I’m sitting with coffee and my laptop in the garden, trying to write. Writing things out is good for me, it helps clear my head and give me space. It’s something I *should* do, like getting up in the morning or eating properly – something that will make me feel better. And I need things to feel better because frankly, I don’t feel good at all.Continue reading “Patching things up”
Today was not a good day for me and my brain. I don’t really have a bad brain days anymore, not the way that I used to. But a global pandemic and an anxious mind just aren’t a great mix. I didn’t want to do anything today. But I had to. So I did.
It is not easy keeping it together through all of this. We aren’t meant to be alone. I want to write more about it all, about how privileged I feel to have a back garden, about the impact this is going to have on a generation of kids, about how my heart aches for everyone going through the wonderful and terrible milestones of life with this as their unwanted backdrop. About how fearful I am for the vulnerable people I know and love, and for those who must stay in a home that isn’t safe for them, or who have no home at all. About how we’re not meant to raise children like this, in little pockets with screens between them and the rest of the world. About how hopefully this will all make us realise how fucking terribly society treats so many essential workers, and how completely fucking immoral billionaires are. About how I almost wish I wasn’t a parent right now, so I could sleep in and play video games all day. About how I can’t get this songout of my head. And about how even when I have days like today when I don’t want to do anything, my daughter gives me such joy that I can’t imagine being without her. And how grateful I am for the sound of her laughter and her squashy little hugs.
But I can’t right now. Those few sentences are pretty much all my brain can string together. So I hope you’re okay. And I hope you and I and everyone can keep holding it together, for just a little while longer. Until we can be together again.
I am so fucking tired of being angry.
It is draining being this fucking angry all the time. It’s always there, bubbling in my chest or just behind my eyeballs. But there is so much that I see everyday that makes me angry. And I can’t keep quiet. I just can’t. Even though I just want a shower and to watch Christmas movies and eat ice cream and be oblivious. Instead I’m sitting here writing in anger and tiredness, needing to get it onto the page so it doesn’t all stay in my head.
No prizes for guessing why I’m angry today.
This time last year, I was stuck in Belfast, at the mercy of Sneachtageddon, writing about daffodils – and, like many others who campaigned for Repeal, I was looking forward to May with a mixture of trepidation and hope. Today, it’s unseasonably warm out – although it did just start raining – and I’m once again looking forward to May with a mixture of trepidation and hope. But this year, it’s because I’ve to finish building a new person in the next two months – and in May will be faced with the terrifying task of naming them (as well as the whole pushing a rugby ball sized thing from my vagina, but let’s not think about that too much right now). But I also have bodily autonomy, and that’s pretty amazing too.
I am tired. I am very tired.
I’m tired because I don’t remember the last time I had an evening off or a good night’s sleep. I’m tired because I’m not eating properly, or exercising, or taking care of myself, and my body is feeling that. I’m tired because I work a physically and emotionally demanding job. But mostly, I’m tired of asking people to give women the right to make their own decisions. I’m tired of asking people to vote Yes on Friday.
But I’m still doing it. So, for one last time, please vote YES in the referendum this Friday.
In November 2016 while living in Seattle, I wrote a (very) short blog post asking people to vote, particularly for those who are disenfranchised but have to live with the consequences of that vote. Now, nearly 18 months later and back in Ireland, I find myself once again asking for people to make sure they’re registered in time to vote on an issue that massively affects me but that I have no control over.
I’m talking, of course, about the upcoming referendum on the 8th Amendment.
As any immigrant knows, there are a million little things that continue to be different from ‘home’, long after you’ve settled into the big differences. For me, mapping the seasons onto the calendar is one of them – in particular, answering the question of ‘is it spring yet?’
A friend asked me the other day if I was settled back into Ireland. The question threw me and left me distinctly unsettled – and it took me a while to realise why. I’ve been back in Dublin since December – and I’m pretty settled. I’ve caught up with old friends, got a job, an apartment, updated my Netflix account. The usual.
I have settled back into Dublin, and it has been comfortable and easy, for the most part – like wrapping myself in warm blankets that smell like home. Because Dublin has been my home, more or less, since I was 18. I spent a year in Britain, and nearly 3 in America – so this is actually the third time I’ve moved to Dublin – once in my teens, once in my twenties and now in my thirties, and this is the time I’m probably aware of what I’m getting into. (Someday, I’ll write about the ignorant, arrogant teenager who moved here at 18. Not today though).
2016 is – thankfully – nearly over. It has been a hell of a year to be an immigrant in the US. When I moved here three years ago, I never thought for a moment that they would be inaugurating President Trump in 2017.
I swear I was leaving anyway.