Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

June 12, 2014

Lana Bellamy: Flashback Friday: 6/13/14

ASHLAND — I have found one good thing about new-age social media: it has a way of helping you to not forget your past.

Things like TimeHop can show you Twitter posts from weeks, months and years ago. Instagram encourages pictorial posts for #TransformationTuesday, #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday. Facebook has its timeline stretching back to your first wall posts.

This month, I have celebrated two important anniversaries of life events that have truly helped my personal development.

Most realize the FIFA World Cup began this week. During the world fùtbol games in 2010, I was in Spain. It was kind of a big deal, given that Spain won it all.

Soccer is a big deal in Europe. It is the sport many Europeans live for. Actually, it’s not even just Europeans; Africans and South Americans share the same fascination with the sport.

I was in Madrid and Barcelona with a group of my friends for our senior trip that summer. It was my first trip out of the country, and my only one overseas, thus far.

We shared many unforgettable adventures in España, but I’ll spare you all the details. It is one of those things that cannot be fully understood unless you are experiencing it for yourself.

Traveling to Spain that year marked my first step toward growing up, venturing out of Pike County and the beginning of myself playing out my own destiny, independent of my parents, schoolteachers and all other childhood authoritarians.

Fast forward to three short, and yet extremely transformative, college years later to last summer.

Exactly a year ago today, one of my closest Greenup County friends and I were on our way back from Canada after finishing five weeks at Canadian governmental internships.

Canada is a country that takes a lot of heat from Americans. When I was first offered the opportunity to study there, I laughed internally, wondering what Canada could possibly offer that I can’t get in the United States.

The answer: Well, a lot.

Five Morehead State government majors merged with political science students from across the United States to intern in parliamentarian offices. Considering I was a double major in government and journalism, I was the only one to not work for parliament and instead work for a foreign policy weekly newspaper called Embassy News.

I spent the summer getting the best of both worlds in Canada’s federal government: all the perks of parliamentary interns (passes into government buildings, meetings with the speaker of the House, senators and free access to a library in the West Wing that is more than five times the size of my house), but also the perks of working as a foreign policy correspondent (press gallery access, invites to fancy receptions thrown by ambassadors, an all-inclusive free pass for the governor general’s performing arts gala. If you don’t know what that is, look it up now.).

The office I worked in was small, but the people were amazing. I still miss them terribly. The associate editor, Carl Meyer, was a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, born in western Kentucky.

Yesterday marks a year since I went to my last Embassy News reception at the Japanese ambassador’s residence. It was one of my favorite events. Embassy reporter Sneh Duggal and photographer Sam Garcia and I had piled into a cab to drive to the beautiful mansion. The event was conducted by the new ambassador to welcome the community into his home.

I’ll never forget how kind all of those people were to me, the young American intern.

All in all, social media may seem annoying most of the time, but sometimes it can help you to appreciate where you have come from, where you are now and where you hope to go.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

 

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