I explained how two girls from Hyde County spent a week touring Europe in my book, so I won’t repeat myself here. I’ll start with the beginning of my spring break trip. Two months prior to my trip, I applied to graduate school at East Carolina State and N.C. State. I’m stubborn. I only applied to those schools. I told myself if I didn’t get accepted to either, then I wasn’t going to graduate school. My application to ECU was suspended (or whatever the correct term is) because I didn’t send my transcript from the community college I attended while I was in high school along with my application. I mean, it was on my N.C. State transcript, so why’d I have to send it again?! (I could’ve sent it, I was just lazy). TWO DAYS before I started packing for my trip, I received an email from N.C. State Graduate school admissions. I didn’t get in.
I ate my words about not going to graduate school if I didn’t get accepted into ECU or NCSU. I began applying to a few universities, but I specifically remember applying to UNC-Charlotte. I completed the application in one sitting except for the essay. I even paid the application fee. When I got to the recommendation section, I called one of my social work professors, Prof. Zelter, and asked if she would write a recommendation for UNCC because I was not accepted at NCSU. Without hesitation she agreed. Thirty minutes later, Dr. Hall called me. Dr. Hall is another professor at NCSU, and at this time she also held another position in the Social Work program. She said “Dr. Zelter just called and told me you didn’t get accepted into the graduate program, I don’t know how that happened, I was the one who had your application and I put it in the approved pile”. I cried when we finished our conversation. Mainly because I was accepted into graduate school, and partly because I was out of $75 for an application I wasn’t even going to submit (and of course the fee was non-refundable). Why did God play with my emotions like that? Lol.
Fast forward to Greece. I hadn’t flown in years and forgot about the liquid restrictions for carry-ons. I packed all my hair products in my checked back on the way to Berlin, and I foolishly put those same products in my carry-on when we flew to Athens! We were late getting to our gate, so I didn’t have time to walk half a mile to the other side of the airport to go back and check this bag, so I flew to Athens with ZERO hair products. Like $50 worth of hair products gone. I had just did the big chop for the 2nd time so my tiny weenie afro wasn’t difficult to manage at all, but I wanted shiny popping curls!! I was sickkkkk. The only thing remotely close to being usable for my hair in Athens was some olive oil I found at a convenient store. Smh. It’s cool though, I was really cute with my fro.
Rita and I flew to Athens and two days later, we took a bus to Attica. After we made it down the path of death (I discussed this in my book), we settled into our Air BnB. There was a neighbor outside next door that waved to us as we checked in. We waved back. We walked into town to explore and get food. On our walk back home, the neighbor pulled up in his car (with a friend in the passenger seat) and motioned for us to get in. Rita and I looked at each other and basically said “welp, if this is how we die, at least we were having fun and being spontaneous, YOLO”. We got in. Both men spoke very little English, and we spoke zero Greek. I nervously said “hola” and then “oops, I mean hi”. We all laughed. We arrived home safely and made sure all the doors and windows and were locked. This was not a smart idea, this was very dangerous, & I would never suggest anyone to do this in an unfamiliar place.
We headed to the bus stop the next morning, hand in hand, ready to walk down the path of death again. We made it to the bus stop about 45 minutes before sunrise, so we had a photoshoot. I saw these beautiful purple flowers, along with some beautiful yellow flowers shining like they were taking their morning stretch. When I saw the purple flowers shining so gracefully, I felt Yah smiling at me saying “see, you were just scared out of your mind and now look at you, all happy”. I refer to the scars on my left arm as a rod and a staff. Seeing those flowers was an obvious reminder that God would never leave me alone. All I could do was smile. Good one, God.
How many more reminders do I need that God will never leave me alone? I got accepted into my graduate school of choice, I fulfilled a childhood promise with one of my best friends, I got in a car with strangers and was unharmed (again, very dumb decision), I made it down a dark path filled with vicious sounding dogs and was unharmed, and I saw beautiful flowers waking up at the crack of dawn. Amazing, adventurous, exciting, and awesome.
· With God, I am never alone.
Psalms 23:4 (KJV) - Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
How I Apply it to My Life:
· Stress for what? Worry for what? My actions have to match my words. If I say I believe in God and I trust that he will keep me protected, I need to act that way. I’m never alone.
· Adele – I Miss You
Rita and I listened to 25 by Adele multiple times throughout our trip. This is my favorite song from this album.
SLIDESHOW: Rita & I in Greece + Rita & I at our Kindergarten Christmas Show.