general ramblings · life

New Year’s Blues

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View from the Hook Lighthouse, Waterford
Warning: this is going to be a lengthy venting post with some soul searching from me. Not knitting related.

The beginning of the new year has been difficult for me. Not that anything happened, surprisingly we are both healthy (finally!), the Boyfriend is back home and things are just fine. But emotionally I’ve been struggling and my mood is very far from good.

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Lighthouse’s tiny window and the stormy sea outside

I think it’s caused by a few different factors combined. Surely my poor health last year has contributed: when I look back I can see that in fact I’ve been feeling sick since my visit to Poland in April. I’d had a cold there which had triggered other chronic issues, and then like a real snowball effect one thing has followed another. Not being able to do much outside of home, cancelling plans all the time and feeling weak and fatigued for months definitely doesn’t help me stay positive.

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I know Ciri, I feel the same…

 

But that’s just one thing. I’m also trying to figure out where to go next when it comes to my professional situation. My contract is about to end in the coming months, and nothing is certain yet – a new tender has been published recently, and whichever company wins, might want to sign a new contract with me or already have their own contractors. More important though is that I’m really not even sure if I want to work the same way again. I think the best option would be to renew the contract with better conditions, but take on less work next year, and find a part time job in Dublin. I’m not really sure how realistic that is though… so my plan for the coming weeks is to update my CVs, and look carefully into all the options. I’m not feeling very confident to be honest and the idea of job search scares me. I know it’s never easy but I’m feeling much more vulnerable and uncertain of anything these days than I do normally so it seems like a real challenge.

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Hook Lighthouse. Described as the oldest operating intact lighthouse in the world, built first by the Normans 900 years ago.

And over a week ago I received my Christmas gift from my friend. She made a mistake in the address so it took some time for the parcel to be delivered to me, which is why it arrived after Christmas. I don’t know why it made me feel this way but I’ve been so much worse since receiving it. It’s not my friend’s fault of course. She was very thoughtful with her gift, and it was so wonderful to get it. But she added a small box with some makeup items in it, bought in a store where we used to go often, and we always had a good time just trying to pick something for ourselves there, comparing colours of nail polish or eye shadows and looking for the free samples. I don’t know why it had such an effect on me, but all of a sudden I thought that we’re never going to do it again and how much I miss my friend and that nothing makes sense anymore. It’s not really true, most of the time I am confident with life, being in Ireland, with my Boyfriend and our cats. But being a migrant can be challenging and difficult and at times like that the pessimistic thoughts are too overwhelming to focus on the good things.

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I love the sea when it looks like that

And then an old friend (someone I haven’t heard from for a couple of years) sent me an email. I was really happy to hear from her – she is Portuguese but we have so much in common, similar views and ideas, and even professionally we are in similar fields (to the point that in fact she wrote to ask if I’d like to co-author a research paper with her, which is always a great opportunity for someone who needs to update a CV!). Well, we started talking and she asked about my long term plans, which made me realise that I don’t really see myself ever coming back to Poland, and made me face all the complicated feelings I have about my country. Not pleasant thoughts at all! The political situation in Poland is terrible, but for me what really makes it so bad is how the current government and everything they approve and support brought out the worst in many people. There are days when I’m really scared for my family and friends back in my country. And while I love Poland, it’s nature, landscapes, beautiful cities, food, culture and history – I don’t feel well there anymore. So again, nothing changed in my situation but all of a sudden I felt like a displaced person who hasn’t yet figured out where she belongs.

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Anchor on the Hook Peninsula. A bit metaphorical I think 😉 Time to anchor myself here and stop treating our life in Ireland as interim!

I’ve already written a lot so I’ll spare you from all the other topics that have been on my mind these days 😉 Well, we talked about the future with the Boyfriend (result: he actually wants to apply for citizenship and I think I’d like to do that too, although I still have to wait 2 years) and I had an “emergency meeting” with my Dublin-based migrant friends who understand all the feelings I’m dealing with (result: too many ideas to write here, and more girls nights out planned for the coming week). That helped a lot!

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The mansion at the end of the road is Loftus Hall, described as the most haunted house in Ireland. There are guided tours and lockout nights in the mansion, but it’s closed in January and February so we couldn’t get any closer.

