Of The Endings

8 yearsin IrelandFor 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.

My first visit to Giant's Causeway in 2008.
My first visit to Giant’s Causeway in 2008. It’s one of my favorite places in Ireland.

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.

Second visit, in August 2015.
Second visit, in August 2015.

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.

Third visit, in December 2015.
Third visit, in December 2015.

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

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.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. portiabridget

    I firmly believe everything is before you – a new, interesting country, a new life, a new language even. Don’t think about what can go wrong because it’s counterproductive and might drive you crazy. You’ve taken a decision, now follow the scenario you’ve chosen, don’t look back. I am looking forward to your first post from your new home!

    1. melfka

      Thank you!
      And really, “don’t think on what might go wrong” coming from you? 😉 But nevertheless, we should both listen to your good advice.
      And a new post… it’s coming. I hope. 🙂

  2. sjhigbee

    All the very best in your move. I envy you having visited the Giant’s Causeway – it’s on my bucket list and haven’t yet made it… In the meantime, wishing you a safe, event-free journey to your new life and like the others, I’m looking forward to hearing from you after your move:).

    1. melfka

      Thank you, Sarah!
      Giant’s Causeway would be a bit of a trip for you (I guess about 2.5-3days), but if you can get a direct flight to Belfast, there are full-day tours for less than 50 pounds there, and you get to see other things along the way too!

  3. Myk Pilgrim

    Good luck Melf, am in awe of your courage to jump and wish you all the best for your coming tomorrows. Also I think a bit of sunshine in your new habit will do you good. Congratulations on starting the next chapter.

    1. melfka

      Thanks, but I’m not sure I have the courage. I’m already here, all is good, and… I’m still finding reasons to be scared. I guess it’s just my nature. 😉
      But yeah, the sunshine is definitely good. Inq laughs when I stare in awe at what it seems to be “ever-blue” sky… 🙂

  4. J.R.Barker

    Bon voyage Melfka, may the traveling sprites see you safely on your way! Whenever you feel sad about leaving remember you made memories, friends, and writing fodder, and when you were settled you had the courage to move and start a new adventure (and find some new writing fodder).

    1. melfka

      Thank you, J.R.! Indeed, there’s lot of writing fodder and I definitely won’t forget the friends I made (I do hope to keep in touch with everyone, so there’s no reason for forgetting in the first place).

      1. J.R.Barker

        There’ll always be someone to remind you 🙂

  5. saraletourneau

    It’s strange…. Reading about you moving just reminded me of my parents’ upcoming move. The circumstances are very different; they’re not leaving the country, but we’ll live farther apart than we ever have before. It will be a big adjustment for all of us, but I think everything will work out for the best. And they’re moving to the town they’ve always dreamed of living in, so I’m thrilled for them. 🙂

    Back to you, Joanna. It sounds like you had an amazing time in Ireland, and will leave with a treasure chest of memories, ideas, and hope. Best of luck with the move to the US, and happy early birthday, too!

    1. melfka

      Even if it’s not far away, the move is always a change, and as you wrote – they’ll live further now. I hope everything goes smoothly and stress-free. And on the bright side, the bigger the distance, the greater the appretiation when you finally meet. Of course, there’s longing involved, and sometimes feeling of loneliness, but after ~6 years in a long distance relationship I can say, that it made us appreciate each other. Hopefully it will be the same for you and your parents. 🙂

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