My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. – Maya Angelou
More than a month ago I compared myself to the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. I was hustling and rushing to get everything done. Can you imagine what the end result was? Ha, let me tell you.
From September 28th through October 13th, I tried to check everything off my to-do list, from packing and sending e-mails, to studying and saying my goodbyes. Just when I thought I covered all my bases, I realized I had dropped the ball on obtaining my Spain Visa earlier this summer. I thought I still had time to contact the embassy and Spain consulate in the U.S. Clearly. I knew I needed a visa to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days. I had contacted both the D.C. and N.Y. consulates via e-mail, in hopes that they would be able to answer some of my questions, but they did not. After informing them of the steps I had taken, they shut me down before I could ask my questions. Who’s to blame? Me. Life moved extremely fast this summer and I shouldn’t have underestimated this process. Everything about that experience screams, “First time traveler.” But that’s alright, I accepted my mistake and made the necessary adjustments after. As the singer Aaliyah cantered, “If at first you don’t succeed, you can dust yourself off and try again.”
On a more personal note, saying good bye to my Nashville family was not easy. The day I left Nashville, I was with my boyfriend Trevor and holy cow did I cry! I knew I was going to. I live in the moment and when the emotions roll in, I let them come full force so that I don’t let them linger any longer than they have to. I cry because I love deeply. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring but I do know I am loved and I value every moment I share with others.
Now, the driving part was actually easier than I expected. It was a road trip party for 1. I drove 10 hours to Washington D.C. to see my childhood best friend Bella. The next morning finished the last 4 hours of my drive. Since then I’ve been seeing family and friends non-stop. Studying for the GRE was not a thing these last two weeks, but that’s okay. When I look back at my life at least I know that I prioritized the things that matter most to me. It’s important for me to be around my loved ones because we have such a unique relationship. Plus, I know that I’m a hard-working, driven individual. I may not know what lies ahead, but I know it will be rewarding.
Everyone asks me if I’m excited or nervous for this trip. My response is, “Neither.” I’m more curious than anything. My social and cultural upbringing, along with my life experiences, have prepared me for this trip. It’s going to be a new experience, a new world, a new life style, and I am prepared for this new journey. It’s going to be challenging but that’s the point; I want to be pushed out of my comfort zones. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. I am beyond thankful for this Lumos scholarship. The journey continues my loves.
Follow my blog account on Instagram for more photos and posts of my journey! @lifebeyondthevines.
Rachel Mercedes Beihl
P.S. I am 100% balling my eyes out tomorrow when I say goodbye to my parents. (: