Finishing My J1 : Memories, Thoughts And What Happens Next.


It's over. I have to repeat it over and over to convince myself that NO, I will be not be returning to America tomorrow or the day after or even in the next few months. I think I said already in previous blog posts about how absolutely terrified I was at the thought of going there in the first place. Now I am terrified as to how I am going to adapt to life post- America. It sounds silly, but it's true. My family are sick of me exclaiming how boring life in Ireland seems, or how I can't be content with nothing to do. But when I think of it - once you move away from home it's never going to be the same again. Moving two hours away is a big change, moving to a different country, or a different continent is huge. My life has changed forever, whether I like it or not. I feel torn between countries.

June was a month of exploration. Everything was so new and different, I met new people and began to explore the metropolis of New York City. I am not going to lie and say I did not feel homesick in that first month, because I did. I missed my green fields, the accents and the Irish way of life. Instead of looking at familiar freckled faces I found myself face to face with dark skinned faces, brown eyes and a whole mix different cultures. There was a fresh landscape to familiarize myself with, such as Jones Beach, the country club in which I worked and the never sleeping city of New York. I remember being struck by how generous people were. Something I also found fascinating was the fact that I had begun loving myself more and becoming more confident. And those facts alone both scared me and interested me. 

July breezed in and I was having the time of my life, still navigating my way around NYC, taking so many photos and just discovering so many fascinating things. I began learning the Spanish language in little bits and pieces. From June 16th to July 17th I did not cry once.. achieved both by a promise to myself and also because I was too busy having fun to be sad about things. I went on a drive in the middle of the night to walk to a lighthouse, my heart pounding the entire time. Looking back, I realised I had been captivated by a new person.. I think I can even pinpoint the moment I liked them - even though at the time I hadn't realised it. This person still intrigues me now - as to why they caught my interest like they did as it had only happened once before. By July I had noticed how open I had become to new experiences, new music and just how relaxed I had become living in a country over 3,000 miles from my own. I used to the different slang people used, the passenger side being on the opposite side of the car, the different food, the fact that I was the foreign one. I was loving it all. 

August brought with it some changes. I was reminded how emotions can get in the way of things. I was still growing as a person - exploring America, exploring people. My family visited and it was both weird and fantastic to have them see a little bit into my new world. Parts of it I wanted to share and other parts I wanted to keep my own. By then I was able to navigate mid-town Manhattan very easily. Time was flying and I was becoming all too aware of it. I had spent my summer, working, running around on the beach, swimming in the late hours and travelling to New York city at the weekend. August was a month I found quite hard for many different reasons. My own mind can drive me crazy sometimes haha. I found myself listening to Irish musicians. 

Certain memories stand out: lying on a beach with someone at night and talking about childhood, swimming in the rain with just one other person and talking about love. A pool party where we listened to music and dived into the pool with all my favourite people present. Part of me is worried why I can't seem to remember some of the things I did, but I think they'll come the front of mind at different times, triggered by something. Certain things remind me of that summer, a white car, "Woman Woman" by Awolnation, a little dog of Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix, a pool house, Dominos pizza, "One Dance" by Drake, the word "Gucci", 6:45am starts, a bridge that stood over a huge expanse of water. Little things that mean nothing to some people but the world to me.
I came across a short piece of writing talking about leaving places and it really struck a chord with me:

“You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place. Like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again.” ― Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran.

I flew home on the 8th of September and I did feel too happy about it at all. I was very upset on the plane and I have to say I've felt a bit "homesick" for the US in a way.  I am sitting here with an ache in my chest, wishing for a different country. Never in my strangest of dreams did I expect to find my heart residing in a country other than the country of my birth, let alone America. But it does. I am worried that the people in the US I hold so dear to me will forget all about me, even though I won't forget them. I'm being melodramatic. It's been three days since I left the US, but I'm daydreaming about brown eyes, humidity and the freedom that the US brought to me. I suppose goodbyes are part of life. I hope I'm not the only one hoping that the goodbye wasn't forever. I am sitting here in the living room of the house in which I grew up, with the words "please don't forget me" repeating over and over. I keep checking to see if certain people are online and resisting the urge to message them. My brain is still five hours behind. 

I have so much love for Kiersten, Tiffany, Alicia, Darwin, Jeremias, Desiree, Kiara, Gerber, Edwin, Andrea, Arianne and so many more people. Some of these people have a special place in my heart.
I forget that I am only 20 years old and even though 20 years is a long time to be alive, I have so many places to go, people to meet and things to experience. I guess I rambled quite a bit in this blog post. I could say so much more, but I'll spill too much. I suppose I am grateful for the experience and while I am so so SAD it is all over I have to be happy that it happened at all. So if you reading this are one of those people that I spent time with, please don't hesitate to message me if you'd like to. I'll probably be missing you a lot more than you're missing me. I've promised some of you letters and some of you have promised to write me things. I hope they all make it to eachother.

HOWEVER, this is not the last of my travels this year. Instead of remaining in Ireland, my next adventure is to mainland Europe! Ghent, Belgium to be exact. I find it hard to believe it that I am moving there for better part of five months! 

Thanks so much to all the people who made the summer an experience of a life time and to you people who bother to read the long pieces of writing that I post on this blog. It's almost been three years and people are still reading. Thank you, thank you.

All pictures are merely decorative and belong to their respective owners.

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  1. I love this post. I want nothing more than to go on a trip like the one you went on to America. I want to go alone, meet new people, go on adventures and change and grow. Sometimes the people and the place make you a new person, and when you return home it's like going back a step, but you'll still have your memories and remnants of the trip inside you somewhere. I love that last quote.

    The Life of Little Me


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