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  • Writer's pictureliatnetanel

My first year in Dublin - 3 ongoing lessons

As someone who is always looking for an opportunity to meet new people and learn new lessons, this is the first time that I am sharing an ongoing, uncompleted project. Usually, a lesson is a defined period that I prefer talking about in the past tense, as something I have accomplished. However, when I reflect on my first year in Dublin, I find that the most important lessons are an ongoing journey with no foreseeable finish line. 

The first lesson: "Welcome to Yourself"

I lived in Israel my entire life; this is where I built my character which is how people got to know me and how I looked at myself. When I moved to Dublin, I challenged everything I knew about myself and started checking what works for me and what was a result of my surroundings’ perception and habits. In parallel to this self-developing process, I found myself crystallizing a few core values, framing vulnerability points, and meeting old demons that “chased” me all the way to Dublin. I realized that my greatest challenge is accepting that there are things I can’t run away from and the first action to take is accepting them. It doesn’t matter with whom I spend time, which language I speak or what the scenery is like, I take myself with me wherever I go, and that’s the starting point for all lessons.

Second lesson: Cultural Differences

Living in Dublin is great for many reasons, and one of my favorites is the multicultural environment. Almost every time I go out it sounds like a beginning of a joke: “an Israeli, Irish, German, Swede… walk into a pub”. The opportunity to meet people from different places in the world and be acquainted with new cultures and traditions is fascinating. However, sometimes this paradise feels like a double-edged sword, especially when things get lost in translation, or are misinterpreted. The outcome of these situations (after I stop cringing and apologizing), is to remind myself to pause for a second before I react and in general to think more thoroughly about what I say and how I say it. It can be exhausting but the greater lesson of “not being impulsive and watching my words”, is worth it.  

Third lesson: The Race is Long

Looking back, I feel as though I both moved to Dublin yesterday and have been here for a decade. On one hand, everything still seems new and exciting, and on the other hand, I realize that I have a basic knowledge of directions in the city (and whoever knows me knows that I get lost everywhere), I have my routine and started building a few deep friendships. As I love long-distance running, I feel like this is the longest and most meaningful race I’ve ever participated in: ongoing learning, both in the professional and the personal fields. The major difference from a “regular” race is that here there is no definite finish line, and the only judge of my progress is me. Like the quote from the great song “Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen”: “The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself”.

Looking forward, here are my two cents

I find it funny to summarize this blog as I feel I’m still in the middle of the lessons I just shared here. My two cents this time will be the advice Yotam, one of my best friends, shared with me before I relocated and was all excited and anxious: “like any other meaningful experience you have had in life, so will be this one: there will be good days and bad days, however, you will have a full life, and this is the most important thing to focus on”. 

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