Don’t Let Life Pass You By, EMBRACE IT

Posted By: Madison Ward
Posted On: February 2nd, 2017

I recently read this quote that said “Sometimes the best moments are the ones you didn’t plan at all.” I laughed at this because before I came to Ireland I was someone who liked to have everything planned out. I always wanted to know what was going to happen and how it would happen. I wanted to make sure that I made the most of my Irish experience, and in my head I planned out all of the adventures that I would go on. However, when I got to Ireland I quickly realized that I was going to have to change my way of thinking or should we say “overthinking.” I was now in a foriegn country, where I do not know anyone and have to go with the flow more often than not. At first, everytime I would try to plan something out the bus would be running late, or the place would be closed. It made me realize that if I kept trying to plan everything out I was going to be upset more often than not. So I slowly decided that I would stop worrying about trying to make the experience perfect, and just see what the experience had to offer.

It was honestly the best decision I had ever made: Because the bus was late one day I now know a beautiful walking path that I have walked multiple times. I have ran into people that I know and have had genuine conversations with them. I have aten at restaurants that I did not know even existed, even though I had been going by them everyday. I guess you don’t realize what you miss when you don’t take the time to embrace your situation and your surroundings.

So, I am here to say that the above quote is actually true. Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting to play in Waterford against Scholars Brittney and DaLacy in school ball. We ended up losing by four, but it was a great game of basketball playing against my friends. It reminds me of when my friends and I all signed up to play when we were little, and would play against each other. I had always thought about playing overseas, but I had never really planned it out in my head. I got caught up in what I thought you were “supposed to do” after college and that for me didn’t include playing in Ireland. Looking back to a year ago, I am so happy that I applied for this program. Not only because of the obvious reasons (education, volunteering, and basketball) but because of how much I have learned about myself in the process.  I still smile everytime I think about it; such a surreal feeling. 

After the game, 3 of my teammates and I were on our way back to Cork when one of them said “We should stop at the beach!” I was tired from the game, and had practice later. But, the sunset was beautiful, and they all wanted to go, so I suddenly became excited. The beach is one of my favorite places to go, but due to it being February it never crossed my mind of going. We ended up hiking up a cliff over the waters right outside of Cork. I even put my feet in the water (Yes, it was absolutely freezing). The water was a beautiful shade of blue, and it was extremely windy outside: perfect irish scene. At that moment, as I looked out over the cliff, I laughed. I remember the quote that I had mentioned above and this moment finally validated the truth behind it: I got to play basketball, laugh with my friends, and go to the beach all in the same day. And believe me, when I woke up that morning I did not have that planned out.

So, in conclusion, no matter who you are or where you are reading this: this is your wake up blog!!! I challenge you to change up your daily routine, and be spontaneous. Don’t let life pass you by, embrace it. Do not be afraid to go a different way to work, try a new restaurant, go for a hike, or a new adventure. Change is not always a bad thing and it is never too late to explore a new part of the world. Plus who knows: you might even end up doing something you never thought you could and find out things about yourself you never thought you would 🙂

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