Culture Shock

I wish I had a lot to say, but not tonight. I am wiped. I woke up at 6:30 this morning to head out for staff training at my new home for 2 months-Camp Desoto. It is now 9:19 central time and Megan and I are sitting at the coffee shop called The Spot that we found while exploring. Yes, we drove the wrong way, forgot to sign out and had to turn around but an hour later we made it to the walmart. Hello civilization. I am afraid that I will be having a breakdown soon. Going from the big city to the back woods may be a little more than I planned for. Meeting new girls and not letting first impressions stand alone, and instead choosing to give them some time to grow on you (which I learned is a wise decision from London) is really tough. In fact today was a tad bit lonely, but I had to remember that I have only been here one day. It’ll come. Just waiting patiently, or trying to. Left my phone at home and girls were blown away. It’s not like I need it at camp anyway. But as soon as I got internet here I used it for like 10 minutes to browse on FaceBook then I posted a tweet. Yippadee doo dah. The one thing I do miss on my phone is Vine as I listen to it via Megan’s phone. Tomorrow I will be off to more fabric arts. Today I made some cabin decor and a bandana and a postcard. I’m a baller basically. So now I close my computer and go back to unplugging. Night all.

A few random thoughts before I go to sleep

1. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep because I had 3 cannolis and a piece of Miller’s blueberry cobbler. Alas, my herbal sleep pills are trusty and I am getting tired. 

2. I am really missing Samford’s theatre department right now. I wish I could be grieving and honoring Lakim with them. 

3. I leave for my last week of travel tomorrow. That means before I leave I have to be basically packed for that week AND my trip home. Yea, it’s as bad as it sounds. Taking my stuff off the walls was the worst part, but figuring out how to make it all fit in a suitcase is pretty bad too. 

4. I had to say goodbye to Lola and Lila (my French mates) today. No, it was not fun. Yes, it was misérable, but I was being a big girl and doing the whole goodbye thing that I hate. 

5. My day consisted of watching the changing of the horse guard, chilling at my favorite coffee shop near Chancery Lane, dropping by to say goodbye to George, an hour on the bus taking a last look at my city, and then caffe forum sesh with Elizabeth. 

It’s really ending and I’m really sad, BUT I will be very very very happy to see Lookout Mountain, the Strouds, my people at Samford U and Wal-Mart. Not to mention Chick-Fil-A. Sleep tight y’all. 

Homesick

I never thought I would say this and I hate to but, I am missing home. I love London. I have made lots of friends at my internship, at church and in the house. This place is so special, but I need a break before I can come back to live here. The hardest thing though is that I am just beginning to really grow roots and now I am being forced to leave. Literally forced, my visa will expire. Until then I will do as many of the final few touristy sites. I also have an Italy and Barcelona tour. Don’t get me wrong, it’s gonna be so so so much fun, but I am pooped. Totally wiped. Lord give me strength. That’s sad. I’m asking for perseverance to travel, it’s weird, you just sorta hit a wall at some point. And this wall reminded me that summer in Chattanooga, TN may be Heaven on Earth and I don’t know how much longer I can wait. 

BTW the show went well. It was such a relief. Mary Lauren, Maggie, Sallie and Shea came. It was so fun to laugh at the jokes alongside them. It was weird for it end. That’s always the case though. It made me miss Betrayal and my theatre people at Samford. I am so proud of myself for putting it together, sure it was a small little production, but a huge leap for me considering this was a first time for so many things. And in a foreign country none the less. Well, I have an exam in 8 hours and I need to sleep. Night y’all. 

The Last Friday

This morning I woke up knowing I wanted the night off. I have gotten to the point where I feel part of this city. I don’t feel like a tourist anymore. In some regards that is a shame. The wonder I first had has been tainted a little bit, but instead it is now a love. So in that regards I have won, changed, grown, developed. It was totally okay with me to spend the evening in the kitchen with new found friends. Scary tv shows streamed on hulu. Being too loud and dramatic. Laughing. Being sarcastic. Eating nutella brownies from our stand in momma. Plopped in one room together for hours. That’s what this trip is about in some ways. It’s this weird combo of personal and communal growth. Sometimes I like one more than the other. Tonight I liked the latter. And now I am devastated that I will have to be a big girl and say goodbye. 

Shoutout to Merrile and Sally Stroud: Mom, I love tv cuz you do. Thank you. You taught me well. Sal Pal I know how to work with technology cuz of your brains. Thank you. You’ll always be the smart one. 

Oops

It is 10:15 AM. I was about to finish getting ready when I realized that I didn’t blog last night before I went to bed. So, to make sure I stay on track here’s an entry for yesterday so that I can write in my journal tonight and still have all my boxes checked (which I’m pretty particular about doing).

