By Bobby Weisblatt
I sat down at an overlong boardroom table for a meet-and-greet with the newest member of the Marketing team. It was her first week on the job and she was making the rounds, getting to know everyone, from the foot soldiers to the generals. It’s the last week in September, and I’d been in Dublin for 14 months on what was supposed to be a 1 year contract. What the hell was I still doing here? I started telling her my backstory. How I stumbled into this industry from a double liberal arts degree. How I moved to California on a whim, because of some obtuse connection between a tech company and a hidden strand of thematic pulp from my Honors Thesis. How I still loved California, had a lease on an apartment, and really missed being in a place where the concept of a burrito had been fully fleshed out, deconstructed, and rebuilt anew. I told her about how I was only supposed to be in Dublin for 1 year, and then – “You met a girl,” she interjected.
“Well, no, my ambitions for this role and this company grew quite beyond what they had been, and this is the place to be, it’s where the growth is happening, it’s where all the action is.”
“And you met a girl,” she persisted.
“Yeah, okay, fine, and I met a girl.”
“That’s lovely.” She lowered her head into an unfinished half-nod, and smiled. (see also: “shark grin”). There was no use arguing with her.
“Yes. It is lovely,” I concurred.
And lovely it is, but it’s made me think a lot about the ways that we chop at and dissect our lives. The human brain is a categorical pattern machine, and I’m a firm believer that this was a key factor in what brought humanity to where it is today; however, we do not live in a categorical world. Things aren’t that simple. We set expectations from precedence, but the things we’re most sure of, are only as strong as our previous evidence and experiences.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve been asked, constantly:
“Why on Earth would you leave California, for this shite weather? Yer mad.”
“Fall in love with an Irish girl didjya?”
“Must have a nice job, aye?”
“Ah, I see, so you’re just trying to avoid The States right now, is it? Things are none too good there at the moment.”
All valid questions. Thank you for your submissions, I’ll be getting back to you in due course. But the fact of the matter, is that I don’t feel like I need to answer that question. I can’t categorize why I love this place, why I love my job, why I love the person I love, or why I love the nasty cold rain, whipping wind, and 4pm sunsets. I shouldn’t have to, and I’m simply not going to do it anymore.
I’m staying in Dublin, because I’m not ready to leave. It’s none of the previous items, and it’s all of them, at the same time. My job here is a contract, but my life is not a contract. I am lucky enough to not be conscripted to a certain place for a certain time to do certain things. I’m in Dublin, and staying in Dublin, simply because, I am not going home. I am home. I’m in the fourth home I’ve collected yet. From New Jersey, to Atlanta, to San Francisco, to Dublin, I’ve collected four places that I can always return to, that will always be home to a certain version of myself, and a certain maxim of satisfaction. And they are all places that I’ve never left until I’m ready to leave.
My favorite fun fact from three years of Latin in high school was the the word “domus”, meaning home. Unlike every other place in the language, “domus”, was the only place that you never went “to”. Just like modern English, you go “to Dublin” but you never go “to Home”, you just go “home.” It’s something that always made “home” unique at the lexical level. The concept that a place changes based on your perception of it. A little over a year ago, I traveled to Dublin to make my new home. These days, when I return from wherever I’ve gone, I just “Go Dublin.” And it feels alright.
Bobby: “Having lived in New Jersey, Georgia, California, and Ireland, all in the past decade, I’m not really sure where I’m from anymore. What I do know is that I love music more than anything, movies after that, and I pretend to read more books than I actually do. Currently working in Sales for the tech company: Asana. You can usually find me watching trashy 90’s Japanese Gangster Films, listening to Thee Oh Sees on repeat, or drinking a pint around Dublin.”
Bobby Also Contributed: The Mystery Matinee, Cooling Tower