For the last several weeks I’ve been quite literally sorting out my life. My one bedroom apartment, full of things I needed, loved, or forgot I have, became a game of choice. Items went into boxes, trash bags, or into hands of my friends. I sorted them as necessities that would stay with me till the very end, and as things that could be shipped early, to await for my arrival in the new place. I found old notes for stories and rediscovered some of the earrings I haven’t worn for a while. I made decisions of what I need, and what can be bought again if necessary. And my brain constantly re-listed the things I still needed to do before leaving Ireland “forever”.
For the last several weeks I swung in a triangle of stress, excitement, and nostalgia.
I also can’t help being stressed out both about the process of moving itself (so many things to do with a deadline that feels too short with each passing day) and abandoning the comfort of what’s known for the uncertainty of the unknown. Sure, it’ll be all grand as the locals say (an expression I never really picked up, though I love to use it for fun, along with many other “Irish English” expressions), but imagination plays tricks on a writer’s mind. I can think of many things to go wrong and of course, I can imagine how many other things might happen that I’ve never imagined.
I’m also excited to go to a new place, to explore it and learn all about it, to find my place over there. All the opportunities waiting for me, all the new experiences, linguistics and cultural discoveries… How one could not be excited about it?
Yet at the same time I can’t help being nostalgic about Ireland and Dublin. The city far from perfect, but nonetheless my home for the last eight and a half years. My home out of choice and of hard work of making an unfamiliar place into one. I think of all the things I’ve learned and all the places I’ve seen, along with all the ones I won’t get a chance to experience anymore… Of all the friends whose faces might fade unless Facebook and old photographs remind me.
And as exhausting as the mixture of emotions is, it’s also an interesting experience, since it’s not the first time I’m moving away from what I consider home. I get to compare the perspectives of leaving a safe place behind and of scraping every last bit of stability I’ve build over the last years, and how they affected or affect me. I’m not sure, if it this experience will ever reflect in my writing, but I’m certain Dublin itself will. Some stories were born here, some words written, and some ideas seeded by the Green Island are safely tucked in my notebooks, waiting for their turns to be dressed into phrases. And in a way, I can’t wait to write them, even if they’ll be irreversibly stained by nostalgia.
If everything goes according to plan, next week I’ll already be in Arizona and celebrate my 35th birthday there. A nice, odd number (I never was a fan of the even ones) to mark the ending of one part of life and the beginning of another one, hopefully full of words to be written—and published.
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.