This post comes with a mix of real excitement at the prospect of the next phase in my life and also, a real sense that in the next 10 weeks I will start to seriously miss Belfast and Ireland.
I‘ve made the decision to move back home! I’ve been living abroad in Ireland for almost 3 years now and although I have seriously loved my time here, and so many wonderful and life changing moments have happened to me here, I am really truly looking forward to going home.
I made the decision in my mind quite a while ago, and decided definitely that it was going to happen around March. There were a lot of factors that went into my decision and a lot of things to consider, not the least of which was that my boyfriend lives here.
I won’t bore you guys with all the reasons behind my decision, but I will explain a few that seem topic appropriate for this blog.
When I first made the decision to move to Ireland, it was following my graduation from university and I was looking for an adventure. I have Irish blood thanks to my dad’s side of the family and did a minor in Irish studies at uni, so I was primed to move to the Emerald Isle and discover it for myself.
Living abroad has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life so far and I wouldn’t take back a minute. But, something changed in me while living in Belfast. After I finished my masters degree in Dublin and was officially out of my student phase of life, the next phase of my adulthood started in earnest when I moved up to Northern Ireland.
I learned a lot about myself while living in Belfast and grew stronger I think, while also realising that as time went on, I wasn’t necessarily achieving what I had moved to Belfast to achieve. I wasn’t as happy as I thought I would be.
My main reason for moving to Belfast to start my ‘grownup life’ was to focus on my writing. I wanted to live in a place to fuel my ideas. I wanted to keep discovering more about life and myself in order to keep fueling and advancing my writing. I finished my first novel in Dublin and was now in the stage of getting it fixed up to try and publish.
Belfast, although a great little city, wasn’t home. I realised more than anything that I am without a doubt a Canadian writer. To me, this means my writing is inspired by and fueled by my experiences growing up as a first generation Canadian. I always set my stories in small towns, usually in Eastern Ontario somewhere. I love writing scenes to do with snow and all the beautiful and unique things that make Canada such a great country (okay I’ll stop with all the patriotic waxing poetic now…)
My discovery of who I am as a writer could not have really hit home had it not been for my time living abroad. While I edited my novel and re read passages that had been written while I was living in Montreal, in Ottawa, in Dublin and in Belfast I came to realise the one thing that never changed in my book. How much love went into describing place and setting.
So that’ part of it. Then I started to grow frustrated by the fact that I didn’t really have a real space of my own to write and relax. Living with roommates is fun and has its benefits to a point, but I think I’ve grown past the stage where I want to live with other people. I want a home of my own so I can nest and do what I want and not have to worry about other people. That may sound a bit selfish, but that’s part of growing up isn’t it? Finding a place to call your own?
So, I’m moving back home. To the house my mum and I bought the summer before I started my last year of high school. To the first house my mum has owned on her own and the first one we’ve had together just the two of us. It’s a really special house and the last place I can really remember having a proper writing schedule. I used to get up every morning and write at the desk facing our front window and I loved it. It was the time I felt most at ease in my writing.
Now for things I’m most looking forward to: There are a few little renos that need to be done on the house. We’ve been renting it out while my mum and I have both been living abroad and now that I’m coming back (my mum is still living abroad) it’s a chance for me to breath a bit of fresh air into the rooms and make it my own. My boyfriend will be moving over with me and I’m excited to have a place of our own and make it comfy and cozy for the both of us. I’m also really excited for him to see where I come from and show him all the things I love about Canada. (Poutine anyone?) Showing him all the sites will give me a chance to rediscover my own country.
For a bit of bookish excitement – I’m most looking forward to getting all my boxes of books out of storage and setting them free back onto the bookshelves again. I had to pack up the majority of my books and only brought a select few to Ireland with me. It was sad times but I am so looking forward to seeing all my books again. It’ll be like Christmas morning, remembering which books I actually own!
I’m looking forward to starting a new phase in my life and discovering what comes next.
Wish me luck!