Happy and Sad

IMG_1712What do you do when you’re supposed to be studying? Anything else!

When my daughter was three she stood on top of our coffee table and made out like a ringmaster (we had likely just watched Dumbo) arms out to welcome the audience and proclaimed, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m Happy and Sad!” My psychologist husband and I thought that was just perfect. Life is both happy and sad and we carry the tension of both within us all the time. Life is not either/or. Rather it is both/and.

I’m happy to be going home. I’m ready. I miss my family and friends, my home and routine, the swimming pool, my dogs. I’m sad to be leaving. Today is our last demo with Rory O’Connell. Yesterday was our last with Darina. Yesterday was my last day in the kitchen with the chefs–so sad. But I’m happy to say that I took full advantage of their skills and knowledge. I didn’t miss a day of demo or kitchen time. I’m sad for what there is left to figure out on my own.IMG_1714

I’m happy with all the new friends I’ve made from all over the world. I’m sad to be leaving them especially knowing I will never see them again. We shared an experience–one of those “bubble times,” unique to those in the bubble and not easily understood by even your family and friends. I’m happy for my recent discovery of Instagram as it has kept my friends and family abreast of my experience at Ballymaloe, and I will be able to see what the future holds for my new friends.

I’m happy with myself for doing this for me and taking full advantage. I was the oldest person on this course yet hung in there with the youngest of them. In fact, my last kitchen partner this week, Sophia, a lovely girl from Germany, was the youngest on the course, fresh out of high school.

I’m not so much sad about what comes next as I am nervous. My risk taking is not yet over. I’m not stepping right back into my “old life,” as a college counselor and that is scary, but I learned that I still enjoy being around young people. I listen to them and take their concerns seriously. They help me see the world through fresh eyes. This course reinforced for me that not only do I still love learning, but I also love teaching.

I’m happy to be going home. I’m sad to be leaving Ireland. Ireland is a gorgeous country. I love Ireland for the same reason I loved Vermont when we lived there. Beauty everywhere. All one needs to do is step outside. I’ve never seen such a wild array of plant life. I’m grateful to have seen so much of Ireland. I’m grateful to the people who carted me around. Thank you, Gerty Murphy! I’m sad to leave, but happy to be going home to the people who love me the most and whom I love (and like:) the most!  Off to last Demo!IMG_1733

Ladies and Gentlemen: I’m Happy and Sad!

Cappuccino Ice cream!  Last dessert I made until my exam that is.

Cappuccino Ice cream! Last dessert I made until my exam that is.



7 thoughts on “Happy and Sad

  1. Maybe you can ease some of the sadness by making some of that cappuccino ice cream when you get home !!! Congratulations Michelle. Well done !!


  2. So happy that this was such a wonderful and unforgettable experience for you Michelle! I am sure that you are anxious to get home and sad to leave. Looking forward to hearing about it sometime!


  3. I’m happy you are going to be back in my life, not just through electronics. I am happy that you are so brave and I get to call you my friend. I am happy that I will reap the benefits of the last 12 weeks.
    I am sad that it is just another thing u will b better than me at. Hahaha.
    Can’t wait!!
    Safe travels.


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