Today I’m Loving…

I’ve got to get myself to start posting every day! Even if it’s something small. So I decided I’ll do something like this: a feature where I mention something I love/feel grateful for/whatever each day. So here goes!

Today I love Baile Atha Cliath. For those of you who don’t speak Irish (I don’t either), the official name of Dublin, Ireland, translating to “town of the hurdled ford”. Yes, that’s from Wikipedia. But it sounds correct, from what I recall of three years ago. After my freshman year of college, I spent the summer living & studying in Dublin. It was my first study abroad experience during university, and made a huge impact on my life. It was the first time I truly lived on my own, and, of course, that taught me a hell of a lot.

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Chilling with Oscar Wilde. No big deal. [Note: not actually Oscar Wilde. Please tell me you can tell that.]

I learned I was comfortable being by myself and that I truly did enjoy being independent– something I hadn’t been able to fully experience until I settled into my flat in Rathmines. I traveled around the city a lot on my own, as well as being able to go to different parts of the country (which, in Ireland, really doesn’t take very long; my group and I traveled to Country Kerry by train in about two hours). I also managed to get a huge dent into my bottle cap collection, returning with 80+ new caps, an understanding of what kind of beer I actually liked, and the realization that it was damn expensive to constantly buy single bottles. I also learned about ogham, an ancient Celtic form of writing that continues to fascinate me. In Dingle, Co. Kerry, on the west coast, a brilliant man named Brian de Staic creates gorgeous jewelry, some of which is inspired by Ogham, and you can get your name inscribed (in Ogham, of course) on necklaces and earrings. So I got myself a necklace with my last name on it (as I have Irish ancestry)… and now I have the same design tattooed on my back.

While living in Dublin, I learned a lot about Irish history– something I hadn’t had any exposure to growing up in the States, beyond the potato famine. This alone led me to declare a history minor at uni, and I seriously considered majoring in it. Majoring would have required a thesis– one that I would have written about English imperialism and reactions against it, primarily focusing on Ireland, Scotland and Wales. (I still hope that some day I’ll actually be able to write this, maybe in some PhD program. Still not sure. My future’s up in the air! I don’t know where I’ll be in five years!)

I miss it every day, and currently am hoping to return to the city for graduate school at Trinity College Dublin to study creative writing.  And I’ve got to say, I’m pretty damn excited about that possibility. I’ll be applying soon, which means I have to get my portfolio together. Which is less exciting and more… daunting, shall we say? (Read: terrifying).

So that’s that. Today I love Dublin. And Ireland. And I made a Polyvore set to demonstrate that! (Duh. That’s what my life has been this past week…)

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