Monday, 24 March 2014

A Dying Passion

This summer I will have completed my year abroad in Montpellier, France. It has been without a doubt one of the hardest years of my entire life thus far, with more ups and downs, twists and turns than a rollercoaster. I have been both torn apart and built up in almost equal measure, and definitely changed as a result. I have caught the travel bug and a taste for adventure which I am not sure I really posessed before this September. In fact before this September I was a girl overcome by fear and anxiety starting out in a new place with absolutely no idea what the future would hold. And whilst others have become more certain and more comfortable with what they want to do later in life I have done the opposite. Everything I thought I knew, everything I thought I wanted has been put into question and right now there are only 2 things I am certain of:

1) French is not my subject. Shocking I know, since I adore the language and am one step closer to being a fluent speaker (which is really exciting)

2) My faith. I still have a lot of questions and part of me thinks I always will but I know that Jesus saved me and that I love him. And for now, that is enough for me.

But do you know something? The girl with the obsession with a plan and with a solid idea of where she wanted to be by 21 is gone. In her place stands a woman who sees the world and knows there will always be more to learn from it and is hungry to see more. She is someone who, in the midst of uncertainty and fear, has not let it rule her but has instead let it free her. In her place, stands a woman who knows that though this year has been unimaginably hard at times, it has been one of the best decisions of her life. I know that all of this seems melodramatic and cheesy but it is undeniably true. I am not the same girl who came to France, wide-eyed and scared, I am someone who has been strengthened and molded into a strong, capable woman. Whilst I do not know what I want I am now certain of what I do not want: I do not want to spend another year just scraping through,doing something I am merely good at, but I want to persue something I love, something that satisfies me. I want to take the risk of doing something so wholly unrelated to my degree that the likelihood of getting onto the course is not high. I want to prove that I cannot be boxed in and that I am not the person  I have spent 19 years believing I am, but someone totally unrecognizable from a lost and insecure teenager. I am taking control of myself and taking hold of my identity. I am a child of God, friend of Jesus, highly capable, independent and full of fight. I am becoming the person I want to be. And she is nothing like I expected, but I like her.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A Letter to the Other Third of AUNT

I was supposed to write an entry here every week. This hasn't happened since I published my first letter. I was trying to write something that I could publish on here, and whilst knowing to whom I wanted to write, I could not word it properly. So here I am after god knows how many attempts, writing a letter to you, the other third of AUNT.

When I think of you, I think of those endless afternoons and evenings spent in the pub, the days spent nursing hangovers from the night before, the hours spent in the library attempting to sort our lives out, and the lazy weekends doing nothing in particular. I think of all those evenings stress baking… who even knew that was a thing?! Well I guess it is now! I think of those Skype conversations and stupid text messages. I think of the note passing in lessons. I think of the days when I was close to tears and you were there. I remember all the ways you told me it'd be okay when everything was falling apart. I remember you. I remember the way you managed to become one of my favourite people without me even realising.

But I also remember the times when you managed to tear down pretty much every wall I put up with just a gaze or a few well placed words. I remember the times you'd leave me defeated and low from just a snide comment here and there (though I admit I have been just as bad). I remember the times when I really wanted to hate you. I remember the cutting comments, the dramas and the jealousy. I remember my cynicism and anger. I remember wishing you'd apologise… wishing that maybe just once it wouldn't be me that made all the effort, that maybe you would come and see me. I remember the times when you were the reason I was falling apart. I remember thinking that I knew exactly where to hit if I wanted to hurt you. I remember all the times I said no when what I really wanted to say was yes.

Mixed up is an understatement. Messed up is probably more accurate. I wrote so many drafts of this letter and I am still scared of publishing it because I don't know what you will say. But I am tired. I am tired of dodging the elephant in the room and tired of dancing around honesty. I am tired of the game playing and frankly, I am tired of how I feel. I know it is crazy and I know you are probably one of the worst risks I could ever take (at least that is what I am repeatedly told) but I need you to know. You are both the best and the worst thing that ever happened to me. And the worst part? I don't think I can ever say yes, even though I really want to.