A New Journey

“To embark on the journey towards your goals and dreams requires bravery. To remain on that path requires courage. The bridge that merges the two is commitment.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

“Erin Jordan in de Netherlands…” I told my mum that the day we made it to Delft. I even told her me saying it sounded weird. However, I’ve made it and I kinda like it. I won’t lie to you, I’ve never been away for such a long time from my family and I must admit that I’ve shed some tears (and a few bawls). Yes, I will miss them and yes, sometimes I will wish I was home to celebrate certain events but this is all for the betterment of my future.

Mini Vacation

Before I got to Delft, I stayed a while in England to do some shopping to get cold clothing. I wanted someone to go with me to help me settle in so I invited my mum and brother to come along. Ethan LOVES international cultures so when I found out I was going to two big European countries I HAD to invite him. We toured London on the 14th of October and it was amazing! My uncle Mark took us and we did some major tar slamming (walking). We dined in a pub, we saw the London Eye, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, rode on a double-decker bus, the Tower Bridge and the Shard. All of which Ethan knew before we got there (lol). The next day we left for Amsterdam.


Journey to Delft

We landed at Amsterdam and travelled to Delft by train ( 40 minute train ride). After leaving the train station we got a taxi and it took us to the hotel my brother and mother would have been staying at. Sunday was the day I arrived at UNESCO-IHE for my introductory meeting as well as the key for my accommodation, identification information and appointment schedule.  I didn’t know to walk with my luggage the initial time, I was thinking I had to get there on my own…obviously my brain wasn’t ticking. We ended up going back to the hotel to get the luggage. On our way back, Ethan insisted we see the new Church in the City Centre of Delft (a REAL BEAUTY). After seeing it and taking a few pictures and a video, we restarted the back pedal. Guess who got lost? You got that right! Eventually we made it back and we lugged through Historic Delft with heavy suitcases – Delft has brick roads so just imagine how much noise the ONLY 3 black people in the city were keeping.

When we got back, I attended the introductory meeting where I received all of my important documents and I received a UNESCO-IHE jacket. The shuttle was taking the students to their new accommodation and I asked if my brother and mum could accompany me. They said yes and when we got to the van it was too full and only one of us could fit. I told my mum I would go and they could come back later during the day. I gave her a kiss and I hugged Ethan. My mum started to cry. For anybody with a fortified bond to their mother, when she starts to cry, you start crying too. Imagine me, a 23 year old woman, in a van with adults crying. You would know who was silent and looking out through the window; Erin. The next day I would say goodbye to them and shed all the tears  I need to. After those tears, it will be business as usual.
I came here to complete my Master’s Degree in Water Management specialising in Water Quality Management and I will. These same tears I’ve shed will mean so much more when I successfully do.


– the Awkward Chemist


I choose to live!

“You never know what’s hiding behind a beautiful smile.” – Anonymous

Most of the people who’ve been around me can tell you I love a laugh and I love to make people happy. I care about people a lot even when its to my own detriment. I know for most of you reading this right now, this is you. You spend countless hours being there for people without taking care of yourself and when you least expect it, you lose it ( I don’t necessarily mean a mental breakdown). Before you go jumping to conclusions, this isn’t an article about fake friends and disloyalty or a bad break-up. This article is about inspiring someone who may have “lost it” and needed confirmation that it will get better because I am living proof.

I’ve always been the girl who smiled before she cried, who laughed before she bashed or who walked away before she blew up. Whatever I went through, unless it was unbearable, no one knew and I liked it like that because I dealt with it and moved on; I even forgot that some of these trials existed. I made it through Combermere quite alright even though something major happened when I was fifth form. I may have lost some weight but I  quickly got back on my feet like nothing ever happened. Even my grades reflected a stable student. While I was in cadets, nothing ever fazed me because I loved cadetting since it was one of my happy places.

