28.11.2018 - ...and her first viewing went sour??
After the Revolution, which occurred around 100 years ago (look it up OR watch The Wind That Shakes The Barley), the Irish painted all their post boxes green to symbolically bite their thumbs at Britain. Post boxes everywhere turned from a bright red with the Queen’s crest to a lush grass green absent of the insignia. Post boxes on homes sprouted clovers declaring their separation from a kingdom they’d long been stuck under. Each post box reminds me of how proud the Irish are to be Irish. Each post box also reminds me how I still don’t have a place to live.
It’s been officially two weeks, technically fifteen days, and I spent the first week discovering the island. In total, I’ve had a week of truly focusing on being here in Dublin to work. My trips around the country were good, establishing experiences, especially since I had never travelled alone. I don’t regret the timing of my choices.
I’m also giving myself a hard time for not having everything together just yet. I am trying to check myself when my free time seems to swallow me, knowing soon I’ll be yearning for the ability to casually walk down Grafton Street and through St. Stephen’s Green midday with leisure. This freedom is lovely and, coupled with small bouts of progress, feels acceptable. Today, I got my Irish Residence Permit. Today, I got my bank cards in the mail (thnx mom). Today, I had my first viewing.
In truth, I put too many eggs in this first basket and it properly toppled over. I was speaking with a woman who needed to fill her spot in a house and proceeded to meet her roommates this evening. They are all older than me, some by ten years, and I’m seen as a high-risk because I can only do contract work on a visa so short. It makes sense why their weariness set in and ultimately led to my thumbs down. The market in Dublin, no, all of Ireland, favors the leasers, the landlords, the roommates. Housing is expensive and hard to find. People are paying 500 Euro (568 US Dollars) a month to stay in a shared room 20 minutes from the city center (and this generally does not include bills). That’s more than I paid for a room to myself in college. It’s expensive to be here, in all regards.
I knew this coming in. I also knew it was naive of me to place my hopes in the first place I found - it seemed to good to be true. To fully illustrate my excitement, I was already planning on how I’d fit my cousins in the room when they come to visit Dublin in January. Yes. I had figured a place to put their suitcases.
Naivety doesn’t always have a bad outcome. I’ve met lovely people because of naivety, had eye-opening moments because I was so unawares. That doesn’t change how faith can sometimes end up ill-aligned. Today, I got my Irish Residence Permit. Today, I got my bank cards in the mail (thnx mom). Today, I had my first rejection in housing.
There’s always tomorrow. Soon, the days will collect so quickly, I’ll turn around and be back in the United States. So I’m not rushing it. I’m living with the bitterness of rejection, and thankfully poetry teaches me that often enough :). That aside, I get to be enthusiastically green for a year. Fifteen year old me is JAZZED - her favorite holiday is St. Patrick’s Day for the unabashed joy of being deck herself out in green.
Today, I had the lovely realization that I get to live here for a year. Get to. A privilege. My own post box or not, I will be here for a year, and you best believe I will not waste it.
Enthusiastically, even in frustration,