Addy Menican: Adventure Is Out There
Writing about myself has always been something I've struggled with. I sit here staring at my computer screen trying to form coherent sentences that really explain how I feel. It's all about perception. How we want others to see us. Knowing that people are going to read this makes it even harder to articulate the things I feel are so important. I want to say how grateful I am for this opportunity and how lucky we are to have the chance to be immersed in all these new cultures and places.
Okay, here goes nothing...
What are my strengths and weaknesses? Sheesh, already a question I'm afraid to answer. I know my weaknesses. Those are the things that we as humans notice most about ourselves, (and hopefully least about others). We fixate so much on our flaws that we forget that we have so many things that make us great. My flaws are easy to name: I'm impatient, I fixate on things (as you will probably be able to tell from this blog entry), I get stressed out, and I'm easily distracted. I'm scared of being stuck, scared of disappointing people and I've always put too much pressure on myself. The list could go on and on.
It is so much harder to list your strengths because we don't want to sound overconfident. The things that I like most about myself are things that could also be seen as flaws. My best and worst strength is that I care so much about so many different people. It's a blessing and a curse because when you let yourself care, it's easy to get hurt. There are a few things that I can honestly say I wouldn't change about myself, and that is definitely one of them. I'm curious, determined, and restless, I'm unable to accept the normalcy of a life which I know I don't fit into.
As children, all these ideas and beliefs are shoved at us; Who we're supposed to be, what we're supposed to do. We need to look a certain way, act a certain way. Grow up, but not too fast. Be smart, but not too smart. Be beautiful, but not too beautiful. We're expected to just accept all these rules. But then I find myself wondering who these people are that put these limitations on us? Or do we do this to ourselves?
Study abroad has given me a new perspective on my life. I was able to visit different places that changed my mindset. Morocco was one place I will never, ever forget. I can't even describe it in a way that will do it justice. The people that we met there were so beautiful and friendly. It was amazing to see people who have so little be so happy. It reminded me a lot of the Thai people who I was so in awe of when I visited Thailand a while ago. It shows you that you really don't need all of the material things that we take for granted to live a full and happy life. These people work so hard every day so that they can provide food for their families. They aren't burdened by the constant need to have more power, more meaningless stuff. They don't walk down the street fixated on their latest Snapchats or texts from their friends. It really is amazing the things you notice, the beauty in every day life, when your life isn't being monopolized by a 4 inch screen.
I really would like to think that I've grown up being away from home. I make a conscious effort to slow down a little bit and to have more patience with people. I've learned that there are so many different paths to choose, and each mistake I make will make me a little bit stronger and wiser. I am constantly reminded and surprised by how resilient humans can be. We are faced by obstacles every day, and every day we make the choice to keep moving forward. The ability to adapt really is an incredible thing. Humans fight to survive. If you stay the same you simply won't move forward and you could miss out on all the beautiful things life has to offer you.
Our lives are made up of a series of choices. Good things don't happen to those who wait. Good things happen to those who make them happen for themselves. The experiences we have make us who we are. They teach us to be better people and to be open minded individuals. There is so much to see, so many experiences to have. Study abroad is another adventure to add to the list.
Fun Fact: I named my camel Trevor. He was great (and may or may not have been male).
Addy is a third year Bachelor of Business student studying abroad at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.