It’s been awhile since I’ve updated. I’ve been battling with a gnarly cold and subsequently have been taking a lot of naps, trying to sweat it out at the gym, and eating chocolate Digestives.
This update will be about things I am missing and new things I have experienced.
First of all, this country does care at all about baseball. I had to watch the World Series Games alone in my room at 4 AM. Might I add, very quietly as well as to not wake up the whole block. There was a lot of silent fist pumping and muffled screaming. And when the Royals won, it was really hard to see all the celebrations happening on Mass Street knowing that I was missing a really important time in Lawrence. It was actually sort of weird seeing my hometown from that external view. That being said, if KU wins the National Championship I might just lose it.
Secondly, thunderstorms. It rains here – all the time. But since I’ve been here there hasn’t been the high quality, building rattling storms like there are back home. It’s a small thing, but I realized that other night when I was trying to fall asleep that while it was raining it was actually really quiet. I actually found myself missing the annoying lightening that knocks the power out for hours or the thunder that makes my books fall off the shelves. There’s just something comforting about it considering that I’ve grown up with huge thunderstorms all my life. Last night, I even found a thunderstorm track on Spotify. It was a good forty-five minutes long.
Third, I miss my car. I love being able to walk everywhere, but I really do miss being able to drive. It was always just a time that I could have to myself. Not to mention, it got me to places a lot faster and and lot dryer.
Lastly, people. I miss my friends terribly. November 4th was Betsy’s 18th birthday. It was harder than I thought it would be not being able to order sesame chicken at Encore to celebrate it.
But, while I miss all that stuff I knew that would happen when I decided to move. I can’t whine about it too much.
Here are some amazing new things that I would never have been able to do back home.
First, mountaineering. This is obvious – there just aren’t mountains in Kansas. But also, the ability to wild camp is something unique to Scotland. Wild camping means that you can pitch your tent anywhere, at anytime, at any point in the year. I’ve also acquired a lot of great new camping skills as well! Climbing is also a new, wonderful thing that I’ve been able to pick up. And I’ve really enjoyed it. It combines the dynamic abilities of pole vaulting with also the cognitive abilities to think and look for the next hold.
Second, I know I’ve said this before but I cannot stress how amazing it has been meeting people from all over the world. Growing up in a small town in the middle of the United States doesn’t really allow for much worldly expansion. I can honestly say that just in the short three months I have lived over here that my worldview has grown and will continue to grow. And while I still miss my Rad Teens terribly, the world has also gotten a lot smaller and whenever I go online I can talk with them instantaneously.
It’s not the same, but it’s something.
Third, new holidays! Just last week was my first new holiday – Bonfire Night! The holiday celebrates Guy Fawkes’s failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords in 1605. It’s like a mini-Fourth of July with fireworks and bonfires all around the city. My friends and I climbed up onto the Crags to watch the fireworks all around Edinburgh, even though it rained quite a bit it was really a lot of fun.
I am also really excited to see all the new Christmas festivities that will be happening around Edinburgh. While I won’t be at home this year when my family gets out the tree or makes Christmas cookies, I will be able to see how the other side of the world celebrates Christmas. Edinburgh is especially notorious for becoming a Winter Wonderland. I’ve already heard rumors of lights everywhere, markets, and a skating rink in the Princes Street Gardens.
I. Love. Ice. Skating.
(read: might actually be an ice princess idk)
So moral of the story?
While there are a lot of things back home that I miss, there are also a lot of things that I would have never experienced without moving to Edinburgh. I know I probably sound like a pretentious asshat, but by forcing myself out of my comfort zone and literally moving my entire life abroad I’ve learned more about myself and the person I want to become.
I have become more self-sufficient and independent than ever before. I’ve collected my UK Residence Permit, opened a bank account, found a way to get a phone, done my laundry, and balanced my new social and academic lives. I’ve made great new friends. I’ve learned a lot.
I do hope that despite all of this, I have stayed true to who I am. I’ve never seen a reason to put on a fake persona, I’ve always felt you have to be honest with yourself first and foremost. I’ve never changed who I was to fit in with certain crowd and I am not going to start doing that now. I love who I am, total nerd and all.
But, I know that for a fact I am not the same person that boarded the plane in Kansas City in September, honestly how could I be? My hope is that I haven’t become someone else only that I’ve become a better version of myself.