Learning, day by day

“It feels like a fever dream,” Fares said, as we walked up to the first floor and entered the flat. Of course, I knew just what he meant: I wholeheartedly agreed.

In two months here in Dublin, I have carefully learned that two liters of milk each week is not nearly enough, especially when living in a flat of coffee addicts. I’ve learned how to jam in a pub with seven other guitarists, how to play double-stops like Hendrix, and what it sounds like to actually be good at singing (thanks Peter). I’ve learned not to reheat frozen bread under the broiler and that finishing all the oat milk in the house is a vegan’s worst nightmare.

I’ve also learned to better understand tradeoffs. That staying up until 2am having thrilling conversations is a tradeoff between relishing in the diversity of the people around me and sleep: and that both are completely valid options. That choosing not to practice guitar one day might be the reason I have a conversation that strengthens my bond with a flatmate.

I am also learning about friendship: what it looks like to find a community built around care and trust, away from home and school in the States. A friend recently reminded me that care for friends and family can take the form of small gestures of self-sacrifice. I find it so true, in living with great people and in considering my relationships with people at home.

Like any experience, the past two months have had ups and downs. There’s been warmth and tenderness at a Sunday evening game night, or a home-cooked meal down at UCD with the other Mitchells. There have been feelings of anxiety and embarrassment too: drawing the courage to attend every week’s jazz jam session, knowing I’ll struggle to keep up with the musical fluency of the musicians there. Through it all though, I feel overwhelmingly content and curious. And very grateful to be here.

Anyways, enough of the soppy introspection. Here are some short recent memories that I really enjoyed.

First Day’s Photoshoot

I took my first steps through Trinity’s arching first looming front gates and make my way toward my temporary residence. After hauling my suitcases onto the floor of my room and a well-deserved two-hour nap, I strolled out of the main door to the dorm. I’m always curious about people’s favorite ways to explore a new city. Sometimes I just want to wander, like a character in an action-adventure RPG. Other times though, I wanted to immediately go for a street-photography session – especially after a spontaneous (and irrational) purchase of a new DSLR.

Something about Dublin’s overcast skies looming over the brick Georgian architecture brings out a modest, cinematic quality in the city.

Here is Fares, stealing the show as usual.

GMB Gamenight

I think this was the second or third weekend. Somehow I managed to convince my flatmates to come around for board games one Sunday evening, (and without any tasty snacks as incentive!). Look at how cute Isabelle and Peter look here.

Jenga

North City

This is just an exposure I found to be really stunning. It’s taken just a few minutes from Trinity Campus on a bridge to the north side of the city. I love how shimmery the water came out and how it contrasts the gentle blue of the buildings and sky.

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