The #1 moment that made me – The day I moved to Ireland.
I was inspired to reflect and acknowledge my three defining moments in life by the Journal created by Roxie Nafousi and The Head Plan. The section in the journal is called “The moments that made me”.
I am writing about the #1 today.
This day, 9 years ago me and husband took a one-way ticket to Ireland, 20kgs full of scarves and warm clothes, the heart full of hope and dreams, and in my lap, our 6-month-old baby. If I knew how hard it was going to be, I would probably not come to be honest.
Changing countries is always an adventure, but when you move to start from scratch, without speaking the language, without friends, or relatives around, and a sick baby – chaos is installed.
When I say a sick baby, I mean I lost count of the times we ended in Crumlin hospital, without understanding a foreign health system or any of the procedures.
My husband had a job outside the house, but I was home minding our daughter – that was the plan for the first year (I thought!) due to high childcare costs. I did everything to learn more about the culture, improve my English and mix with other parents in local parenting groups in the first couple of months.
We lived in an apartment on the 5th floor in Bluebell, beautiful views of Dublin and the Blackhorse pub, but soooo freezing, and we couldn’t afford to turn on the central heating all the time, so I would take Maria in the stroller and spend our days walking around the shopping centers where it was nice and warm 🙂
A couple of months later I was feeling more confident and decided to apply for a job, and I got it!! It was a great job in one big tech company – I was beyond excited with my achievement….and a bit clueless on how did I pass the round of interviews. With both jobs, we could afford childcare and a few months later we bought a car.
The new job was the perfect example of “fake it till you make it” – my manager had a really thick Irish accent, I hadn’t a clue of what he said to me in the first 6 months – not even joking! I remember on coffee breaks and lunchtimes, trying to participate in conversations with other colleagues but literally just laughing when everyone else was laughing… I still feel the cringe now.
The first year was a rollercoaster of emotions, I felt lost at times and remember crying a lot on the bus on my way to work. By the end of the day, my brain was so exhausted from trying to understand and speak a different language all day that I thought it was going to explode.
Little I knew that the 14th of January of 2013 was going to change me and be so important in my life. I am not who I was or who I was supposed to be if I stayed in Portugal, that moment made me stronger, resilient, and more self-aware.
Many more moments followed this and I will be writing about moment #2 and #3 soon.
I am proud of what we achieved in these 9 years, we fought for a better life, worked hard and I am so grateful for where we are now. Our life is made of love and laughter ❤
After a couple of months o