Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Useful years ago... Useful now.




Go placidly, 

amid the noise and haste, 

and remember what peace there may be in silence...

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, for they are vexations on the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery, but let this not blind you to what virtue there is. Many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for, in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings; many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here. And, whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And, whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

For all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata," in The Poems of Max Ehrmann, p. 165 (1948).

Thursday, October 31, 2013

In the Moment

At the moment, I'm on lunch in work.

I work with computers now - all day, fairly zonked-out in front of a screen.  When approached, I'm always a little flustered, a little startled for a minute... then they're gone and I get sucked right back in.

Before I started this job (over a year ago), I used to work in pubs, in retail, at events... always with people.  Always awake and "on" and alert and engaged.  I also used to study with, and around, people.  Granted, given a college project, or anything else like that, I could get just as thoroughly sucked-in as I do, daily, now... the difference is that it was rarely for such a large portion of my day.

Now, it's almost all day, almost every day, and it's harder to shake off.  After work, instead of needing to switch off, I am already off.  I remain off.  I need to get better at switching back on.

It's something I've only noticed, and grown concerned about, recently. With friends, I've found myself a little less tuned-in than I know I should be.  I listen, of course I do, but sometimes it's just that.  Only that. It's nearly an effort to contribute, to participate.  I find I feel less energetic, less lively, and less chatty, more often.  Alone, I find I'm so spaced-out sometimes that someone asking for a lighter, some change, or a friend saying hello in the street, can be equally as startling as when I'm disturbed in work.  The unexpected disturbs me - I blink and realise I haven't really been there, here, now...  Not consciously, anyway.

At the moment, I'm trying to be more mindful of it.  It's working.  Sometimes it's just a matter of shaking my head to wake up a bit, or consciously staring someone in the face as they talk.  It's easy.  Once I snap out of being out of it, I stay that way for a bit.  It's also too easy to forget to do in the first place, though.

I'm also engaging with the news again.  Well, reading it, anyway.  Me and the news had a nasty end - a bit of a falling-out, I guess... But I enjoy it again.  It's a nice way to remind yourself to stay connected and to care.  It's also helping me engage more - I've more to say for those gaps where I run out of boring things to say about how today, at work, was exactly the same (pretty much) as yesterday, at work.  As was last week.  And all of the weeks and months before.

A friend, most likely the only remaining reader of this thing, reminded me about this blog last night.  I'd forgotten about it.  But, in this moment, I felt it would be a good idea to post again.  It's taken a few minutes, and I've spent those minutes thinking about this "in the moment" business.  Writing about the current moment is kind of another way of being even more in the moment.  Acknowledging it, or something.

So, for the moment, the blog's back.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

School => College => Blank

I can't believe that, in less than two weeks, my life will change.  It's been around 6 years since leaving school, and this is the first time the Blank has started to fill itself in.

Four years of Journalism (not a waste, very interesting, but knew by early year 3 it wasn't for me...  did it anyway.)
One year in Retail (my part-time college job that kept me on, thankfully, but started to feel like I'd be stuck there forever.  Scary isn't the word.)
And, finally, one year in I.T. in DCU.  And what a year.  The amount they crammed into one year was astonishing.  And effective...:

The day after my last exam I was offered a job.  A nice job.  An IT job.  A job I think I can do - and do well! The sort of job that, had I sat down with a pen and paper and described my perfect first-step into I.T., I'd have come up with something like this job.  I'd probably then have crumpled up the page and thrown it away knowing I'd never get so lucky.

But I did. :D

I should have maybe taken some time off (I'll be finishing one job Friday, starting the new one Monday) but that's just the way the negotiations worked out...

As dulled and dead and hopeless as my current job has made me feel in the past... I'm startled to find I feel really very sad to be leaving it.  Just over three years.  Lots of friends.  A job that I can do with my eyes closed; one I'm good at, comfortable with, experienced in.

I had twinkly eyes and a lump in my throat after handing the owner my notice.  He was taken aback, disappointed, genuinely thought it was a shame I was leaving.  Shook my hand, too, and said it was a pleasure working with me.  Seemed happy for me.  Hope he was.

