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  • my last memory of being in Windham is walking down the stairs, sitting on the sofa i always claimed when the guys were over and telling my mom that i was about to puke. she looked at me in the eyes and said "shannon if you don't think you can do this back out now, make it easier on all of us." i put my head down hiding my fear and mumbled something along the lines of i can do this. that's my last windham memory.

    all of that happened on the day i left for Ireland, the first of january. i don't remember anything else about that morning, hours before i got on my flight. its honestly just a blur. i slept for most of the four hour car ride back to long island. when my eyes weren't shut, my mom was coaxing me into believing that i would indeed survive this. i didn't believe a word she said.

    when i finally got home, i grabbed my bags and got back into the car, again, i don't remember much besides wondering who i would be the next time i saw my house. before i knew it, i was at JFK and saying goodbye to my parents at the gate of my flight. holy shit was all i could think- this is real.

    if you told me a year ago that i would be so impacted by the five months i spent in ireland, i would have straight up said told you that you needed your head examined. for some reason, i was genuinely convinced that those five months would be a total tear fest. i was so painfully wrong. yes, the first few days sucked but by day seven i didn't want to ever leave. i was in love with ireland and i had barley seen it. that love grew bigger and bigger every single day.

    before i got on that flight, i had a running list of who i wanted to become. i had dreams of hanging out with boys that weren't my brothers and finding a really great group of friends for once and going on adventures everyday. the list was seemingly endless. by the time i flew back to the states, everything on that list (besides the girlfriend of a hunk of an irish man) was checked off. i got my first kiss, met my soul sister, found my niche, quit worrying, took in moments, etc, etc, etc. i truly found myself. the sick part is- i never saw it coming.

    being back at windham is twisted. i can't help but think of the person that i was the last time i slept in my bed here. in a sense, it feels like ireland didn't happen, which obviously freaks me out a lot. i'm just so different. for years, i would spend hours on hours of my days dreaming about what it would be like to truly be brave and go on adventures. now, here i am, knowing what it feels like. for the first time, my dreams are bigger than this place. for the first time, i feel like i don't belong here- that there's something more out there waiting for me. i guess that's the world calling my name or something like that because it knows i'm braver now. or maybe its just my desire to push my limits more and meet and learn from more people around the world. i don't know anymore. the only thing that i'm sure of these days is the fact that when i got on flight back to america, i accidentally left my heart in cork. i should probably go try to find it soon.

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