly into Manchester. I ended up flying into Heathrow. I was supposed to be picked up by a bus. I had a real-life “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” experience that took me 6-hours. I was supposed to be with other foreign exchange students. I had God’s protection over me as by chance, I met another Keele bound traveler who kept me from getting straight back on the plane and heading home. However, in those pivotal first hours alone, abroad, and exhausted I redefined myself, realized I was a much stronger woman than I ever thought, and that this wasn’t going to be the beginning and the end of my time abroad. 

Just in case traveling to England and to University wasn’t enough of a struggle, the first 24-hours weren’t much better. After three planes, two trains, one bus and a taxi I arrived to this small little English village where I would live in one of the blocks for the remainder of the year; completely alone with American-size luggage to haul up 3 flights of stairs with no lift. Managing to get to the third landing, I tried to get into my room and it was locked. Pulling out the key I was assigned I tried opening the door, and to my chagrin it wouldn’t open. Logically, what is a girl to do in this situation? Exhausted, warn out, emotionally fried, dirty and desperate I sank to the floor and cried for 10-minutes straight realizing what I had just gotten myself into. In my head I saw it play out like a movie, a joke really; dreams dashed away as quickly as they were realized. This couldn’t be happening; this wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Then again, life doesn’t happen how you imagine it.

After a complete meltdown I regained enough resolve to stand up and try opening the door again. Nothing. Still nothing. I legitimately thought about drop-kicking in the door but thought twice against that. My next logical step was to return to the University and find someone to help. As I ventured outside I realized I had no idea where I was, I had no idea what direction the University was, and I couldn't find the main road. I wandered around hoping to find another human to ask for help. Nothing. I couldn't find a road, a soul, or a bus stop and goodness knows I had no idea which direction to start walking. So I headed back to my place, tried attacking the door and still nothing. After another few minutes of contemplation, I grabbed my coat and my cellphone for a flashlight and headed out into the chilly English night with complete determination that I would find the road, walk the mile into town and find help. About 10 minutes into my journey I ran into another person and could've cried for joy I was so happy. In the end she ended up helping me bust into my room (Note to self: very old English flats have horrendous doors that don't open unless you basically drop-kick it in) and I was able to crumble into bed. 

Looking back, I'm so proud that I didn't quit and give up. Everything in me wanted to just turn around and hop back on a plane and fly back to the States. But I stuck it out, I managed to survive the craizest 48-hours of my life and living abroad is by far one of the coolest and most memorable things I have ever done. 

Moral of the story: Don't give up on yourself. Don't give up on your dreams. It may seem impossible. You may cry. You may crumple in a ball and have a complete mental breakdown, but you're almost there...sometimes you just need to give it a little kick and believe.