quick note to say all is good.
i have been distracted since i got back. hence lack of posts. January and the return to Dublin brought with it a new school term, adjusting to a totally different timetable and new classes that i am so far loving and getting my teeth into.
it also brought the first stage of the visa application. my bit of that is now done and with a massive piece of work for TSU out of the way, (well done, Dr! i'm very proud of you) Joel is going to compile my stuff and his and get it all submitted very soon. and then we wait. it'll be months of wait so please don't come asking. as soon as i know something i'll say. until then, i want to put it out of my mind and the only deadlines i'm going to think about are Joel's spring visit, his summer months here with me (dear Lord, how heavenly that will be. weeks of sharing space and the same timezone) and various academic dates, most notably the 19th august - my MA thesis deadline.
so for now, all other bridges and procedures for crossing them can wait til they happen. right now i am working very hard on living in the present. i don't want to lose this year to constant thoughts about the future and all that lies ahead. it's far too stressful dealing with unknowns. so for now, joel and i are focussing on being the best partners we can possibly be to one another despite the miles between us and enjoying each day being as together as we can possibly be. and most days i think we are doing a pretty good job of holding it together and loving one another really well out of our best selves.
i found the second half of January an emotional couple of weeks. the amazingness of the holidays with family and friends, the joy of our engagement, the mutual longing that comes with long distance and the sheer immensity of what it means to be emigrating for the second time in my life finally caught up with me. it brought up a lot of feelings i didn't realise were sitting there needing to be felt. last week saw me frequently getting teary at random and not so random moments. but i've breathed through it and had no meltdowns. instead i just put the brakes on and have been taking one day at time as i've tried to let a lot of mixed emotions bubble up to the surface and be released as needed.
i took a weekend break up to see Jayne and caught up with Pád, Beth, Mark and Sara too. it was lovely to curl up on the sofa and feel the comfort of friendship. Jayne and i had lots of lovely chat, ate lots of yummy biscuits under blankets and watched Where The Wild Things Are. i loved it. and Pád gave me a dvd box set of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys shows from the '70s. we watched a couple of episodes of that too. big hair. very. big hair.
tonight, for only the second time since i got back from the US, the water pressure in this corner of Dublin isn't being reduced overnight. hurrah. thanks to the ongoing repairs to the broken and strained water system, i'm now very used to being without running water between 7pm and 11am and it looks set to continue for weeks if not months. one's daily ability to flush the loo, run taps and shower, launder clothes is currently controlled by the dramatic sounding but actually mundane DLR emergency updates blog link over there (--->) on the right hand side bar. so for once i'm going to ignore the requests to conserve water and enjoy the chance for a long deep soak in the tub.
with visa documents sent off i can shift firmly into school work mode. there is a lot to read and write. but my grades so far are giving me confidence that i can do this and i'm aiming to write papers i will enjoy writing wherever possible. i meet with my head of department tomorrow to talk through my pre-Christmas papers and look ahead to the themes for the next lots of papers due in this spring and also my thesis. more on what i plan for the latter to follow once i've had that meeting. so far the department has been pretty receptive and if i get the green light tomorrow to start preparing a proposal on my theme of choice, then this summer will be spent not only in the company of my beloved but researching and writing about... well, you'll just have to wait and see. i don't want to be pre-emptive. by which i mean, jinx it. but as theses go, this is pretty cool stuff. as it's an MA thesis, i'm not going to be able to publish it but it will hopefully be a good grounding for a range of possible avenues i may go down once the course is complete. all of which are creative and potentially very fun. joel is excited as my proposed theme is totally up his alley too. [nope. not Dr Who. :)] so, more on that very soon.
right, where was i? oh, yes. a tub of bubbles is calling. and then i am having fish fingers and beans and chips. because you're never too old to have one of your favourites for tea.
p.s. sorry to anyone waiting on emails. i'm still ploughing through a backlog.
p.p.s for those wanting photos of my engagement ring, it's coming to dublin with Joel in March (we hope). pics will follow then.