I leave Ireland in 4 days. It still hasn't hit me yet.
In order to process and fully transition from Ireland to America, this week is dedicated to our last assignment - the integrative 10 pager about our experiences here, and also packing all that we have learned about Ireland into this one assignment (which is a lot!). Along with the paper, we are taking some time to reflect on this semester as a group. We had our first debriefing session today, which included sharing our favorite stories and memories, and then time on our own doing a journaling exercise. By the end, we each had narrowed down our top 3 events/themes/things learned while being here.
My Top 3:
1. Finding solitude and rest, allowing myself to be quiet and alone: I have found my introverted side. I have recognized that being with people constantly is not healthy. I have learned to love my time in stillness with God.
2. Growing through conversations and intimate one-on-one time with specific people here: Jordan, Emily McCardle (Squirrel), Kyle and Kelsey, Laura, and Jen Lewis. These people have taught me so much.
3. Truly appreciating home. Being here has given me a whole new perspective on the U.S. I hope that I will never again take for granted the blessings I have. I am so so excited to be back in my familiar place with the people that I love and have missed everyday of this semester.
I have felt the ache of being away from the people I am closest to, especially the ones I am used to seeing all the time. Now I realize just how important they are to me. I have become so emotional and sentimental lately, because I can see that my life would not be the same without them.
My parents have raised me, loved me, supported me, and poured into my life in every way. My sister is my other half - she understands me best. My soon to be in-laws have welcomed me into their home and have treated me like their own daughter for the past two years. My friends at IWU (Hannah, Tim, Beth, Kate) are the people that keep me sane, grounded, and joyful, each one bringing their own unique and beautiful impact into my life.
Nothing can replace these people.