HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO ME AND MY DEAREST DUBLIN!
I’ve officially hit the year mark since moving to the great place, and what an amazing year it’s been! However, this latest month of Irish life here has been a heck of a stressful one, both in good and bad ways.
April wasn’t too busy of a month, but it was a month of turning points, of old things ending and new things beginning. My #1 compadre, my friend who moved here with me a year ago, returned home. I had to find a new apartment, therefore leaving my roommates that I had lived with since I moved to Ireland, and moving in with new roommates in a new living place. And in addition to my personal move, my office moved too, which means I started having to cycle to the office. The school year was ending, meaning my Irish friends who are students locked themselves away to begin studying for their exams. And most importantly, my Working Holiday visa was ending, which means I was eagerly and anxiously waiting to see if I would be able to stay in Ireland longer.
Hitting the one-year mark has really given me a cause for some inner reflection. I’m usually very light-hearted on my blog; I love talking about the adventures I’ve had traveling and being an expat. But I want it to be clear that expat life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It’s an incredible adventure, but there are dark times. It’s easy to feel lonely in a big city, easy to feel homesick, easy to feel like you don’t have many friends and don’t have many connections.
I’ve learned more about myself this year abroad than I ever have, but I’m not going to sit here and say that there were never moments over the past 12 months where I wanted to just quit and go home. I threw myself out of my comfort zone – arrived in a big, new place with no job, no place to live, and no friends. I quickly found an apartment and then found waitressing and retail jobs. I had to really put myself out there to find a graphic design job, which is what I was aiming for. I went to countless interviews and suffered countless rejections until I finally found one (which I love!). I also had to really put myself out there and really make an effort to make friends. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a huge group of friends that I had known since childhood and from university. I had to start from scratch, and I did end up making a handful of great friends.
But in April, I started to feel an immense sense of homesickness. And I guess it was because of all those turning points. I had finally gotten comfortable with my life here in Ireland, and now so many things have changed and have shifted, that in some ways it’s like I’m starting from scratch. And although it is scary and can sometimes feel lonely – it’s also very exciting! That’s the whole reason I did this whole thing in the first place, to get out of my comfort zone!
And now it’s on to the next phase of the adventure because it looks like I’ll be staying in Ireland for another few years!!!! That’s right, I’ve figured out my visa situation and thanks to my job, people who supported me, and the great people of the Irish immigration services (……..jk) it looks like my time here is far from over! I feel so so so so #blessed and I’m ready to jump into this 2nd year head-on.
So besides a little quarter-life crisis I had this month – What am I even doing here? Should I just go home? Where do I see myself in 10 years? What do I want to do with my life? etc – April also included a lot of great things. A few good nights out with friends and coworkers, the first taste of summer weather, and a great solo trip to Bath, to name a few.
So here is a recap of my 12th month of Irish life, in photos!