It’s very difficult to believe that my time in Ireland is almost over. In September, I am moving halfway across the world to Juneau, Alaska, where I’ll be working at a nonprofit focused on helping local governments across the state develop affordable housing and take on other infrastructure projects. Though I am immensely excited for this new adventure, Galway very much feels like my home. The gratitude and love I have for the Island and everything I’ve experienced and everyone I’ve met is beyond words. This has been one of the greatest years of learning and living of my life, and I have so many people to thank for that:
- My cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, and sister, who flew from all over the U.S. to share in this special year with me.
- The incredible faculty at the University of Galway, who’s intellectual generosity, genuine brilliance, and kind guidance have shown me the transformative promise of law when it is practiced and studied with care, purpose, expertise, creativity, and, above all, hope.
- All my new friends! The great and good ladies of the Law School, who have held my hand and cheered me on and reminded me that community is at the core of all meaningful work. (And to be brave and have notions!)
- The bartenders + regulars at the pubs approximately 100 meters and 250 meters from me and Ali’s front door, who quickly learned our drink orders, eventually learned our names, and always looked out for us on rainy nights.
- The Mitchells and all the adventures they inspired around Galway and beyond.
- My Mitchell: Alison Marie Watkins. My partner in all of this. Of all the amazing things that have happened to me this year, I am most grateful for (and a little in awe of) our friendship. Call it (as you lovingly have) the lack of perspective inherent to being 23, but I’m pretty sure you’re just about as cool and brilliant and badass as they come. You are as courageous as you are generous, and I am so lucky to have you in my life.
It has been the privilege of a lifetime to spend a year in Galway, Ireland. A little corner of my heart will always be dedicated to this place–this city of joy! I am already counting the days until I get to come back.