One Year of Staying Still

Today marks a year since I last landed at ORK. After travelling pretty much every month for… years, I have spent a solid year in Ireland.

I’ve been fortunate not to lose anyone I love, and pandemic misery aside – I’ve struggled as much as everyone else with the nebulous anxiety of the virus, the isolation, the upheaval of “normal” life – it’s been a good year for me personally.

A year in one place – much of it contained to a 5km radius (lockdown in Ireland is Serious Business) – has taught me how to be still, and how to rest. Along with changing jobs, it has given me time to focus on aspects of my life I hadn’t given enough time to before. I addressed my life debt, explored the country I live in (in my previous existence every time I left Cork I also left the country…). Surviving the first lockdown alone (brutal) made cohabitation much easier, I guess I really got living alone out of my system. I took the kayaking course I had wanted to take forever but that my schedule would never allow, and started on my coaching certification. Over the past few months I’ve been really getting into making things.

I miss my friends and family, the gym, adventures and eating out. I am grateful for my comparative good fortune and frustrated by the lack of support for those who are not. Every day I am grateful to live in a country that has (mostly) taken things seriously, and worry about the collective trauma of people who live in countries that have not.

It feels wrong to be happy, sometimes, and like anyone, I’m not happy all day every day. Sometimes I feel trapped and this timeline seems endless. But after a year of a life that would seem unimaginable to early 2020-Cate, it seems right to mark it and say… I’m doing okay.