I think that there’s some part of a lot of Irish people that urges them to get out. Not all of us pay attention to that part of us and that’s okay and evidently some leave for too long and for the wrong reasons.
During the past year there were many times when I was the one who stayed. Resentfully, infuriatingly stuck in the same place I’d been for a long time. I was the one who tried to explain to friends dispersed across four continents how tedious my life was. How although I was fairly content at work and at home, I was just plain sick of living my precarious, insecure life. How miserable I was and how much I longed to get out. Nobody from home or abroad was that sympathetic. I felt like a failure because I hadn’t achieved everything “on schedule” and in many ways because a lot of people felt it was there business to “advise me” on where I should be in my life at that time.
The saddest part of last year was between September and January when slowly and then suddenly, most of the people I had formed painfully close bonds with, got out. Goodbye party after goodbye party, drunker and drunker as parts of me floated off to enjoy their adventures. Because of this experience, I can appreciate the difficulties of being the “stayer,” for whatever reason. Being the one who leaves can be liberating but it isn’t a perfect scenario.
I live in San Sebastián now. This is not some continuous holiday in the sun. For every beach photo, there’s a day spent watching the rain. For every night out, there’s a broken toilet flush. For every gin and tonic, there’s some teenager asking “can people be shifted?” For every beautiful Basque man, there’s a communication breakdown. For every high moment when I conquer a fear or succeed in administration, there’s a moment when I quietly accept the wrong drink.
I’m probably not going to post about those moments too often. The scary or unpleasant ones. Why would I want to deter someone from leaving and experiencing the highs by promoting the shitty aspects of Monday to Friday? Right now, I’ll lay it out, naked on the examination table. There are days when it rains and rains. There are weeks when I have two observations and I feel ridiculously vulnerable, as if someone has peeled of my skin. And that no one here really knows me. And that I miss my family, friends and weirdly my winter coat. And Thai food! And that I’m poor and there’s sand all over my apartment and that I’m afraid of my balcony and that I’m not achieving anything.
Yet the thing is I do deserve each of those photo moments because I physically work hard all week to earn each one with little other recompense. Don’t ignore my social media posts even if they sicken you. They’re a message straight from me . The more you resent them, the more you need to listen to yourself. If you’re feeling like I did you need to make a change. This doesn’t mean get on a plane forever but different is good. There are two types of people in Ireland at the moment. Those who have it sorted and those who don’t. Get it sorted or get some perspective.
I also, by the way, post because I miss you.
And because I hope my brother is showing the photos to my mother.
Next post- less rant, more rant-inducing.