By Janice Tieperman
Let’s talk about fate for a second.
I don’t mean in the star-crossed, depressing literary trope sense–I’m talking in the theoretical, two roads diverged from a yellow path kind of sense.
That sort of “crossroads mentality” that we all seem to get at some point or again, where each decision we make branches off with its own array of vast possibilities.
This semester has continually kept my mind wandering back to this topic, particularly over the past few weeks.
Over the past weekend, I ventured out to Stonehenge and Bath with some fellow university students, which functioned as my first actual journey out of the Plymouth/Cornwall area.
While Stonehenge itself could only hold so much of its majesty within its roped off area, seeing a monument that for my entire life had only existed with the pages of a textbook or the pixels of a computer screen was indescribable.
And that’s what gets me– the lack of words I can find to describe any of it. I’m studying here as an English writing major, to gain new perspectives and inspiration for myself not only as a student, but as an aspiring author.
I search and search within myself for the words to describe the tranquility and absolute breathtaking scenery this new country has shown me, and yet I mind myself coming back to a fundamental question that I just can’t shake: what if I’d never come here at all?
What if I’d pursued my childhood dreams of science and ended up in a completely different major, possibly in an entirely different university?
What if I’d listened to my continuous anxiety and fear of panic attacks and simply stayed put in my home state, never leaving the country I call home?
What if I applied to completely different international universities, or was placed in my other school option?
There are thousands, probably even millions of minute paths that could have landed me in a completely different location, in a completely different environment.
But I’m here. I’m having an experience I never dreamed I could possibly embark on, surrounded by so many unique and vibrant people that I likely would never have crossed paths with in the entirety of my life– but I did, because I am here, right now.
I wish I could make this post about all 360 degrees of Stonehenge and the profound impact they had on me (Though I still hold that it would make for a cool story if my phone were to break outside of Stonehenge, or break because of Stonehenge… but maybe that’s meant for another trip), but at the end of the day, they’re just really cool rocks.
Maybe they serve (or served) some astronomical purpose, or maybe they’re there because a few Welsh people got bored a few millennia ago and rolled them into England for the heck of it.
Stonehenge itself was nothing new, nothing I hadn’t seen before. But being there, walking through a mile (please don’t ask me to use the metric system) of fields, and just being able to say I was there–that’s what really sticks with me.
I always get back to the fact that every decision I’ve made, every thought I’ve had somehow led me there, and continues to lead me to future journeys across the pond, with friends that have quickly turned into family.
These are all the words I can think of to really describe these feelings, and even now I don’t think I’ve done any of them justice.
For now, I’ll keep my eyes looking to the future, but my mind rooted in the present. Again, I can’t thank my friends and family, both from America and from abroad, for the constant support as I continue my adventure here.
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