Today marks my one month of living in Ireland. One month ago I was saying goodbye to my family and friends. That day I had so many mixed emotions. I was extremely happy one minute, sad the next, then super excited again. It was a roller coaster of emotions the days leading up to me leaving. For people who know me, know how much of a “home body” I am. I basically went to a college in my back yard, I was a quick 30 minute drive away. Any chance I got I went home to spend the night hanging out with my siblings. Other nights I would take the trip home to go out to eat and play our favorite game of backgammon with my best friend. Yes, my best friend is my dad. Needless to say moving to a different country on my own was a big deal for me, something I thought I could never do. Now one month in Ireland I already feel like I’ve grown positively in so many ways.
Thinking back to when I was at Manhattan College I’m so grateful Coach V, Coach Sahar and Coach Allie encouraged me to apply to the Victory Scholar program. We read this book as a team in the beginning of our season called “The Energy Bus”. I’ve learned through this book that I am the driver of my own bus. Each of us are responsible for the direction of our lives and it is shaped each day with everything we do and every thought we have. I want to take this experience and ride my bus full of positive energy. I tried to associate myself with Joy who was the main character who inspired members on her bus to be positive and live life to the fullest. I had a poster in my locker simply saying “I am JOY” to remind myself to live each day the way she does. One thing Joy said that really stuck to me was, “you have only one ride through life so give it all you got at enjoy the ride”.
I remember back in the beginning of this year Coach Sahar telling me she thinks moving to Ireland would be an amazing experience for me and I would fit right in (at the time I thought she was crazy and thought that would never happen). Coach Sahar messaged me last night saying “I’m so proud of you branching out & taking this leap…you will (& already have) grow so much this year.” That’s exactly what I needed to hear. Thinking about it I feel so lucky to have my parents, siblings, grandparents, coaches, Tyler, Kelly, all my parents friends, and of course the best godparents ever (Uncle Mike and Annabelle) supporting and encouraging me to take this journey and step out of my comfort zone. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made so far and I still have 9 more months of this amazing journey. This year is for growth, change, and to inspire. One month in and Ireland already feels like a home away from home for me.