Wednesday, December 19, 2012

a year later.

I recently came across something I had written in a journal on the way home from Ireland right around this time last year. I remember sitting on the plane, thinking about if I had really changed during the past four months of living and traveling abroad. I wrote down some things that seemed pretty insignificant at the time, but now that I discovered this list a year later I can see that they weren't so insignificant after all. 

{from December 9, 2011}
Going forward...
I will use reusable shopping bags.
I will drink more tea. 
I will be more open to getting to know a person I wouldn't normally become friends with. 
I will have more confidence in my traveling, at cooking, at making a lot of things. 
I will be content with shopping less frequently.
I will value locals products and arts and crafts more. 
I will appreciate instant hot water. 
I will put relationships before schoolwork, always taking time to have a conversation with a friend.
I will be happy to not have a plan, to embrace the unknown. 
I will be more open to spontaneous afternoon walks, after-dinner kitchen dance parties, or unexpected guests. 
I will implement the way of Irish hospitality into my life - a hospitality unlike anything I have ever experienced. I learned so much from watching the way the Irish treat their guests with total, selfless warmth and love. 

For awhile, especially in the months right after returning home, it was easy to feel like there was no way 2012 could live up to how amazing 2011 had been. Everything seemed less exciting, less adventurous and less care-free. It took some time for it to sink in, but the experiences of last year were really just a foundation for this year and the years ahead, helping me discover some of the things I value and want in my life. The things above - really just little things - have helped make this year a really good one after all. 

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