And here we are. 200. A big number. It has been almost a year since I wrote number 100 (you can find it here: https://ascampabroad.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/the-scamps-100th-post-or-what-ive-learned-from-my-journey-so-far/). I’d like to say that the last 100 posts were as exciting as those first 100, but I am not sure that they were. Life in the States seems mundane and boring compared to the life I was living in Scotland, and the adventures I have here are few and far between. It has also become painfully apparent to me that a lot of the things that I learned in the first 100 posts did not carry over to the second 100. Instead of a thoughtful piece on the last two hundred, I thought it would a better use of the post to show the world what 100 posts looks like in pictures. I’ve decided to share some of my favorite pictures from each of my adventures.
My first post was in March of 2012. I had known that I had a spot in the program for three weeks at the time of the first post. I did not take a picture of the moment I found out, and now I wish I had. I told everyone who came to the desk at USD that day that I got accepted overseas. That weekend I celebrated my 25th birthday and began to plan a trip to Scotland for a campus tour.
I told my family and friends of my choice to go at a family party.
March saw the first trip to Scotland.
April saw only one post about me being very worried about becoming irrelevant once I left. To counter that, I spent time with my family to try and forget that feeling.
May of 2012 was one post about falling in love with a boy who had no idea I was in love with him. It was also the month where Kelly graduated.
June of 2012 saw a family trip to Ireland. It was one of the best trips I have ever been on. There was only one post from that month, and it was about my struggle to find housing, my worry about money, and the boy telling me he loved me.
July was the first month I posted more than one entry. This month was about being tired, getting overseas insurance, and moving from San Diego back to my childhood in Orange County. The photo for this month is one of the last nights out in San Diego with two people who I spent the most time with there.
August was a crazy month for me. I was stressed about all the plans I still needed to make, how hard it was going to be to leave the boy, and reality of what the next year was going to look like for me. The picture for this month was taken a few days before I left. I hadn’t finished packing, but I spent the day in the sun napping.
September 2012 marked my first month in Scotland. The posts were about finding my way through the city, going on hikes up Arthur’s Seat. I started to make friends with the people that lived around me, and the people that I was in class with.
This was the view from the hotel I stayed at before I moved into the dorms.
In true Scottish fashion, it started to rain during the hike
The view from the window of my dorm. Not a bad scene to wake up to.
October was all about traveling and seeing Scotland, learning to live with 18 year olds, considering what life would be like in my relationship if I stayed to do my PhD, and how to deal with staying on medication that was helping me control my depression and anxiety.
I celebrated Halloween with these two
Tried to find the Loch Ness Monster
and explored castle ruins.
November saw me complete the first half of my program, worry about upcoming holidays when I had no job, and no money coming in, and what harvest meant to me. I was able to come home at the end of November. I was reunited with the boy, got to sleep in my own bed, and got to eat real food. The best picture from this month is my first taste of Mexican food when I came home from the airport.
December of 2012 was a hard month for me. The posts were about my struggles with being home and wanting to be social vs having work to do, juggling my family with the boy and his family, and getting robbed on Christmas. I spent most of my time in San Diego and managed to write 2 very good papers despite not having any of the books and not having my computer.
January 2013 started off on a great foot. I got to move out of the room in the Freshman hallway, got to experience snow for the first time, and settled into a very interesting class about children’s books. I was happy to be back with my friends and wandering around the city that I love.
Reunited with the gang.
Snow changed the view outside my window. Luckily it did not snow enough to really be a problem. I can still remember the first time I walked home in the snow. I wasn’t properly dressed for it, but I loved every minute of it.
