I have one full day left in the States. It's pretty unreal -- I've started packing, but let's be real, regardless of what I do, it was going to end up being a last minute ordeal. This may sound absolutely insane given the amount of time I'm going to be gone.. but I don't think that I'm going to fill the 2 suitcases that I've set aside for the trip. Let's just put it this way -- I'll have plenty of room for whatever I decide to bring home with me.
I ended up receiving a grant for the study abroad, and it basically doubles the amount of money I'll have to spend over there. I'm still going to try to keep spending to a minimum, but it'll allow me definitely have a little bit more breathing room, which I am oh so thankful for. Not to mention whatever is left can go towards the new truck come winter break. I (unlike you, Jordan, haha) have not really put too much thought into too many specifics of what I want to see. But from what I hear from the professor, we are going to be going to various parts of Spain, and a long trip to Germany for awhile. I'm not sure that this could be any more perfect -- because I speak both of the languages spoken there. I'm a bit more concerned of trying out my German for real, but we'll see how my confidence is when I get there. Also, we'll be in Germany partially for October, and, well, you know what that means.... Lastly, I want to plan a trip to Ireland for my birthday.
Life at home has been strenuous and arguments have intensified due to the stresses of getting everything ready for my departure. My parents argue that the things they 'suggest' I do (i.e. demand that I do) are coming not from them but from the Clemson study abroad people. I'm not too worried about things... I much prefer just jumping in and experiencing things as I come along. The by-product of that is that things will go wrong and you will make mistakes. I'm going to prepare myself to some extent, but I feel like just driving myself nuts with pages upon pages of information will just sour the beginning to what should be an awesome trip. It's hard to explain exactly where I'm coming from...
At church this morning, I happened to have this pastor who is a really goofy guy. Despite his goofiness however, he gave a really good homily, and the end result was a simple message: We often spend time asking God for the talents and gifts of others. Have we forgotten that we have so many gifts and talents of our own?
The way he put it was that, there is only one "you," and God made you that way for a reason. Perhaps it's time to stop wishing we could be like another person or do what they could do, and instead give thanks for everything that we can do and the great ways that we can have an influence on others. It was humbling to say the least, and really made me take a step back from things for a moment. Homilies like that are the ones that are truly successful in my book. They make you think, reconsider life for a moment. In fact, that's kind of one of my goals about this blog, is to sort of make people think about things that were shoved in a corner of the mind. It brings about this pensive process that just gets the gears going in your head. I hope that I am successful, to some extent, in that matter. Of course the obvious reason is to keep others who I can't/don't communicate with often, up to date in my life a bit, and hopefully preserve all the great friendships I've made!
One person in particular really affected me and in inspired me in great ways recently, and all I can say is that I owe you one big time, and thank you for being exactly what I needed when I needed it most. The leaving for Spain isn't going to be easy in that regard but that's how life is, always throwing you the curveballs. Things just came up when I least expected it, and I could not have been happier with the end result.
And that's pretty much all for right now -- I'm wondering now if maybe the extra money will allow me to get my annual addition to the tattoo canvas. Only time will tell.