Recently I have been doing a lot of posting on long-distance dating and my love life. I hope they are helpful because I do have more to come, but this post is a little bit of a change-up for all those who’ve been scoffing at my sentimentalities 😉

A week ago I had the “pleasure” of visiting the GNIB here in Ireland (the Garda National Immigration Bureau). This is a painstakingly long process that all of us in the study abroad program have had to do to be granted citizenship for our 3 month stay in Ireland. You get up very early, get in a line to get a number, then wait for your number to be called. It’s much like the DMV, except it’s so much worse… To say the least, it is a day-long process that feels like it lasts a week.

So I chose to walk to the GNIB early last Monday morning– at about 5:45AM. The weather was stormy but I figured, I have a rain jacket and an umbrella, the rain won’t be a problem. First things first, I learned that day that you never sacrifice the quality of an umbrella to save a couple bucks. My umbrella that morning collapsed in the wind after only ten minutes of my half an hour walk.

I arrived at the GNIB at about 6:20 and was just drenched. I got to the end of the line, which was longer than I had hoped for, and proceeded to wait another hour to get my ticket. I was soaking wet and cold but I was determined to have a good attitude about it, despite my sopping wet, slim denim pants (no one likes wet denim, it just feels wrong).

I got my ticket, #214, and made my return walk home. I could’ve gotten a bus but I figured What the hell, I could swim home in the canal and still arrive in the same state. So I waddled home through the busy-morning streets of Dublin, freezing my ass off and being reminded with each step that there were now two ponds splashing around in my shoes.

After spending a few hours at home– taking a hot shower and changing into dry clothes– I found myself back at the GNIB and awaiting the announcement of “214!” I sat in a crowded room of strangers, reading my book and occasionally taking breaks to eavesdrop on other folks’ conversations.

The struggles of the morning now seemed so distant. I thought about how miserable I had been and realized that I now had the only thing I’d wanted just a few hours prior. I was warm, dry, and sheltered from the infamous Irish rain. I had a moment then when I realized that I really need to be more grateful for life, and I need to accept the circumstances that I can’t change with a positive outlook.

Next time I’m upset about something, I said to myself, I’ll just keep in mind that my pants are dry, and that’s something to be thankful for!