A wise man once sang, "Jennie, don't be hasty", and it's high time I actually took his advice. You tend to discover things about yourself when you uproot your life, and without sounding prophetic, I've learned a lot. What exactly I'll do with this knowledge is still undisclosed; however, I'd like to think that this is all part of what Jeremiah 29:11 promises. <
This being said, the biggest message I've taken so far is to slow down and exhibit patience. A virtue which has never been my strength. When I start to train for a race, I want results immediately. When I call home, I want my mom to pick up on the first ring, and when I'm waiting for the bus? Well let's just say that the Irish public transportation has increased my blood pressure on multiple occasions. What does all this accomplish? Absolutely nothing.
I say this with affection, but it has been my experience that the Irish time frame tends to have a bigger window, shall we say. If one says, "I'll be home in five". They might actually mean...say, 15, 20, maybe 30 minutes. I'm learning to adjust, but recently had a mini-crisis as I learned the train system was on a delay, therefore my arrival time to work would certainly be 15 minutes off my start time. I found myself in a panic as I frantically texted my boss with as many apologies and exclamation points that I could type with frozen fingers. She wrote back simply, "Jen, we are on Irish time. Get here safely and when you can." I suddenly realized that my frenzy was completely unnecessary and rightly so- fifteen minutes is a infinitesimal sliver of our lives. And so I waited...but instead of breaking out into a sweat, pacing, and making those around me visibly uncomfortable, I picked up the newspaper, took a deep breath, and calmed down.
The ups and downs of the past few months can't be denied. The ups are so frequent that I occasionally have to stop and shut my eyes, willing myself to remember these moments as vividly as I possibly can. I can honestly say I felt true and utter joy when arriving to Rome, jogging along the coast of Dublin, sledding in the fresh snow, and searching for sea lions in the Sandycove. I can also hold my head up high and admit that life abroad is not always peaches and cream. Every once in awhile, I long to be surrounded by the people that have known me for years and already appreciate my quirks and occasional (okay, frequent) common sense blunders.
As ungrateful as it may sound, there are moments when I wish I was on Ellie's couch, watching America's Next Top Model, drinking champagne, and laughing with Kelly. Jeff will have made us a meal we don't deserve (as per usual), and we'll be laughing till we cry...
...because that's what we do.