View From an Irish Back Yard


Here. Now.
October 26, 2013, 3:55 pm
Filed under: America, Family, Friends, Home, Indianapolis | Tags: , , , ,

It’s been nearly seven weeks since we made our great move back over to the USA.

Every one of those weeks has presented its own unique challenges and blessings.   Some days are filled with hope and others, defeat.  We always knew it wouldn’t be easy, yet even I have to admit, I never knew it would be so exhaustingly difficult.  We are ALL homesick for Ireland, and all probably wondering at times if we did the right thing.  Frank feels the strangeness of this place very acutely, and I struggle to grasp any sort of sense of belonging here.  I guess this is what it means to be nomadic?

Sometimes I feel a bit like this shattered glassware we (unsuccessfully) shipped over from Ireland.

Sometimes I feel a bit like this glassware we (unsuccessfully) shipped over from Ireland… shattered and wondering if we did the right thing?

Our biggest hurdle  is finding work for Frank.  When I was in Ireland, I kept in touch with friends and co-workers here in Indianapolis, so I was lucky enough to have a part time job waiting for me at Starbucks.  Not ideal, but imperative in terms of insurance benefits and a small amount of income.  Frank is still looking under every stone!  He’s had a couple of interviews, but so far, his search has been fruitless, and very, very frustrating for him.  My heart hurts to see him feeling so lonely, and isolated, and “unwanted” by employers thus far.  I know that feeling – I went through it myself about six years ago in Drogheda.  And to top it all off, a care package from his mam got lost in the mail – after a week of hanging on to the promise of Lyons tea and Cadbury’s buttons, this news was just really sad!!!  So we’re worried, and anxious, and probably a little too impatient with the kids!  But we won’t be broken – we aren’t giving up.  I married a lovely, strong, hard-working, sensitive, kind, Irishman – the kind who says, “the glass is half empty, but there’s another pint on the way!” :)

In the meantime, I am thankful.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to be so – OK, nearly every day I have to remind myself.  But I am, truly, truly grateful for many things here, even while I’m missing all that we had before.  I am delighted with the pumpkins, spiced cider, and changing fall leaves of the American Midwest.  I am thrilled with the local libraries and parks for our kids (and us!).  I am thankful to be able to watch the World Series on TV again.  I so treasure our friends and family and the incredible generosity and empathy they have shown us.  At one point I felt like we were experiencing a real life “loaves and fishes” scenario:  we started out in our home with very little, but by the end of the first week, we were surrounded with so many gifts of furniture, kitchenwares, kids clothes, bedding, towels, food, and more, that we actually had more than we needed.  And at the end of the day, we may be worrying about where the money is going to come from in a few more weeks, BUT we are well cared for now.  We have a nice home filled with comforts.  We have food in the fridge.  We’ve had our little bouts of colds and infections, but we’re healing.  We have a minivan that we bought from friends and was exactly in our limited price range.  We have each other.  We have love.

If you’re thinking of us anytime this week, please say a prayer for our family and for Frank’s job hunt.  And if you’ve been helping us out all along, as many of you have, THANK YOU, once again.

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I know and feel everything you are going through. We made the same move from Ireland to California 2 years ago. I am from California and my husband is from Ireland. We also have a 3.5 year old girl who was born in Ireland. We came back to be closer to my family. But even after 5 or 6 months here we still felt out of place in America and actually considered moving back to Ireland. But we knew we had to give it a chance so we stayed. The transition was hard settling back into “the American way of life” for me. We missed Ireland and still do very much. It took a while to find jobs but we finally did. Once we settled into a “routine” things got easier. A friend of mine who also moved back to the states from Ireland kept telling me it took her a year to feel settled again so we needed to give it time. And of course we always had that thought in the back of our minds “do we really want to make our life here?” “Did we make the right decision?” “Is this where we want to raise our daughter??” California is very different from where we lived in Ireland. Much different than the Midwest too I imagine. At the moment we are in the midst of making the decision as to whether we want to move back to Ireland. (It’s looking like we probably will). Though I will say it does get easier. We have no regrets about coming to America. We’ve been happy here. Some really good (no great) things have happened here for us so I know it was all in the big plan and there were good reasons for us to be here for a time. But we are realizing now that there is a lifestyle and quality of life that we prefer in Ireland. We would never have known that if we hadn’t moved here as a family. So we may move back as soon as next year. Change is always hard especially adjusting/readjusting to a different culture. I had reverse culture shock coming back to America! It sounds like you have a great circle of family/friends there for you and your family. It’ll take time to readjust. But you will. And you’ll always be back to Ireland for visits I’m sure. Just take each day as it comes and keep being there for each other.

Comment by Julie




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