Absence is a thing that I despise, but was one I felt and took part in involuntarily during SIN’s last issue. If there was one thing I missed, it would have been the time I always scrambled together to write an article or the time I spent wracking my brain to come up with great feature ideas, but life has a funny way of throwing you off your path and decisions have to be made. There is a reason why moving house is on the top five things that stress people out; look it up and you’ll be guaranteed to see that fact. One never realises how much stuff they have until they have to start packing it into boxes and suitcases and bin bags. Furniture too; there’s a huge level of gratefulness when your family friend has a large van that can take such big bookcases; lovely IKEA ones that go by the name of Billy.
The housing crisis as well as the cost of living became a struggle that my partner and I thought we could deal with, but we were way in over our heads. Depleting bank accounts and stressing about making ends meet was our daily routine and we prayed every day that there would eventually be a crash in the housing market, but wishes don’t come true that easy. Our small one-bedroom apartment in the city costing €1200 a month seemed do-able at the beginning, but over time you start the realise the financial pressure it puts on you especially when it comes to budgeting; having your income split into various categories including rent money, bills, food expenses and other daily expenses. There is so much pressure put on people of every age today to make all this work, to live, to keep a roof over their heads and a meal on the table.
A decision was made, a deal was struck and hands were shook over a new property in the village of Headford; a 25km drive from Galway city. I grew up there from the age of nine to twenty before moving back into the city to be with my Nan. Bags were packed, furniture was moved and payments were sorted; a nice drop from €1200 to €925 a month. A re-location, a new job, a new everything, but thankfully one thing stayed the same; my family being just up the town from our new location. The city had to deal with two tenants saying a temporary farewell until things eventually become more affordable, but for now we’re focusing on settling in and adjusting to countryside life. There is something peaceful about going to sleep and hearing the soft mew of cows and sheep in nearby fields, it certainly wins against the sound of blaring car horns. What would you rather; being woken up by the soft baa of a sheep outside or the loud banging from a bin truck outside your window?
Rachel Garvey is a Co-Editor for Features for Student Independent News for the year 2023/24. She works full-time, but dedicates her free time to writing and being involved in SIN. Rachel has been a contributor to SIN since 2017.