04 August 2016

So, sure enough, I was way too tired to write last night. I’d been awake for…dang it, now I have to math…um…33 hours, traveling by one means or another for almost the entire time, and I just crashed at 8pm. Not a bad plan at all, because I got a beautiful 12 hours of sleep and I have felt great all day (except for when I got really tired at rehearsal, but that’s because I am a naturally tired person and I didn’t eat a good lunch.)

Scotland is ah-maze-ing, but I couldn’t have told you that yesterday, because literally all I wanted to do was break into tears for the whole twelve hours from when our plane touched down to when my head hit the pillow. Exhausted, over-stimulated Melissa is not a particularly happy creature. But I have awesome friends and an awesome mom who talks to me over wifi and I got through it all.

Besides wanting to cry all day, yesterday we went on a bus tour of the city, and it was fascinating. Is fascinating, rather. It wasn’t so much at the time. It hasn’t stopped blowing my mind that I’m in a place where the “new town” is older than my entire country. Like, what?!

And the view.

And the weather.

Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to go back to Texas heat. It’s gonna be killer.

Today was so much better in terms of emotions and enjoyment levels. I got the opportunity to speed walk 3-4 miles of the city with my tech director and another student while we got lost looking for a location (and I was wearing the worst possible walking shoes imaginable) and, again, was absolutely stunned by how beautiful this place is. The cheerily painted doors, the greenery, the cemeteries, the canals, the cobbled streets and stone houses, all of it.

Yet in the back of my mind echo the experiences of my friends who were just in Scotland last month on a mission trip and the spiritual darkness that grips this land. There is so much beauty here, but how can you understand true beauty without understanding the heart and mind who designed it? It’s so…heartbreaking. Something I want to fix so badly that I end up just glossing over it in my mind.

Would you pray that I would either find a kindred spirit this week who can give me some hope or that God would lead me into a situation where I can give someone else hope?

I know I can’t change everything, but I don’t want to walk away knowing that I didn’t even try to change anything.

We had rehearsals today, including one in the space we’ll be performing in—Venue 45—and they went well. As always, there were some frustrations, but we worked through them and I just know that this show is going to be fantastic (again) when it opens on Friday. No, I take that back. It’s already Thursday, so we don’t open until Saturday. Anyway, it’ll be great.

There’s so much that’s flitted through my mind these last couple of days that I’ve thought, “OH! I want to share that with everyone at home!” but all they did was flit, not alight, and I’m not sure now what else to say. Perhaps that’s because it’s almost midnight and I am very aware that I need to be heading to bed.

Oh! I remember!

Walking across town today we passed a lot of buildings. Some of them more than twice.

(I just hit backspace for a long bit because I was about to say that ‘what I found fascinating was…’ but then I realized that I find nearly every aspect of this city to be fascinating.)

One of the things I found especially fascinating was looking into the windows of the flats we passed. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the most mannerly thing to do, but 99% of them were empty of people. I caught glimpses of people’s lives, people’s whose norm is living in a hundreds-of-years-old city and speaking with bomb-awesome accents.

People who are born tiny, and then play sports as children (we passed some darling miniature football players, ah!), and then they grow up to get jobs and start families. And they age the same way I will, and their faces wrinkle from the weather, and they accrue wisdom that they share with the young who are wise enough to listen. And it’s beautiful and uniting and heartache-inducing all at once. The world is truly so much smaller than my backyard sky leads me to believe, yet at the same time so big and fully of uniqueness that I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Life is paradoxical, and the fact that I’m thinking so just further illustrates that it’s bed time.

In some ways I’m really grateful that today’s over, because—behind all the glamour, glitz, and excitement (yes, I just killed that alliteration)—it’s been kind of a rough day. My online class ends at 6am tomorrow morning my time (midnight local time, which makes way more sense) so I’ve had to spend a decent bit of today working on my final paper, which has alienated me more than once. Then there’s the whole thing where I don’t actually want to go out and drink beer, so that’s set me off by myself several times already. And maybe mostly and maybe not, though I have recovered in the sleep department, I’m still pretty socially overwhelmed by this huge new city and a building full of people, so I’m struggling to feel motivated to go out with friends who are in large groups, though I feel secluded and sad when I’m on my own instead of with friends.

I talked to someone about it today, about how it’s felt, and we both agree that tomorrow is probably going to work out better, just because of various logistics, and I’m really hoping that we’re right.

Because Scotland is a beautiful, mysterious, awe-inspiring adventure awaiting us, and while I am completely set on enjoying it no matter what, days that are amazing without having to pry the lovely memories out of the heartache are so, so precious.

I guess in the face of all this history I’ll just close with a history fact that I’ve always adored:

awesome definition

According to the Cambridge Dictionary (and history), the word ‘awesome’ used to refer to something that inspires awe. Think about how big and extraordinary that is! I think this is one of those words that we have slangified to our own detriment. I want to be able to say ‘awesome’ and for people to know that I mean something bigger, deeper than, ‘Dude, that’s cool.’

Just a thought.

I’m going to bed now, because it’s way too late. Love y’all, and have a fabulous Thursday. I’ve already had my go at it, and—for better or worse—you’ve got six more hours.

All for now!
– Melissa

P.S. Oh! Hang on! Give me a second and I’ll post some pictures!


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