Captive Audience

Hello world!

Since you’re all a captive audience (because what else are you going to do when you’re stuck at home 24 hours a day) but read things on the internet!

And so we’re here.

So, allow me to dazzle you with some fun facts about me:

I love licking the sticky part of envelopes.

I was a double major in college, which I am very proud of.

I am double jointed in my jaw.

I kissed the Blarney stone but did not get the gift of gab.

My favorite color is yellow.

So, now it’s your turn! Give me 5 fun facts about you in the comments.

Like I said, what else are you going to do?

Love,

Bailey

 

The Gift of Gab

They say that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you get the gift of gab – you can talk to anyone about anything.

But what no one tells you about the Blarney Stone is that it is on a ledge on the outside of a castle wall. So if you want to smooch it, you need to have the gift of courage too.

Why? Because in order to kiss it, you have to lay down and thrust yourself out into the open air. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll get so much momentum from the slick conditions that you’ll smash your lips and almost knock out your teeth – which has the added irony that you won’t be able to speak and have the gift of gab if you lose all your teeth.

But in the end, I️ didn’t have to worry. Because I️ never got the gift of gab. I️ have a terrible time taking to people. It takes everything in me to marshal my thoughts and to get out the word, “hi.” But other people don’t have this problem! They talk about anything they feel like. They talk to fill the silence. They talk whether you’re listening or not.

And maybe that’s why the world always has two people – talkers and listeners. But I️ can’t stop feeling like I️ got a raw deal. I️ still wish that I️ could have received the gift of gab that day – instead of a sore lip. But no one tells you that getting the gift of gab is about as hard as using it.

Faith is a Staircase

On St. Patrick’s Day, there is no way that I cannot reminisce about spending this special holiday in Ireland.

I’ve never seen such a display of pure patriotism. Float after float, band after band, dancer after dancer marched down the street in the coastal city of Galway. Feeling like a kid again, I had to stand on tiptoes to see over the crowd of people, to get a glimpse of the festivities that I was suddenly apart of. When it was over, there was another parade–to the pub. Funneling down the narrow streets, we would eventually arrive at our favorite bar. And people would get their beer “to go” in a plastic cup so that they could take their merriment out into the street, to watch performers put on yet another show.

It scares me to think that this may have never happened. I almost didn’t go to Ireland at all.

Let me set the stage. It was my junior year of college. A lot of things were finally coming into focus for me: I was afraid to start a job but at least I knew who my real friends were. Actually, I was with the best roommates a girl could ask for. But still. As is customary in these situations, I wanted more.

I had always been interested in studying abroad, even though I had only left the country once. So, I set up a meeting with my study abroad advisor. With my high grades, she told me I could go anywhere I wanted. Emboldened by her faith in me, I proudly stated that I wanted to go to Scotland. St. Andrew’s, in fact. You may recognize it from the tabloids: Kate Middleton was educated there. But I was drawn to the school because they had a terrific creative writing program (and an excellent golf course so that my dad would come to visit me there). I had done mild research on it, and I felt sure that I would be comfortable in Scotland.

Imagine my surprise and heartbreak when my study abroad advisor flatly stated that I had missed the deadline for that school. Then, imagine the rift in my heart deepening when she told me that I would only have a few more days to submit an application to any school. I felt the experience slipping out of my fingers before I even had a chance to entertain it.

She must have seen the horror on my face because her next reply was decidedly cheerier, “Have you ever thought of Ireland? My husband was an English major, and he loved his time in Galway.” With an enthusiastic nod, a frantic recommendation letter from my favorite professor, and a hurried phone call with both my mom and my boyfriend, it was settled: I would go to Ireland to study in less than a month.

Despite the rocky beginning to my experience (threw up on the plane, forgot my debit card back in the US, broke my finger playing Gaelic football), I had the time of my life. I met some of the best people I have ever encountered. I saw landscapes that were nothing short of unreal. I learned a new language. But it almost didn’t happen.

I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not submitted my application on time. If I had let the fact that my dream school was no longer an option hold me back. And, oh yeah, if my family, boyfriend, and roommates hadn’t been so absolutely encouraging and accepting of my decision.

However, it was about the only time in my life that I was able to let go of control completely. Of course, I was in the capable hands of my study abroad advisor, but I still put a lot of trust in her. After all, she was going to decide where I would spend the next 6 months of my life. That’s a lot of faith for a person I considered one baby step above a stranger. An incredibly accommodating and complimentary stranger, but a stranger nonetheless.

And so, if there was ever proof that MLKJ’s quote, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase” is true, I am a living example. Maybe the best parts of life aren’t planned or even up to us to decide. Maybe it is just luck that brings us to the right time and place, where we are meant to be (I’m sure the Irish would tell you that). For me, I think it is a combination of being ready for everything and having everything ready. In the end, if you have a parachute, you still have to muster up the courage to jump.