February 2013 was a rough month for me. This was the month my relationship fell apart. I tried to hide it as best I could, but it eventually came out. I admitted to the world through my blog that I was depressed, admitted that I was no longer going to marry the boy I thought was the love of my life, and that I was going to seek help to deal with all of these issues. I was sad, but hopeful. This month was not all bad though. I got to go to Belfast, and that was quite an adventure. I loved it (well, maybe not the Titanic part, but the rest of it)
March of 2013 saw the start of my 26th year, a new tattoo, the end of my coursework in Scotland and posts that ranged from celebrating the birthdays of my brothers, my grandma, and my sister to all of the love I felt from people all over the world about the break-up. I got care packages from friends at home, home cooked meals from the girls in Scotland, and positive thoughts from the world of blogging.
A birthday present to myself
A proper St. Pats celebration
April of 2013 saw a visit from my parents and real healing. I really started to explore and enjoy the city, spent a lot of time outside of my room with my friends, and showed my dad why I loved the city so much. April also marked my 100th post.
This is my favorite picture taken in the course of this journey.
May 2013 saw the end of my journey in Scotland. I really did not want to leave. I spent as much time as I could with my friends, made a plan of how to tackle life when I returned to the States. I went to Dundee, visited Rosslyn Chapel, and started work on my dissertation.
June of 2013 saw a mini vacation to see some of my friends and a lot of work on my dissertation. I got a job interview for a teaching position, and attempted to adjust to being back in the States. I only unpacked what was necessary, and spent 8 hours a day writing.
Onward ho! Thanks to my awesome navigational skills we found everything we needed
July of 2013 saw my struggles with writer’s block, my fear that I would never finish my dissertation, and my struggles to readjust to life at home. I was still talking to my friends from Scotland on a regular basis, and I was gearing up to start school at CSUF.
By August I finally finished my dissertation. I was very excited of the work I produced. I went to a wedding and reconnected with an old love, and realized that my wanderlust was not going to go away. I started the doctoral program, and was hopeful about the academic journey I was about to embark on.
Look mom, I’m wearing heels!
September was stressful for me. I was still waiting to find a job, and saw my bank account quickly emptying. I got the chance to babysit for my cousins, got to see two of my favorite people from college marry, and learned how to get in touch with my inner philosopher.
She feeds herself, allowing me two hands to hold my textbook open
October of 2013 was the month results for my dissertation was released. I got an A and was on top of the world. I fell in love again, and thought I was in a really solid relationship. I learned how to navigate race and academia, and felt like I was finally getting the hang of being a doctoral student.
November 2013 was my favorite month since being home. I got to return to Scotland and celebrate my graduation. I got to take Kelly with me so she could finally see the beauty of the place. I finally had a job, and was making a little bit of money, and I got the idea to make a literacy group that allowed kids to read with puppies.
December saw the end of 2013, and the end of my first year as a doctoral student. I was struggling with juggling work, school, family and the boy, and a wonderful Christmas with my family
January 2014 saw a new year, and what I hoped would be a new attitude. I started a happiness challenge, tried to make the relationship with the boy better, and made inappropriate posts that made me laugh.
In February I found myself sliding back into old habits. I was growing increasingly depressed, tried to figure out how to deal with my doubts, and dealt with some uncomfortable feelings about the death of a woman that I did not like. I found myself very homesick for Scotland, and wanting to run away again. I got a new tattoo to celebrate my upcoming birthday.
March of 2014 passed in a blur. I turned 26, let the depression get the best of me, and spent all of my free time working . The posts were mostly other people’s words, or pictures of me from my youth. I couldn’t really find my own words well enough, and was doing all that I could to pretend I wasn’t miserable. I did enjoy my family, and the support they gave me.
And now we are almost through with April. It has been an interesting month to say the least. Another love finished, another good long look in the mirror, and another month of being incredibly busy. The good thing about this month is that I recently found out that I have been given two classes to teach in the fall. My class from this semester was cancelled, but now I can quit the job I took to pay my bills in favor of a career. I am very excited about that.
All in all, this blog has been very good to me. It has allowed me to chronicle one of the best years of my life, and allowed to me learn and grow, and process life after that. I will keep it up for the next 100 posts and see where the road takes me.