Hey everyone! Currently I am writing from my hotel near the London Heathrow airport, I arrive back to the states TOMORROW. Almost 3 weeks have passed of my time here in Europe and it is bittersweet to be leaving such a beautiful country, a wonderful host family and so many possibilities. BUT for now my venture is back home. I have made the decision to return home early for a number of reasons. As I know many of you are curious I will endeavor to put some of the questions at ease.
The past week or so I have struggled with numerous feelings and emotions; sadness, exhaustion, happiness, faith, thankfulness, and even fear. This trip has sure been an eye opener! Almost 2 months ago I graduated college, seems like just yesterday, what a beautiful time (even with all of the rain we had that day). Nearly 3 weeks ago I finally finished 7 credits of classes I had left to take when I walked across that stage. Given that I finished class 2 days before I came to Europe on a 6-8 week venture, life is just now catching up with me. What. A. Ride. The past couple of weeks in Genova, Italy have been amazing. My family is wonderful, Italy is beautiful and life is good. Something was missing though and I’m not talking about being homesick, this is something I could feel from within. Ah yes, exhaustion. Here I am in Europe babysitting 10 hour days and traveling on the weekends. YES this is very glamorous in many ways but at this time in my life it was just too much, I was falling apart.
Since the decision I made last Spring to move my graduation date up by a whole semester I had been swamped with classes, pre-sessions, summer sessions and weekend workshops. Good thing I work well under pressure 😉 BUT as I arrived to Europe in my first few days it hit me, I need a break! Here I am about to start a possible 2 month venture but I can’t even wrap my mind, body and soul around it. So after surrendering to all of the emotions I was having about cutting my time here short, I made the choice to honor myself and come home. For the first day or two I was so worried about letting my host family down, after months of Skype calls how could I explain to them why I wanted to go home?! The conversation with my host mom was great, she completely understood and honored my wishes. In the following days I helped find a replacement for the 2-3 weeks I would be missing in order to help my host family out. I found a wonderful girl from Canada and she showed up Monday ready to rock and roll! What a relief, she is awesome and my prayers were definitely answered. Leaving was harder than I imagined. Crazy to think in such little time I became a part of an amazing family. I will forever cherish my time with them!
Once I got past the worrying I noticed something else coming up. I was afraid of what people would think. I had been talking about this adventure for months in anticipation of a nice little treat after graduation. Many friends and family members expressed their interest in following along with me while I set out on many adventures. In many forms I felt a responsibility to help show others the world. Ultimately, I realized the worry about what people thought of me was nowhere near the fear of what I might think of myself. Was I giving up? Was I letting myself down?
In the past few days I have had a revelation. All of the previous became irrelevant. The only responsibility I had given up on was the one I owed to myself. With so many changes I was finding it hard to keep up and in turn I was losing aspects of myself. This made for one very confused Kelsey. After a couple of days struggling through the emotions I am once again back on track to taking care of myself. I have currently had quite the lovely day relaxing at my hotel, treating myself to yummy meals and then a movie date to Magic Mike! That movie sure was XXL if you know what I mean 🙂 For those of you who don’t the movie is called Magic Mike XXL lol, you’re welcome. I have a full weekend ahead! Tomorrow I get to see my mom, my kitties and a few of my friends. This weekend I have a Bachelorette Party for a dear friend of mine and then see my dad on Sunday. Somewhere in between this calls for a bunch of relaxation. I am happy to say I will be spending a couple weeks on a “stay-cation” or at least for the most part!
Now the big question, What’s next?
Well, stay tuned….