I was chatting with Carly yesterday and we realized that exactly one year ago, I had been in LA eating coconut popsicles with her and her husband. And my youngest nephew was born that weekend too. My, oh my, how much has happened in a year. A.lot. happened. But two things specifically I remember that I can say changed my life. Well, maybe three. I'll start with two, and maybe I'll add a third.
These happened within a week of each other, actually. July 22 and July 29.
July 22, 2013 was my 30th birthday. I had been looking forward to my birthday, but some circumstances made it not so great. I was driving to work and relecting on how my 29th year had ended up and I started crying--and it was not at all related to the fact that I was turning the big 3-0. It hit me that on July 22, 2012 I had been living the exact same life -- I drove to a job I hated, I was completely single, and I saw no change in the future. It made me sad, angry, and frustrated -- is this really it? Is this what every birthday is going to look like from now on? Seriously?! The road I was headed down looked full of monotony and displeasure.
Jump ahead one week to July 29, 2013. I had four of my best girlfriends over for dinner to talk about some things I'd been frustrated with in my life and reasons why I felt like I was stuck. As we sat chatting about me (something I hate!), my friend, Anna, said "I already know the answer to this question, but if you could do anything right now, what would you do?" Suzanne piped in and said, "oh yea, I know the answer to this question too." I laughed and without hesitation, said, "I'd move to Ireland." From that second on, those girls forced talked me into looking into ways to get to Ireland.
(A third thing that changed my life was my work with Jon at Liminal Space -- see what I said about that)
What followed after that meeting with my friends would take a lot longer to write ... maybe I'll write it all down one day ... but all this is to say, a lot has happened this year. A lot has happened the last six months.
If you had told me when I was at Carly's in LA that exactly one year from now I'd have spent five months traveling at this point and I had two more to look forward to, I'd have said "how the hell did that happen?!"
And I still ask myself that, actually. God is funny... that's all I have to say about that.
As I pack up my stuff here in Cork, and prepare for another change (more solo travel and being a tourist), I think about what these next two months, six months, and year will look like. I've made some plans, but as I can attest to first hand, who knows the mind of The Lord and the plans he has for us?
But with that being said -- that God can change all of this -- here's what I'm looking at:
- 28 May - 14 June :: Munich + Bamburg, Germany. Barcelona + Madrid, Spain.
- 15 June - 27 June :: Ireland.
- 27 June - 08 July :: Paris. Amsterdam. Edinburgh.
- 08 July - 26 July :: San Diego. Park City, Utah. Atlanta. Huntsville, Alabama.
- 26 July - 10 Sept :: Seattle.
- 10 Sept - 20 Sept :: Mexico City, Mexico. (These dates are not at all set, but I'll be heading to Mexico in September.)
- 20 Sept - 15 Oct :: Seattle.
- 15 Oct - late 2015 :: Cork, Ireland.
Lord willing, I'll be heading back to Cork for a year to help at Unbound as well as get my freelance writing business off the ground and running smoothly.
Lots to look forward to! I'm blessed beyond belief and ready for the adventures ahead!
And to take from St. Patrick's Breastplate:
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to with me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in heart of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Praise to The Lord of my salvation, Salvation is of Christ The Lord.
As I embark again on new adventures, I hope our paths cross. If they don't, let's connect in some way!
But, wait! There's more! I have a special treat for you -- a video! This was unplanned, but hey, one's gotta embrace a nice day and frolick in a field or two ... So that's exactly what I did:
and yet again, the minions at YouTube picked the.worst.possible. screen grab of me! I don't know how to fix it on my ipad, so I'll just have to suck up my vanity and call it a day.