Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why I know I can do this

Lately I've been on plan for a bit, and then I get tired of it, and want to quit.

And then I remind myself, I've done this before, I was at this exact point 3 years ago.

The only difference is I was doing it while I was having the time of my life

I studied abroad in london my fall semester, in 2007. It was by far the best experience of my life, and was truly life changing. I figured out who I was, what I wanted, and how to be happy with myself. I made the college friends I always yearned for

At Fairfield, I always sort of felt left out. I wasn't super popular, only had a few friends. I felt like most of the poeple there I met were superficial, and only wanted to be friends with you if you were a big partier or had a lot of money, which I was neither. I constantly felt judged, and that did a number on my self confidence.

So to say I was scared shitless to go to a foreign country by myself for 4 months is an understatement. What if no one liked me, what if it was Fairfield all over again? Except this time around I didn't have my home friends to fall back on, or my family. I would be all alone in England, with the closest familiar face in Ireland, which was still a plane ride away. I arrived sleep deprived, and sore from carrying my bags all the way from heathrow to the school, sat on my bed and felt a panic attack approach.

Then my roomate walked in. 4'10" blonde hair and the thickest boston accent I had ever heard. Super bubby and excited to meet me. She introduced me to a few girls she had just met, which relaxed me a bit. As the week went on, I would put myself out there, meet new people, and ended up with a group of girls who to this day are some of my best friends. Three of whom I still talk to daily. For once I felt like people liked me for me, not for what I offered. I was having FUN. I was walking EVERYWHERE and so consumed with sightseeing and living in London that food wasn't my biggest concern. I was going dancing 3X a week.

And I had such an easy schedule. The professors knew we were there to experience the city, not learn. Most of my classes were really interesting anyways, and with limited homework it made it even better. I started to exercise daily, just because all my friends were in classes, I had nothing else to do.

Plus I lived smack in the center of Regents Park, and that alone made me want to run always. Every time it took my breath away how beautiful it was.

Leaving abroad was one of the hardest things ever. I was so sad, I had found my city, my friends, why couldn't my life always be like that?

Coming back I realized I had dropped about 30 pounds in those 4 months. Not that I necesarily dieted, but the portions were smaller over there, and I didn't have a car to drive, so I had to walk always. I came back to the American portions, my car, college and reality, and put on 40 pounds over the next 2 years.

sigh. So that is why I know I can do this. I've lost the weight before. It was much easier then, but if I can do it once, I can do it twice and then some :-) and I'm so close to where I was when I got back from london, and in far better shape physically. But this is my PSA for the abroad experience :-) If you are in college, and are thinking about going abroad  DO IT. You'll regret it if you don't

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