Monday, June 24, 2013

It Really was 20 Years Ago Today...

...that I stepped off a plane in Oakland, CA wearing an overcoat in 104˚ weather. I offer the following in my defense:

  • I'm from Ireland. You can never be too sure about the weather.
  • My suitcase was already full. Wearing the coat was the only way to carry it.
I survived it.

I had what I carried. I had the good wishes of a number of people, people very dear to me. I had my technical skills. And that was about it.

Six months later I still had people who were very dear to me. I was unsure of my technical skills. I was unsure of a great many things.

Becoming sure again, or less unsure at the very least, took a long time, a lot of effort, and the love of one who has become very dear to me. It was a long climb back, with some serious slipping along the way.

But I survived. I survived even me.

My father once told me over the phone that he'd realized I was fortunate. Of course he then continued that it was clearly necessary that I be so. Else...but he didn't feel he should develop the "else" thought.

He was right, of course. Back more than twenty years ago the aerial act that is my life was then, and is now, performed without a net, sometimes without a trapeze, and I have no wings.

But I know the universe to be kind. I know falling is possible. I know this from experience and the impact was astonishingly painful for me as it was, regrettably, for others around me. But I have had an unfair amount of good fortune also.

It would be impolite to assume that such good fortune will run out.

Two decades here in the US, a place and a people I've grown fond of. I've made deep friendships, found love, done good work (I'm less unsure of my technical skills these days—ask anyone!) and I've begun to stretch myself as a writer.

All in all, a good twenty years.


  1. Aww that's a nice post. Time flies doesn't it Kevin I've now lived in Oz for 30 years, and like you was so unsure when I arrived, of myself, of what to expect, but one makes the transition and new friends along the way to add the old ones left behind.

    1. Agreed, Helen. Life is a series of transitions. It would be unsupportable otherwise, no?

      Glad you're blessed with increasing numbers of friends.

  2. I feel like I should say, "Welcome home!"

    1. :D Thanks, Tim. I appreciate the welcome.

      Back a couple of A to Z challenges ago, I wrote an "H" entry on the subject of Home.

      You might enjoy it.