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Qualified beauty therapist looking for work.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Why I decided to emigrate

I know this is a beauty blog, a neglected one at that, but I've a few thoughts rattling around my head that I'd like to get to get out.

As some of you may know, about 2 and a half months ago I picked up sticks and moved to Toronto. I left behind my wonderful family (including a 4 year old niece that still thinks I'm on holiday), my 2 beloved dogs and my small, but vital group of friends. The decision to move wasn't an easy one, but only 2 months in its already one of the best decisions I've made.

It wasn't a spur of the moment decision. I had been in Toronto in the summer to visit 2 very dear friends who made the move over a year ago. I fell in love with the city, with the people, with the lifestyle and with the opportunities. Leaving didn't feel right. I knew from the moment I came home that I wanted to go back. Arriving home to find myself unemployed was the biggest kick.

I left school straight into the recession, so I never got to enjoy the lifestyle people just 3 or 4 years older got to enjoy. Looking for work was impossible, so I went back to college to requalify in a different field. Only to find that there STILL wasn't any work. I often felt like my generation is the generation that Ireland forgot. The generation who won't be able to afford mortgages or take their families on holiday. The generation where a guy with a plastic bag on his head made more sense in a 5 minute tv segment than the people running the country had made in years.  There was about 5 years of constant struggle and rejection. When you branch out and see the life your peers in other countries are leading it's very easy to see why a lot of my age group are now just missing from Ireland.

I honestly feel a bit like Ireland took the mickey out my generation. They acknowledged that there was no work for us, but remedied it by enlisting us to work for free in Centra to "build our skills" stacking shelves. I have friends with DEGREES doing FAS courses because they can't get work!

In 2014 I went back to education again and got my Diploma in beauty therapy. To me, that was supposed to be my brand new start. I don't want this to turn into an 'Ireland sucks for young people ' post, but honestly, Ireland was offering me no incentive to stay. I had places asking me to do 3-4 day trials for free (a practice that HAS to be illegal, but when everyone wants a job you can do what you want). I had experience and qualifications that I'd worked hard for that people wanted me use for free.

So I took my qualifications elsewhere. I waved goodbye to everyone on the 3rd of November and I haven't looked back since. I was very lucky to have friends who's space I could invade while I got settled. They put up with me sleeping on their couch until I got my own place. I landed in Toronto on a Tuesday and had a job by the Thursday which kept me going up until now. Next week I'm starting work in an award winning salon. I have essentially landed my dream job. I'm renting a beautiful little house with 2 lovely girls. I'm paying bills and keeping myself fed. I've learned more about being an adult in the last two months than I have in 7 years at home.

It hasn't been easy. There have been times when I thought that maybe I didn't think this through. I miss my friends and family every day. I miss having my mammy and daddy so close to help me out. I miss cuddling with my dogs when im morbidly hungover. I miss a big sunday roast. Ive missed birthdays, funerals, christmas, and I'll miss the wedding of two very good friends. When my first job finished up there were many moments of panic. I'm not saying jumping ship is for everyone, but for me everything seems to have fallen into place very quickly.

Since I've gotten here I've had more opportunities pointed my way than I've had in years back home. I've met some beautiful people, and I've got to experience parts of life that had just escaped me in Dublin. Like..... I have my own house! Even working full time in Dublin I just couldn't afford to live away from my folks, I was dependant on them to keep a roof over my head. Now, I'm financially independent, taking care of my own life and it's the most satisfying, liberating feeling. For the first time in a very long time I'm proud of myself.

I do wish that all these wonderful things could be happening for me back home, so that I could selfishly have the best of both worlds. But I, like so many others in my age group, had to travel to find my own life, and it has been worth it.

So there you have it. I miss Dublin, but right now Toronto is the best place in the world for me.

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