Seeing as how there is only three days remaining in 2013, I feel called to reflect on the past year. It was a crazy year. I moved to freaking Europe. I mean come on! These dates from 2013 impacted my life in some way, some more than others, but they all helped put me here in Dublin.
December 8, 2012:
Ok so oops! That’s 2012. BUT! It is a VERY critical date. That’s the day I graduated from Auburn University. That’s the day that my life “in the real world” technically started. That’s the day that propelled everything forward into the vast known and unknown that is my present life. That’s the day where it all began to end.
January 22, 2013:
Dr. Derrick Lewis called me to offer me a fulltime position as Curator in Training at Explorations in Antiquity Center. I had been volunteering at the museum for about three months by this point, and I was beyond blown away when he offered me the job. I of course accepted and began my career at the age of 21.
April 4, 2013:
The Cantrell’s celebrated my Mammaw and Papa’s 60th Wedding Anniversary. 60 YEARS of life together! Amazing. Impressive. Awed. One day, I want my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to be as proud of me as I am of them.
June 15-19, 2013:
My Mammaw and Papa, Aunt and Uncle, their two kids, Mama and Daddy, my sister, and I (TEN PEOPLE) boarded a plane in Atlanta, Georgia and flew to Seattle, Washington. We had two rental vans, a couple places circled on a map, no hotel reservations, and a flight back to Atlanta out of San Francisco a few days later. Driving countless hours a day down I-5 and Highway 101, we saw the Space Needle, Portland, the Air and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon’s football stadium, The Redwood National Forest, a Giant’s game, and the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory. It was jammed pack, but easily one of the best trips in my life. (Travel addict remember?)
End of June 2013:
So much stuff happened in the month of June, especially at the end. Here is a drive by of how a few things went.
Tell my family I am unhappy.
Start research on living abroad without telling parents.
Find USIT website and begin asking them questions. Still haven’t told the parents.
Find a way to pay for everything. Budget, budget, budget. STILL haven’t told the parents.
Tell the parents. Immediate answer, “NO!” Doesn’t stop me.
Break up with Zach. Giant fight ensues.
Tell my boss. He understands. Coolest dude I know.
Researching the program, money, jobs, etc.
Still trying to convince parents, “No, but I won’t stop you.”
Green light means go!
July 19, 2013:
My visa was approved, and I bought my plane ticket. Y’all, I cannot explain to you the utter joy and fear that overcame me the moment I clicked the “submit.” I knew that once I clicked it, I HAD to go. Every traveler has doubts. Every traveler wonders if the move they are making is the right one.
August 7, 2013:
The visa arrived in the mail. The laminated piece of paper came to my house in Carrollton along with my passport and another wave of terror. “Holy crap I’m actually gonna do this! I’m actually gonna MOVE TO IRELAND?!” Yes, yes I am.
September 29, 2013:
Daddy drove the four of us to the Atlanta airport. I knew that we would cry. I knew it. We asked a nice guy in the airport to take a picture of the four of us,a and then I hugged each of my family members for the last time for a while. Everyone cried. It was the worst feeling on the entire planet to walk away from them, and I thought very seriously about ripping my ticket to shreds right there at the security gate. But I didn’t. I kept going.
October 12, 2013:
The first night at my apartment in Dublin. Prior to where I live now, I was in a hostel. Hostel life is cheap, dirty, noisy, and a blast, but it is not a place you want to be for more than two weeks. I was in a room with twelve other chicks and shared a bathroom with ten more on top of that. I met some awesome people from all over the world and have some pretty interesting stories to tell. But I cannot describe to you the utter joy I felt when I shut the door to my own room and crashed on my own bed and threw my clothes all over my OWN room.
So here I am today, December 28, 2013, living in Dublin, Ireland. If you had told a year ago that I would end up living and working in Europe, I would have laughed in your face. Honestly. I always knew I would come back to visit, but LIVE here?! Nope. Never saw that coming. It was a whim, an absolute whim. Oh the things that can happen in a year.
You know what’s funny though? I think the universe may have tried to warn me that this was going to happen. On June 10, 2013 my sister and I went to eat at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in our hometown. Like a ritual, we handed the other our fortune cookies. When I cracked mine open, this is what it said, “You will find your horizons suddenly broadened.” I of course attributed the fortune to mean our trip to the West Coast that weekend, but what if it meant my time here? What if this was the universes way of giving me a clue that things were about to go haywire and I should prepare myself for it? Maybe fortune cookies are real.