Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm Baaaack

I've been back for awhile. Three weeks. One day. 17 hours. 23 minutes. 42 seconds.

Well, I made up that last bit.

Point is, it's been awhile. And I slipped into this sort of comatose crash of blah-land nausea. Work was lame, school was lame, life was lame. I felt so...normal. So average. So lame. And then--today! Oh, today! I finally felt alive! It was this strange sort of surreal euphoria that split across my face in a beaming smile. I swear, rays of sunlight rose from my curled mouth! Birds and butterflies alike sang their sweet songs from my very soul! It was, as you might assess, rather magical. And nearly inexplicable. But I'll try. In verse.

I walk half asleep.
The tired half-life half lived.
Then I think: London. 

Just kidding. I really need to describe this moment in detail, and that calls for prose (as most situations do. stupid poetry).

Anyways. As you can tell, I'm giddy from this experience. And I'm sure it won't mean much to anyone else, but it was this beautiful awakening for me in every sense of the word (except sexually. awkward).

So, I was walking from French where I had just successfully bombed my first quiz, like epically--someone should write a poem about that. And I'm heading back to work, lost in my own tired thoughts. Usually I bemoan my existence and my pitiful life, making lists of things to do and things I hate and pouring a little more out of that half-empty glass. Depressing stuff, I know. But today was different. Today I thought about backpacks.

Let me explain. As part of my Study Abroad package, I was given a free backpack. That means everyone who does a BYU study abroad gets one--of different varieties. But they're a certain brand, just marked with a BYU insignia. Many a people have this same brand, though. And today I saw one. Just a normal backpack on a normal guy (calm down. this is not a love story) and it got me thinking. It got me thinking about my backpack and why I had it and how cool it was to have it.

And then it dawned on me. For the first time in three weeks, one day, 17 hours, 23 minutes, and 42 seconds, it really hit: I went to London.

Now, I've of course recognized that I spent seven weeks in England. I wasn't in a coma during the experience; it has been ingrained in my psyche. But it was in walking down the stairs towards work for the second time that day--this day--that it really finally epically hit me. I went to London.

Instantly, I was beaming. I was grinning. I was smiling so brightly, a silent laugh was bursting from my inner being. It was this epic moment where, suddenly, all the stars aligned and I realized how lucky I was. No matter what happens next or if I fail to reach any more dreams, I can rest assured--I can be happy--because I did it. I made it to London. How many people get to say that? How many people actually reach their dreams?

It was like, in this singular instant, I suddenly thought of all the cliches of people always dreaming of what they wanted to do but never making it, always waiting for life to happen to them. And here I am, a bona fide world traveler. Not out of luck or birth or social standing, but because it was a dream and I realized it. And isn't that the coolest thing any of us can do? I did it! I made it! And I want to sing because of it!

I only wish you could have seen this go down. It was like I was walking in the dark, my backpack weighing me down, my energy drained from a mere two weeks stuck in school studying things I didn't really care to, fighting to stay motivated, wondering what I'm going to do with my life and doubting I'd ever really succeed. I'm a realist, some say a pessimist. I can be a buzz kill, a downer, that depressing reality check. I don't know why I let life get me down, but I do. Sometimes. And then today--it was like walking into the light. No, it was like walking into a field of peanut butter with a forest of cotton candy next to a river of nutella and the sun is shining but there's a slight breeze to keep things cool and puppies are barking their sweet barks and corgis are flopping and fluffy bears and big cats are romping happily about while the coolest people on earth (inluding Jake Gyllenhaal) are hanging out with balloons and pinatas laughing rauciously at funny movie clips as Jurassic Park plays on a big screen in the sky.

That's what it felt like. I was so ridiculosuly happy. I couldn't stop smiling.

I went to London.
I lived in London.
I made it to London.
I actually did it.

So, yeah, I went back to work (lame) and I still have school (lame) and I don't know how I'll have the time for everything, including growing up (lame), but it doesn't matter. I realized that, frozen on a step in the HBLL, staring at some stranger's backpack. I did something not everyone gets to do, and I did it because I wanted to, and it was awesome and I loved every minute (except the rainforest thing) and I won't ever forget it and I'm just so dang happy about it. Life is about moments, right? Well, that was about 4,333,200 moments (seconds) that I gave to a dream and that turned out to be even dreamier than I could have dreamed it. Except it was real. And it was awesome, even life-changing, and it happened. And I just realized it today.

So that is why I'm spouting poetry. Why I'm grinning. Why I don't think anything about today will get me down--not even a bad French score (cuz, let's face it, we all knew that was happening). I went to London. I made a dream happen. And that means, no matter what, my life wasn't wasted. Au contraire! My life will always be something good because, no matter what else, I always have London.
that's Big Ben behind my head. if you didn't know. 

1 comment:

SunLover said...

Shelby! This is awesome. It's so true. You dreamed a dream and realized it and you'll always have it! Embrace it! Love it! It's part of you now, that fabulously epic city! I may or may not be posting your description of happiness on my tumblr by the way. It was too amazing to be left unquoted. :)