Some of you have only had time to pop in here occasionally. And some of you have been walking with me since August. Still others among you fall somewhere in-between. But no matter where you land on this spectrum, I'm grateful to you. Thank you.
When I began this blog, I did so with modest expectations and an admittedly chirpy intro. (For goodness' sake, I used footnotes.)
As the months passed, I was continually surprised by how many of you were following me. As I had expected, this space became a helpful place for me to process all that I was experiencing, especially after the end of October. (Also, I scrapped the footnotes.)
Today, I write in an attempt to close this chapter with some grace. A few friends in Galway have actually asked if I plan to continue the blog, because - imagine this - they like my writing. I have toyed with the idea. It might be a good way, after all, to keep them in the loop. And writing is one of the best ways that I process.
On the flip side, the term is about to begin - and a Union trimester, in case you don't know, moves at warp speed. If I did continue to write, I'd have to be cautious about how much time I'd be spending here. Perhaps more importantly, I would need to redefine the purpose of this space.
So I'll think about it. (And if you have any thoughts about this, please do weigh in.) But as of today, this will be my last post. So I'd like to offer you the three most important things that I have brought home with me.
- I may not be as much of a "city kid" as I thought. New York is home; please don't misunderstand. But after spending most of my time abroad in the countryside, I'm keenly missing the peace, the stillness. It was better for me than I expected.
- I was blessed with an incredibly loving church community - who knew I'd find that many South Asians in Ireland? And on top of that, I made a few friendships that I'll cherish for the rest of my life. (Those of you who know me know that I don't make such comments lightly.)
- I learned to navigate the shoals of grief...3,000 miles away from home. I've felt more than I imagined I could. God has tested me in ways that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. (To be honest, my faith is still on shaky ground...held together with more tape and glue than trust and certainty.)
In August, I felt veritably lukewarm about the idea of going abroad. Today, I remember that version of myself with faint amusement...because just as I expected, very little of my time in Galway went according to plan. For a girl like me - one who loves to plan and control and organize and hopefully thwart the unknown - that spells all sorts of discomfort.
Which is just about accurate...for alongside the joys of the past four months, I've been given many reasons to regret having gone abroad.
But here's the crazy truth, my friends: somehow, inexplicably, I don't regret it.
Not for a moment.
Not for a moment.