It's not that I don't want to go... well, actually, a part of me doesn't.  The part that's comfortable, confident in the job I've done for so long, the part that'll miss her friends, and even the workmates who definitely AREN't friends.  It feels a bit like it's madness applying for an I.T. job after only a year studying it!  Also, the contract is flippin' HUGE and has a whole world of scary inside (Life Assurance?! Pension?! Eek!)

It is madness.  But it's good madness.  And never mind that ^part; all the other parts of me know I can do this, and well, exceedingly well!

Just hope it's as great as I hope it'll be.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New Year. Day 3. Wee hours.

Write here more? We'll see.
Draw more? Hopefully.

More water, and cut down on caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and cigarettes.
Stay positive (going well, but no harm renewing the more important goals)
Most of the same resolutions as I've had every year, tbh.

So what's new?

Go easier on myself? Well. That's a new one.
This semester - half of my path to a bright new future - was tough. With the play finished (sort of) I've at least got my evenings back. My part-time job will still take up two and a half days a week, but I can't afford to cut back on that.

So how else can I reclaim time for me-time? How can I go easier on myself? I must meet the demands of my course - and I always give 100%.

But.. Someone informed me my course awards a distinction for 70+, and everything else is just a pass! Discouraging, and makes me wonder if maybe aiming a little lower than I usually do wouldn't be such a bad thing... I could get 69, or 40%, and get the same diploma. Why wear myself out?

Why? Because that's what I do - how I'm wired - and how it has to be.

... Some days I wish I had the willpower to hang back. Relax, and coast through. In the end..
Oh well!

Friday, October 21, 2011

No expectations, no disappointments?

Bit of a mad week, but good to know I've still an ok head on my shoulders (albeit a hot-tempered one)

I had a bit of a..disagreement.. with a lecturer regarding a grade (lost that one, which I've accepted...now!)
Then I accidentally got "elected" as class rep after a ridiculous row broke out between a different lecturer of ours, and a different class group with which we share the lecture.

Lecturer walked out; other group made a plea for us to join their crusade; my classmate who objected (well, mainly just questioned!) and was shouted down....

I said, let's get out of here and chat, just to stop the aggro, stop things escalating, and save my classmate (who was jeered on exit!)


We agreed to stay out of it, and to appoint a class rep.

Shite! Bit of a shock, but I don't mind. Someone must.

The good news?
I'm not on my own in this! Another lad's sharing the position. (I'm very thankful for that! He missed out on the drama, and wasn't around for his "nomination", but was happy to help!


The stress of the week has gotten to me, though.. And this afternoon I had to leave work (with less than 4 hours left! I really tried..) Due to an aggressive, slow-building migraine that, despite my valiant refusal to go home all day, forced me to (eventually) give in.

And it drove me crazy. Shaking, and tearing up with frustration, I prayed for the wave of vomiting to hold off until I got off the jerking, lumbering, stuffy bus...and home.
It did. (For the most part)

But, instead of going home, I swallowed defiantly and stormed into the local doctors.
... Who were full up..
...Then to my local pharmacy. A very nice young pharmacist gave me some great advice and was very kind, recommended a doctor, and even gave me his name and promised to help any way he could.

My enquiry was about preventatives for migraine. Tried sanomigran as a teen - no noticeable change.
Saw the UCC Dr King of Migraines, who was very helpful, but provided a prescription for:
-a painkiller
-a triptan
-a preventative.

I already have a painkiller that, when I can keep it down, works fine. Unless the new one's impervious to being thrown up, it's no better.
Couldn't probably keep a triptan down either.
And preventatives...? First, they let me down before. Second, I hate, HATE the idea of being "on" something; on medication, daily, for life.
Third, if they don't work, the disappointment would kill me. They're only thought to help 50% of the time in 50% of the people. Plus, my trackrecord shows, time and again, I'm usually in the 50, 20, even 5% that get the dodgy side effects and minimal success. (Generall pattern in my life! Ha..)
.. It just feels weird.

But.. Enough is enough. I have to try these yokes again. If they fail me, at least I've seen it coming and won't be too heartbroken.

