City Girl: What its like to come back after two years

Before I even got onto the plane from Cork to Minnesota I already knew this transition was going to be overwhelming. I had a few break downs in the Amsterdam airport wishing I could come back and on the 9 hour flight I was unable to sit still or sleep, my brain was full of emotions and anxiety. There is a lot that is happening all at once. I moved back to Minnesota and dealing with that. Plus, grad school is over and I went from living on the edge of Cork city to a dead end street in the suburbs. I am 15 minutesaway from the city, and to get to the city I have to deal traffic that you wouldn’t believe. And all these things I am experiencing, like traffic, accents, chips being called fries, the milk tasting different is a lot. Overwhelming is a good word to call it, so I am taking my time getting adjusted and taking baby steps to my next adventure in life.

I didn’t want to go any further than that because it’s all personal. But, I know I am not the only one who can get easily overwhelmed, feeling claustrophobic from the pressure, and feeling lots of anxiety from all the transitions. But, I have found ways to handle this. I share a few of them below.

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  1. Organize yourself: For me I had three whole suitcases to unpack and a room I have only stayed in over the holidays to become my own. If anyone feels overwhelmed or gets anxious, organizing oneself is the number one thing to do because it gets all that’s in your head out on paper and keeps your body busy.
  2. Keep doing what you do: We all have a routine and we should keep at it. Mine is work out in the morning every day, then my day gets started by getting myself dressed. Also just keep being who you are. Last time I was here so many people kept telling me I shouldn’t say “No bother” or say I talk funny when I was talking the way I wanted. This time I refuse to stop and it helps that I also cut off the negativity and have had some positives of how I say “messing.”
  3. Find things that you like to do here: I was always active in Ireland, living right in the city allowed me to do so many different things. I often would take a nice evening walk to people watch and get a 99 in the park. Even in Gtown I had night walks to the beach to watch the waves crash, my favourite sound. Now I don’t have any of that; I have to drive but I don’t know where to go, even though I should, but I left here when I was just 22 I only new college life. What I suggest people in situations do is google, go on instagram, check out local tourist or state/city theme websites that will tell you what is going on. I went to a Book Festival in Twin cities that was something I did a few times in Cork and enjoy doing, so it was nice to be able to do it here.
  4. Take your time: Sometimes you feel like you have to rush into it, have it all figured out. And I felt like that, I still feel like that- I mean it’s an every day life struggle but in this case it felt like I had to have a job set up, a place of my own, furniture picked out, a group of friends to call up, a dog, and happy all in 48 hours after getting off the plane. Take your time, even if you feel like your mind is doing the math of how long you’ve been here compared to “IT’S ALREADY NOVEMBER” Don’t worry. Take one thing and one day at a time. Wake up take on whatever is bothering you that day. I have to be motivated by myself to do something, if not it won’t happen.
  5. Be understanding: There is a lot going on and it’s hard to explain when you don’t even know or understand it yourself. Transitions are hard, not only on you but on others-family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends. And a lot of people and even you may think you’re going backwards and need to adjust yourself. No. You don’t have to adjust anything, and if others think you need to adjust they are not being understanding. You need to let others know they need to be understanding just as you are trying to be understanding as well. Now, this might cause you to lose people, lucky for me I am starting over cause all my friends, except for a few, are in Ireland or in different cities state side.
  6. Remind yourself  you are not stuck, its a new start:   It can feel a lot like you went from anexciting, something worth sharing life, back to a usual boring, nothing worth being excited about life. But, you always have something to be excited and happy about. For example, even the people I know here in Minnesota and keep in my box (metaphor) for them I’m just back in Minnesota BUT to my friends in my box on the other side of the pond me being back is exciting! It’s all about how we see our lives now. If you are going through a transition like I am from an exciting grad life, always in the library, going out with friends and now I am living on a dead end street, it can feel like a big fall BUT it’s not. It is just a transition into something better. I am finding my excitement.


Processed with VSCO with a5 presetThis is my advice to anyone who’s transitioning, moving or starting over. I like to describe mine as I nowhave a closet full of clothes and a few items fit this girl I know and other items are not fitting for the girl I do not know anymore. And we have to find an outfit out of the closet each day.

xox. Kole