I have finished my first week of classes, and who would have guessed that I would have loved it?!
But let's get to the good stuff. Yesterday, my classmates and I took a trip to Þingvellir, along with our professors and a couple of the PhD students. For those of you who don't know, Þingvellir is the site where the medieval Icelanders held their national assembly, the Alþing.
I've dreamed about being able to walk through this place, where laws were passed, marriage contracts were made, court was held and disrupted--basically the venue for nearly all social interaction in Iceland during the Commonwealth era. But beyond that, the site is where two tectonic plates meet each other. Every year, these plates create enough uproar that Iceland grows by two centimeters. During our trip we crossed from the North Atlantic plate to the Eurasian plate.
Apart from being an incredibly beautiful and geologically unique place, it also hit me really hard how long I've been waiting for this opportunity. I certainly wasn't patient as I griped and complained about getting rejected from the school and had to wait and wait and wait to hear back from the school and government. But I persevered and it was overwhelming yesterday to walk in the footsteps of the characters from the sagas, to know that I worked very hard to be here, and it felt very right. I don't know if anything is different but it felt like something slid into place at Þingvellir.
I'm reminded of the words of the late Jason Molina: Why put a new address on the same old loneliness? I certainly don't think being in Iceland has fixed anything for me, or changed me as a person yet. It's been only one week! But for the first time, I'm not waiting on the next step. I've taken one. Finally it felt like I was right where I belong, and I could not have picked a more perfect place to thank my lucky stars.
And of course, when we are feeling thankful, we have to listen to Jets to Brazil:
All things to those who wait.
Stick with it, History Fans. Not everything is possible, but sometimes, when you work for it, a dream can come true.