So last weekend I went on perhaps one of my favorite Ireland treks so far....If you know anything about me, you know that, as over-the-top "girly" as I may be sometimes, I love being outdoors. I mean, don't get me wrong, I have my moments of "whimpy-ness" but for the most part, and with a little encouragement, I will hike, run, climb, and explore just about any- and everything I get the chance to. SO, one of the places I KNEW I had to visit when I came to Ireland was the Wicklow Mountains.....but really, they just call it County Wicklow here, because this park (that strangely no one is allowed to live in) is its own county. Lying just south of Dubln, and often referred to as the "Garden of Ireland", Wicklow is nothing short of breathtaking. Everywhere you look there is something new and captivating to behold....a vast array of different types of trees, water and waterfalls that are incomprehensibly pristine in color, and secret coves that practically beg to be explored. Looking out upon this particular landscape really does feel as if you've walked into a painting.....as if the majesty of such a place could never exist in real life. This being the case, practically every movie/tv show ever made in Ireland has been filmed here....P.S. I Love You, Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, Camelot, The Tudors, ect. ect......Not that I get all that caught up in such things, but it was quite intriguing to see these places and experience the same atmosphere that was captured in these movies. But more than that, and like a few of the other places I have visited on my journey thus far, to marvel at such beauty at times is almost overwhelming in a sense....that the same God who created me, also created this sanctuary of sorts that is so unique in it's beauty, I doubt if I shall ever behold a more genuine sight for the rest of my life and in turn be so spiritually moved.
Perhaps on a bit of a downer note, for some reason I have found this week to be particularly trying on a personal level. It seems that my emotions have been all over the place, and I have had quite the time trying to sort them out.....I suppose this came about with the realization that my time in Ireland is rapidly approaching a close and in 20 days I will be leaving this place, this beautiful, awe-inspiring, place to fly to London where the next part of my journey will begin. I suppose I really should not have been shocked by my sense of sadness, as much as I like to seek out new adventures, I have never been one to embrace change....in fact, I hate it. By nature, I love wide-open....People, Places, Experiences. I get attached. To gain my affection, loyalty, and trust is to posses it forever, and Ireland, and the people of Ireland are no different. I love this place. I love it for what it has shown me....it's own secrets and beauty, as well as my own. And perhaps I feel a sense of indebtedness because of this, and for this reason I will be quite heart-broken to leave it behind.
And to go along with this, I suppose it did not help that I got my very first good helping of home-sickness this week. As much as I hate to admit it sometimes, I am a homebody though and through, and talking with my parents, sister, friends, and Aust, whether it be through Facebook or Skype, has become so very difficult. It's hard for me to not express how sad it makes me to only be able to see or talk to them through a computer screen, and sometimes when I find myself laughing at their jokes or just the random day-to-day updates, a smile has frequently been accompanied by several tears. I know its so overly cached, and it's a concept I thought I realized all to well, but sometimes it really does take flying half way around the world to realize that your most precious blessings were right there at home all along.
Work is still going really well and I am still enjoying it immensely....though I do suppose this week was rather frustrating. As is the case with any creative field, you are either swamped with projects/deadlines or you are sitting at your desk watching the clock.....this past week was the embodiment of the latter. Now, I suppose that isn't entirely true, I have gotten to do quite a few things this week, just not quite stayed at the same pace as these past few weeks have held me to....which in a way I should be thankful for. Some things I did accomplish, I ran several casting sessions...crazy right? Now usually I "live" in our editing suite or in the main office, tucked away for hours...perfectly content, mind you....working on my specific project, and could not be happier. But this week there were no projects to be worked on, therefore I ran casting sessions...which I must say was pretty darn awesome. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't playing "casting director" or anything like that and had no say whether or not these people got hired, but I did get to sit there for 4, yes 4, hours of auditions for an insurance commercial along side the casting director, director, and producer and watch people "try" to act....some of them were good, some of them were painful, but ya know, I guess that's how it goes. Anyway, I am running another casting session (I say this because a representative from our company has to be present for these things as well as keep track of "who's who in the zoo" type of deal for editing purposes), this one open to the public, downtown next week that is going to be 7 hours of pure madness. But hey, I am just sitting there all day, so how awful could it be?.....I may be eating those words later....but for now, I am about as excited as is to be expected.
......So, I guess you could say it's sort of been a rough week. And I know I mentioned it, but whenever I get in these "slumps" of sorts it really makes me miss Austin all the more. It is indeed a very strange sort of feeling knowing that by simply seeing a person's face can (as cheesy as it may sound) light up your whole day....and things that I am almost certain no one else would understand or "get"....he does. But I suppose the one thing that makes me miss him the most is the way he can make me laugh...really laugh....the kind that fills you up from the inside out and makes it seem as if you will never be sad again. And not just that, the way we talk to each other, and the stories and secrets we share about each other's day...I mean he is off on his own adventure evangelizing to the people of Nicaragua at the current moment (Gah! How awesome (and attractive, might I add) is that?!).....and I suppose in a sneaky sort of way, God has been laying lots of thoughts and plans on both our hearts for what the future may hold...and though being a girl, I have always been inclined to such notions...these new "thoughts" seem of a different sort, perhaps a different perspective.....but seeing as I have not wholly figured out how to categorize these "thoughts", more will have to come on that later...maybe ;). So yes, I do love that precious, sincere, praiseful, and gentle man of mine, as he does fill me up with a happiness unlike anything I have ever known. And who knows, we may just get the gumption to get "hitched" one day......a very long, long, looooong day from this one that is for sure. But for now, I like to think of him as this wonderful "gift" that God has granted me....a gift that I feel far too undeserving of at times, but a magnificent (and handsome) gift, nonetheless.
So I guess I should give an update on my running/working out progress. I am happy to say it is still going....slowly, but steadily, it IS still going. Perhaps thats why this weeks seems to have lasted so long and been so dreary...it rained, more like torrential downpoured every single day which most certainly did not help in my running efforts. BUT, I did start spin classes this week which also came with 2 days of gym membership, so in that sense I guess it made up for my lack of daily running. I suppose any time you start a new exercise regimen the biggest obstacle to overcome is yourself...and in this case, the weather definitely has left me with little to no motivation. Here's hoping that this week is sunnier, and I find myself in running shoes very shortly.
Okay, last but not least, it has been a while since I last updated you all on all of the random words/sayings/discoveries I have made on my journey thus far. So ready, here they are...
*Craic (pronounced "crack") = Fun....as in, "We had great Craic!", hilarious for so many reasons
*McDonalds here has the BEST food....I wish I were kidding. No joke, every McDonalds here has a cafe where you can order fresh paninis, bagels, muffins...you name it, and they are all DELICIOUS! I eat there every weekend before I set off on my adventures and I love it! And, as in true McDonalds fashion, you can't beat the price :)
*I still try and get in on the wrong side of the car Every.Single.Time.
*Feck = Exactly what you think it means...the Irish swear it's not a curse word and use it in every day language...ehh, it's still too close to the line to wander into my daily vocabulary
*Oh, and perhaps the biggest thing circulating the news right now, is the fact that all, what we wold consider "Seniors" in High School, are taking the dreaded Irish Exams. No joke about it, these exams determine EVERYTHING about your future. Not only does it determine whether or not you can even go to college, but which college you are eligible for, as well as what profession you are allowed to pursue. Pressure, much? Definitely. They advertise tranquilizers and psychiatric help on the radio every single day, because it is due to said exams that Ireland has one of the highest teenage suicide rates in the world. And you thought you had it rough?
*I still have yet to get used to the fact, that whenever I open my mouth in a public building...whether it is a gas station or a museum, everyone turns their head to gawk at me. I have yet to figure out if it's the fact that I'm an American or that I'm the only person in the room wearing hot pink tennis shoes....
*Fun story, (I wish I would have counted up to this point) but I have been successfully "hit on" at least twice every single week that I have been here. I had always heard that European men were rather forward, but it's gotten quite comical these last few times. I should say that I am in no way trying to be conceited, as I find it hilarious that anyone would find me remotely attractive. But perhaps the most memorable incident happened last weekend when I was waiting for the bus, and a 30-something year-old guy came up behind me and shot the every so clever and suave line of, "Hey Baby.." followed by a sad attempt at a whistle. My response? I turned my head from side to side searchingly, trying to catch a glimpse of who he was referring to, only to burst out laughing when I realized he was talking to me. Poor guy, I'm sure I didn't do much for his confidence that day. And so yeah, all the other times, they have been older, usually toothless and bald, men hanging their heads out the side of some utility vehicle (i.e. garbage truck, plumbing van, ect.)....I only attract men of quality, ya know, hahaha. Oh my, in times like that it really does make me wish Austin was here....
Okay Loves, that is all for now, I will leave you with some pics of last weekend's journey through Wicklow, and hopefully you will be hearing from me soon
Blessings & Grace,
|Admiring Guiness Lake|
|Monastic ruins at Glendelough|
|Monastic Tower and Cemetery at Glendelough|
|There aren't even words...|
|Favorite Picture? I think so|