The thing about change…

The thing about change is that it comes in two forms: negative and positive. Last night I was laying awake thinking about all the change that has affected my family, now and in the future. My mind was focusing on the positives like the cultural experience, adventures, people we’re meeting, life lessons, etc. But I began to contemplate the negatives of our move. The inconveniences that has been implicated into our lives.

For starters the time zone difference. Being 6 hours ahead of Minnesota it makes telephone communication tricky. My dad set up the home phone in Minnesota to be automatically connected to our phone here, it works over the internet. We can receive and make calls using our American number, which is convenient for both us, friends and family. The problem is telemarketers, from BOTH countries are calling us.  Telemarketers in America don’t know we don’t live there so they think that their calling at the most convenient time, while in reality it’s late at night and were trying to sleep. Friends and family make this mistake too sometimes.

Being my last year in high school, I get the privilege to also have to worry about colleges and the future. Do you know how difficult it is to schedule a college visit when you’re a 8.5 hour plane ride away? Over the summer my mum and I got to 2 colleges for tours (So I’ve toured 3 colleges in total, 4 if you include the one I got dragged to when my sister was touring, but I got free cookies so it was all good). Out of the 3 colleges I’ve visited 2 have busted completely, and 1 of them was the one I was counting on. The last college we toured was Simpson College down in Iowa, it offered a forensics and biochemistry major with a minor in psychology, which is more than I could have asked for. The campus was beautiful, dorms were a good size, library was huge, and the food was made to order. So now I’m left to leave my final choice to chance if I don’t get into Simpson. Along with that I am a few years behind on working, back in the states I worked for Caribou as a source of income for future and college expenses, but now being here I am unable to work and build a savings which makes me so nervous. Once back at home I’ll have to rush and find a car and insurance to go with it. Moving back home for college is going to be tricky considering when my mum and I move back we’ll only get a tiny shipping container that I have to fit my clothes, textbooks, school materials, bedding and essential in.

American food is a problem, especially when you have a HUGE craving for Goldfish. I get this a lot. The main problem with American food is that it’s over there. Not here. Being away means that the friends and family who used to be at your fingertips are now thousands of miles away. This leads to a 6+ hour difference in news and updates. It makes for communicating very difficult. As cool as debating theories about time is, the reality of it is haunting. Knowing you need a hug or to be comforted by someone who doesn’t even live on the same continent as you makes it hard, and you end up going to your cat for comfort. When you do talk to them you have to switch dialects almost. The different slangs and pronunciations of terms. Or having to explain customs, characteristics, locations, myths so that they understand the amazing experience that you had.

Something less related to relationships but is still an annoyance: release dates. Here in Ireland we don’t get the same movie or  show release dates. The majority of the time I can find it online before it hits the cinemas. “New never seen before products!” will most likely have come out months ago in the States. This is less negative and just more humorous and obnoxious. Fortunately weighing out the positives and the negatives my experiences break even. Even with the conversational lag, you can still get your point across. I also believe that I’ve made life-long friends here, and that’s pretty awesome. 🙂


7 thoughts on “The thing about change…

  1. Joe Bearden

    Hi Lauren; We have missed you and your family also. Although I have to believe that you are right where God wants you to be. I think of the friends you have met in Ireland, they would not have met you if you never went. That would be a shame. I believe God puts people in our lives for a reason. It’s up to us to make the most of it, which I also believe you have. It was wonderful to have seen you and your family last summer and we look forward to seeing you when you return to the states again.

    1. lmksmith Post author

      Thank you so much Mr. Bearden! I’m so glade that we made the time to enjoy dinner at your house, it was good fun 🙂 Waiting to see us might take a little longer than previously expected. My mum will be returning home to continue her job. As for my dad’s job, its still up in the air, we don’t know if it will be moved back home, to another country, staying in Ireland or another option. Only time will tell I guess. My future is also unknown, I’ve made the decision to apply to universities in the UK. The hardest part was telling my mum about my choice, I was unsure on how she’d react, I think she took it okay. I applied ‘Carpe diem’ to my education and decided to take advantage of the opportunities offered. Hopefully all is well with your family back home, please tell them I said hello!

