Journal #1 – Rebel with a Cause

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.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Journal #1 – Rebel with a Cause

  • June 10, 2017 at 8:29 pm
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    I admire your sense of adventure and you level headedness about the terror attacks.

    Just keep a keen sense of your surroundings and enjoy this incredible opportunity!

    Keep us posted on your position and travel explorations!!

    I miss you.

    Reply
  • June 12, 2017 at 8:07 pm
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    Hi Ally,

    I’m very thankful that you avoided the terror attacks and have been surrounded by kind people and random connections so far from home. It’s definitely normal to feel anxiety or paranoia as a result, and acknowledging those feelings may bring you a sense of closure.

    I commend you on your courage and resolve in not letting this tragedy hold you back from what you set out to accomplish. Please do know that we are always here for you at Michigan, and want to support you in any way you need.

    Take care,
    Jenny

    Reply

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