I felt overloaded with the beauty of it all.
There were times when I could almost feel a roll of the eyes coming from myself when approaching another beautiful scenery up ahead – from another castle steeped in history, another amazing group of rolling hills or another incredible coastline. There were times when I just didn’t know if I could stomach more beauty and more nature.
But, “Jesus,” I thought, “what the heck is wrong with you? This is AMAZING, don’t you get it?” I did get it. I knew logically it was all amazing. But I wasn’t FEELING it.
I mean, I was seeing the mountains, the cathedrals, the millions of books in Trinity College and I was reading the plaques associated with the meanings of it all. But I wasn’t really there. I was. But not truly. Not all the time. The “Oooohs” and “Ahhhs” coming from my mouth sometimes felt like that’s what I should be saying at these moments of intense breathtaking scenes, and they came out on target and with the rest of the group – but something was missing.
And, I couldn’t figure out what it was. At first, I put it down to the fact that I had lived in France and I’d been living in England for some time now. The intensity I felt the first time I entered Europe could never be replicated because I no longer had those fresh eyes to take everything in. I admitted defeat and realized perhaps this was the sign of getting older and seeing more and knowing more. I was an adult, and with it came lack of excitement?
But, I yearned to get authentically excited again about IT. Life. The Planet. History. Nature. Seeing things. TRULY seeing things. Ireland. I knew it was magical. I could sense it. But I wasn’t feeling it.
Then, I told myself that traveling was more about being with the person you’re traveling with and experiencing life with them. The sights and sites were secondary. That didn’t quite click with me either. Because, if I couldn’t experience it for myself, then I wasn’t truly experiencing it WITH them…right?
So, what was it? Why was there this fog that left me feeling a bit detached, a bit lackluster, and frankly, slightly annoyed at times?
Everyday this feeling slowly started to go away. Ireland began ebbing away at the cobwebs in my spirit. It made tiny cracks in my “adult” brain until holes started forming, peeking into my child soul. I didn’t notice it at first…until, I made a decision.
I turned off my phone, left my laptop in the car, had a good night’s sleep with no alcohol, and …. there Ireland was. Stretched before me like a vast dreamlike land of delight. Only it wasn’t a dream. The colors were vivid and everything was shiny and new again.
I was awestruck by the lakes, rainbows and ruggedness, not aggravated by them. I felt more free and open and alive than perhaps…ever. It was better than the first time I arrived in Europe. Because this time, I had to earn it. Not better. Just different.
The weird thing is. I didn’t even notice that I was feeling in any way lackluster before this. Bristol has finally started feeling like home, I am more in love than ever, and my book is coming along better than I had hoped. I’ve made some great friends, and sure I miss my family and the US, but I also know I’ll be seeing them soon. I’m happy.
Maybe what I realized is that everyday happiness just has a different feel than holiday happiness. You have to adjust to each. One is perhaps more exaggerated than the other. It also reminds me to turn off my laptop, and take walks more often. Running perhaps has its limitations?
With that said, technology is the devil. At least for me. I can too easily become addicted and obsessed with postings, what’s going on in twitterland, who wore what on X-Factor (the UK’s American Idol for the folks back home), who emailed me – that what goes on in cyber space becomes more important than what I’m actually doing in real life. It’s a sad disease.
So sad that in order for me to get any writing of my novel done, I must turn off the WiFi, and if Jock is home and needs it on – I have no chance of writing or editing my book because… well, I need to know who is number 1 on the charts right now, or somebody said something to me two weeks ago that I had been meaning to google because I was pretty sure they were wrong about that…
So sad that I had to delete myself from facebook six months ago.
So sad that it took me over a week to wake up from this Cyberspace haze while I was in possibly the most gorgeous country I have ever seen. And, I do think that was a big part of it.
Luckily, I have come back a new woman! But wait, first I have to find out the origin of the Claddagh ring and figure out which way to wear it on my finger to say that my heart is taken…
All that said, I definitely had one of the best times of my life by the end. (see next entry for details!)