I still remember my first day in Ireland like it was yesterday. I remember getting off the little airplane at the Galway airport and looking around suspiciously. So, this was home now.
I didn’t really want to move to Ireland. I wanted to stay in Canada, because everything was predictable in Canada. I knew exactly what I could expect. Family, study, work – everything would progress on a steady and stable incline.
Applying to my medicine program was also very last minute too. I reluctantly sent off my application literally only days before the deadline. When I received my acceptance letter for the medicine program I was sad.
But I moved to Ireland. I moved to Ireland where everything was confusing, and suddenly the independence and freedom I had been looking for – seemed almost too overwhelming.
My first evening in my new apartment. I sat with my future BFF– but at the time – strange roommate- Marie in the living room. I thought she was really pretty from the moment I saw her. We made conversation while we awkwardly watched TV together. I asked her what her top three words to describe herself would be. She was seriously weirded out by the question, but pretended not to be. Before long, she got up and said it was time for her to go to bed. I walked back to my new room, and I felt alone.
I remember my first night alone in my room. This was my first and only experience of homesickness. I couldn’t sleep. I kept tossing and turning. Where was I? These white walls were not my walls, but they were walls and they were around me. For the first time in my life, I was really alone. I never thought these kind of things would phase me, I’ve always embraced challenges and uncertainty and opportunities for growth – but that night, I surprised myself. I cried a little bit.
I missed my mama.
I thought about all the things I have to organize for myself (school, health care, friends, apartment, government), without my mom’s help, after she leaves in the morning. It all seemed pretty hopeless. I really doubted myself and my capacity to keep up.
But when the sun came up, I stepped out of my new bed, and I felt alive. I made myself breakfast- Kiwi, grapes and yogurt. My first living-alone breakfast. I dressed myself slowly and cautiously – feeling strange in my new life.
That day was a great day in my life. It was the first day of a new phase of my life. I did everything I needed to do. The satisfaction that bought me was incomparable to anything else I had experienced –the feeling that “Hey, I got this!”
I immersed myself in every new challenge that I had, even simple things like going to the grocery store to shop for myself for the first time! I made my shopping list, and set off for this big adventure. I
Even today, I love spending time at Tesco!
I bought an umbrella, because lets face it –I was in Ireland and it rained every day, but even the rain didn’t bother me. My umbrella broke and I made the decision to buy a stronger umbrella. It was a wise decision. I missed the days when I didn’t have to carry an umbrella around everywhere I went.
One evening we had a party at our apartment.
That evening I took this photograph of Marie laying on the concrete.
Michelle and I became friends later in the first semester. Up until this point she and I never really talked. I didn’t know much about her, except that everytime I saw her she was either leaving or arriving or making soup. Oh and she was always carrying an assortment of bags and balls and bats. We never really talked.
One day I came home after my 2nd or 3rd breakdance class and walked to the Kitchen where she was making soup. Awkwardly, I decided to start up a conversation. I said “Hey, look what I can do!” and did the body wave with my hands.
She said “Oh wow that is cool!!”
And so it began. She skipped all her classes for the day and we spent hours in our living room dancing.
I dressed like a (pretty convincing) baby for Halloween.
This was taken on my first time at Mr. Waffle. The beginning of a very passionate love affair with their Belgian chocolate crepes (with no whip.)
I did a lot of things “wrong”. My life was a big trial and error experiment for a while.
I got lost, was late, got confused, made mistakes, forgot things I needed, walked in the rain, bought inappropriate shoes, wore my slippers all the way to the bank without realizing it, ate cereal at 2am in the morning, broke shopping bags, bought too much food, too little food, no food at all, forgot my umbrella when I really needed it, spent money without a budget, ate apples as a meal, and broke glasses.
I made new friends, enjoyed lectures, skipped lectures, danced, baked cookies, laughed so much I thought I was going to die, went to Tesco with Michelle at midnight with the sole intention of buying donuts and lemon cake and then eating said food items infront of the security guards like we were homeless, studied my little butt off, read books, went for walks alone, went for 5 hour walks with Michelle with no destination in mind, woke up at 7:00am every day for a month, quit facebook for a month, cuddled with the girls, watched movies, sang along to boy band music loudly, got take out, danced a lot, made a budget, overcame my fear of “dead food” (YUCK: The gross remains of your dinner in the sink), did many readings on my bed with the girls, painted my toes bright colours, turned 21 and bawled my eyes out till the early hours of the morning (out of happiness, although it certainly didn’t look like it), ate breakfast at mr. waffle a little too frequently, saw some beautiful places, went shopping, and did things for myself.
And let’s not forget why I was here in the first place. School!
But either way, everyone was hustlin’ because one day, we’re going to be one of these guys:
And explored myself.
With all these experiences, I developed a sense of confidence in myself and the colours that my life was showing me.
And this is who I am today.