  2. Joe Bearden's Eldest Son

    Hope you’re doing well in Ireland, I apologize for not writing you a message last Christmas and hope you can forgive my inaction. :p I would like to share a few thoughts I had on this article and how challenges I have faced in this transition hood to becoming a young adult have been similar to yours. I also hope to procure some advice on thriving in this climate. xD

    The process to adulthood is never easy. With outside pressures dictating who and what we should be, it often times can become stressful and disheartening. From my own experience, when I was a senior in high school it was often assumed that not going to a “prestigious” college would land me a less satisfactory job. It was until only after my first year of college that I began to realize that what I truly wanted was not what I thought was expected of me, and what I thought I had wanted. For me, I realized that I didn’t want to get a job in Texas, or California working in a potentially highly volatile market away from those that I love and care about. I also didn’t want to spend a lot on an education when going somewhere cheaper could land me the same position. What I’m intending to convey is to do what makes you feel happy and figure out how to align that with your personal goals. Don’t be afraid to take risks and to explore, sometimes youth requires the experience rather than the explanation. Making life decisions such as picking the right college and what path in life to take can seem unnerving but I know you’ll end up fine either way 🙂

    Another facet of life involves living distanced from those you care about. While I can never say that I’ve had to endure close to the amount you have, I can certainly find similarities with having to miss out on opportunities that my high school friends were able to do on college breaks or the inability to celebrate holidays with my family because the cost and time required would be too much. Heck even living in North Dakota is a 7 hour drive one way from my home. You got the right idea about meeting new people and making friends where you go. Humans are social creatures and we all need people to talk to. (including cats) Especially come tests and finals :p

    Anyways enough about the lecture, hope the weather is warmer than 9 degrees Fahrenheit (-12.8 Celsius if that’s what you’re used to now) and that there’s no powdery white stuff on the ground. xD Should we expect to see you folks over Christmas?

    Hope your last year is going great and that my father won’t have to wait toooo long. lol

    best regards,


    1. lmksmith Post author

      The weather here is more than welcoming 🙂 a wonderful 18*C (about 65*F) and rainy, the best weather in my eyes. Thank you for the ‘lecture’ the concept will probably hit me in my fist year at university. Just as everyone says “Your going to miss high school” and no one ever believes them until they get to college or into the working life. I hope your university life is treating you well and I know you’ll choose whats best for you in the long run! Thank you for everything, I will defiantly take it into consideration when making future impacting decisions.

    2. alexandrakay16

      I agree with everything that Mr. Bearden’s eldest son wrote. You do you, gurl.

      I’ve been trying to figure out where I want to end up after SNC graduation (which is in 6 months, yikes!) and I get overwhelmed all the time. There are many choices for me, which is good, but some choices I don’t even want to consider. Yet, I am because people expect me to and I know that I honestly should because they are good, rare opportunities.

      Take care to listen to everyone’s advice, but make sure that the final decision is where you will be most happy. Plus, if you go to England I’ll have another vacation option 😉 Talk to me anytime you need to sort through thoughts! We’ll both be graduating and changing around our lives at the same time, crazy huh? Love you and see you in seven weeks!

  3. Konnie Smith

    To clarify our plan is to return to MN. Where Lauren ends up for college is still in the early stages with a few steps needed on her part to complete submissions yet.
    Overall I think you have had an amazing experience that has and will continue to change how you view your life and opportunities that may come your way in the future. I am glad you can see a balance and appreciate what you have instead of what you feel you may be missing.

  4. christmaswhistler

    Lauren, a very well written and insightful blog. Thank you. I chuckled at quite a few of your points. With any change there is always going to be positives and negatives. The trick is to enjoy and savor the positives and, well, just ignore or move beyond the negatives (smile). I am *really* excited about your future and the positive change that is before you.


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