Beautiful London

I haven’t been blogging on this as religiously as I shoud have from the very beginning of the summer, especially when it comes to Europe.

There was just so much to do and see every day that I truly never had the time to sit down and write out everything I did. I mostly did videos and just capturing every moment whenever I could.

But to say it was life-changing would be an absolute understatement. I have never experienced so much in such a short amount of time.

There was so much rich history hidden in the nooks and crannies of the beautiful London. Three weeks there was no where near enough to explore every inch of the city and what it can bring. No matter how many walking tours or bus tours you do, it is not enough.

The transportation was also very different to the suburb living I am used to. I have obviously been to New York and Philadelphia but you could always drive there and if anything, take a train and subways to get around the city.

In London, driving is not as common (at least not for the Americans who only come to study abroad). So the major modes of transportation were buses, trains, and tubes. We never used a black cab when we were there (they charge by the minute which gets very expensive with city traffic). Oyster cards become your best friend. Especially when you are traveling every single day into the city and into the diferent zones in London.

The food wasn’t too hard to get accomodated to but I did miss a lot of my favorites from home. If you are a Sprite lover like me, just know that the Sprite that is carried in the UK is sugar-free and tastes like absolute crap. Because of this, I am now a Coke lover which I never thought would ever happen. Thats the soda that they had most readily available and sometimes was even cheaper than water!

Another thing, dining out is a lot different than America. Most of the time, you have to seat yourself and ask for menus. You also do not tip like we do in America since in Europe they are paid good hourly wages (that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave a bit of a tip for the good service). You also have to always ask for the check or if you need something, they don’t check on you every so often compared to America.

These were just a few things that stood out to me most when it came to comparison. I could just go on about all the amazing things in London. From the places to the beautiful souls I met throughout the whole experience.

Without the amazing people I met in my program, I don’t know how everything would have went. They were truly friendships that I know will always remain because a bond is made like no other when you travel to another country, knowing absolutely no one.

If you are still reading this and considering studying abroad or just overall exploring the UK yourself, I highly suggest it. It will absolutely change your life and the perspective that you once held.

Love,

Youtube links to all of the other videos I made:

 

My FAVORITE PLACE:

Scotland

If there is a place that I love more than anything now, it has to be Scotland.

It is truly beautiful, inside and out. There is so much history hidden behind the walls and curves of every road. It honestly feels as though you are in a movie or a book. There are so many nooks and crannies; from alley ways to hidden walkways that lead to unique shops and cafes.

You can see the beautiful Edinburgh castle, resting on the edge of a cliff. Looking as if it is about to tip over into the picturesque town. Brief glimpses of the castle pours through the spaces in between buildings.

When we had first gotten here, a smile was plastered to my face. I couldn’t help it, Scotland has a way of doing that to you.

So far we have gone on the infamous Harry Potter tour (which is free by the way), a night ghost tour, Edinburgh castle, New Town, and Old town.

You could sit in a cafe, reading, writing, and even people watching for hours at a time. The streets are filled with stores and covered with merchants in small tents. You also have the entertainers doing magic tricks, playing instruments, or simply just having a very cute dog with sunglasses on.

We are leaving tomorrow and we have sadly only been here for one full day but it was completely worth it.

I am in shell shock and wish endlessly to spend more time here.

Love,

Caity

P.S. here are some pics from the trip đź’› https://breathingwithcaity.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/img_2336.mov

Pieces.

The thing is when people are cut out of our lives, there are still pieces of them that remain.

Old photographs you try to hide, somehow ending up on your nightstand. Or clothes you find in the corner of your room that you wore at a specific moment in time with them.

Whenever I drive past a place where a memory was made, it’s like I am instantly brought back to that moment when I was with that person.

I can see my old self with them, just living a normal life.

I look back on those moments and wish that I could have told myself what I know now.

But that’s not how life works.

You are meant to go through situations in order to learn from them, as painful as they may be.

What you overcome is what helps you grow.

Grow as an individual, grow in experience, grow in love.

There will always be pieces of that person lingering within your life because they were once a major part of it.

