19.1.2019 - ...and it's a new year?!?!
It’s official. We have found ourselves on the other side of 2018. Although the year end itself does not eliminate the stresses that existed during 2018, isn’t it a relief to feel out of that box? I know I’m relieved. So much occurred in those 365 days, and some of it not for the best.
I wanted to do a quick run-down of my personal 2018 to reflect on how I’ve gotten to where I am:
It is January: I am living at home (thnx ma ‘n pa) working as a manager at a pop up holiday store. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced - grueling, taxing. My entire success can be attributed to my wonderful collection of friends.
It is February: still living at home, now working as a childcare worker and interning at a non-profit organization for free, both part time - this makes my ~20 hours a week cover both work environments, making less than the minimum wage. A note that I did choose this for experience, and had the privilege to do so with low rent and little personal payments (cc: my amazing parents). I visit Columbus for BuckeyeThon’s Dance Marathon and relive a very important part of my life.
It is March: I maintain the same work schedule, I get more ingrained in both opportunities, forgetting that they are both unsustainable long term. I get more enameled with the children I’m watching, make them study vocabulary, take them to parks, and play loads of hide and seek. Most notable is my brother’s return to home with his amazing girlfriend.
It is April: I work-vacation to Florida. I win my first ever writing prize, making me feel of more substance as a writer. I am (fairly) being pressured to figure out something more long term than what I’ve got. I impulsively go to Columbus with Jordan. I find a visa to Ireland. I apply. I tour a city in Atlanta and my mom freaks at my Instagram caption considering a long-term stay in ATL.
It is May: I begin working a new job for the summer, watching wonderful kids who teach me the excitement of Dungeons & Dragons, Anime and Manga, and rekindle my love for music. I got to my first ever Renaissance Fair.
It is June: on June 1st, I hear from the Irish Government that I have been approved for a visa contingent on my arrival dates. I choose November. I am officially headed to Ireland. I quit Instagram for a few months.
It is July: I celebrate the 4th with Margo, Alexis, Mitchell, and others. I celebrate Alexis’s birthday. Children begin getting locked up in cages at the border. My existential dread is constantly increasing. I book my flights to Ireland for November 13th - we cannot miss Ed Sheeran.
It is August: I visit California and see my family. I am now 23 and my first act as is whale watching on a turbulent boat with a hangover (you can only IMAGINE). I freak out my relatives for simply going to Ireland. I begin working at a law firm.
It is September: my brother turns 21! I go to Music Midtown, see Janelle Monae live, cry, laugh, seriously consider the counter down months. I make my neighbors upset when they learn I won’t be there through their respective high school years, meaning I’d leave home at 29 or 31. I am learning a lot about real estate law.
It is October: the hellscape of America is ever growing. I am still at the law firm. My best friend, Elayne, gets married, and I am in the wedding (this is the reason I plan my arrival to Ireland for November). For Halloween, I dress up as Janet from The Good Place. I am a month out of leaving for Ireland.
It is November: I prep to leave for Ireland. I begin this website. I see (and almost miss) Ed Sheeran with my best friend and our moms. On November 12th, I leave the US. I spend the first week or so traveling to Cork, Galway, and Dublin alone. I am embraced by an alumnus from Ohio State, Autumn - she invites me to her home for an American Thanksgiving. I make new friends, discover a favorite bar, and bounce between hostels and AirBnbs.
It is December: it really doesn’t feel like the holidays. The lights are up, the festivities merry, but I am far away. I spend Christmas with a gaggle of others who are like me and without a home for the holidays. I begin working at a med school temporarily. I spend New Years on the Liffey. I find a permanent place to live in Dublin.
A lot happened in 2018. I made a pact with myself to do something important after graduating and, although it took me many months, I followed through on a dream: to live abroad on my own terms.
It’s been a wild year of learning and growing. I’ve been publishing work more than ever before, I’ve found a supportive community of writers, and I am navigating a new space. I am beyond thankful for what got me here and excited for the days to come.