As my stateside summer drew to an end my little (and only) sister began her next big adventure: college. I was lucky enough to be there and help her move in.
We grew up mostly apart, separated by almost a generation I headed off to college before she started middle school. The little sister I left all those years ago has grown up, and I’m not sure how this happened. And while I was able to see her often over the holidays and summers I’m distinctly aware I’ve missed a lot of her life. And now that she’s an adult too, now that we can relate more, it’s harder to not see her as much. Or maybe I’m just getting older. Add to that living on different continents, saying goodbye stings-a lot. I’m grateful for our strong relationship, and excited for her future, I think she’s pretty awesome-if you couldn’t tell. And it felt strange, feeling somewhere between a sister and a parent, leaving their daughter to start college; proud, excited, nervous, a bit sad, happy, nostalgic. By the end of it I was left, for one of the first times in years feeling a pang for stability, for simplicity. Of course, I haven’t had that “I want to settle down” moment yet (if I ever do), but I was suddenly ready to stop moving and go home.
And home is Ireland now. It took leaving and coming back to realize this. It felt so good to see the familiar streets, feel the omnipresent mist. To know, I know this city, I live here. And while I still crave the excitement of new, and change, I’m starting to enjoy familiar more too. Because new is exhausting, and maybe again, I’m just getting older. And maybe its being in the middle of trying to move apartments (don’t get me started on the complete nightmare that is finding an apartment in Dublin city center in September), but I’m actually excited I don’t have immediate travel plans. I’m excited for decorating our apartment, something we never really did at this one, for cooking, for dinners and drinks with friends, for nothing. Perhaps, not moving is new, and that’s why it’s so appealing. But for now, it’s all I want.
I’m sure my excitement for relative stability stems from the fact that this isn’t permanent, the thought of being in one place for a long time still makes my chest tighten, so because I know everything will be constantly changing in the next few years I’m allowing myself to enjoy the moments where life slows down a bit.
Perhaps, this is the natural progression of things, of growing up, and while it’s become increasingly difficult to say goodbye to those I love, and live so far away from most of them, I feel extremely lucky to have such relationships, and to see them as often as I do.
And hopefully, we’ll find somewhere to live next week (please?).