Exciting News

I wake to bagpipe music and a sleepless ache. I’m a little sad because it’s a school day and hardly any of my classes and courses are fully sorted yet, but it’s something I’ve adjusted to. I pass in and out of sleep until I know I have to get up or I'll be late, then I shower and dress and begin to pack my bag. I’m very good at this now because I hardly need to carry anything anymore. My lunch makes up most of the space and almost all of the weight. I could see I was running short on time for first period so I left, the door closing and locking behind me.

I spend most of my morning anxious, my mind conjuring up a million different possibilities. It is the day the letter is supposed to arrive, and I'm worrying for two reasons. One: that it might not arrive and the consequences of that. Two: that it will arrive, but that I won't have been selected. I don't have a back-up plan, and so I try to push this to the back of my mind, and stay as positive as possible. It stays always in the back of my mind that the post arrives around lunch time, and I text mum as soon as I get the chance. Did the mail come? Nope, nothing yet.

It's homeroom before the news reaches me: the letter has come. The letter that contains the outcome of three years of anticipation, excitement, worry and hope. Two weeks since selection, and finally it has come. I don't have any more classes so I walk out of school and don't stop until I see the front door. I don't even need to see the postmark of the Isle Of Coll, or recognise the font I've become so accustomed to seeing my name written in, I know this is it. And in seconds it's torn open. Mum stays outside the kitchen doom but the anticipation kills her before I've even managed to get the letter out. It's a thick envelope, and I hope that means there's more than just a rejection letter. I'm right.

Dear Anne... we are delighted... selected as a volunteer with Project Trust... offer you a place overseas. [by this point I'm screaming and slightly teary and jumping up and down] For a placement in... India. And then I'm really screaming. I'm hugging my mum tightly and we're talking excitedly over one another. I'm texting my friends, my boys, my family, my squad. There's not an emoji for that kind of excitement, so hundreds of others get sent instead. The letter says they thought I showed a genuine interest in others, and that I was well liked by my host. It goes on to say that my target is 'to have more confidence in your leadership potential.'

Things used to be different, it used to upset me a little to leave places and people I love. These days it is happening so often I almost don’t have time to be upset. A friend told me not long ago that I’ve grown a second skin, that there is a hardness to my eyes now. If I was as na├»ve and sensitive as I used to be, I know I wouldn’t be able to do this. Instead of thinking about what I'll be leaving, I think about what I am coming to. I am so incredibly excited at the thought of what is to come. It’s all an adventure. In class we go outside and shoot many photographs and memories and I'm surrounded by my friends, a comfort I missed so dearly last year. I have a feeling my writing will evolve as my life does, into more warmth and realness. I’m finding my feet and planting them in the soil much deeper now.

I am starting to think about everything that will be involved in my year and it is overwhelming to organise. When I don't have class I retreat to the library. I am organising like mad and it takes up all of my free time. I can already feel next year’s stories, like they’re waiting impatiently to unfold.I have been craving a story, something more than this everyday rhythm. This is what being a storyteller does to me. This is what films, books and songs do to many of us. But what I forget to remember is that I am already in the middle of a story. One day when my hair is grey and my skin is worn I will think back to these everyday moments.

Walking the streets of my hometown with a school bag on my back, singing out loud with arms full of shopping. Sitting in the library with my friends. Eating together and seeing them everyday. Getting caught in the rain on the way home. They will all feel like scenes from my favourite film.  My family have so many plans to help me fundraise and we talk about them as we cook dinner together and dance while we do. I love being surrounded by my family.  I like doing everything I want to, and I like realising how capable I am. Prepping for everything brings many challenges and I conquer them all alone. I feel like a force to be reckoned with.




  1. Nice blog!
    I have nominated you for a Liebster Award!

    1. Aw thank you EJ, that's so sweet of you :)


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