Luck ‘o the…Everyone?
Taking a look back on the past seven days of my life, I honestly can’t believe what I’ve done. I feel as if I’m drifting through a foggy, and very delightful, episode of the twilight zone. This trip marks my first time ever leaving the States. Although it took nights without sleep, last minute panic attacks about packing, and some marathon sprinting through the airport, it all became worth it when I saw where I was going. When I looked out the window and saw rolling hills that looked as though they were tucked in with a green patch-work quilt, I was stunned. Everything I pictured, every expectation I had was outdone…and I hadn’t even landed yet!
Now that I’ve caught up on my sleep (mostly), unpacked my things in my apartment and have done my best to avoid running of any kind, I continue to try and search my vocabulary for words that will adequately illustrate my experience. But I find none. Comparisons can’t be drawn to the indescribable. Already I have conquered some of my greatest fears, met some of the most amazing people and seen things that I never dreamed I would see.
So what makes me so lucky? This past weekend, my group went to the Cliffs of Mohr. While I was window shopping through the streets of Doolin, I came across a quaint little shop that reminded me of a place I used to go in Denver. When I walked inside I immediately saw about 75 things that I wanted to buy for my family, friends, and yeah-myself, too. Inside of the glass cases by the register were lines and lines of Claddagh rings. Since I am staying in Galway, the ring’s birthplace, I had learned a bit about the jewelry’s history and what it symbolizes to those who wear it. Also knowing how superstitious the people of Ireland could be, I heard many do’s and don’ts in regard to finding the ring, wearing the ring and even buying the ring in order to avoid bad luck.
When I asked the woman behind the counter what her thoughts were on the matter, she responded, “I think we all make our own luck.” I was so taken aback and pleased with her response. It was then that I realized that I believed that very same thing. We all truly make our own luck. Perhaps some things are written in the stars or in the grand plan of a higher being, but it’s up to us to get ourselves there.
I walked out of that shop with a ring on my figure (yeah, and some other stuff in hand, too!) and a whole new perspective on why I’m here. Yes, I am really surprised that I’m in Ireland. A part of me knows that will never change. It will always be an unreal experience. But at the same time, another part of my being knows that this is where I’m supposed to be. I made my own luck and am currently in one of the most amazing cities in the entire world.
By the end of this trip, I hope to stumble across some other life-altering words that complete strangers impart upon me. I have no doubts that will happen; no need to wish me luck.
Kara Verlany is an student blog contributor from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, who is studying abroad in Galway, Ireland with API.