Before university, I was living a happy-go-lucky type life and I was fine with that. Everything was unicorns and rainbows and every one was trustworthy and had my back. Obviously, I was wrong and it was during my time at University that I came to this realisation. First year, almost my entire grad class stuck together. We all hung out under the tree by Roy Marshall and we painted Cave Hill blue and yellow during Combermere Week. We had classes together, we went to interschool sports together, we just had a good time. We weren’t really bothered about life, per se.

(At this point, you’re probably saying I had a cake walk through my first year but nah. I failed a course and I had hell doing lab write-ups and other projects. But, I made it through).

Then Summer ’12 happened…

I met someone who I instantly fell in love with. His physique was nice, his smirk was like a magnet and he seemed like a nice guy. Majority of the people in my life told me to leave him alone and of course I didn’t. Long story short: I had mountains of drama and I was left with a broken heart and a magnificent case of acid reflux. This “relationship” spanned second year and the first semester of third year. My grades declined, my relationships with friends got sketchy, I started doing things I never thought I would have done. Then I finally walked away and never looked back. But by this time it was too late and along with my acid reflux came depression & anxiety. I had never felt like this ever in my life and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Going to school on mornings was a struggle because I would cry all the way there. I couldn’t be around people because the anxiety would kick in and I would instantly start to feel sick. I would skip classes in small rooms because I hated being cooped up. I stopped smiling and I lost all of the weight I gained during first year.

Being home at night was worse because I hardly slept and I would just sit up and cry fearing the next day because I felt no better and I had to act like nothing was wrong. Like, my life was a mess. At the beginning of the second semester [third year] my grades were horrible and I wanted to give up so badly. This was my penultimate semester and I can remember calling my friend, Daniel crying to him telling him I can’t go on. I can’t do it anymore, I give up. He tried his best to console me. I messaged my mum and told her I wanted to take a break but she quickly told me I can do it and I am not a quitter. I honestly thought I couldn’t make it. Richell-Ann and Shakelia sat me down and just told me to let it out, release all of my emotions and don’t hold back. Stefan was my listening ear and he too knew what I went through because he went through it. Many other friends inquired and we spoke with the usual encouraging ending.

All in all, I completed that semester with the best grades I had ever gotten at university. I was bewildered, I couldn’t believe it. During exam time, I said a prayer. It was the first time I had prayed since secondary school and it worked. It wasn’t an immediate improvement because I still fought with my demons throughout the summer but eventually life got better. I prayed more often, I started going out more, I believed in myself more and I graduated University. I did it. I made it through University. I endured. There is no better feeling than the one you get when you make it through a hardship you thought you would never survive. You feel like you can take on the world and nothing scares you as much as it used to.

All of this could have been avoided if I had just thought about me, for once. I gave all of me to the wrong cause and it showed. I lost myself, I lost my personality and I lost the will to carry on. I was never alone, even though it felt that way, because my family and friends had my back. God sent them for me a long time ago & it was through my rough patch I found out why they were there. So many people, unnamed, came to my rescue and I have them to thank. They gave me words of encouragement and they showed me that even though we weren’t as close as we used to be, they still cared.

DO NOT GIVE UP. It may seem like you are having the worse time ever and there is no light at the end of the tunnel but, there is and you’re going to get there. Even if you think you have no one to talk to or that will understand what you’re going through, you’re going to make it.

I am still dealing with my problems. Every now and again my anxiety raises its head and I am able to push it down. I don’t let it get the best of me and I try to push myself past my fears so I can enjoy life. I am not fearless, though and I still prefer being home. However, I refuse to let life pass me by.

I choose to live.  tumblr_niibom9J2m1qjcc3qo1_250

“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” -William Wallace

– the Awkward Chemist

P.S. – talking to someone helps a lot. Especially someone who is neutral and has no affiliation to you or what may be troubling you. They see things clearer and they provide you with unbiased advice that is sure to help you. For me, that person was Dr. Badenock who was my Organic Chem lecturer. She showed me the bigger picture and that motivated me enough to get my life back on track.