I think this entire year has been a time of bravery for me. I remember sitting on the coach from Heathrow, incredibly jet lagged, and thinking, “Oh my god, WHAT HAVE I DONE???” I was absolutely paralysed by fear for the first few days, and even weeks, because I was so far out of my comfort zone — I was literally an ocean away from everything I had ever known — and I didn’t think I would ever feel comfortable. Now, over eight months later, I have a different perspective on what exactly I had done :)
I was watching The Princess Diaries the other day and I got to the part with one of my favourite quotes. It’s the scene where Mia is so convinced that she can never be a princess or a queen and run Genovia…until she reads a letter from her father imparting a bit of wisdom on her. He tells her, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather, the decision that something else is more important” which I think fits in perfectly with my year in London.
Was I terrified because I was an ocean away from my comfort zone? Yes. Was I in a strange and unfamiliar city? Oh yes, I was. Was I in a completely new academic system in which I didn’t even come close to feeling like I had my sh*t together? Absolutely. But, was it worth it? 100%. I think I was brave this year because, despite feeling that tightness in my chest that signals anxiety threatening to break through the surface, and despite feeling like a mess in class half the time, and despite the unfamiliarity surrounding me, I got through each day, one by one. I knew that this year was what I needed — I had to get out and see the world, and try something different, and study at one of the world’s best universities, because ultimately, I would grow and be a better person because of it.
I am not the person who left in September and who curled up in the seat of a coach, watching the English suburbs pass by and questioning every decision I had made up until now. It took a long time, and many emails and frantic Skype calls with my mom, but I survived the tears and fears, and here I am, eight months later, and I am so happy with who I have become.
I was brave, not because I wasn’t afraid, but because I (subconsciously) decided that London was more important.
Inspired to be,