It would be inaccurate to only include the good, the highs, the achievements without also including their opposites. And for the sake of completeness in retrospect-as this blog is meant as a form of time capsule of events in my life- it’s important to note those times in which things were less than ideal. That being said, there is much more good than bad. Dublin is a fabulous city teeming with a great energy, if only you let yourself be absorbed. Today, in an effort to shake of the negative energy that has been festering in our rented apartment we did what we always do in these situations. We hit the pavement. From early morning to late afternoon we explored the city by foot. From Parnell Square to the Grand Canal, Ballsbridge to Donneybrook to St. Stephens Green and back. It was 12km (7.5 miles) and a restorative day.
Our apartment search earlier this month proved to be in general, a failure. Every place we called had just leased that morning, or the day before. We had set our sights on a renovated industrial area where all the google employees live. Specifically, a renovated gas storage facility (how cool is that?!). It has the charm of the arts district of L.A. and as hipster-esk as Dublin dares to venture. Plus, unlike much of Dublin the apartments didn’t look straight out of the 80’s or early 90’s. And then, they were gone. So instead we searched a bit south in Dublin 4. We found our home in Ballsbridge. And as fate would have it, we couldn’t have made a better choice. Aside from our apartment literally overlooking a beautiful park its in a fantastic neighborhood. And maybe I’m getting old, but all of a sudden I’ll take a green neighborhood with charming shops over sleek minimalist glass building lofts any day. What is happening to me? Who is this person?
As we meandered around our new neighborhood-of which we cannot move into until the 11th-we stumbled on cute bakeries (with delicious scones no less), wine shops, boutiques, and a good grocery store that just happens to stock our favorite wine from California: Ridge! We even found a place for Alex to obtain iberico ham along with pre-world war two wine. Should we ever need it. You know, for all those absurdly expensive and old wine parties we throw. But seriously, the iberico was a good find indeed. We managed to get the last apartment available in September. It felt much like a bit of luck that we should have found it, as if it was waiting for us. Of all the areas of Dublin we’ve explored its the only one we feel at home.
And luck, or fate, or happy circumstance has really been on our side this whole time. In an effort to coordinate our lives and avoid yet another multitude of months as a long distance couple we attempted to find a city where both of us could attend our respective graduate schools. It was evident from early spring Alex would be here. I was debating my acceptance to Columbia University in New York. The program at Trinity had been full. I had been wait listed, it was my fault for applying last minute. I had little hope. But instead of running off to New York I decided to defer for a year. I would go to Dublin anyway, at least for a year. And as fate (or whatever) would have it, I was accepted late July. I felt immensely as if the universe was rewarding my choice to jump and leave the safety net of my acceptance to Columbia. And I am SO glad I did.
So while at some times I have moments of panic, and worry I’ve totally forgotten how to write a proper academic paper or study effectively, life abroad is generally excellent. Just little road blocks. No one ever said moving to Europe would be easy. But I have the feeling it’s going to be immensely rewarding.