In less than 24 hours I will be back in Cork. In my eight months here in the Big Apple I have rarely missed the actual place that is Ireland, only the people. In the last few days, however, I have been filled with an excitement like the one we used to get on Christmas Eve. No chance of sleep until the early hours of the morning. The first few minutes of being woken by your parents or siblings to be told, “Santa’s been here”, are a foggy mess as you navigate your way downstairs through bleary eyes and badly lit staircases. As soon as you reach that tree, though, your fatigue is gone and you are ready to enjoy that fantastic day.
That’s exactly what I’ve felt for the past week. Although I’m an adult and I realise now that sleep is key and not a punishment from our parents, I just couldn’t get a proper dose of shut-eye in the lead up to my Christmas trip home. Technically I will miss Christmas itself but I don’t care. As I was thinking about this post I remembered the countless people who are out here illegally and cannot return home for fear of deportation, a number of my friends included. It’s a deeply sad issue but it also means that I will have a second family here at Christmas, ready to give out about work and get drunk with myself in the local bars.
Despite missing the people from home intensely for the last while I have now recently begun to yearn for the polar opposite of New York. Sometimes busy but never quite as busy, Cork will always be home. A part of me almost wishes that I am moving back for good. Another bigger part of me knows that I love it here in my birthplace and that I have had the best eight months of my life.
When I purchased my ticket to fly out here back in December of 2016, I booked a return ticket also, just in case I didn’t like it. As with any new city that I was going to be living in I took it handy at first. For the first month or two I wasn’t quite sure about this place and could never have envisioned myself staying here for longer than the agreed upon time with Aer Lingus. Now, I can’t wait for the next year and to see what it will bring and what I can achieve.
Right now I am just a doorman and haven’t fully realised what it is I could also do out here. New York city is the place to put the hard graft in. While you might yearn for a break and lament your lack of free time, you get out what you put into it. Work hard, Play hard, as the motto goes.
I have promised myself that next year I will do more in New York city, culture wise, but I will also do more work that is handed to me. I will write more frequently on this, take some writing courses online and in the city, and I will apply for work in some of the local papers. I can’t keep telling myself that I will do it later, or next week, or next month. So as soon as I am back it will be all guns blazin’.
I also will travel America more, and come next August, when I plan to return for a Masters and more travel, I will be able to say that I survived New York city and that I grew in terms of work ethic and responsibility.
As for now, I am extremely looking forward to coming home for a few weeks. A few quiet pints down the Squire and a big weekend with the lads in Waterford, interspersed with some quality family time are on my present to-do list, and that’s the only list I care about right now.