August 22, 2008

Self-imposed Exile isn't For Everyone

I thought I'd be gone by now. When I left Ireland for the US, I figured I'd conservatively be here until the end of July. And that was really my worst case scenario. It was rather naive of me clearly. 

I boarded the plane on a very hungover afternoon in mid-April. I was wearing my winter coat, since it was still winter in Dublin. Winter greeted me in New York as well but the calendar turned, as it does, and soon enough it was spring and my coat was relegated to the back of my rented closet. I unpacked the few spring type outfits I'd remembered to bring with me, thinking they'd get a bit of wear. 

Now I look at my wardrobe choices and laugh. Bitterly. 

Visions of Sex and the City were all too apparent as I packed. I had this idea that I'd be inhabiting their world, wearing fabulous outfits with sexy stilettos and chic handbags as I sipped martinis and sampled haute cuisine. I'd this idea of rolling into the office each morning wearing power outfits and designing amazing spaces for the sophisticated elite of Manhattan.

I laugh at that too. For we all know which sophisticated elite I designed spaces for and why my sexy stilettos and power ensembles paled in comparison to the staff uniform of our client.  

In fact, the only time I wore stilettos, I regretted it instantly. Too far to walk on hard pavement, on cobblestones, after a martini or two. My shoes were wrecked, my feet in tatters, and my outfit not nearly as expensive as it needed to be in order to impress anyone in the room.

And then the heat of summer set in, heat I am no longer accustomed to, and I was required to shop or melt. I gave Carrie and co. a hearty shove and invested in pieces to ward off heat stroke. 

I've always been a practical girl, so shopping for things I already own really got to me. I hadn't thought to bring yoga clothes, which I own in abundance in Ireland. I hadn't thought to bring slip on shoes because I never anticipated my feet swelling in the heat. And I certainly didn't bring any billowy sun dresses because it was winter when I left.  So I bought clothes and shoes and sheets and towels and all sorts of things I own in Ireland because in Ireland, I figured I would be gone just a few weeks and could rough it until I returned home. Urban camping in a manner of speaking.

But here I am, 4 1/2 months later, at my sisters house borrowing her clothes and synching her CDs to my iPod because I didn't think to bring music with me either. I am tired and I want to go home. I want to go home but I have no job there and no answer here. I am in limbo and at the end of any enthusiasm I may have had for this little adventure. Don't get me wrong, I love spending this time with my family. I wouldn't trade this for the world. But I'm tired of living out of a suitcase.  And it is a rather pretty suitcase!

I think what it boils down to is that I'm ready to go Home. I'm a nester at heart and autumn makes that instinct roar.  I'm ready to make a home for myself, settle down and plant some roots. But my circumstances are against that at the moment.  I can go home to Dublin and find a job, easily or painfully I don't know, but I'll find a job and life will take shape, until January when I have to renew my work permit. Since I am only in Ireland under the endangered species act of the employment bureau, it is quite possible the Irish government will kindly ask me to leave instead of welcoming me to another 2 years in the country. What would I do then? It is maddeningly as Lamborghini Boy said: I have no home. Do I go back to Dallas and take up my old life there? Do I blindly try another part of the country and hope for the best?  I'm tired of starting over and quite frankly, I only have one more big move in me. I hadn't really planned on leaving Ireland. i forgot I was only a guest.

It is still possible my application for a UK work permit is granted, in which case I would happily move to London, but it is also likely it will be mid-October before they reach a decision on the matter. I can't wait that long. What if they decide to decline? I'll have spent 6 months treading water for nothing. 

I believe I have hit the bottom of the demoralization barrel.

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