A very dear friend of mine left the country recently, and it’s gotten me thinking about the concept of moving quite a bit. She’s gone to England, which isn’t geographically that far away, but when you think of the great upheaval that goes with actually moving your life somewhere else, it feels like another world entirely. On my end it’s just strange knowing that plans to meet aren’t as simple as making the time anymore, and that still hasn’t entirely kicked in. An Ocean now blocks off a night out, not just a bus journey. I admire her greatly for it, I know she’ll thrive over there which is a comfort that stops me from missing her too much, and I’ve sort of always seen it coming anyway.
When we’d talk about the future, which we actually did quite often through laughter and cups of coffee, she never seemed anywhere near as content to stay put as I. Getting a job after college, the kinds of paths we’d like to walk; these topics came up all the time, but I quickly learned that she was far more sure about her answers. I always tended to babble, to laugh it off and say it’d work out, but really I didn’t devote serious thought to it. You see I worry, but in the least helpful way possible. One of us knew there were more opportunities for them abroad, and the other couldn’t even think past the next godawful assignment at college. Different cups of coffee entirely.
For her, it was inevitable. Ireland had worn out a lot of its charm and she was dying to take in a new culture, a new home. I would see her talk vividly about Paris, Berlin, these places just waiting to claim her for their own, and she perhaps realized that home just wasn’t home for her anymore. Her career didn’t have legs here, goals weren’t achievable, so…why stay? There’s a courage to that, stepping out the door and settling down somewhere else entirely, and for all my talk it was something I definitely lacked.
Picturing her lighting up a whole other continent was easy, especially when she had already brought them to life for me in stories from prior visits. I could tell she’d considered a life in each, and quite different lives to boot. I’m half-American (or an affectionately-titled ‘Yank’), I’ve been fortunate enough to visit countless times and I adore the place, but even it couldn’t call me to shore so easily. I would hover around the edges of thought, picking places I’d like to live but never committing to it, never even coming close.
So why do I stay? Could I get better opportunities to write abroad? Probably, yeah. In fact I’ve lost out on a shot at my dream job as a direct result and that alone is enough to make it seem almost idiotic to stay, yet here I am. I can’t tell you why some people are susceptible to wanderlust and others aren’t, not today at least. What I can tell you is that even the lure of Californian sun and London markets aren’t always enough to budge those with deep roots. That’s been me for quite a while, but it’s ironic that a sad departure is what suddenly has me motivated.
Something that really stayed with me as I said goodbye, was that she truly recognised that there was no reason to come back to Ireland after moving. This was it. I understood that, I agreed with her, but I wasn’t sure it could be the same for me. The more sensible of our pair would tell me that Dublin wouldn’t keep me happy forever, and she was right. I work there at the moment and it’s a city I really adore, but there’s an expiration date on that. Even my hometown of Dundalk is starting to get a bit annoying. I love the people there, I love the memories it brings and how it feels like everyone I need is within walking distance, but it’s too sleepy for me now. I’m wearied by the place, though If I leave then I’ll definitely come back, there’s no doubt in my mind
I’d like to get a chance somewhere else and live with excitement and a tinge of the unknown to my routine. My courage is linked somewhat to this blog, as it represents progression in a way that I’ve avoided to my detriment before. I’m ready to keep practicing what I love and focus what I’m best at. Then I take this show on the road and see if I can be brave myself. As you can tell by reading this post, I’m not quite ready…but England calls, and again – it’s only a short flight away.
Maybe I won’t set up a new home there like my friend did, she’s more daring by far, but I might just set up camp. Who’s to say the temporary can’t feel like a home as well?
–What would I miss from Ireland? Glad you asked. Pints at the Bartender, Irish forests and rivers, our sense of humour, endless sarcasm, walking down O’Connell street at nighttime, Ravensdale, potato bread. Christ I’d miss potato bread….