The Thankful Project Day 9: Study Abroad

Though I am still trying to compile all my amazing memories and experiences from studying abroad down to one story, or one way to simply describe it all, I am so incredibly grateful for studying abroad.

The things I learned abroad go so far beyond the classroom, I’m not even sure we can see the building anymore.

I learned so much about myself while studying abroad – my work ethic, my personality, who I’m becoming as a person. It’s hard to pinpoint when I started realizing this, but then, we are always changing.

I met some of the most amazing people while studying abroad. I came home with a group of friends that are so amazing; they are undeniably friends for life. These people are so wonderful. They supported me, and I them, while abroad – struggling with studying, homesickness, heartsickness, etc. I love them with all my heart and wish they could be with me always.

I also saw things while abroad that I never thought I’d get to see. We went to Venice, Monte Carlo, Amsterdam, London, and so many places that I am so glad I got to see. It will probably be a long time before I see any of those places again.

Ireland is also an amazing place to live. It is so different from any place I’ve ever visited, let alone lived before. And I am very grateful to have gotten the chance to live in a place like that.

All in all, while it was difficult to transition back from being abroad for so long, I am so very grateful to have had all of these experiences. I have grown, loved more, learned more, and lived more than I ever thought possible. These experiences from abroad have helped me to know myself better so very much.

I wouldn’t trade any of them (literally) for the world.

The Thankful Project Day 3: “Friends”

I found Friends about 5 years ago – in the peak of my high school life. It was around the same time I had my first shoulder surgery.

Friends gave me laughter when I thought I didn’t have any. It gave me funny storylines and ridiculous love stories. Friends gave my silly things to focus on and characters who are oh-so relatable.

And it’s still that way. Friends, especially now that I’m actually in my 20s and getting ready to face the real world, is relatable. They all struggle with love, money, feeling accepted in who they are, and just being happy and being themselves. And aren’t we all?

That’s the point of the show – for decades of twenty-something year olds to appreciate and laugh along with and cry in happiness when amazing things happen to them. For people to root for Monica and Chandler, and to commiserate with Rachel and Ross over romantic woes. For people to appreciate Phoebe’s struggles with money and family, and Joey’s struggles with following his passion.

All of it is so relatable.

And it makes you feel less alone. Instead of wondering if anyone else has ever felt the same way, I can turn to Friends. It sounds silly, and maybe a little dumb, to be thankful for a TV show that started before I was born, but it helps me – and I’ll do anything to make myself happy some days.

Friends is one of the things in my life with no drama. There’s never any gossip, any kickback, any judgment for liking it. There’s nothing anyone can say or do to make me feel bad for enjoying turning on Netflix to the next episode. Friends just is and that is exactly what I need.

When it feels like my friends couldn’t care less about me, I can care about Friends. When I feel put down, sad, or I just need a good laugh, I can turn to Friends. And when I want to put my focus on being a hopeless romantic, I can watch Monica and Chandler fall in love in their own weird way. When I need anything, I know there’s an episode for that.

Without being cliché, Friends is “there for me.”

Make Me A Priority, Please.

About six months ago, I wrote this article about why I’m tired of making my friends priorities in my life when I’m not one in their’s. And this is something I’m still struggling with.

Why? I’ll tell you.

When someone texts me first, I’m guaranteed to answer you within the hour. Partially because I hate seeing the red 1 on phone signaling an unread notification and also because I’m polite. Unless I’m at work, you’re getting an answer to your text message. But either way, you’re going to hear back from me.

We’re millennials. We always have our phones. Whether they’re in our pockets, on the desk beside us, in our bags, on our minds. We’re constantly snapping our friends, commenting on memes on Facebook. There is no way messages are going unseen, unnoticed unless you’re really trying. 

At least have the decency to say no.

It makes me feel like I am not worthy of your friendship. It makes me feel like I’m not worthy of anything. Am I not worthy of your friendship? Am I not worthy of a courtesy text back? Do you know how bad it makes me feel about myself when I never hear from you?

It’s taken me long enough to figure out how to like myself at all. I don’t need you making me feel like I can’t love myself. Like I’m not worth it or like I’m not worthy of someone caring about me as much as I care about them.

I shouldn’t have to put more effort into my relationships than everyone else. I shouldn’t have to wait for text messages about plans or feel shitty when you cancel last minute. I shouldn’t have to contemplate whether or not I should text you just to say okay fine nevermind, forget it. 

Just try, please try to make me feel like a priority too. Please try to make me feel worthy of your friendship, of our relationship, of myself. Please just try to make me feel worth it – life, love, etc.

I’m tired of ranting about this to other friends. I’m tired of trying to understand why you never answer or why you never want to see me. I’m tired of making excuses for your bad behavior and your last minute cancelled plans. I’m just tired.

So I’m done.

In all the time it took me to realize this, I finally started to like myself again. I’m done ranting about this, hating myself, getting angry about never hearing from you. I’m just done.

I think this blogpost is a goodbye. It’s a see you later – but I won’t be the one making the plans.