Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This Moment

So over the weekend I flew home to attend my uncle's wedding. When I first heard they were getting married in October, I was quite upset at the thought of missing out on it, as there aren't likely to be many more weddings in my family, at least not for a while. But I managed to make it back, thank goodness.

During the few hours of downtime on Friday morning, before the wedding in the afternoon, I was skimming over the poem my mom (being his sister) was going to read during the ceremony. I decided to take it upon myself to write something a little more engaging, and with a little more feeling. After a few drafts and a few crumpled pieces of paper thrown across the room, I produced a speech for my mother to read.

Not to build it up too much, but it was kind of a big hit. Ya know. ;D

But in all seriousness, I feel really honored that everyone liked it so much, and that I kind of surprised everyone there. My uncle wanted me to write something, but didn't want to put too much pressure on me to do so; when I did write this, he told me it made his day (besides the whole thing where he got married, ya know), and I'm really glad it did. The priest asked for a copy and when my uncle's friends and my family actually realized I had written it, they were stunned and impressed.

So now you may all enjoy it. I hope I didn't build it up so much that it doesn't live up to expectations.

This Moment
By Rachael Bahr

Marriage is easily turned into metaphors.

Marriage is like buying a puppy--when choosing, you want someone lively, happy, fun, loving; but not so much that you banish them to the backyard when they get annoying. You could say marriage is like a car; you want it to run smoothly and with very few bumps in the road. Or it could be like a rollercoaster, full of ups and downs and sudden turns.

And of course, marriage is a promise--one of companionship, one of having someone to share in all of life's experiences. It's a promise of the good, the bad, and the assurance that even if things get worse, they will always get better.

These metaphors, however, all look at the long run. But in this moment, here and now, marriage isn't any of those things.

Marriage is a joyful moment. Marriage is everyone here coming together to celebrate the unity of Jeanette and Alex. Marriage is the look in his eyes when she came down the aisle. It's the sunshine on this rainy day. It is, simply, love.

It's this moment that can't really be put into words. It's this feeling. It's warm. It's the smiles exchanged between the bride and the groom. It's new. It can be scary. It's the start of an adventure. It's a leap of faith.

It can lift your heart, it can make you fly; it might make you cry. It's a time to celebrate and to let all the joy you're feeling fill all the corners of the room. It's a time to capture, to save, to share with the world.

Marriage is a long journey on a twisting, uncertain path, and it's this moment, here and now, wrapped in the warmth and happiness and metaphorical sunshine, surrounded by love, that you are taking your first steps.

Author's note: It was raining that day, to put that metaphorical sunshine into context.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On studying abroad.

The very first day I arrived in England, after I had gotten all my things up to what was to be my room for the next three months, I stood staring out the window, unable to process everything that was flying around in my head. So I did what any normal 21-year-old girl who was abroad on her own would do. I cried.

I spent about an hour crying in my room that first day, extremely, terribly thankful that I was the only one on my floor. What would my floormates think if, the first time I met them, my eyes were red and puffy and I was sniffling all over the place? So I got it out that first day.

After that I was surprised at how easily and quickly I settled in. Newcastle no longer seems like a strange foreign place that I'm scared to walk around by myself. It's not quite home but it feels more like it every day, especially after a weekend away, when I'm just getting back and my feet are aching and my bag is weighing my shoulders down and the only thing that's going to be better than a hot shower is falling into my bed, in my room, on my floor. Because it's slowly turning into a place that I can call mine.

Then there's that nagging voice at the back of my head, prodding and poking and telling me I'm not making the most of being abroad. Have I done enough yet? I've been here for over a month and I haven't even left the UK yet. I spent a weekend in Ireland and a weekend in London but what I expected to feel when I went away isn't there. Aren't I supposed to feel amazed and fulfilled, like pieces are just clicking into place with ease? Here I am in a foreign country, seeing and experiencing new things, and yet I still feel like I need to do more. What more can I do?

Don't get me wrong, I love being here. I love all the people I've met (especially my friends of 10A) and everything has been great but sometimes I feel like I spend too much time either sitting in my room or sitting in my friend's room. Shouldn't I be out exploring? Drinking with the natives? Pushing my boundaries? Getting to know all that England has to offer? Maybe I built it up too much and now actually being here just isn't living up to my expectations.

But I'm here, aren't I? I made it here, I got myself here (with, of course, much help from my parents; let's be real). Shouldn't that be enough? Theoretically, everything should just fall into place and I shouldn't have to move too many pieces around. Or maybe that's the point--the pieces aren't all there and I have to seek them out. The picture isn't complete yet, but I don't quite know what I'm looking for so I'm just going around and looking, touching, feeling, learning--and maybe that's the whole point after all.