Joy It’s Your Birthday, Happy Birthday Joy

It is my birthday today! I am the ripe old age of 24. I feel fine about the aging process so far, I am still on the right side of twenty. I decided to mark this occasion with a reflection of how my life has progressed since my 23rd birthday because what a hectic year it has been!

This time last year I was at home having just completed an internship at the European Parliament Representation in Ireland, and preparing myself for my big move to Berlin. Looking back I am surprised how calm I was during this massively scary process. I was entering an unpaid internship and with Robin having no job lined up we just had our savings to support us. We were going to a city with near the population of Ireland with nowhere to live and not a word of German between us. We never thought of these bad points though only focusing on the Irish mentality of ‘sure it will be grand’.

Skip to the end of my three month internship at the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy, many things had changed and I had learned a lot. We had somewhere to live! In fairness this took us only three days which is apparently a bit of a record in Berlin. Robin had a job as an electrician here and we had begun to make some lifelong friends.

My internship was another matter. A key bit of advice is just because a website is all glossy looking, does not necessarily mean it is reliable. We were 100 unpaid interns doing a hell a lot of work without a fraction of the gratitude we deserved. Nevertheless, I do not want to entirely badmouth the place. I was on the news team there which was perfect for me as I love writing. I wrote many interesting articles and interviewed many interesting people, among some other tasks I really enjoyed. The ICD hosts some pretty impressive conferences and I think one of the highlights was meeting Ribal al Assad, first cousin of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Fast forwarding on six months later again, I am working at Atheneum Partners in a position I love with many responsibilities and a large learning curve for me to proceed along. I have made many friends here which I hope I will be in contact for the rest of my life. My German skills are not so good. Not like Robin who every time he opens his mouth I seethe with jealousy. I started German lessons yesterday so hopefully it will progress a bit more rapidly from now on.

This is, perhaps what you could say, a brief overview of my last year. I could go into much more detail but you would be reading this post for a month then. Overall, I have settled in a new country while still longing deeply for the place I will always call home. I have made some incredible new friends on my voyage while also losing some old. The losing part I have learned is not necessarily a bad thing. I have learned that life will always have its ups and downs but not too worry the ups last much longer than the downs. Finally I learned that life is always about taking risks, never be afraid and reach as far as you can to get to your desired destination in life.

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