My show is on Sunday. I am scared, not necessarily worried, just scared. I am putting my words out there in the hands of people who are almost strangers. It is vulnerable and weird. I almost just want it to be over so I can say I did it. I’ll really be missing my Becca to hold my hand as I make it through each scene. At the same time I feel very accomplished. Somehow I wrote a One Act, found some actors and have had a few rehearsals to prepare for this reading. That’s a lot to do on your own in a new city. *patting myself on the back 

I am working on finals stuff. Per usual I am so done with school at this point. I still have to edit my final mystics paper and compile a complimentary presentation for it, write an internship paper, and study for my mystics test. Yuck yuck yuck. The hardest part is in my mind all I can think about is the fact that I only have a few days left in this city and I don’t want to spend it working on homework. And yet, I am. Let me prepare any and all who ever come to London with Samford: You cannot and will not do it all. Be ready to miss out on some trips and/or sights. The thing is I know I will come back. It’s not just me saying so, I will come back here. Therefore, I try to fret very little about getting all the homework crap done with my last few days. It’d be really great if I got the breakfast assistant scholarship and could come back for free for a few weeks. I’m finishing it today and working on making myself an appealing applicant.

Tonight I am going to CCM for Bible Study and it seems like forever since I’ve been there cuz last weekend I was in Paris on Sunday. I am gonna miss it. I have made friends and to say goodbye now is far from easy. And as usual I wish I had been more involved than I was. But life ain’t perfect and you don’t get do-overs (usually) so you have to trust that the Lord is faithful in your life and be grateful for all things. 

P.S.: Sara B came out with a new track called Brave. I’m obsessed. 

Fix You

2 weeks. Are you kidding me? You’ve got to be joking right? I still have a huge, long, never ending list of plays, places and things I need to do. Just give me a year more okay? It’s like whining before your mom tells you that you have to go to bed, except this time you aren’t going for a good night’s rest you’re headed to a long plane ride that pulls you apart from the city you have fallen in love with. Also, even mom’s, “Okay, five more minutes,” isn’t enough. After my rehearsal (which my show, that I was freaking out about last week, is gonna be just fine) I decided I didn’t wanna go home. I walked to King’s Cross, grabbed an eclair, and took the scenic route-a bus home. Public transport, that’s what I’m gonna miss the most. I mean it. Heaven on earth to me is a good book, and/or a hot drink, and/or some good music, and/or a sweet treat and a ride of 30 minutes plus on a tube or bus in London. I love it. Don’t ask me to explain it cuz I can’t.

Another reason I don’t wanna go is that I’m not ready to be back with all those people. The whole bubbled campus thing with sororities and classes daily just ain’t sounding fun. I have formed this really cool, independent lifestyle here that I selfishly don’t wanna give up. Alas, I must and it freaks me out. What are you people gonna be like? How am I gonna adapt? Not to mention it’s my senior year. Shut the front door. 

I spent the weekend in Paris. Let me just say, “I prefer London or even NYC.” I know that breaks Merrile Stroud’s heart, but Paris is not my fav. It’s very very very dirty, they don’t speak my language, it’s spread out, the food is expensive, the shopping is pricey. I’m sure if I stayed longer I would find out other information that would contradict my first impressions, but for now my stupid reasons are what I hold on to. BUT I did have a blast! The only thing I really loved about the city was the beauty. We spent loads of time walking around, eating cheap street food and soaking in the atmosphere. Good people plus a few miles of getting lost together will bring you together and I couldn’t have asked for a better crew (i.e. Jennifer, Elizabeth, Miller and Sarah Wright). 

 

P.S.: The only reason for the title of this blog post is that I am listening to Coldplay right now (thanks Sarah). 

P.S.S.: Is there anyway I can extend my visa to stay here forever?

in 7 hours

At 4:30 AM tomorrow morning I will be waking up, hopping in the shower and grabbing my hot pink lulu lemon bag packed for Paris. I’ll be there all weekend. Sarah and I made a schedule for people to join in on and I am pumped to say the least. I wrote my BHC paper, have a rehearsal schedule for next week and am calm. All the stress, just needed to let it go. I’m more than ready to spend a weekend away simply focusing on taking in a beautiful European city. 

Today I worked. And without Lola at the office, cuz she was working at the shop, I was miserable. It’s not the same with just me and George in the office. I have no one to talk to, go grab coffee with or joke around with. I have loved this internship but not because of my site supervisor, because of all the other cool people I have met along the way. It’s about to get real at Theatro Technis as I do another week of rehearsals and put on my show. Sheesh y’all it’s scary. Putting on a show without help and support of peers and professors is rough times. Finding people, scheduling things is just that more complicated. You feel like you’re running into the dark all alone, not exactly my cup of tea. But for the next 72 hours I have only one thing on my mind: Paris.

Actually, I may have 3 things on my mind. Kenzie got the internship she wanted in Washington. I couldn’t be more proud to call her my best friend. If you read this kid just know that I have always been and will always be so honored to know you. We’re going places. Crazy right? To all those women out there who have a special place in my heart keep your chin up. I’m terrified of this “real world” that we are supposed to be expecting in the near future, of leaving the community I have in Chattanooga and at Samford, of being completely self-sufficient, but that’s part of growing up I guess. And I am so blessed to have some pretty rocking people around me to do it with. The last thing I have on my mind is Gone Girl, a new book Momma told me to start. It’s supposed to be the thriller of the year, best kind of going to bed material there is. Starting it now. 

Night night.