A year ago today, at this approximate time, I was sitting in a Cedar Rapids JoAnn’s fabric store with my mom, dad and brother, killing time before boarding my first of many flights to Stirling, Scotland. I convinced my mom to buy me fabric with the Little Mermaid and Flounder on it to make me a blanket out of and send it my way when she was done. One week later, after the running through airports and sitting on planes for more than 12 hours, unpacking all of my belongings from two suitcases into a dorm room the size of a walk in closet, crying for nights on end because I felt so utterly alone in a place where I knew no one, panicking that I would never fit in or make friends, I received the package with my Little Mermaid blanket, chocolate truffles, and most importantly, AMERICAN PEANUT BUTTER!
As anyone who has ever travelled or made a drastic life change, its hard to comprehend the time that has passed. It has been far less time since I left Scotland and the crazy, awesome, quirky people I met, but it’s hard for me to think about how time has kept moving forward and I have been mentally stuck on Scotland for an entire year.
Of course I am grateful to be home with my friends and family, because the majority of who I am revolves around them and my home. Yet no matter where you travel in life, you will leave bits of yourself behind, and the longing to go back is simply to feel whole again, to relive part of your past life.
Every mention, picture, friend from Scotland causes me to ache to my core in the most painfully nostalgic and beautiful way. I am so lucky to have so many friends to miss, so many places I wish to see again, all the memories the make me laugh and cry. I am so utterly thankful to have been able to leave parts of my soul in all of the places I have been and people I have met. In a small way it’s a way of leaving my footprint, a way of leaving my mark on the world.
I know this post is sappy, probably sickening to those of you who have yet to experience what I have, but you can’t take away my memories, my friends, and especially not this utterly nauseating nostalgic blog post!
I could have stayed at home, gone to school in Cedar Falls and never have to feel the ache of missing what I had for three eye opening months. But then I would feel the ache of regret and opportunities unrecognized. I’ll take my ache over any other, any day because it is one filled with love, adventure, and the best of memories