I have never written a blog before. My last reflection-type diary was when I was in the 7th grade, and it lasted all of two weeks when I quickly ran out of things to say, so this is something new for me. So, what do I expect out of this trip? Mainly experience, figuring out what I want to to with my life would be an added bonus though. However, I think, in all honesty, the last one week has been more exciting than the whole of my 7th grade diary. I have already started a brand-new internship, crashed a wedding, been barely ten minutes away from a terrorist attack, and learned how to make tea the “proper” way (well not exactly on that last one…)
This entry may be breaking the rules a little bit – oops. The focus was meant to be about my amazing internship with the Fulbright Commission, which I am sure I will get to at some point during my eight week stay! However, while reflecting on the past week and the recent attacks that occurred in London I really wanted to write a piece on it, and the events that I was less than 10 minutes from.
Let’s start with the “crashed” wedding. Surprise, surprise, I did not actually show up to a random wedding. I was invited by some family friends who I had never actually met before, and they probably did not think I would actually show up. But here is the thing, in Brighton, Michigan, when word spreads about your eight week trip to London, England the world shrinks. All of a sudden, everybody has a connection: a distant family member in London, a must-see attraction, a word of wisdom. I am starting to realize what a small world we live in. The minute people found out I would be here for the summer, I had arms opened wide by so many kind souls, many of which have never personally engaged with me, ever. It is the most amazing and overwhelming thing.
So, I was on a high of kindness the night I went to this riverboat wedding, which happened to be the night of the attacks on London. I am not going to lie, the attacks freaked me out. They definitely added a sense of paranoia to the following week. Ten minutes before it, I had been under that bridge dancing on a Mississippi Riverboat across the River Thames, 100% oblivious to any danger. I was on the last train out that night, and I can’t imagine how one wrong turn could have gotten me stuck in the thick of it until 3am. Sunday had me anxious. I mean, I am still thinking about it a week later, I suppose, or else I would not have focused this entire post on it. I spent the next few days replying to emails: from my grandparents asking whether or not I was still alive, to the new faces I had met on a stunning riverboat wedding checking in. But here’s what I came to in this little reflection. There is no excuse for what happened on Saturday night; it was a tragedy. But something like this is not going to hold me back from anything England has to offer. The opportunities I am getting while living on my own and working with the Fulbright are more than I had anticipated. Here, I get the chance to work with people from all over the world, preparing orientations and scholarships for some of the greatest minds; it is a pretty cool job. And, yes, the three attacks Saturday night make me nervous, how could they not? But nothing will hold me back from this internship and this incredible summer.