I’m studying abroad this semester. That’s the short story of it.
The lengthy version:
I was born in central Florida, my parents divorced, & when I was 10 my mom & I transplanted to south Alabama. I grew up in a small town (where I did anything but fit in), the name of which I’ll leave a mystery. However, whatever you picture when you think of a small town in Alabama, that’s it. It’s probably spot on. I grew up well. Content & creative, being in a band, forging a friendship or two that’ll last forever, with caring parents & a 4.0 GPA.
I was awarded a full tuition scholarship to the University of Alabama.
I couldn’t be happier not fitting in. I have the most genuine friends (many more than high school). I’m a student at a prestigious university. I’m (mostly) healthy & comfortable in my skin.
Takeaway: If you don’t fit in or don’t have the right last name or the right look, shrug it off. You can do whatever you want. I know every therapist or grandparent may say that, but listen to me. Want something? Go get it. Succeed unapologetically, but always be kind, humble, and never bitter. Roll tide.
When the possibility of studying abroad surfaced, it was met with a lot of this & that concerning terrorism, pick-pockets, & the general danger that comes with being a young woman.
To that point,
All of that is valid. However, if I alter my goals, my life, they win. All of these things against me win & win & win if I surrender my life to retreat to what’s familiar. I urge you to listen to “White Flag” by JOSEPH as it will be my anthem during this time.
From then to now
I’m headed to Florence, Italy in January. This will be my first time in Europe. It’s funny I’ve never been west of New Orleans & hardly ever north of North Carolina.
I’m here & ready to roll. I’ve come a long way from a shy child to an exhausted, but motivated college student. I’m also probably a little too straightforward & willing to spend far too much money on concerts.
Overall, I’m stoked.