It's been months on months of absence from this corner of the internet. Months of change, doubt, laughter, learning, and growth.
Obviously, I'm now stateside. Leaving Spain was hard. There was definitely a level of reverse-culture shock higher than anticipated. Three days after returning to the states, which was a 50+ hour process due to being unexpectedly stranded in Portugal (probably some of the scariest hours of my life, as I had no clue how I was ever going to get back to the US. And I spent the night in Amsterdam by myself), I found myself in the Capital of this great nation. I have never felt more patriotic. Going from being overseas for 10 weeks to then touring the great monuments and relearning the history of the USA for the first time since young childhood was an exhilarating whirlwind during which I often sporadically burst into song. Specifically, the national anthem. The weirdest adjustment of all was being in a city where I could understand everything that was being said. I kept overhearing people's conversations and understanding, without having to put conscious effort into comprehension. I cannot even articulate how strange it was to hear English everywhere around me, all the time.
However, that was all months ago. Since then, my life has been a complete blur, consisting of:
- Academia. I added a Linguistics major, have been taking tough, upper-level classes that are still just fascinating to me, and recently joined the Model UN team.
- Student Government. Being a part of SGA has been one of the toughest and most rewarding experiences in college and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Being able to work in this environment, with the most amazing team of people, continually inspires me.
- Relationships. Some of strengthened, some have weakened. Some have appeared, some have disappeared. The people I'm privileged to call my best friends are some of the greatest people I've ever known. They accept me no matter what, challenge me, laugh with me, cry with me. I thank God everyday for everyone He has so graciously placed in my life.
- Learning. Not just academically, but also more about how small I am and how big the world is. I'm learning to question the reasons and methods of things I've longtime held as right. There is so much happening beyond what I can see and experience, and whether it's in regards to things political, spiritual, academic, or anything else, I strive to be more knowledge and open-minded.
- Activity. I've been to numerous sporting events. I've run hundreds of miles, in the woods, on the streets, in new neighborhoods, and on old routes. I've memorized the drive to Indianapolis. I've broken rules. I've won an intramural soccer championship. I've served on multiple councils. I've helped execute events. I've been going at full speed ahead.
And, of course, I love showcasing the moments not able to be adequately put into words with a variety of pictures. Here is just a sample of Fall 2013: