It’s two weeks, one day and one hour exactly, at the time of this writing, until I leave for London. For those of you who don’t yet know the story, or for those of you who love me enough to read a story you’ve already heard: Welcome the tale of “How-the-heck-I-wound-up-leaving-the-great-(albeit hot)-state-of-Texas-to-go-live-in-London.”
Whew. I’m out of breath! Because I like to talk (or write), for your sake I’ll be breaking this story up into a couple of parts over a couple of days. I know that people on the internet usually like photographs (so click the link when you see a highlighted word) and don’t like to have lots of content to read. So I’m sparing you. (Just kidding… I’m still going to talk just as much– but you’ll like it! I promise.
Here’s where the story begins. For just a moment, forget that I’m 21 years old and pretend like I’m 16 again. If you didn’t know me then, I was just coming out of my awkward phase that lasted about three years. I’m pretty sure that I’ve burned every picture that exists in that time frame… no wait, my mom scrapbooked it. *Note to self: burn scrapbooks, ages 13 to 16.* It was somewhere between my 16-year-old self beginning dual-credit college classes and getting my first job that a dream appeared in my heart. It felt like this: an incredible desire/urge/longing to study abroad in London.
I say it appeared because I swear I didn’t think it up. In fact, I have no earthly idea where the idea came from. And that’s when you know it was God-given. Side note: there are people who get what we Christians say is a “Thus Sayeth the Lord” (with King James’ pattern of speech and all!). But there are others who get a small, quiet (or strong and loud inside) desire/urge/longing to be or do or say something. The big dreams in my heart have been given by God, but it comes in the form of a knowing what I’m supposed to do. Like London.
Fast forward four years. I’m 20 and now about to enter my junior year of college. After a miraculous turn of events, I begin attending Southern Methodist University (I did my first two years of college at a community college in Dallas). I’m majoring in Journalism and somewhat randomly chose Photography as a minor so that I wouldn’t have to stay in school longer than absolutely necessary. My only two criteria when looking for a school was that they have my major and have a study abroad program where I could go to school in England. In addition to SMU being an absolutely incredible school (have you seen their college rankings recently?!) and the fact that SMU felt as though it was tailored for me, it fit my two criteria perfectly. In fact, until the year I transferred, SMU had only been doing a summer in London program. The semester that I transferred in, they began partnering with the Institute for Study Abroad through Butler University to allow students to select a school in the UK to study abroad for a semester or a whole year.
I knew this was perfect for me. I could have my pick of the British Universities: Cambridge, Oxford, City, Westminster, University of London and tons of others. It wasn’t long after transferring that I stopped into the International office at SMU to declare my intentions to go to London. They throughly supported me and have been so helpful along the journey.
So the count down has begun and so has my little (ahem, long) story. In case you missed what I was trying to say (or you can’t wait until tomorrow to find out how all of my dreams have been shaping up) here’s a summary:
On Sept. 1, 2010, I’ll be leaving my home in Dallas, Texas to study abroad at the University of Westminster in London for the semester. Before I report to London for school, I’ll be spending my first two weeks abroad in Madrid where I’ll be staying with longtime friends. It will be a test of my will and mental agility as they only speak Spanish. I’ll be returning from London a week before Christmas and will finish out my schooling back in Dallas at SMU in January and will graduate with my Bachelors in Journalism in June of 2011.
Now that you know (in a nutshell) what the heck I’ll be doing in London, please read this summary of today’s story and get yourself ready for tomorrow’s continuation of the story… in detail.
Summary of story with a ridiculous title – Day 1:
You have dreams in your heart. They’re valid and the world needs you to pursue them because the WORLD NEEDS YOU. Some dreams will appear to you as if you’re hearing a “word from God,” a crazy turn of events, a friend or family member prodding you to pursue an opportunity or sometimes… just sometimes it’s a knowing from somewhere deep inside you. Follow it. And then enjoy the adventure of where your dream will take you.