In precisely one week I will have been employed in my current job for three full years. Tomorrow marks my three year anniversary since I slunk back to Dublin after my fifteen year holiday in Amsterdam (followed by the three months of decompression in Limerick). I have now spent more than enough time here to have overcome any teething problems I experienced during my glorious return. If I have any issues (and I do) then these are not related to being new in town.
Generally speaking things are going well. I love the fact that Dublin is a seaside town and that I can be by the seaside after a thirty minute walk. It is incredible how much theatre is available – it’s not that Amsterdam doesn’t have plenty, it’s just that the English language offering there is scant – as you’d expect. If you wish – and have deep pockets – you can see a different play six nights a week (except for Sunday when theatres remain dark). The live music scene – particularly when it comes to Irish acts – is thrilling. Vicar Street now rivals Paradiso on Leidseplein, for my favourite live music venue. Living a stone’s throw from The Point Depot (it can fashion itself as the 3Arena all it likes – to me it will ALWAYS be The Point) means that the bigger international acts play on my doorstep. Living a ten minute walk from the Abbey national theatre allows me to have theatre at my fingertips.
I’ve also been writing – which had been an ambition of mine in Holland but difficult because of the haze under which I’d been living. I have written and staged several plays; had several newspaper articles published; had a story included in a book; and earned a modest sum for having a story included in an online magazine.
My problem – and this is entirely my own issue – is that I am never content. Wanting; yearning; waiting for something better. Something more. Should it appear, then even that won’t be enough. It would feel like an anti-climax
I need to learn to be happy with my lot. And if not happy, then at least satisfied.
This sullen lack of contentment has been a lifelong struggle. I am getting better with it though.
I knew that when I left Amsterdam I couldn’t magically expect life in Ireland to be perfect. And it’s not. But I think it’s an improvement on my final few years in the Dam. If nothing else my head is clear and I’m actually doing stuff.
I can’t quite silence the whine in my brain ‘If you go back now though, you’ll be seeing it with 20/20 vision and with a non-smoggy perspective’.
I banish those thoughts.
I might go back to Amsterdam for good. But at this moment, on the day of Halloween, I declare ‘NOT TODAY SATAN.’ (Maybe next year though).