Peace at Last

Trip Start Sep 06, 2004
Trip End Nov 23, 2004

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Where I stayed
The Skeff

Flag of Ireland  ,
Friday, October 29, 2004

Tried to contact Annette at I.C.E. and John at Hotlines. Again no luck. So much for that.

Had supper at The Skeff (hotel, restaurant, and very nice bar) with Ula and Carla. Ula's last day in Galway...would have liked to get to know her better. Salmon--yum!

Then went out for a Friday pub evening at Ryan's house, Richardson's pub, the Living Room (briefly), and The Cellar. Had 3 drinks as an experiment, which was quite enough. The Cellar had good music on, so we danced...lots of fun, even though Ryan acts like a complete goofball when he's drunk. Got hit on, which was flattering--don't worry, I turned him down and I never let go of my drinks!

October 30

Still a little drunk in the morning...nothing that breakfast didn't take care of. (No hangover. Katherine, who'd drunk Bulmer's cider all evening, had a nasty one until her morning coffee. In her words, "Bulmer's hangovers suck!") Went window shopping with Katherine and bought a witch's broom and hat (total €4!) for Halloween. Lazy, I know, but I hadn't planned to dress up at all, and Katherine was so excited about it.... She was also missing her best friend from home because they make a big deal of Halloween, so I figured I might as well go for it too. Hung out with Carla for a bit, then started to sort out my belongings...wanted to leave some of it with Katherine in case I find work in Ireland after all. If not, I'll get rid of some of it and either mail or bring the rest home.

In the evening I talked to Arvin over MSN. Checked out the Air Canada website and discovered that rebooking my flight for the very near future shouldn't be a problem...I could have bought tickets at the regular price for the next day! Also realized, looking at fares, that Toronto isn't so far away from London. Now that was comforting. Europe is still within reach!

From my diary:

"Yes, I'm going. I have faced opposition and arguments from Mikkel, Katherine, Helena, and Kristen. Arvin says come home. Mom says do what's right for you. Cindy says she'll always be proud of me. Kim says that no matter what, I'll still have spent two months in Ireland.

I talked to Arvin on MSN tonight, and came away feeling peaceful--something that's eluded me for a long time. I don't know what he said or how our conversation made me feel this way, but right now I'm in a mood of 'que sera, sera.' What will be, will be. I'm going off to see Ireland. Then I might go back to Canada. Or I might not. It will be okay.

I know what might have done it. I was looking up airfares. Toronto to London is $570--barely more than Toronto to Edmonton. (Round trips.) Living in Toronto means Europe will be affordable! So going back to Canada doesn't slam the door on Europe after all. It does end the idea of living in Europe. But I didn't want the minimum-wage job. I was probably envisioning Karen Connelly writing in Greece, or those independently wealthy Romantics in Italy. Someday I will rent a villa in Italy for a month. Someday I will also travel around Italy for a month. It's okay--those things will happen.

I guess I'm not cut out to be a Swapper. I need travel on my own terms, and that wasn't it. Swappers need to be at a certain stage of life, and I'm not sure I ever was. It has become apparent that I'm definitely not now. I'm in a different space. They're at the stage where they are single, working unambitious jobs, living to party. I'm the opposite in all those respects. I need privacy and solitude. I want a challenging job. I want the next stage. I want my kjaereste (boyfriend) and my art. Being apart has made me realize...I can do it, but I'm sort of just killing time until we're together. It's not that our relationship is my direction in life; I just want it to be my default, my starting point from which I draw strength (not the only source of strength, by the way) and then go off from there and live the life I want. Which is, at its core, writing.

I may be at a more 'mature' stage than my friends here, but this has in fact been somewhat of a coming of age. (Like Norway.) I've been completely responsible for myself. I've cooked meals--not fancy ones, but functional ones. I've tried new things. And I've realized that I'm an adult, after all--it's not some mysterious thing, it just happens. And making friends is suddenly easy, which it's never been before. I'm still not outgoing and gregarious, but out of the blue I'm no longer shy. I also know that I'm too proud and stubborn sometimes (i.e. getting jobs, or not getting minimum-wage jobs), but I suspect these are assets if channelled in the right direction.

So now that I've had a chance to think about it (away from all those voices), I am at peace. And it's clear now that I must go to Dingle. Dublin can wait; the Peninsula beckons."
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