As of last week, I have lived in Dublin for over a year.
And what a roller coaster of a year it’s been. Those of you who have been reading this blog since the beginning know that it was touch and go for a while there but, as my fellow ex-pats assured me I would, I eventually turned the corner, overcame my fears and uncertainties and really started to enjoy my new life in Dublin.
And now I love it. I really do. It’s a lovely city, where I’ve made some lovely friends and get to work with some really lovely people. I feel like I belong here, like I fit in – something I never felt in Los Angeles, even after 8 years there.
So, now that I’ve been here for a year, do I still qualify as “new”? In some ways I hope so. My “newness” has been a bit of a security blanket for me as I’ve muddled through this past year. But then again, it might be nice to not be considered new, to be just another person living in Dublin.
In all honesty, my degree of newness depends on the day. Just when I start to get confident that I finally “get” things, I’ll get a reminder – maybe tiny or maybe honkingly huge – that my newness hasn’t completely evaporated. There are still so many things over here that I am not used to. I still have to remind myself to look right first when crossing a road, I will never ever get used to not having hot water instantly whenever I want it, and then there’s the language. Oscar Wilde’s quote “We really have everything in common with America nowadays, except of course, language.” still rings true for me even after a year. Just yesterday I had a spirited conversation with some work friends about what “pavement” actually is – as every American knows, pavement is the surface of a road, but according to my Irish co-workers, pavement refers to the sidewalk. As far as I’m concerned that is just pants (which, over here is not something you wear – it’s another word for crazy).
But I don’t really mind being “new” and am fine if I continue to be for a while longer. To me, that means that I am still on an adventure, this is still a chapter who’s ending needs to be written.
I like that Dublin feels more and more like home each day, but I also love that it is still able to surprise me.