Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Slinks back with head held low and a bundle of contradictions on my back

Apologies, it has been way too long since I last wrote. Why, you might ask, or some of you probably don't care and are perfectly happy that I am no longer spamming your facebook feeds with my ramblings. Well, the answer is life. Life got in the way of me writing, that and the lack of a laptop. Over the last 4 months I have been working full time as an optometrist and reignited my love for having "the chats" with patients. I've talked about development and technology in Africa with an engineer from Vodafone, I've talked Barbra Kingsolver books with an 80 year old lady, I've discussed the merits of Mark and Spencers shoes for work with a woman in the banking industry and debated my career choice with a man in the Department of Education.

I am renewing my love for Dublin, a city I feel I never truly appreciated in the 6 years I lived here previously. I have amazing friends here who I can meet up with for a coffee or a drink, who, I know would be there at the end of the phone should I need them. Dublin offers live music, free events, cultural and fun events. I have wandered through the National Botanic Gardens, ran along the beach, drank wine with friends, went for brunch, attended friend's weddings and went to Dublin's Oktoberfest.

But most of all over the last few months, I have been looking after myself. I have started exercising again (yes, you did read that right, I went for a RUN and even more shockingly, have repeated this multiple times) and have renewed my love for cooking. I have decided that my health, both mental and physical needed some attention. As a result I am happy, healthy and have lost my Nsima weight. I am the fittest I have ever been in my life, I am comfortable with my friends and also with spending time alone. In short, I am in a much better place than I have been in months. I have gained perspective and am able to look back at things and smile.

However, now, my feet are getting itchy again. I am looking to far away lands, to sights I want to see, to cultures I want to experience and things I want to do. My wanderlust has not been sated just yet.

I am feeling uneasy with slipping back into the routine of my life here; wake up, exercise, work, cook, tv, bed. Repeat ad naseum. Now I know this is a broad generalisation and yes that is not EVERY day but for the most part that is what is happening and personally that is not something I want. I want to change this. My cousin is a personal trainer and often posts motivational videos or videos answering questions for people and this morning he popped up on my newsfeed on Facebook with a slightly ranty but very relevant video. It struck a cord with me. If I am not happy with how things are, I have to change that. I have to decide where I want to be and what I want to do.

However, I feel like at the moment, I am a bundle of contradictions, that I am two different people battling in the one life.
-I love my friends, love the familiarity, the closeness and the general amazingness of the people I am lucky to know and have in my life. At the same time, I enjoy meeting new people, forming new friendships, having new experiences. Some of those new friendships are ones I treasure now and cannot imagine being without. So who is to say that I will not meet more people who will shape my life for the better.
-Comfort and familiarity are things I have been enjoying lately. I enjoy cooking and being able to potter around the kitchen, I like having my clothes hung up and my friends in the same city. On the other hand, going out of my comfort zone, walking into a room where no one knows me, moving from place to place and exploring excites me.
- People who know me best could probably have never imagined me packing everything I need for a year into a backpack. I was (and am) someone who loves her 'things'. While the list of things I now treasure has changed, things that bring back memories of people and places now have priority over meaningless possessions. My photographs are probably one of my most precious possessions. Now I thrive on being able to carry my possessions on my back, to pack what is only necessary, to wear what is clean vs having too many options
- I have never denied it but I love getting dressed up. I like putting on a nice outfit, heels and make up and going out with friends. But at the same time, I am never happier than throwing on a pair of denim shorts, flip flops, pulling my hair back into a pony-tail and heading off to explore.
- I like routine. I like knowing how my day will pan out but at the same time, I love the unknown. I like waking up, not having a clue what I will do for the day and having a great day wandering or drifting.
- I have always been relatively independent, but I saw another side to me in Malawi. A side that loved being part of a couple, a side that enjoyed the companionship, the closeness with a boyfriend, enjoying another person's company and planning a future with them in it. This shocked me and although that is no longer there, I wonder what will make me truly happy again.

And so I am at this crossroads. I have work until the end of the year and I am happy to do that and lucky to have it. I enjoy this work for the most part and work with some lovely people. But I cannot help feeling that this is not where I am meant to be at this moment in time. But if I am not here, where will I be? What will I do? And more importantly what do I want to do? What do I want to be? A friend who was back in Dublin recently commented that even though I hadn't written a blog post recently I seemed conflicted, that I didn't know what I was going to do with my life and that is still the case. However, I am now wondering if that is SUCH a bad thing.