And as you may see on the photos in this post, we managed to go to the Wexford County for the weekend finally, and it was so awesome! The weather hesitated between bad and terrible, so we’ve only seen a few places and spent the rest of the time relaxing in the swimming pool, sauna and the hotel pub. Our cats survived the weekend without their carers (and I survived the weekend without my cats, which is an achievement!) and I only wish we could stay longer. Which we hopefully will when the Boyfriend’s current work project ends and he can take a few days off.

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Johnstown Castle. We only stopped there for a walk around the gardens and to take a few photos. It was too early to be open but it also meant we had the place almost entirely for ourselves!

Last but not least, I knitted another dog jumper using the same yarn as previously.

20180110_112720.jpg I didn’t have much left so I made it small, and it fits Ciri perfectly. But she still refuses to wear it so it’s going to be donated to the auction, which is really why I made it in the first place 🙂 Pattern and yarn used here.

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I hope I managed to end this post on a little more optimistic note than it started. I’m giving myself a few more days of just being good for myself and doing only the things I want. And then it will be time to do the things I need to do, hopefully with my batteries charged again. The ultimate goal is for the things I want and the things I need to be the same 🙂

14 thoughts on “New Year’s Blues

  1. Oh Kat, I really feel for you. I hope writing it down helped a bit. I struggled with homesickness for New Zealand and my family once I had settled here in the UK and it brought about emotional and physical symptoms. It is very much an illness. Are you able to have another trip home soon? And with your employment situation it sounds very stressful for you. I hope things become much clearer for you soon ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tracey! I’m planning to visit home in the Spring but it’s really more about thinking for the first time for real that it might be for years or forever, not just for some time being here. It will probably take some time to adjust to this idea. I think it’s for the best but still it’s not easy. I talked to my friends about it and all of us have these feelings… that if we are to stay here, we need to build a community. Grow roots. Learn to be part of this place, not just a visiting outsider. I think it’s good to finally face this reality, but it is a challenging time…
      New Zealand is so far away, that must have been much harder! I hope that you feel settled and at home in the UK now!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. May I suggest you look around in your local shops and see if you can find light bulbs that say “sunlight equivalent” or say that they contain the same spectrum of light as sunlight. You may need to look on line to find them, but they do make them. When you do source some, change out the light bulbs in the lighting fixtures in the living area of your flat for these “sunlight bulbs.” You are definitely depressed (and legitimately so given what is going on in your life, i.e.,, the situation in Poland, your concern for your loved ones, your being in a foreign country far away from them, your unsettled work future, and your recent lengthy and frequent bouts of illnesses). I suspect that a significant portion of your low spirits has to do with the season of the year. It’s called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” it is a real thing that is caused by the lack of sunlight to be had during the short days of winter. Exposure to sunlight spectrum light is proven to help improve and brighten your mood. Do try it. Every little bit helps, and it may be just enough.to get you over the hump.
    http://www.sad.org.uk/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think it’s seasonal – I’ve had recurring depression for years and the way I’m feeling now is quite similar but not that severe yet. Hopefully I can be proactive and prevent a real full depression episode… However, the light bulbs idea is a great one anyways, and I think it could improve my mood a little bit! And my poor Boyfriend who can’t adjust to the Irish darkness and misses his Greek sun would benefit from them too. Thank you for the hint, I’m going to check in online stores:)

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  3. It must be difficult to go through so many feelings together, but I’m really glad you’ve found a support system to get you through this. Hope the night-outs and talking help you feel more in control, and hope the year only gets better!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know this doesn’t always help, but remember that because of your blog, you’ve got an online community that is pulling for you no matter where you live in the world. I certainly am! Hope things are looking up. It’s too bad that Ciri won’t wear the sweater–she looks awfully cute in it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry you have been dealing with all of this. The weather doesn’t help either – everything is constantly gray and it gets dark earlier. It contributes to moods of sadness.

    I think it’s great that you’re putting all your fears down on (virtual) paper. I hope things get better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It is a little better – not quite well but better. I think what works the best for me is reaching out to others. I tend to isolate myself whenever my mood is low and it only makes things worse. But things seem a little easier when I can talk about them with friends. And writing here helps too!

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