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Nearly Normal…

Covid is still a thing. Anyone who denies this is kidding themselves. But it’s not the “thing” it was two years ago. We hear the term “living with covid” bandied about quite liberally these days and I suppose it’s accurate. Most people have returned to some semblance of their pre-2020 lives, but no matter how much we wish it was the case, a world without covid is simply not the real world. But this week my professional life here in Dublin took some big steps toward getting back to whatever normal is now. 

My company has been completely remote since March 13, 2020 and, while we were very lucky that we were able to switch to remote working fairly easily, being 100% remote has had its challenges. But this past week we got the keys to our new studio space – on Merrion Square! Those familiar with Dublin will know that this address is… fancy. We have two floors of a gorgeous Georgian building, across the street from a beautiful park and smack dab in the middle of Dublin city centre. Even though it’s still just empty rooms, we had a studio happy hour on Friday to christen the new space. 

And it was lovely. 

Our company has grown by leaps and bounds during the past couple years so we were not only reunited with familiar faces, but finally got to meet the people who have joined us since covid started. Everyone was so happy to see (or meet!) each other, and being in the new studio space was really exciting and energizing. Being in a studio space again really drove home what we’ve been missing these past couple years. I know that I am very excited to have a place to go to again. And it doesn’t hurt that there’s a lovely pub on the corner for more company happy hours! 

After our “little” studio get-together it was time to move on to the main event – the Women In Animation Summer Party. WIA is an organization that, pre-covid, would plan events for the Irish animation industry (not just women!). The two big events have always been the Summer Party and the Christmas Party – they’ve always been great craic. But, of course, covid put a stop to them. We held the last Christmas Party in December 2019 and were not able to hold another event until this past Saturday. 

And it was lovely. 

The woman who basically organized the entire thing herself was worried that not many people would show up. Let’s just say she had absolutely nothing to worry about! The turnout was incredible – there had to be at least 300 people there, probably more. It was a beautiful summer night and we had the roof terrace all to ourselves. And people were just so happy to see each other, so happy to hug and drink and catch up and celebrate the amazing professional community we have here in Ireland. 

In addition to being lovely, it was also needed. So needed. You could feel the joy and the energy. Energy that had been building and joy that had been missing for nearly two and a half years. It felt like a turning point. 

So, while covid is still very much with all of us, these past few days felt like the start of something nearly normal. And it really is lovely. 

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