Real Moments: From Gardening to Glasgow to Graduation!

I’m well aware that there has been a lull in posts for the last few weeks – but that’s not for lack of things to say, trust me! An explanation by means of a life update felt in order.

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The most perfect of white camellias – which I cannot take the credit for finding. Tony, the head gardener at Inish Beg, discovered this beautiful botanical gem buried back behind the hydrangeas.

Apparently the letter ‘G’ has been the flavor of the past few weeks for me. What felt like immediately after my return from a month and a half of gardening in Ireland, but in actuality was only a week or so later, I set off on a trip to the homeland with my grandmother. My maternal grandparents hail from Glasgow, Scotland so we went over to visit a few relatives for two weeks.

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The view of Princess Street and beyond from Edinburgh Castle.

As I’ve been to Scotland a fair few times throughout my life prior to this trip, the travel bug wasn’t that strong and we didn’t venture off too far… with the exception of a day trip to the capital city. I must admit that I’m very proud of my 72 year old grandmother for trekking all over Edinburgh with me and not complaining once! We had a bonnie wee time to ourselves, we did.

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Took some time to go see The Elephant House – otherwise known as the birthplace of Harry Potter – while in Edinburgh. My nana was abhorred by the “graffiti” on the wall of the bathrooms but it’s common practice to sign a message when visiting.

I kid you not, the very next morning after flying back to the States from Scotland I drove off for a weekend of glowraging with my favorite girlfriends down in Maryland. The five of us met back in Cambridge, England last summer and this was a reunion mixed with a last hurrah. I’m so thankful to have made such lasting friendships with these ladies. They’re some of the most impressive, inspirational young women I have ever met and I just… well, I’m really grateful to know them. It was incredible to be down on their turf for a little while. Our weekend was over much too soon.


Upon returning it was straight on to preparing for the final tassel on the cap – my graduation! Technically I finished school back in December… and received my diploma in January… but the formal ceremony was in May and I did it!

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Took my family to one of my favorite spots after the ceremony – Punter’s Pub. A blurry cheers to 5 years was certainly in order!

I’m officially officially really definitely done with my undergraduate experience now. Please excuse me while I take a few seconds to mime the word “WHAT????” to this empty room I’m sitting in. It truly went by too quickly, but I’m thankful for the people I got to experience it with… most notably getting to go through it all with my very best friend in the whole wide world. It’s thanks to our alma mater that we were even brought together in the first place so leaving for the last time was a little bittersweet.

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This photo is the most tear inducing thing I’ve ever been a part of! 5 years later and still my absolute soul sister, twin moon, best friend. Cannot wait to see what the heck we end up making of our lives.

Now, it should come as a shock to no one that I’m pretty big on reflection and introspection so I’ll wrap this up with a few things I have to say about this here life I’ve been living lately. Over the past 3 months I’ve been unsettled in the best of ways. Most of my time was spent outside of my comfort zone, pushing personal boundaries, and learning new things. From the correct way to plant a tree to why patience is the ultimate virtue, from how to enjoy those precious few moments crossing the stage (instead of panicking about tripping over yourself in front of your entire class) to the significance of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and way, way more. But most of all I’ve been questioning whether, at the ripe old age of 23, I’m on the life/existence/etc. path/journey/etc. that I want to be on. My answer?

For SURE, I am. In the past year alone I’ve spent 1/3 of my months abroad. I attempted to list out all of the different things I’ve studied (in some way, shape, or form) over the course of said year but let’s not double up our word count, shall we? Instead let’s just say that it has been quite the experience, the last 3 months I’ve recounted to you in this post especially.

As always, thank you kindly for following along on all of these adventures with me! We’ve got a many more ahead of us, so stay tuned for the tales.

Real Moments: “To Everything Its Proper Time And Place And Turn.”

“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone.”

Life events are difficult.

When I was a kid, an imagination was something I developed to pass the time. As an “adult,” I’m seeing that I might have let it grow beyond the healthy levels for someone my age. I live what is probably close to 65% of my life with my head lost in the stars. Walking to classes, being in said classes, sleeping (literally perchance to be dreaming), sitting through mass, driving to get coffee… I’m far from the grasps of the real world, off in the midst of my wonderful daydreams.

But I’ve created a dependence on my removal from reality; a reliance, if you will. It’s a huge part of who I am as a person, which I’m not necessarily sure I feel is a bad thing – it just also happens to be a huge part of how I cope with life around me. Real moments occur and suddenly I’m caught between how I’m supposed to deal with them and how I want to deal with them. Don’t tell the right hemisphere of my brain that I’ve caught on, but I think it might be putting in some extra hours lately as an effort to protect me. That’s code for “I’m not really sure it’s hit me yet.”

I don’t think I’m going where you think I’m going, I just wanted to share some thoughts.

So set-up over, here’s my point: there are no specific steps to cope with anything in your life, be it a breakup or a rejection or stress or death. There is no one-size-fits-all and I think people forget that. They assume that if you don’t want to talk to them, you must be depressed. If you don’t go out, you’re antisocial. If you just aren’t in the mood, you’re a hazard to yourself. To the masses, there is a set way to grieve or to move on or manage but – that’s their way not your way, so why follow it? It’s okay to not answer a text simply because you have nothing to say, or to tell someone that you don’t want to go because you just don’t want to.

Seriously, deal with it how you need to deal with it and don’t for a second feel like you owe anyone an explanation for that. Sit by yourself drinking gallons of apple cider and reading complex Russian novels and playing solitaire if that’s what it takes to cope with a real moment. I want to remind the world that nothing about that is not okay. In fact, the very definition of coping features absolutely no stipulations as to how it’s done. According to Google, all that’s needed is to deal effectively with something difficult. Read: get from point A to point B however the hell you want, as long as you get there eventually. I cannot shut down my life, I understand that. But I’m going to need some time to “let it hit me” before I can even think about point B.

Abrupt change here, but I like quotes. Apparently Mike Tyson once said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Well, I had a lot of plans. And this real moment punched me square in the heart. It got me in a deep, permanent way and while that damage will never be fixed, or healed, it has to be coped with because that’s what life means. We all go through these things, there are no specialties here. It’s just the first time I’m going through it too, and my imagination and I don’t really understand exactly what it means to start coping yet. But eventually I will, and eventually I’ll continue on in the same way that we all do because life keeps going, and whether we understand it or not, we all keep going with it.

Life will not wait for our broken hearts, but it will try its damn best to ease them along the way. We all get to point B eventually.