Friday, August 19, 2011

What Bath taught me.....

Well I have officially been home for more than a week. I waited to write about my goodbye to Bath and hello to home for a few reasons. 1. Jetlag 2. Too emotional towards the end in Bath that I thought it would be better when I was not a mess and 3. I wanted time to process. And though I still am processing everything, I am more or less in my right mind as much as I will ever be. I will likely be writing several separate blogs about my thoughts about this last year, maybe not, we will just have to see.

I will start off saying I am so glad to be home... but that does not mean I did not love living in Bath. I can say without lying that it was the best/hardest/stretchingest/ridiculous things I have ever done. I think back to what I have done and I see something that I never saw before I left. Everyone kept telling me how brave and amazing it was what I was doing: Moving to away from everyone I know, to a new country, to study for an entire year. Before I did it, I thought it was silly that it was such an outrageous thing to do. But now, I see, it was. Not many people are able to do what I did. Whether because they are attached to someone significant, money, tied to a job, etc. I am so thankful I got to do it. I would have never thought I would have done something like this when I was younger. But I did it, and I survived. What a ridiculous adventure it has been. It changed me I believe. I learned so much while I was there. So I am going to try and write down everything I learned and want to remember. Some serious, some funny, some ridiculous.

1. The British culture is way more different than I ever expected. Not in a bad or good way. Just funny thing throughout the day that would make me giggle. The words they use for common things I never would have known if not having lived there. Also, they are very much more reserved than Americans, or at least than I am. HA!

2. The American accent does really get you noticed. Whether good or bad, but it does.

3. The educational system is very different there. 40 % is a pass. 65% is a score people strive for. Crazy, right?

4. I can survive being alone. This was an extremely difficult lesson for me to learn. I am a very social person. And had to learn, kicking and screaming the whole way mind you, that being alone is not the end of the world. God is always there. And man, has He ever been faithful throughout this whole thing.

5. Life is too short to worry. Once again, to sound cheesy cliche Christian, God takes care of you. I always thought I believed that, but it really did not stick for me until this year in Bath. When I was hardly able to function because I was so sad, lonely, scared, or whatever, it ended being okay. And usually better than okay. But that was a DIFFICULT thing for me to accept. I really did fall into the trap of thinking I knew better about what I needed in life. But looking back, things have turned out pretty great and there was/is no need to worry.

6. This is a bit of a difficult one to write. But I learned who truly cares about me. Whether it was an email, Skype call, a letter, FB message, whatever. It spoke volumes to me who took a few seconds to make me feel missed. Or, even people did not do that, when I would communicate with folks and things were like I never left, also meant a lot. When you go away for a year, it becomes clear what matters.

7. Though friends are hard to come by, you can find some anywhere you go.

I may add to this later. But for now, this will do. More to come on my adventure soon.