So there are certain things one does when one is preparing to move abroad.
I’ve been told by quite a few people in the past 2 years that they wish they could do what I’ve done – “simply run off” to a foreign country. Well, while I’m flattered by the admiration, moving abroad is far more involved than just “running off.” Sure, the fact that I had no romantic partner, kids, or family responsibilities made the whole thing easier, but all told, my move to Japan unfolded over a year’s time. First, I “snapped” at work. Then came deciding what I planned to do, which took a good couple of months. Next came researching the idea of teaching ESL, making sure it wasn’t just a whim, getting certified, searching for jobs, interviewing for jobs, quitting my despised job, and getting rid of all of my worldly effects. Oh, and, of course, getting legal to live and work in a new country. Not to mention scrimping and saving for that entire 12-month period. That involved working overtime and taking on extra clients so that I’d have a decent-sized nest egg by the time I got to Japan. Throw in some Japanese study, loads of emotional preparation and you’ve got yourself a few weeks shy of a full calendar year. Hardly “running off,” regardless of how dramatic moving to a foreign country might seem.
The move to Ireland will be far easier than my move to Japan. For one thing, I’ve done this all before and they speak English there … more or less. Also, quite importantly, I have dual citizenship with the US and Italy which means I’m already legal to live, study and work anywhere in the EU. Everything I own has already been consolidated into three suitcase-sized lumps, courtesy of having moved from Japan to New York just a month ago. Even though I’ve no job yet, I do have my focus for the next year so I won’t be puttering around a new country with nothing to do. Furthermore, I’ve already been emotionally and logistically planning this move for the past 6 months. The hard part was getting into graduate school. The harder part will probably be finding a job, although since I feel at peace having my career-oriented focus in place, any job will do me. The hardest part will be balancing work with school. And the ultra hardest part of all will be remembering to spell things incoUrrectly. My instinct is to put sarcastic parantheses around each intrusive “u” or extra “consonant+ e” pairing. Program(me). Favo(u)rite. Colo(u)r? Shop(pe)? Don’t get me started about transposing “e” and “r” at the end of words. I have a feeling it’d be easier learning to print in uncial.
In the meantime comes the emotional preparation. My friends and family, who have just gotten me back after 2 years, are perhaps equal parts thrilled for me and saddened for themselves. I’m feeling a bit of the same. But before I focus on the idea of leaving yet again – or entertaining daymares that my acceptance to Trinity College was a mistake – there have been a few tentative bursts of celebration.
Presents from me to me: gradual self tanning lotion, a mini strawberry buttercream cupcake, metallic mulberry-hued nail polish, and a pair of dark brown flat sandals on sale.
Out and about: Dinner at a German restaurant. An evening at my beloved Marie’s Crisis, spent caterwauling showtunes into my numerous vodka tonics. Dinner at Great Jones Cafe with Momo and Erma, followed by drinks at the dark paneled Swift Lounge on 4th street. It was only fitting.
“Slàinte,” I told my friends when it came time to toast our pints of Guinness. When we sipped, I thought of Sean. Sean, a good Cork boy, drinks Murphy stout over “that Dub drink” any day. I’ve had both. When I want to annoy him, I tell him that there’s no difference between the two.
He never likes that very much.