I abandoned this blog rather unceremoniously back in the summer of 2012. Life had suddenly gotten very hectic—I was traveling without reliable internet access, and by the time I settled in for my senior year of undergrad, I knew I was in for a long haul. I had a Fulbright application to complete, a thesis to write, and a whole slew of people to reconnect with now that I was back in the States. Getting off Tumblr was one of the ways I made space in my life.
Since that time, I’ve submitted my thesis, titled “I mbáidín teangan”: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Irish Folklore in Translation. I received a grant to continue my work with Irish during that last year at Smith, which I did by facilitating a conversation group, teaching some basics to other students, and earning my B2 certification from Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge. I applied for the Fulbright once, and was denied, so after graduation, I returned to Idaho to work and live with my parents.
It’s been a lonely year, here in this backwards place I call home. I’ve kept busy as much as I can, but I have few friends here, and it’s hardly a place for an Irish-speaking (hopeful) scholar. Much less for an isolated queer who doesn’t even know what the heck they want. So I’ve gradually been lured back to the blogosphere that I didn’t need at Smith, just to remind myself that I’m not alone in the world.
And now? Well, now I have news that actually is relevant to this blog. I applied for a Fulbright again—and I won it. In less than three months, I’ll be leaving for An Cheathrú Rua all over again, to be followed by a year at University College Dublin. I’m still in disbelief, really. But I’m hopeful. Hopeful that this is a chance to climb out of my rut and really feel productive again. Maybe also to escape the small-town isolation. I don’t know exactly what will come of these next steps, but I wanted to share them with you.@5 days ago