thank you Cork

The last few weeks in Cork were very strange, even though my routine didn’t change too much. I was still working, as I had decided to stay in Ireland until all my contracts ended. I was living with my friends Aodhán  and Liz, who so kindly offered their spare room to me when I had to leave my house. I kept meeting with my friends every week and cycling almost daily, as usual…

There was something different, though. I didn’t expect it at all, but it happened several times with different people and groups. We were saying goodbye and I was telling then about my plans and the adventure ahead of me.

Yet, they were not only saying goodbye. They kept telling me all this good things about me… Like, how I had supported, helped, encouraged them, or even inspired them. They kept thanking me for my patience, dedication, passion…

I’ve never liked being the centre of attention or the target of praise, so all those reunions, gatherings, even speeches, felt a bit uncomfortable, to be honest.
The problem is that I don’t even know how to react or what to say. I really appreciate those words and gestures, of course! I’m just not used to people talking about me in such a way. So, I usually only said thank you back, or little more.

Nevertheless, I wanted to say something in reply to all those compliments:

First, that I still feel overwhelmed by all those kind words and gestures. I keep thinking of conversations and people while I pedal.

Second, that it makes me very happy to know I helped other people to be more independent and confident, or simply by supporting them and encouraging them to do their best. It just makes my day knowing that I managed to share an idea or skill with someone.

Third, that all I did these years in Cork, whether work or volunteering, was an absolute pleasure. I always looked forward to every single day, knowing that it would be different and challenging, but also enjoyable.

I’d like to believe that, hopefully, I contributed to making the world a better place for some people. The same people who made me feel so happy and loved these last few weeks.

I had never felt so loved by so many people in my life before. And that’s something I will never forget.

So, all I can say is:

thank you Cork, you and your people will always be in my heart

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