I’ve always been a risk-taker and have written too many blog posts that include “and then I changed my plans…” just because I choose to be spontaneous when I least expect myself to be. This week has been busy with lectures and being a “good student” even though it’s only Thursday… I guess that counts as the end of the week, right? Nevertheless, I suppose my spontaneity should no longer be surprising to me because my mother replied to my message – this morning – in which I had told her what I was up to; saying: “I thought if that might be the case when I didn’t hear from you.”
Eek. Sorry mummy. Anyway…
Yesterday, Wednesday 3rd February, I decided to head to Birmingham to surprise Danny and make the most of an opportunity to see him again before he left. The group of them: Danny, Ieva, Saulė, Beth (M), Beth (N) and Sophie had planned to fly to Hong Kong for a week before they start their semester abroad in China. They were flying from Birmingham International so Danny offered up his house (that isn’t in Birmingham city centre) as a place to stay to make the early wake-up less painful for everyone than it already was. This is where I came in: I arrived at Birmingham New Street before Danny or Ieva (who were both meeting as planned) at the newly refurbished “Grand Central” station which has two floors; the top one has a balcony from which you can look down on all the commuters arriving and departing. I felt like I was the definition of the word ‘stalker’ as I hid from view but looked out for the two to arrive and meet. Ieva knew I was coming so I knew what the plan was. Once they met, and walked over to a part of station in search of the Euro Exchange (which in fact is in Birmingham International Airport’s station), I came down the escalator and sat myself in a long row of metal chairs, waiting for them to walk past. My mind was ticking over loads of various ideas of how to appear in front of them but the pressure got to me and I ended up walking up behind them once they had returned to the departure screens and tapping Danny on the shoulder. He was happy to see me so it was a success! ☺️
Once Saulė arrived, we walked to a coffee shop called Boston Tea Party which is fantastic. I recommend it to any and everyone! There is one (the original) in Bristol, on in Birmingham and a few other locations across the UK. We sat there and drank tea and talked about travelling etc. until it was time to return to the station to meet Beth (N) off her train. It was eight o’clock once she was through so we headed for a bite to eat on the upper floor. Saulė chose Giraffe because it was the last properly (kind of) western meal they were all going to have in the next four months at least. We ordered a couple of starters to share: nachos, sweet potato fries and a pitta & hummus dish. At which point Sophie & her boyfriend Harry joined us, had a snack too, then we set off for Danny’s home. (Beth (M) was the only one not staying because she lives near Birmingham anyway!) From the moment I arrived in Birmingham I hadn’t allowed myself to think that I wasn’t not going to return to Nottingham that evening. However by the time we had eaten food and it was late, I gave in to the devil on my shoulder that told me to take the offer of going back to Danny’s and seeing them to the airport the next morning.
We all were spread across Danny’s small home on beds or many airbeds. We slept okayish – I was the most reluctant to get out of bed – and by 6:15am were bundled into the minibus on our way to Birmingham International. Capital FM was blaring out of the speakers but most of the songs helped me wake up a bit and keep us entertained for the 45 minute journey. Once we arrived we queued for check-in and then it was time for the dreaded ‘goodbyes’. Beth (M)’s boyfriend had come with her, Harry had come to see off Sophie, and well, you can guess, me with Danny. I’m not unacquainted with being far away from the people that mean a lot to me or unused to having to use social media to keep in contact. However I think I am getting worse and worse at any form of goodbye. At some point I’m going to cry at saying goodbye to my cat when I leave my grandma’s house… Why am I so soppy!?
With the early start and seeing the other girls shed a tear, I had a minute of waterworks (I had to pull myself together) and gave Danny a big hug goodbye. I know I’m already missing him but I won’t get all emotional on you guys. Now he’s on his way around the world and I’ve managed to attend lectures and manage coherent sentences in foreign languages. A day well done. Especially once I’m in my pyjamas and tucked up.
I’ve written this post more like an actual diary record of events rather than anything particularly exciting because it was an important moment for me. And most of all it reminded me that we genuinely have to ‘carpe diem’. We have to seize the opportunities and follow our gut instincts. Obviously, knowing whether to surprise your boyfriend may be a quite straightforward decision (however I would argue otherwise as the head and heart love to have an exhausting battle over the whole thing despite the fact you’ve already decided you’re going…)
One of the top lessons in 52 cups and reminds me of my mum as she tells me the same thing: we always have a choice. It’s what we do with it that makes life something that we love.
For now, goodnight everybody. I hope that you wake up and when faced with life-related choices (not the big big ones, but those that have a little effect), you make the one that your intuition calls for rather than just settling for the easier one.
Lots of love,