Once you accept that and not let it weigh you down in your new life, that’s when you can truly move on.

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The Judgement Needs To Stop

I hate that there is always judgment.

The judgment of the way people greet another.

The judgment when a person walks into a room.

The judgment of a how a person dresses.

Judgement is always there.

I know it’s human nature to automatically categorize, but I wish for once that there wasn’t judgment.

That you could walk into a room and no one would have a preconceived idea of you by your complexion.

This is when I refer to the quote, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

It rings completely valid.

The way a person looks, the way they may act at first moments, does not distinguish who they are.

The beauty lies in the bones of that person.

What crafts them into the human beings they have become.

Their little quirks, insecurities, wishes, and dreams. Their mind and soul.

That’s what makes a person.

The physicalities should be a small detail in what a person should be viewed as.

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You Will Always Be Most Important

“Do what makes your soul happy.”

It has always been one of my favorite sayings.

The most important thing in your life is your happiness.

You could live to make everyone else happy but when you get in your warm bed at the end of the night, cuddled up with blankets, the darkness, and left with your thoughts; that’s when it hits you.

You have this deep pain that resonates from within you, making you uncomfortable in your own skin.

Dissatisfaction.

The smile that you may have carried on throughout the day, wavers entirely.

Your thoughts feel like a looming dark cloud. You do everything you can to avoid them.

Maybe if you act happy, you will be happy. You are making all the people around you happy so that’s all that matters.

That’s what you repeat to yourself over and over again.

The truth of it all is who gives a shit about anyone else’s happiness?

Make your decisions based upon your own values. Don’t think about what your parents, friends, acquaintances, or what people on social media will think.

You are not them.

You are not living their life.

You are you.

You are living your life.

Your morals and views may differ completely and that is okay.

What makes you happy, doesn’t have to make anyone else happy but you.

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My Cystic Fibrosis Story

When I turned nine, the last thing I expected was to be diagnosed with a life-threatening lung disease.

All I worried about was getting good grades, hanging with my friends, and the approval of my parents.

I could paint the day of finding out I had Cystic fibrosis, perfectly in my head.

I had been with my friends at the playground, running around and playing manhunt.

When a call from my mom disrupted our game, she told the neighbor that was watching us that I had to come home immediately.

I honestly thought it had something to do with Gracie, she had just been diagnosed few weeks prior.

I was dropped off and ran right into the house. As soon as I opened that door and looked around, I knew something was very wrong.

All of my family members were crammed among the couches, dining room, and kitchen. Eyes, red and watery with lowered voices.

You could feel the tension in the room as all eyes looked at me.

I still didn’t suspect that it had anything to do with me, I just thought it was more bad news about Gracie.

Before I could get a word out to find out what had happened, my mom called me to come upstairs.

I trudged up the steps, glancing behind me, hoping that someone would crack a smile.

My mom was sat down on the bed, looking at me tenderly.

“Honey, take a seat.”

My heart was beating out of my chest as I moved towards her. It had to be something awful. Maybe Gracie is going to get admitted again and they are going to have to stay there for a long time.

My mom cleared her throat, “Dr. Kriendler called, the test results from the sweat test came back…”

I looked up at her, her eyes teary. You could tell she was trying to hold every ounce of her strength together for me.

I was praying to god that it wasn’t what I thought it was.

That there was no way that both, my sister and I, were dealt with these cards in life.

“You have Cystic fibrosis.”

All I could feel were her arms around me and sobs that I didn’t even know could come out of a human being, come out of me.

Pure devastation etched into my heart.

It was more, not knowing what Cystic fibrosis truly was and how it would affect me for the rest of my life.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, but I knew that I wanted to live long enough to do them.

Whether it was being a doctor, a writer, an actor, a princess, or conquering the world in some way.

I had dreams of having a mansion and a jacuzzi.

I had dreams of having kids and meeting the love of my life.

I thought that all my dreams were gone and it broke my heart.

My whole life had been filled with average kid stuff and now I had to face things I didn’t even know were a possibility for me.

The hospital would be my second home.

I would now have to do treatments and medications to give me a longer life.

There could be a chance that I would need a lung transplant down the road.

