When I properly take stock of what’s happening in this Irish world around me – regardless of what’s happening in my own world – I sometimes have this disbelief as to how I could be happy here.
This is literally what’s going on, and has been for the past 3 or 4 years (probably even longer): anybody who gets the chance to leave Ireland, will take it and run. Especially the youngsters. If they can, they’re flocking to Australia, New Zealand and – the most recent destination – Canada. Is this because of their ‘passion to travel’? or are they all desperately trying to get away from the crisis Ireland is still suffering from, so as to make a better life for themselves? It could be a combination of both factors… and now would seem the perfect time for the travel dreams of the youngsters to be pursued, as a result of the job situation.
Why? Here in Ireland there isn’t much on offer for those who are either freshly out of college and qualified to give their services to anybody who is willing to accept, or for those who have become unemployed during the financial ‘crash’. People in business are trying to keep it ‘alive’ and there’s no real signs yet of any redemption. That will only come with time. And until then, employees can count their lucky stars they’re active in the community and the rest is either left lingering and waiting for better times to come or they’re planning the ‘great escape’.
So youngsters are been subtly forced by the economy to travel. It’s opening up opportunities and doors that otherwise could’ve been left closed. A positive development maybe… but for those who don’t get the chance to leave and make a new life for themselves; they are ‘stuck’ in a country that’s facing hard times. People are struggling to make ends meet, to feed their families and to keep a roof over their heads. People are burdened with worries and the nation is feeding-off the negativity around which people’s lives have come to revolve.
I knew all of this, while I was away. But I didn’t hear whether it was progressing or regressing. I was surrounded by Indians, not a European in sight. I didn’t follow Irelands’ economy in the news. So I became ignorant to what Irish people have been forced to face.
And now I’m back… I hear the stories, I hear the struggles and I hear the plans many people have, to move away. Each week probably hundreds leave the country and their search elsewhere for a better life starts. And then there’s me; neither stuck, nor being forced by the crisis to leave. I know I'm blessed for being able to say this (but I also realize each person on earth has created their own current life situation, as it presently stands... so I like think I made my own 'luck') So I’m ‘floating’ through. Does this situation around me, bring me down? In the past I’ve felt myself to be selfish for not feeling bad when hundreds and thousands of others were feeling so low and suffering! I’d nearly wish to feel low, just to show compassion..!!! But that just doubles the misery in the world.
For this reason I was actually reluctant to come back. I was worried I’d be negatively affected by seeing people living in restriction and almost unable to support their families. Especially when I was in China, I wished to steer clear of Ireland, as I believed it would only ‘bring me down’ and positive thinking, feeling and living would be a thing of the past. The thoughts of being in Ireland made me think I’d be ‘forced’ to drown in negativity, just for feeling guilty if I was to naturally feel positive! But man oh man... how much I've changed my perception of reality!
Now that I’m here… What can I say? Does this crisis take away the smile, the excitement and the enthusiasm I feel deep down, for absolutely EVERYTHING that I have in my life? No it doesn’t. Does this mean I’m remaining ignorant to what’s happening around me, as I give so much focus to what’s happening during the endless hours I spend away from the world ‘working on my own things’? Some will say yes, some will say no. And I say I’m creating my own reality and living out that reality, regardless of the weight and worries the country is burdened by, as a result of economic crisis. So I create my own world, to BE in this world, in this present place, in this present state. And this approach is the main thing that lets savour my time in Ireland and I see past the worries, the crisis and the struggles. I’m seeing what Ireland really stands for; something those who are travelling or those who are ‘stuck’, MAY have lost sight of.
It’s sad to think that those who are moving away would feel to have been forced out of Ireland just to live a comfortable life. They’d perhaps carry with them, this feeling of Ireland being depressing, dull and lifeless; a place to steer clear of (just as I did last year). If travellers feel bad about their country, will this then be how the Irish speak of Ireland, when they’re abroad? And will Ireland then be ‘promoted’ throughout the world as being such? Is it really all that bad though? Is Ireland a depressing, dull and lifeless place to be?