When you’re struggling with something, look at all the people around you and realize that every single person you see is struggling with something, and to them, it’s just as hard as what you’re going through.
I haven't written for a while. This happens every so often when "life" happens. I realise this happens when I am not surrounded by inspiration. I don't like this. Day to day life should always be inspiring, encouraging to learn something new, and for sharing stories. But then again, I don't necessarily understand why everyone feels the need to start a blog about their kitchen tales thinking that other people are going to want to make what they made for dinner. But then again, people don't necessarily want to read what personal shit I'm writing about. Ok, so I won't share this post on Facebook or tweet it to promote anyone reading it, but I've always written whatever I wanted here. So there.
When I came back from Australia in December (wow, 8 months ago - what have I been doing?) I was flooded with happiness being surrounded by my family and being back in Ireland. Then they left and the procrastination of "real life" had to end and endless hours of job hunting and searching had to come into fruition: applying for any job I was over and under qualified for, just eager to find a job in Ireland or hop on a chance to move to London. After a year of traveling and finally feeling like I was ready to settle in Europe, I was desperate to find the perfect job. As much as I appreciated the year in Australia, I missed being surrounded by the like-minded people who truly believed we could change the world together one nibble at a time. Eventually, I landed a job that got me to Dublin. The job I had applied for had been filled, but they were impressed with my CV and after inviting me in for a chat, promised they would find a spot for me which, although starting off at the bottom as protocol goes, would quickly move me up. I knew it wasn't a career, but it was a move in a direction, and it was fun for a while. Fun I suppose in the sense that I enjoyed the people I worked with. And that can only go so far. The reality of the situation wrecked havoc on my skin and I had to quit. I was being emergency-taxed on a minimum wage salary trying to survive in a new city and was over-qualified in a dead-end job that literally lost all the desired promises of advancement the day I started. I am not one who believes that unhappiness in a job warrants any reason to stick around. Ironically, I was unemployed for two months, two months longer than I thought I would be, which was not necessarily the best for my stressed skin to try to live off a low paycheck to a non-existent paycheck.
Now I have a proper-paying job. It is just temporary. It is not in an industry I am passionate about. I'm still not entirely sure what the company even does. And I am not sure why exactly I was hired, except for the fact that I am completely competent and had a referral within the company....whom I had only met once before! The paychecks will finally be more than anything I've earned since I left NYC, which will be more than welcoming, but I've gotten quite used to counting pennies. I can only hope this will alleviate any financial stability related stress.
Needless to say, I don't think this job is going to offer me the inspiration I want to write about. Not that I don't like the job, I do like it - I thrive off the overly positive feedback I've received from my work and thoroughly enjoy the sense of achievement and productiveness - but, not the inspiration for blog posts from UNISG, or from writing about seasonal food from the farmers market, or the travel stories from Australia. I don't need to blog about my job though because who wants to read that?? But some part of me feels like I'm not keeping up with my fellow classmates from UNISG. Some of them, if not all of them, are doing truly inspirational things with their lives that are dedicated to what they love: food. As I sit in my desk in my office reading these updates, I wonder how did I get here and can only take solace in the fact, that it will allow me to save, and that I'm in Dublin. I ache for that inspiration, for those stories I want to be a part of to share and to teach others, and to feel fulfilled in life. I'm determined that it will still come. I miss writing.