I had to be responsible for my own health.

At only nine-years-old.

It was a rude awakening, to say the least, but I have learned a plethora of lessons since then.

Yes, Cystic fibrosis can hinder me from doing things in life.

But I will not let it.

I have so many dreams, wishes, and wants, that I am going to pursue.

I want to travel.

I want to jump out of a plane.

I want to change lives.

I want to kiss the love of my life on New Years.

I want to write a novel.

I want to have a kid.

Cystic fibrosis is not going to stop me from anything. Ever.

It is a part of my life and I can’t change that.

I have accepted it and appreciated that it has shaped me into the strong person that I am now. I have overcome so many challenges and obstacles in my life that have changed me entirely.

I have become resilient, independent, and motivated.

I wanted to live a life where I would live and love as fiercely and whole-heartedly, as I could.

And I intend to because as cliché as this sounds, life is too god damn short not to.

I have an amazing life filled with people who I genuinely love and care about.

I am surrounded by so much love and support.

I have been through the worst of situations filled with pain, sadness, and heartache but I’ve come out of it.

I did it.

I will continue to do it, to face the unthinkable, to gain more strength, become wiser, and learn from my mistakes.

Cystic fibrosis will not stop me from living the life, I choose to live.

Love,

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P.S. Here is a video I made giving a more in-depth look at my own story and cystic fibrosis.

 

T w e n t y

By the time you see this, I am twenty-years-old.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Caity.

Today is my birthday.

The day that I was given a life to live in any way I wanted.

It’s surreal to think how we were born with a clean slate. There was no past that followed us, no mistakes, no heartbreak, no pressures, we were simply brought into this world.

As we got older, we transformed into our own person where we made memories, friends, mistakes, and went through the unbearable. All parts of life that molded us into the people we have become.

I have now spent two decades on this earth.

Twenty birthdays.

7,300 days lived.

175,200 hours spent.

All of that time.

It may not seem like much but it’s been filled with the best moments of my life–so far–and the absolute worst.

At nine my life had changed forever, I found out I had Cystic Fibrosis. I also was gifted with the most amazing sister.

At ten, I would come to realize that I was sick and I was going to be sick for the rest of my life. Hospitalizations and medications were going to be a necessity for me to live.

At eleven, I would write in the pages of my journal every day to get out all the frustrations scrambling in my mind.

At twelve, I thought having side-bangs was the best hairstyle ever. I called myself a ‘skater-girl’ even though, I never owned a skateboard nor did I ride one.

At thirteen, I wanted to be like every other teenager. I also fell in love with Twilight and the idea of ‘love’, let’s just say I was embarrassingly obsessed with Edward and Bella.

At fourteen, I tried very hard to fit in with the ‘popular’ crowd. After feeling empty, I knew that I was the best person to be.

At fifteen, I had my third sinus surgery and multiple hospitalizations. Books and movies were my escape from any pain.

At sixteen, I really started to love and appreciate who I was, inside and out. Nothing beats that self-realization.

At seventeen, I met a person who changed my life entirely. Life started to get very real when putting in college applications and thinking about the future.

At eighteen, I was blissfully happy. I got accepted into my school, fell in love, and had the best memories.

At nineteen, between college and new changes, it shook me to my core. I had changed more than I ever had before.

I also found my voice, writing, to you all.

I am so grateful for everything I have been given in life and for all the things that have happened to me. I have seen the worst of the worst and been through my fair share of it too but in all of it, it’s given me that reason to wake up in the morning hoping that day will be one of the best days of my life.

For I have also experienced the most amazing moments, filled with so much love and happiness. All the pain is worth the parts of life that leave you with that warm feeling in the pit of your stomach, where life seems too good to be true, that you are way too lucky. In those moments, I take a deep breath, look around me, and I take in every minute of that pure joy and remind myself to never forget it.

At twenty…well, I still have memories to make and lessons to learn. But I’ll keep you updated on all of that.

So here’s to twenty years on this earth, and many more decades to come.

Love,

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· Never forget that you are beautiful, you are amazing, and you deserve everything you want in this world ·

Made: 1/14/2018