I like to think that I am adventurous. That I’m this cool chick who is always up for a good time and can make fun from anything/anywhere. I like to think that I am charismatic and can make friends anywhere. Boy, did that get tested my first two weeks here in Dublin. Being in a new country is hard. Being in a new country without old friends or family is even harder. Yet here I am, making it, adjusting and killin’ the game.
There have been a couple of bumps on the road so far. The first week I remember coming to my room throwing my things on my desk and crying. I thought to myself “geez Joyce, you had the perfect life at home why did you have to shake it up”. I am not accustomed to loneliness. I started college with my sisters already there so I never felt pressure to meet people. I have a large loving family that I talk to all the time, a group of beautiful best friends that help me through everything, my food is always seasoned perfectly and right at my fingertips and Uber’s in DC are cheap. Dublin is a wonderful city but it is jarring coming from a historically black college and very diverse city to a European country with minimal black citizens. I find myself often either the only woman/girl, the only person of color, the visibly darkest person or all three simultaneously. I get stared at everyday. I’m never quite sure how to open my mouth.
My mother knows when it’s time for tough love and told me I was just “adjusting”.
She was right.
I am now more in the swing of things. I am no longer tired from the time change. I talked to my professors. I’m going out into the city more and mastering the bus system. I’m making friends, both American and Irish. I’ve visited some of the most beautiful and magical places in the world. Places I have only read and dreamed about. I am blessed.
Growing pains are just that, and sooner or later, you grow and adjust and grow some more.