I finally made it back to my second home. 

Ireland has felt like a second home to me since I first came here in 2015. The people, the pub culture, the deep history, the mythology, all of it just sings to me. So when I finally could return I leapt at the chance.

Part of my reason for doing so is like part of the reason for so many people. I was starting to feel a little burnt out. I didn’t want to design anymore, didn’t want to write anymore, and I certainly did not want to dance at all. Sometimes you have to get outside of your comfort zone to feel some fire again and I had lingered too long in my comfort zone.

If it is easy to do, it might not be worth doing.


The problem with writing day in and day out is that sometimes if you do not change your scenery you are going to get eternally stuck in an echo chamber or feedback loop. That is what was happening to me. I was second guessing all of my writing, definitely not designing up to par for my every day job, and I just felt ready to climb the walls. And this was just by July when I finally purchased my airplane ticket. By September 1st, I was ready to just leap.

I took my mom this time around. I often travel by myself but again you can build your own little wall around new experiences without someone to push you. My mom and I decided on a list of things we would do and all of them pushed what has become my limitations.

Such as:

  • Talking to strangers
  • Writing at spur of the moment again
  • Eyeballing that good looking stranger in the corner
  • Driving in Ireland
  • and Driving in Ireland

It doesn’t hurt to be scared and experience new things. When I first climbed behind the wheel in Dublin Airport, I felt ready to scream with anxiety. What the hell was I doing? I thought to myself as I pulled onto the M50 with a slew of Dublin traffic. But my determination shone through and I began to simply keep to my own schedule and drive calmly. Mom and I chatted, we popped on some tunes, and it was great.

My fear was not unfounded or unreasonable, a lot of scary things can happen when driving in a foreign country, but letting that fear stop me would have been unreasonable.

When it comes to writing, I dove into writing the final part of a chapter on the airplane. I had feared writing a deaf character with the good sense of research that I had, because I wanted to do him justice. But I wrote him out regardless.

I feared talking to good looking strangers after years of introversion and bullying that kept me from ever thinking I could talk to someone new. But yet I did it tonight.

Sometimes we build up in our minds a fear that we think is so great that it can’t be overcome. And yet…it can be. We just have to have the stubbornness to do so. Those are my thoughts on fear….be strong, be bold, respect the reasonableness of your fear, and then plunge forward.

Stacie Hanson