I wrote about March almost halfway through April, sitting on a train. I wrote that I needed something new, a little calmer, I needed a break. I failed to realize that April wasn’t going to be that. March and April bled together into a muddled mess of travel, stress, and change. It’s honestly hard to tell where one ended without looking at a calendar. On that train where I wrote about March, I remarked on the rainy day with a phrase I’ve heard people say most of my life. “April showers bring May flowers” While the friends I was with had not heard this phrase, I don’t think there is a better one to sum up this month. Here were April’s showers, and I’m hoping they’re bringing me a few May flowers.
I began April in Lisbon with family, which is still probably the highlight of the month. Missing family is obviously the hardest thing about living so far away, and being away from home for 6 months is not easy. No matter how great that week was, saying goodbye at the end was incredibly difficult. I don’t think that will change.
April ended in the middle of Roses, a huge sporting event Lancaster has against Roses each year. The run up to Roses for me was a 24hr trip to Brussels for a conference, a night in the airport, followed directly by classes, standing outside for hours reporting for our student newspaper, and dealing with the drunken party that apparently everything becomes during Roses. Honestly, the end of April is probably the perfect summary of the month.
When I say April was full of travel, I mean I traveled every single week of April. April was 3 countries, 4 planes, 9 trains, and quite a few taxis (I have been reminded to count some tuk-tuks in this as well). What I find incredibly funny and frustrating is how often people tell me they’re ‘jealous’ of how exciting my life is. But I feel like it’s easy to see the travel and conferences and see them as interesting and fun, when you can ignore the dark circles under my eyes and the late hours spent working to make sure everything is done. I promise this life looks a lot better from the outside.
When I wrote about March I was looking for a break. April wasn’t one. But maybe May will be. I’m not traveling, not even for fun. It’s sad when you’re too tired for a holiday, but that’s where I am now. It’s the run up to exams, and the beginning of the countdown till I go back to Texas for Summer. I’m not saying it will be stress-free, and someone told me today when looking at my calendar that my schedule looked ‘so busy’ when it’s the freest it’s been in months. I need to revise more, and I need to sort out details for leaving. But I also really need to take a break.
So this month I’m volunteering with kids, something I have missed a lot this year after two years of PALS. I’m staying in Lancaster, or at least not going anywhere I have to pack for. I’m being selfish. So here’s to May, and all that it’s going to bring.