Yup, that's right: I spilled a whole cup of tea on my wonderful laptop, my lifeline and my baby. After two days in a fucking huge bag of rice (which was unsuccessful because I forgot to remove the battery first...), my step-mom's IT people at her work concluded the motherboard was fried. All my writing, pictures, and what not though, were saved. THANK THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Lesson for the nth time: always always always back up your shit. I did on a flash drive, but my dad says now is the time for an external hard drive as well as some internet program that stores your files online. Still, I am thankful my stuff has been saved.
I have reevaluated my goals for this summer, mainly the funny notion of having any. I cannot work when I am bored or not busy (i.e. Ireland) and thus my plan to finish Autumn Leaves has failed miserably. It needs to get done before I graduate; this goal I have always had at the back of my mind. I psych myself out with these shorter term goals that I rarely meet and am disappointed when I fall short.
Last summer was stressful, for various reasons, and my mind refused to focus. This summer has been amazing in that I've gotten to see my friends so often and had some great mini-adventures. Nevertheless, my reverse culture shock and my constant sadness of the absence of my former Irish home and my Irish friends has left me apathetic about my work. I can still close my eyes and open them, expecting to wake up on my creaky mattress in my grim apartment. I can still see the smiles on my friends faces and the glow of the low lights in the pub on Wednesday nights. I can still look up and anticipate random bouts of rain and bothersome mist. I can still taste the bitter, fruity aftertaste of the 5euro wine I drank so frequently. I can still feel his hand around my waist and how happy I was in Cork...
I do find myself remembering random stories and wanting to share them with someone, but am working harder now at stopping myself to keep my friends from stabbing me while yelling, "Stop fucking talking about Ireland!" If I keep it up, it's bound to happen, I'm sure. Anyways, I decided I'd write a couple of my random memories from the semester down here. I don't know how frequent my posts will be with no steady computer and recruitment stuff coming up quickly, but here's a little something for now:
I remember the first day of school at UCC and calling my dad at 11am Irish time (hadn't quite gotten used to subtracting 6 hours for US central time...), sobbing hysterically about how homesick I was and that he had to get me home now. I looked fucking ridiculous and had many students staring at me in the Student Centre. Eventually I pulled myself together, but on the walk home from classes that day I started feeling like shit; my roommate had gotten the stomach flu and now so had I. Not that great of a first day if I do say so myself.
I remember my first couple trips to the climbing wall and my first hike with the Mountaineering Club, how nervous and awkward I was per usual. In awe, I watched the other club members climb the wall like total beasts and run down the mountainsides like experts. I thought to myself, "Well, fuck, none of these people will end up being my friends. I can only pretend to be athletic for so long." Little did I know that I wasn't fooling anyone and for some reason, they still wanted my company. Perhaps having the talkative, scrawny, feisty American around was good for the club's morale, but whatever the reason I was thankful.
I remember leaving for our trip across Europe with my next-door-neighbor Natalie and the first day in Paris. We wandered without a clue and carrying our luggage around aimlessly. The next day when my roommate Cassie joined us, that nap we took in our friend's dorm room was the best thing in the world. How the hell Natalie and I were able to sleep like ying-yang on that tiny mattress with our clothing as a pillow, I will never know.
Naps are particularly memorable parts of our trip for how much we looked forward to them. When in Vienna staying with our couchsurfing hosts, we walked in that first morning and saw one futon and four of us. After some squabbling about who was a "big spoon" or a "little spoon" (by the way, I was sort of born to be a little spoon since I practically sleep bunched up in a ball), we all were packed together, side-by-side, like sardines.
I remember that night we got back from Turkey into Cork and decided we were going to go surprise our friends at the pub. I ran in with one of the girls to drop off our luggage and left the taxi stalled outside. When I got back in the taxi after quickly spraying a bit of perfume on, my roomie Alicia squealed, "Oh my God, you smell so good!" It was that moment that we realized how stale and nasty we all smelled/looked. I have a strange feeling that we were (except for a couple of the guys) more excited to see everyone than they were. It was like any other Wednesday night and that familiarity after all our insanity was so comforting.
Yes, I remember plenty of sad moments as well or good memories that tug at my heart strings, but these make me smile. I hope I'm getting to the point, slowly but surely, where I can smile back on those amazing five months instead of sulking about how it is over. I'm more in the moment about the summer now (not such great timing since it's almost over) and though I may not be as blissfully happy as I was with all my friends there, I am still feeling pretty good with the occasional sighting of my old friends around these parts. They make me feel like I'm in high school again, and I know I'd be lost without them. I just hope they don't end up stabbing me before these next few weeks are up...