I've been home for just over a month now, and I'm still settling in. It always amazes me how much of an effect something has on a person. I spent four months in Dublin, but I still haven't recovered from everything that happened there. I'm getting better at it though even if not everyone sees it. I've started to sing more often in the shower. I know, I know, some of you are sitting there thinking, "So?", others, "You sing in the shower?", but most importantly, are the ones sitting there reading this going, "It's about time! WOOOOO!"
Why is my singing in the shower important?, you ask. Because it is something I used to do all the time before I left for Dublin. And when I say all the time, I mean every time I took a shower that lasted longer than 8 minutes. To the point where my roommates didn't even acknowledge it. They just knew I sang when I was in the shower. Then I went to Dublin, and things changed. I stopped singing in the shower. I stopped talking to new people. I stopped being openly friendly. I had changed. I put more effort into being as small and unnoticeable as possible. I'd slink into the kitchen to make meals form time to time, quickly and quietly throw something together, and slink back into my room with my food. Sometimes in the morning, I'd sit defiantly on the edge of a sofa arm with my plate of apples, jar of peanut butter and a spoon, daring them to wrinkle their noses and declare my peanut butter disgusting...something the terrible trio did on several occasions. As invisible as possible, that was my goal in Dublin.
The only times I wasn't like that was when I was out with my friends at the pub, and I've said it before, and I'll say it again, life would have been horrible without them. They saved me. Not just my outlook on the Irish or my time abroad. They saved my sanity, but most importantly, they saved me. My personality. To my friends at the pub, I mattered. Little ole me. They saw me for who I was. All my strange moods, odd habits, my quirks, and twisted sense of humor. They looked past the beaten down girl who just wanted her roommates to at least try and be civil, and they saw me. And they have and do remind me that I'm worth knowing. That I'm worth being friends with, and that I'm a good friend. That there's nothing wrong with who I am, and if the rest of the world can't see that, then they're fools. It'something I had forgotten, for all the friends I've told to never apologize for being who they are, or that they are worth knowing, sometimes, I need to hear or feel it from someone else.
My point today, is that while I only spent four months in Dublin, I changed. In ways I couldn't have imagined before I left. My friends from before Dublin, well, most of them will actually tell you that they had no idea what had happened. That's because when I came home, I was still that girl from Dublin, the one who put so much time and effort into not being, that I didn't know how to do anything else.
I came home, and continued right along with keeping to myself. I didn't go out to see people, I didn't catch up with friends who were hugely important to me while I was gone. The few times I did manage to get to see people, I was skittish as a newborn foul. Too many people, too many things had changed both for me and for them. I felt more like a fish out of water when I came home, then I had in Dublin. And I didn't take it well. I just closed in on myself, helped out around the house, and pretended like it was enough. That I wasn't miserable, that something wasn't missing, even though there was. I had buried who I was so far down, that even now I'm certain there are pieces of that girl who will never see daylight again. And that's such a shame, because she was a nice, happy girl who wasn't afraid of making friends that would have to be left behind even if just for a short while.
Why am I telling you this? Because I've been home from Glasgow for just over a month, and school's just getting underway. If being home this time is anything like when I came home last time, I won't know the true effects of being abroad for at least another month or so. I can still see the effects Dublin had on my personality, and I'm wondering how Glasgow will have changed me. Some of it I already know; the rest will come with time.
I miss sitting in George Square and reading or writing letters or postcards. I've taken to doing that in the student center, and when it warms up, maybe I'll find a bench to curl up on. I miss the subway! It was always so loud but peaceful at the same time. The food is different here. I can't find fresh spinach, something I'd gotten used to when I couldn't find frozen spinach. The milk tastes different. I'm almost out of European chocolate, and that is a true catastrophe. There's no more caramel bars left, and I'm making my last milk chocolate bar stretch as much as possible...but I doubt it'll last more than another week. I miss my roommates and the friends I made. I'm trying to keep up with them online, but sarcasm and teasing do not translate well through text, especially if the person you're talking to doesn't know you well enough to hear your voice through the words. I miss watching the buskers on the streets, and I don't know how to cope with that right now. There's one group, and they know who they are, who really saved me while I was there. They gave me something to look forward to, and absolutely made all the crap I had to put up with worth it. I've tried to thank them, but I know I can't ever explain it properly, so I just keep saying thank you and hope it's enough.
On a side note, J and her sister and I got to Philly last week. I'll post pictures somewhere you can find them later. Just wanted to let you know. Oh, and there's a new page where I'll collect the songs I've been adding to the top.
I've been sitting in a hallway in one of the classroom buildings not doing my reading like I was supposed to. However, there's students wandering past me more, and for fear one of them will trip over me soon, I'm afraid I'll have to pack up and head to class. Fingers crossed this is my last semester. I don't know if I can take another one after this, gods forbid it comes to that. Till next time, be well. Be sparkly. :)