Looking Within Myself

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“Then pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge.” – Constantine Cavafy

It’s been quite an eventful two-week break from blogging.

Picking off from where I left off, four of my wonderful friends from RIT made a 6-hour journey to visit me in Woods Hole. Instead of staying holed up, we hopped on the Steamship Authority ferry and set off to explore Martha’s Vineyard. Much to our disappointment, however, when we arrived the small island, almost everything was closed! Although we did get to enjoy a cute local bookstore, by the time we were done browsing books and ready to fill our tummies, we couldn’t find a single restaurant that was open, relatively cheap, and appealing. Out of options, we moped our way back to the  ferry back to return to Woods Hole. Nonetheless, I managed to capture enough gorgeous scenic photographs to satisfy my thirst for Instagram-worthy posts.

After bidding my friends farewell, I was forced to face reality once again. Being here has made me realize how heavily my Deaf peers have influenced my personality. I’m not the same person around hearing people as I am when I’m around people that allow me to freely express myself in my native language. Therefore, although my confidence is innate, the ability to utilize it is not. “When there’s will, there’s a way,” doesn’t always work; there has to be a means for there to be a way.

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Even though I’ve biked to the beach more than three times a week since I’ve been here, I still haven’t gotten tired of the scenery. Every sunset is unique. On some nights the sky is on fire, but on others, the sky is cool with shades of blue. Despite the fact that my Captain has requested us to minimize the number of photographs we take of sunsets while at sea, I think I’ll have to kindly decline his request. His argument was that everyone has seen a sunset before, everyone knows how beautiful they are, there’s no need to document every single one. Yes, everyone has seen a sunset, and yes, everyone knows how beautiful sunsets are, but no, there is a need to document every one. Sunsets are like DNA, there are no two exact alike sunsets. Even at the exact same time, a sunset would look completely different in Maine than in Massachusetts, and likewise, a sunset that occurred on the East coast would unfold differently on the West coast, even on the same night. There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.

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Today, I received my very first snow day of my life! (Hence the reason why I’m able to write this blog!) The weather has been funky lately, switching between cool 50 degree weather and 20 degree snowstorm weather. There hasn’t been snow on the ground for more than three consecutive days. Here, the snow falls as fast as it melts, and the days pass as fast as the winds blow. I’m bittersweet about the fact that I only have three more days here. I’m looking forward to unfolding my journey in New Zealand and experiencing all that the Maori have to offer, but I must admit that Woods Hole has touched my life in many ways I would’ve never imagined. I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for snowy winters, I’ve expanded my knowledge among horizons that I never thought I’d touch, and I’ve acquired some of the most unique friends I’ve never come to meet.

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I arrived Woods Hole six weeks ago with absolutely no expectations. After six weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that having no expectations is definitely the best way to get the most out of any experience. Having expectations sets you up for disappointment, and limits your ability to enjoy the little things.

Here’s to completing the second half of SEA Semester in New Zealand with absolutely no expectations!

With that said, don’t expect me to write while in New Zealand…

Rachel

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