I was going to do my weekly roundup for this post, but that can wait while I settle in to the fact that I officially live in Ireland now.
People have asked me why Ireland, when did this dream start? And honestly, I don't know exactly when it started. I know Carly and I talked about going to Ireland in high school to chase her Irish roots. I know I visited Ireland my sophomore year of college and loved it. I know that more than 12 years ago I had "live in Ireland" on my To Do Before I Die list. So it's been around for a while, to pinpoint an exact moment isn't possible for me. But it's always been Ireland.
But really, how this dream came about doesn't matter. What matters is that it's happened. I have one more night in a hostel and then I'm moving to a house in Blarney and will have a job in Cork City. My "tourist" days are over and soon I'll be living a normal life here. I'm not sure what to expect or what to even think about it all, except to say I can't believe it's actually happening.
As I took a train to Cobh, about 20 minutes outside of Cork, I wondered what I thought my life would look like when I said "I want to live in Ireland." I don't think I ever really got past the "that would be awesome" stage. But I did smirk when the thought "you thought you'd be married and have a family when this happened" crossed my mind. And I think that's right. I thought I'd move over with my husband and kids -- to live the foreign life while the kids were young and then after a few years move back to the States and get back to the "normal American life." I wouldn't have comprehended that I'd be doing this by myself.
But you know what? Now that I'm here, I don't think I'd want it any other way. While yes, I'd love to be married someday and I do hope kids will be in my future, God had a different plan for me than I could have dreamed. (Doesn't he always? I mean, really.) Right now I'm 30, completely single, and living in a country I love and am about to start on a crazy adventure that I could not have dreamed for myself. I'll learn more about myself during this time than I ever could have with anyone else with me. I've talked to God more times because there was no one else to talk to. I've learned that I can swing from one side to another on the emotional pendulum -- all within about an hour. And I know I'll learn more as the months, weeks, days, hours continue on.
These are things though, that I needed to learn about myself and I'm not sure I would have learned had I stay in Seattle, continuing to squelch this dream, ignoring the longing I had or that I would have learned if I had been married and with kids here.
Some people have said I'm brave for doing this, especially by myself. But I think this is the way it had to be. Who knows what would have happened if I had followed this dream ten, five or even two years ago. But right now, at 30, I feel I'm in the perfect position to reap what God has planted in my life. To figure out who I am and how to lean on God when things suck. To be alone and okay with it. To be lonely and okay with it. To get lost (and that's happened plenty of times already and be okay with it. To get excited, frustrated, anxious, giddy, all these emotions and be okay with them.
I really don't know what's going to happen in the next three months. But you know what, I don't need to know. That's not my problem. I'll enjoy today and bask in the fact that I'm here, living and working in Ireland. What will happen down the road is anyone's guess, most of all mine. I have no idea. But I'm resting in that. I'll follow God's lead and live this amazing life to the fullest. I'm blessed and I'm just going to enjoy that for now and think about the rest later.