No, not the movie with Penelope Cruz.

This is a short post to mark my return which will hopefully be followed up with some gig reviews.

Whether to return to Donostia this year was not an easy decision. Last year went great but to commit to something this big was a challenge. I find it difficult to give a brand of cereal my attachment never mind a whole new life. But somehow, sometime around March I had made the decision to try living somewhere else for more than a few months at a time.

There were moments of complete confidence-breakdown, moments where life changes forced me to reevaluate every decision I had ever made but in the end it was simple in the midst of the panic, the quality of life here in San Sebastian has been incomparable to Dublin from the start. I’m better here.

Quality of life is such an all-inclusive term. You can take it as the basics, the value for money fruit and vegetable shops, the coffees on terraces on humidity-laden summer nights or just the fact that my classroom is my classroom and has windows and a semi-functioning laptop. There is also the less tangible lack of anxiety and peace of mind that I’ve found in the corners of small routines here. The relief that comes with having enough to get by on when doing things you love. Loving your job but having a life outside it. (No, I’m not bragging, this is a nervous person convincing herself).

So after a few wobbles saying goodbye to you special people who remind me of the little parts of me I do lose here, I got on a plane and came back to the place I’ve made home for the foreseeable.

This year is already striking me as different. We’ve lost a few people and whether close friends or not, it changes the vibe. I’ve got a new, upgrade (in that I could swing 2 cats if I want to) of an apartment in a different area which popular opinion swears is a home for the rich hipsters. That wouldn’t be like me. I’m committing myself to yoga and Spanish lessons.(Financially so I’ve no choice but to follow through) And last but not least, despite lathering myself in factor 50, I am a lovely shade of fuchsia but that’s not actually any real change.

It’s nice to be back though. Getting warm greetings from the same bartenders (why, I wonder?), swaying down the streets of Egia at 3.. 4 a.m.? Getting my timetable and books and counting hours and students. Finding new places, opened in my absence. Knowing what’s ahead and that small shadow of not knowing which causes a thrill of something like excitement laced in fear.

Just so you know, I’m done with counting months. Planning my future is not on the radar. Life will throw a spanner in the works no matter what you do so I’ve decided that as much as this over-thinker can, I’m moving a step further towards just enjoying the day to day. The well put together sentences of great novels, the funny remarks bound to be uttered by my students, the never-ending stream-of-consciousness that is my family’s WhatsApp group, making fun of my housemates, watching surfers, falling off walls in yoga, festivals on hills and gin and tonics by the river.


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