So, now here I am back in America for a week, with my skin never quite healed and my parents quite horrified. Having lived with eczema and used to it for 29 years is one thing, but being 29 years old and not having figured it out is another. Being allergic to work was a good enough excuse no one could compete with nor bestow hard feelings, but to be honest, my skin hadn't been healthy since I had returned from Australia. I know stress is a huge factor, but I clearly remember the minor anxiety attacks I had every day in Australia of not knowing where I would be the next day, not knowing where I would sleep that night, not knowing who I would meet, and not knowing how I would financially survive, but my skin was not scratched raw with stress. Maybe Ireland just lacks that Vitamin D that my skin became accustomed to and now craves (OK, that is a Fact and as my glowing freckled tan faded, I can completely understand why all the girls in Ireland are literally orange with fake tan). Looking back since I left corporate NYC and America, I know the year in Italy was really good for me educationally - I was inspired and fascinated and surrounded every day with people who loved to talk endlessly about the same food related topics as me. But I lacked the confidence to know what to do with it. I know the year in Australia was good for me personally - I was completely on my own and forced to make my own decisions, to bravely grow up and believe in my own self confidence, to make new friends out of my comfort zone, and to learn how to survive yet do what I wanted. But I lacked the all-encompassing food-inspiration. After all that, those amazing adventures abroad, I felt as though I had gotten "that" out of my system and longed for a proper paycheck and a rent to pay on a place I called home. I wanted to compile all of my past experiences and push them towards something great in Europe. I always wanted to live in Europe. I always thought I'd end up in Ireland. I felt as though I could finally start to "end up." But, for whatever reason, I feel Lost. I absolutely love Dublin. It is a great city. I have fantastic friends, but no social circle. I like my job, but it's not a career. I have a life and a routine in a city I (think) I want to live in, but I feel lost. Sometimes I just want to pack up my backpack again and jump on a plane to South America, to feel the sun again and to speak fluent Spanish. But I can't just run off again where it is acceptable to feel lost.
After all that, for all the reasons I previously firmly asserted why I couldn't move back to New York are now in question. Am I really considering moving back to America or just feeling the itch for change again? I don't know if it's because I miss the promises of big city life it offers.* I don't know if it's because I'm on holiday mode and left behind the day-to-day worries and responsibilities of real life.** I don't know if it's because I just really miss being around my family and friends.***
Is it really a skin disease or have I always felt lost? How can a baby in diapers feel that, yet scratch its skin raw? What is this dark shadow of my past? Why have I always had more of an affinity towards Ireland? Why do I have a funny accent and not sure where to call home? I might be Lost, but I am generally a calm, easy going, happy person, not twitching with panicked anxiety like it might sound like. My life is pretty fucking great I'd say. I was told twice this week to get off my ass and do what I want to do with my life; to take hold of my confidence and trust myself to be able to just do it. So I think as this looming panic of turning 30 sets in, that is exactly what I have to do. When I figure out what that is :)
I guess what I wanted to say, as I wrote this out in a middle-of-the-night-I-can't-sleep-mumble-jumble is that I want to start writing again. It will help me to find inspiration and to clarify overloaded thoughts. I know I'm not the only one who feels lost, but for whatever reason, my imbalance scratches till it bleeds.
I had two very different dermatological experiences in America, which I want to share about, and they coincide with my interest in learning more, understanding, and eventually hoping to teach about food as medicine. Yes, stress is a factor in what's going on, but it's slowed down my metabolism and my skin is lacking the absorbance of certain minerals and nutrients it needs to healthily thrive. Steroids help with post-itch infections, but I think if I can figure it out naturally, and figure out my allergies, I can cure it with food and natural remedies by understanding why my body is out of whack. Maybe I can start writing about this as a learning project.
The other thing I want to write about for inspiration is Dublin. It may not be as new, foreign, or exotic as Australia, but it is still entitled to exploration and admiration. As I stared into my computer one day at work, often escaping for brief moments to read worldly happenings online, I came across a blog as I was looking for things to do one weekend in Dublin. One of the Google hits read "5 Things I Hate About Dublin." Now, there is nothing I could think of that I hate about Dublin, but I was curious enough to know what people don't like about it to click on it. Lo and behold, it's an American in Dublin writing. Hate is a very strong word to describe the things he didn't like about living here, and his list of 5 things he loved didn't do any justification. As much as I miss writing, maybe my posts don't have to be as my-life-aspiring or food-related as I'm used to and just because I am living here, trying to feel settled, doesn't mean that I can't write the travel-type posts I used to while living abroad. Just because this is my current home and feels comfortable, doesn't have to mean it's mundane and not worth writing about. It doesn't have to be about what I had for lunch or describing my 12 minute walkable commute to work. But if this guy, this American in Dublin, can have opinions about Dublin, I want to share my thoughts on this city, this country, to show how much I like it, or what I don't like about it, and maybe even convince some people to come visit - check 3 already (yay Mum, Dad and Cristina!)
If this post doesn't make sense, good, because it epitomizes being Lost.