Hello Friends! I am currently writing this blog entry 34,000 feet above sea level, on the flight back to Brussels. After crying for the first hour of my flight (for all of you who know me well, this is a normal routine), I decided to reflect on my amazing week with unforgettable friends.
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who was able to visit with me! I had the best of accommodations (and a lot of laughs), thanks to Ashley and Dan, and had a blast hanging out with them. Their cute apartment on Broadway is nothing but perfect, and I am so delighted for the both of them. Ashley is just as cute and lovable as the day I left, it was so comforting to be re-united with her!!! I was able to “bunk up” with Craig, who came from Maryland, and it was so fantastic to see him! He is a hard working masters student who provides inspiration to many, and I am delighted his second semester is going smoothly.
I also got the incredible privilege of seeing Amy again, meaning I got to see her 2 times in 3 months! I am a lucky twin! Living on different continents, I say that is pretty good! She is about to embark on a PhD program in South Bend, and I will be visiting immediately. I also got to see Dan the Man, one of the funniest and kindhearted people I know. He was in NYC for showing of his senior thesis movie, and is headed to Mexico next week for a job opportunity. Good luck Dan! I also got to catch up with Michelle, another determined and hard working friend, who is living the dream in DC and keeping all of her doors open to opportunity.
Moral of this trip: I have the greatest friends in the world. In these 7 days, I feel refreshed, excited, inspired, encouraged, and supported, and LOVED. It is so nice to know that I can live in a different country, be reunited with life-long friends, and pick up just where I left off.
I am not a journalist or writer, so I don’t exactly know how to express my feelings through words, but I can honestly say that I am so thankful for the friends I was able to visit. I am so thankful to have ALL of my friends in my life, even if I didn’t get to see them this week. Some people say your group friends “Define” who you are, and if that’s true, then it’s a BIG complement!
I have also made really strong friendships with girls here in Belgium, and I can definitely say that I look forward to our reunions (that are similar to the one I just had in NYC), and can say with confidence it will be just as fun. I miss all of my friends from high school and college dearly, but realize it is GOOD to miss them, because it shows how much of an impact they have on my life. My appreciation for my friends and family is unexplainable. You’ll just have to trust me : )
I loved the city, it is very European in many ways: good transportation, hustle and bustle of a big city, and (unfortunately) the same weather. However, I don’t care how rainy and windy it is, I was with superior company throughout my trip, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. We got to see so many sights! Some of them included: Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the United Nations, Brooklyn Bridge, Colombia University, Staten Island, The Statue of Liberty, and the New York City Library. All of these things were beautiful, and I loved taking lots (maybe too many) photographs around the city.
We ate a TON of good food, it was great to experience some ethnic food in New York, and we also went to Taco Bell (in honor of 352 S. Center Street) and some delicious pizza. We also went to Toms Restaurant, the one used as a model for the sitcom Seinfeld.
I went on my Teach for America final interview (again) and felt pretty confident that it went well, seeing how this is my 2nd time going through the exact same process. However, when it came to the question “Why Teach for America, why not choose another teaching program?” I had to pause. I had to think. And I didn’t know the answer. I realize I can make an impact anywhere. I don’t have to go through Teach for America to teach low-income students to love science or math. So, I am hoping I get placed into the corps to Teach for America, but if not, I am very confident I can still make a difference elsewhere.
I am beginning to collect all of my documents for teaching in South Korea, and in the final stages of that process. The application and phone interview are complete, so now is the waiting game. I also am applying to work on a cruise ship for 6 months with my 2 rock star friends: Louise and Henrriikka. We all agree: it’s a once in a lifetime experience, and there is no better time than the present. So, we’ll see for the upcoming months on what plan formulates. I just have to remember: life happens while we are busy making plans.