Ok, let’s talk about how weird it was to go to Bath and Stonehenge on Wednesday. A good weird, but weird. So far we haven’t done the same things I did when I came to Oxford three years ago. I see the occasional familiar site, but for the most part, this experience has been completely new. So to show up at Stonehenge and Bath and stand in some of the same places and see the same things as I did then was surreal. The first time I came, I was fresh out of high school. I had never been away from home for longer than a week, I had never been the only LDS person I knew in the country, I had only left the country once that I could remember. I hadn’t started college or had roommates or had a grown up job or anything. I don’t think I considered myself brave back then, but looking back on it, coming to Oxford was a scary thing. A good thing, an amazing thing! But a scary thing.
So much has changed since I came to England to study the first time. I have 2 1/2 years of college under my belt. I’ve declared a major, switched it, and switched back. I’ve had 6 jobs, 9 roommates, and 31 classes. I’ve made new friends, started learning ASL, gone through the temple, and so many other things. I’ve changed so much, more than I ever thought possible as a little baby high school graduate out seeing the world for the first time. I think if I had known what was up ahead when I was first standing at the steps of the Roman baths, I would have been terrified of all the hard stuff. But I also think I would know it would be worth it to be the person coming back to England 2 and a half years later. In fact, I would do it all again to be here.
I saw Wicked this week, and one line has been playing through my head ever since. At one point, Galinda says, “happy is what happens when all your dreams come true.” I definitely can’t say that all of college has been happy. But I sure can say that I’m happy now. Being here is seriously a dream come true, better than I ever imagined. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it could work out this way. But thankfully, God is good, and He exceeds expectations and blesses us beyond understanding. I’m so incredibly grateful.
Aaaaaand now we can go back to the non-sappy stuff. Aka more pictures. I’m not sorry.