I’m sitting at a kitchen table, drinking Irish tea with Irish milk, on the smallest of the three Aran Islands, off the West coast of Ireland. It’s beautiful here. My pizza is almost done in the oven.
The people in Ireland never seem to shut their windows, no matter how they might complain about the weather. Also, I love how much people drink tea over here. And lattes are barely more expensive than coffee in Europe. However, instant coffee is all over the place for some reason.
I’ve had a fun few days. I took two bus tours: one for the Ring of Kerry (a well worn circular route around one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland), and one for the Cliffs of Moher (huge, breathtaking cliffs, as seen in Princess Bride and Harry Potter). On the first, I befriended a hearty Australian guy, and I took the second with two lovely American girls that I met couch surfing. As much as I don’t like feeling like a sheep being herded around, I also like not having to think.
I’ve been staying with a Brazilian girl for the last few days, and let me tell you, I can get down with Brazilian food. And Brazilians, for that matter, if they’re all as sweet as her.
It is testament to my mental fatigue, I think, that I found so much relief being in the company of Americans. I felt my entire being relax, and I watched the worries of my mannerisms, pleasantries spoken or withheld, and vocabulary melt away. (Will someone understand what I mean when I say, “Bummer,” or should I quickly rephrase my sentence?) I think that I am overthinking.
I am in a perpetual state of debate with myself. For example, does my discontent and obvious searching serve a purpose that will eventually be fulfilled, or am I simply being a stubborn jerk and going about this all wrong? Does my complete aversion to being alone mean that I should work harder to be okay with it, or that humans, as I’ve thought for a long time, are not meant to live a solo existence? Why, for goodness sake, was I given this desire to catapult myself into the world if I’m simply going to be confused and vaguely upset the whole time? What am I doing wrong, and why? Why do I feel like I must be the only person in the world who is stricken with wanderlust and then completely disillusioned by the entire thing?
As I’ve mentioned, being with people are the best times. I have made lots of new friends, whether they last for an hour or a day or three. Even one that I feel I really connected with. I immediately give into the knowledge that I don’t have to think about my plight, or all my questions. I focus all my energy on simply being a companion. This is when I let go and enjoy the moment.
However, I keep feeling this onward pressure. Even if I am offered the chance to stay longer with a new friend, I have turned it down on several occasions to continue the vague plans or inclinations I’ve developed. Even when I am enjoying company, there is something in me that says, No, it’s not here. This isn’t it yet. Keep moving. If you have any idea what the heck “it” is, something that I seem unable to give up looking for, I would be greatly obliged.
And so, the debate continues. Is it good or normal or healthy to be looking for something? Should I continue to do this and will I see fruit from it, or should I take a freaking break and work to simply be content with what I am doing and where I am?
I feel encapsulated by a huge what and an overwhelming why. I like making friends because they distract me from these things, but at the end of the day, that’s sort of all they feel like—a distraction. And this, possibly, makes me feel even worse.
A good example of my baffling ways: I made three good friends in Galway these last few days. And, to my pleasant surprise, they were outspoken in their pleasure to be spending time with me. We were easy companions. I had been really wanting to go the Aran Islands, and all three of them threatened to come with me at one point, but none of them ended up doing so. I was invited to incredibly fun sounding events with each, but I turned them down in favor of traveling back in time to island life, even committing a whole night to it. I’ve been wandering around this gorgeous island all day, wondering when I would make a friend and never succeeding (yet). At some point, as I thought over my loneliness, I realize that this was entirely self inflicted. I had company, and events, and I chose to not only be alone, but I picked the smallest, least populated island of the three, in the hopes of finding something cultural and beautiful and unique. Now, for the first and probably last time on my whole trip, I have an entire hostel dorm room to myself. Certainly the night isn’t over yet, but, what gives, Tiffany?
Anyway. Sorry to be such a sop. Can’t seem to help it though; I am daily plagued and wish that I wasn’t.
I did have the best seafood chowder I have ever had, though. I think it might have been a bowl of butter, with enormous chunks of salmon and cod and clams in it. I even found a fish bone, so you know they’re doing it right.
And today I climbed all over a real shipwreck. The entire thing was bright red from rust, including all the surrounding rocks. I like that there are still amazingly dangerous and cool places to see in the world and one is just left to one’s own devices in order to explore it, unlike in the States. I wriggled my way to the top of that dang ship to pretend I was a sailor, and the number of bad things that could have happened to me are somewhat staggering. And, how beautiful were the Cliffs of Moher without any fence blocking the view, or a tumble into the sea hundreds of feet below!
I rode a bike all over tremendous terrain today. Bikes always make me feel like I am flying, and that’s why I like them so much. Oh, and I met the most friendly and beautiful horse, too.
I’m going to get a pint and listen to trad music and insert myself into people’s lives. I swear I’ll have better posts soon.