I doubt I will get my deposit back.

I think anyone living overseas realizes what a unique experience it is. The people, stores, food, area, attitudes and everything else that is decidedly "home" is just different and you have to learn to deal with those differences even when you don't agree with them. While I wouldn't say I'm a "guest" in Ireland, since I am paying taxes and I'm pretty sure Emily Post considers it rude to charge your guests to hang out with you, but I'm more like a long term renter; I don't know if I'm staying and I can't commit to anything long-term but I like it here for now and when I'm done with it I will make sure to vacuum the floor and unplug the lamps before I go.

Lately though I feel more and more at home here than I have in the previous years. It's going on three years since I moved over and I have noticed a significant difference every year to the way I have felt about Dublin before. At first, when I was unemployed and had only one friend (not including Bub)I was convinced the rain fell for longer and harder than anywhere on earth. In that respect, I was RIGHT. But I also felt alone and scared a lot of the time. I had been to Dublin before but, even as my mother said before I moved, going on vacation is different from living and working somewhere -- you have no money and considerably less time to become a raging alcoholic. I was lucky to have someone who loved me enough to stick by me even when I was a cranky and total asshat and helped me really enjoy some of those first few months in this place even when I didn't want to and resorted to douche-baggery on a normal basis. THAT is love and I am forever grateful for it.

But, as time went on and I become gainfully employed in a job in a company that I actually LIKED I began to warm up more to the cold insufferable weather (it was incredibly hot and humid that summer)and obtained a few more friends, or at least close acquaintances through work, and now it's completely snowballed into having an ACTUAL LIFE outside of the United States.

Don't get me wrong, I'm the same as I have always been. I would rather sit in and watch movies with friends than go out dancing and I am happier sleep really late into the day than get out and enjoy the weekend mornings but I have come from a stage in my life in Ireland where I wouldn't leave the house for days if I wasn't working (or ONLY going to the office and then coming home and hiding in our apartment again) to a person who looks forward to going out and meeting people at the weekend, and branching out of my comfort zone when it comes to shopping. I go to stores which most Americans have never heard of before and brave the two number jump in sizes when going into the dressing room. I DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE GAP ANYMORE. Do you know how liberating that feels? I have a hairdresser whom I can not live without and if we should ever move back to the United States I am seriously thinking about taking him with me. He does an amazing cut, believes everything in the National Enquirer is true, and loves America's Next Top Model. If he wasn't gay I would be divorced.

Ireland will never be "home". And I will always be a "guest" in this country to some but as I said above, I am the same person as I always was but now I'm that full person in Ireland without any self-consciousness or worry because I'm different. That is by far the most liberating thing of all.

Edit: You will also note that right below this entry is one explaining that I changed my blog. Again.

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Liz in Dublin