Upon my arrival into Armagh, I immediately felt a sense of relaxation. Armagh was certainly a dramatic change from the big city life I’m used too. I love how the baristas and shopkeepers will know you on a first name basis. I love how the cathedral bells chime every hour. I love the fresh Irish air and having the ability to walk from one end of the city to the other, in less than an hour.
A part of me is excited to go back to Calgary and tell my friends and family about all the amazing experiences I’ve been having, but another part of me wants to remain here. A part of me wishes that my friends back home could have the same experience I’ve had. I wish they could empathize with the friendships I’ve created, the photographs I’ve taken, and the writing I’ve completed. But there is something scared about being in Armagh that you can only find whilst living in the city. The city has drawn me in and captured a part of me that will forever remain here, no matter how hard I try to bring it back home.
Not only have I been blessed to work with top journalists and writers from Northern Ireland, but I’ve been able to form friendships. I know have friends from all across the globe – and these are friends I will most definitely have for life.
I think Armagh is a magical place, a writers paradise if you will. I think it’s quiet enough to focus but exciting enough to indulge in all that Northern Ireland has to offer. Armagh has pushed me to my limits, changed my perspectives, and taught me to be tough. Nothing in life comes easy, not even writing. And if anything, I am extremely grateful for the realization that it’s OK to laugh. It’s OK to feel. It’s OK to hurt.