It is now 38 days, 15 hours, and 57 minutes until take off for the Emerald Isle! *Que fan-girl style screaming*
Since this trip was planned (for timeline purposes, we will say that starts at the time of ticket purchase, which was June of last year), I have posted very sporadically. Obviously, there are multiple reasons for this. The one, most glaringly obvious reason, is because it was so far out at the time that posting about it every week – or even every two weeks – would result in some crazy amounts of over planning and repetition on my part – and, let’s be honest, no one wants to read that. The other, far less conspicuous reason is, strangely enough, guilt.
*Gasp! This girl has lost her damn mind! For real?*
Yep, you read that right.
When I originally decided to buckle down and purchase my tickets, my grandmother had just passed away. I wanted to do something adventurous that would make her proud, and (to be honest) to have something really awesome to look forward to when I missed her. What could have been better than going to the one place I have talked about going for years; the place from which I had received countless gifts from the very woman who was in my mind when this all went down? Ahh, yes, Ireland was the only real choice. But life has a funny way of sneaking up on you, throwing some crazy shit in your face, then running away laughing as though playing some barbaric game of tag you had no idea you were apart of.
2016 was a tough year – as it was for many folks I know. I lost two family members and a friend from Kansas City, serious illness and some serious life-changing events of other family members, all among the craziness that was the election (and that is ALL I will say on that subject) was a recipe for an uphill battle of a year (to be oh so cliché).
Now, before I’m called a Negative Nancy, not everything was bad. Obviously, there were some great things about 2016 – like Sarah’s wedding and the surrounding festivities (which was so epic), Oktoberfest in Milwaukee, and of course, the ticket purchase and planning of my trip to Ireland.
What I struggled with the most in regards to this blog and the aforementioned less-than-savory life events, is figuring out when it was appropriate to be happy or excited about this trip. Until very recently, I felt just awful at even the smallest tinge of excitement. It didn’t feel right to be waiting with eager anticipation for a trip when a friend or family member’s life was falling apart.
I wanted to fix everything. I wanted to make everyone else’s life as comfortable as possible – even if it wasn’t possible for me to do anything about the current situation – because if they were happy, then it would be OK for me to be stoked about my trip. But what I came to realize in my efforts to help everyone else, I did a bit of damage to myself.
I’m not in any way, shape, or form saying I regret assisting family, or putting their needs above mine for a while. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get things resolved, and to be fair, I would flip my entire world upside-down for the people to whom I am referring; in some ways I have done just that. It has been so worth every moment, because I know it made a difference to them.
So there I stood: wanting to be sensitive to the hardships, but also wanting to be excited for this trip. It felt like I had to choose between the two because they could not coexist. I just couldn’t justify my happiness amongst the pain and uncertainty that surrounded me… until now.
It’s taken some time, energy, and serious self-reflection to get to this point, but I’m allowing myself to go batshit crazy with excitement over the next month and a half – completely guilt free. Because making myself miserable and forever worried was not and is not helping anything. In fact, the only thing that it did accomplish is a sad, irritated and exhausted Chelsey. Boooooooo.
Basically what I’m trying to say is, strap in for an enthusiastic bombardment of posts. OHHHH YEAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! My goal is at least one a week until the day of departure, then (if I can reel myself in for an hour) one a day on the trip itself… because I have ALL the plans for posts that are awesome and otherwise fantastic.
Until next week!