Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trad, Bubbles, & Inertia

Killarney...peaceful- isn't it?

Life's better with bubbles

He is a true joy.

Two weeks down, fifty to go, and I think I rather like it here. I'm continually mesmerized by the gorgeous landscape, and I'm slowly deciphering the Irish lingo. I still make the darndest rookie mistakes, but I do my best to laugh them off. For the record, telling someone you got a "ride" is not the equivocal in Ireland. I now know why people raised their eyebrows when I shared that I had been "getting rides around Dublin".

I scarf down a piece of humble pie every day as I am forced to leave my comfort zone and ask anyone and everyone for assistance- which way to the grocery, is this the correct bus stop? am I going the right way?, etc. My goal is to "blend in", but I have to say that underestimating the speed of the bus and flying three feet into the lap of an elderly man may have prohibited that.

What can I say, inertia got the best of me.

I'm also trying to recognize "trad" (traditional) Irish music, and I've found that rarely played is: Danny Boy or When Irish Eyes are Smiling. Haven't yet heard Christmas in Killarney, but I suppose that's seasonal.

Life is grand.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

One week down...

"Okay, I won't. I won't. I promise!!!"

Classic self-portrait. Aka- currently have zero friends to snap a photo. Presume they'll be many more

Though I'm confident in my decision, I would be lying if I said there hadn't been some challenging moments this past week. I was warned of the inevitable loneliness that can accompany an exciting adventure, and have occasionally felt an emptiness in my heart that used to be filled with the laughs of my dearest friends. Not to worry, I've filled that space with new plans, two energetic lads, and an omnipresent Friend who never fails to listen when I need Him. I've learned that my strengths and weaknesses seem to be magnified when transplanted to a new culture, and here is what I've found.

Things I'm good at: trying new foods, wandering aimlessly around quaint streets, admiring the various football practices at the park, googling anything and everything, sailing, and entertaining tots of all nationalities.

Things I'm not so good at: dressing the boys in the correct clothing, understanding phrases like "hot press" (still not entirely sure what they meant), blending in (the moment I open my mouth, I'm outted), cooking from scratch in any capacity, sailing (no, it's not a typo; it is in both lists as I've decided to join a nearby sailing club in hopes of making a few friends. So I'm presently terrible at it, but soon- I'll be a star), looking remotely presentable sans straightener, not shrinking sweaters in the wash, making the boys oatmeal correctly, getting on the local bus going in the correct direction (oops), and to be honest...much much more.

So yes, I've been humbled...but I will prevail.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In Dublin's fair city, where girls are so pretty...

My new home!!!

...just kidding, but isn't it lovely?

Since my arrival, I catch myself smiling at odd moments. Apparently, that's what you do when you are in love, and I think I just might be. My first few days have been a whirlwind-complete with a semi-flawless travel itinerary from ORD to HTR to DUB. My biggest conundrums were a.) heavy heavy bags, and b.) my luxury meal on business class was going well until I may or may not have catapulted one of my shrimp across the quiet cabin. I thought I was discreet until the flight attendant ran over it with her cart, and it became a sad form of airplane roadkill.

I'm settling into my new home where I was welcomed with open arms and lots of cherubic smooches. The weather has been kind thus far, and I'm enjoying sporting my fall attire for the cooler winds. My "small world' policy was reinforced when I ran into a Charlotte friend at a local restaurant- what are the odds?

Pints are on me for the person who can identify the meaning of the followings words: (no cheating!)

bits & bobs

I'm battling jetlag with a might fervor, and I'm excited to see what tomorrow will bring...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sweet Sorrow

Thus far, my goodbyes have been fairly painless. My friends are certainly near and dear to my heart- my pillars of strength, support, and laughter, but I've been able to manage my tears quite well. I've been biting my lip, giving hearty hugs and a few high fives- no tears! I thought I was just a brave, brave soul....yeah, I was wrong.

Apparently, I've been rationing out tiny portions of emotions only to find that there was actually a reservoir in waiting. It just so happens that my adventurous parents had planned an elaborate trip to Canada with friends. It just so happens that they had concocted this plan long before Europe was more than a dream, and therefore, they left four days in advance to my departure.

"No big deal", I thought. I'll probably enjoy the alone time; I mean, I'd heard my dad's ill-timed jokes multiple times. My ever-maternal mom had left a lengthy and detailed to-do list that even included "get to airport to fly to Dublin" in huge font.
Thanks, Mom.

I anticipated that I'd be somewhat relieved to say goodbye....wrong again.

I dropped them off early this morning and low and behold, my grief poured over like a waterfall. I have been a blubbering mess since 7 am this morning. I cried sorting the mail, walking the dogs, and checking my e-mail. What's come over me? I sincerely love my parents, but my God, I've lived apart from them for nearly ten years.

I turned to a dear old friend for comfort- a faithful companion that has never let me down.

Bunny Tracks ice cream. I'm recovering nicely.

My only theory is that this was simply the pent up goodbyes that have been hiding behind my courageous facade.

So Kelly, Ellie, Caris, Shelley, Jeff, Kerry, Sara, Rhetta, Alex, Kristin, Kelsey, and more- a few of those tears were for you. I'll miss you much.