And I shouldn't be ashamed of going on medication. Sure, fuckin' hell, how many times have I said to other people: it doesn't change who you are, it's something you'll need to accept to be happy...
(Or stuff along those lines.. Loads!)

Why are we always more critical of ourselves?

Time I woke up to that myself. Migraine is said to be almost on par with epilepsy, in some ways, in terms of how disruptive it can become. (Well, I'm just quoting that... Personally I'd say epilepsy is FAR worse)... It ISN'T something I can pretend away anymore. 10-13 years of this! I'll still be the hot-headed, accidental achiever I've always been. I'm gonna have that 2year old prescription re-issued and, for the first time, FILLED.

I just hope I can find a good one, and.. MOST importantly.. remembering to take'm every day!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Down.... Get out!

I shouldn't feel crap right now, but I do. So much so that I have one of those stressy headaches. The ones that, at first, feel like a migraine (scaring me silly) but turn out to be just a reasonably bearable nuisance.

Technically, I'm more "happy" than I've been in a long time. After a year "out" (working), I've returned to college for a postgrad. And in IT, of all things! It's fantastic, very interesting so far, and full of nice people. Great Modules: Java Programming, a bit of Web Design, and - who knows - might be sucked back into the online world and start tending to this poor aul neglected blog again.

We'll see.

And I have a lovely new home, lovely new area, lovely new leather boots... Lots of "new"-ness. Fresh - exciting - hopeful - engaging - refreshing - etc. I feel like things are finally moving again. A stagnant year is over, and I only realised how discouraged and defeated I had been feeling when it hit me that I didn't have to wake up for WORK on Monday mornings anymore... but something far better.

Day 1 Journalism:
"50% of you won't make it to final year"
"Of those that do, most will have to move abroad for jobs"
"Of those that even get into journalism at all, very few will ever make a living wage on it alone"
(^pre-recession, btw!)

Day 1 Grad Dip in IT:
"Most of you might get offers before you graduate. Employers come to the graduation too, looking for CVs, but by then it can be too late."

In fairness, those journalism "facts" didn't turn out to be very accurate (we pretty much ALL got to final year, and a good chunk of my ex-class are working in the media and doing pretty impressive stuff. I'm not, but I was always a bit of an oddity.)
But, all the same, isn't that a reason to be happy? Isn't that enough to reassure me that I won't be an aimless drifter forever? That I can play it by ear, with confidence, from 'ere?

I read somewhere (?) that people have a certain "happiness level" that they default to, regardless of whether they win the lottery or land their dream job. It explained why money doesn't make people happy, etc. I worried about that for a while.
But... it's not exactly true. So, I stopped worrying about that, and started wondering why exactly it is that I'm unhappy now.
  • It's not work. (My reduced hours have helped me find a new enjoyment for the job)
  • It's not college. (It's only week 2 - but I love it)
  • It's not fear of not getting a job. (I'm on a good track)
  • It's not my relationship. (well, I hope not. We have little things to work on, but they're little. And nothing a good aul pow-wow won't fix next time we've a free evening.)
  • ...?
But... my friends are all leaving the country. (Those that haven't left already, that is) My brother, and sister, and oldest friend, are gone now too. My other best friend's been gone over a year.
Those left in Limerick? I never see'm. I'm working every weekend.
I miss them all, terribly, and maybe that puts strain on my relationship, too. Suddenly, maybe, it feels like he's all I have; I'm putting more pressure on things to be "right"; I'm scared more when things aren't.
But it's more than that...
It's that I can't go!
The promise of a sure-thing at the end of my IT tunnel is both a huge reassurance, and a very, very scary realisation:
I never got my year out.
Never lived or worked abroad.
Never even went on Erasmnus ffs! Or J1. Or Interrailling.


...Oh COME ON.

I've moaned and panicked for years that I'll never have a career, never decide on something cos I enjoy so many different things, study forever and try loads but never realise my potential, etc etc.
Now that there's some hope I'm moaning even more? Job = money. THEN I can travel. New career = new friends AND money, AND holidays I can use to visit my old ones.

Snap out of it!
Time to get out of the house.

Or...at the very least... out of my jamas.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New, and altogether different

Broke. Scraping by. Over-worked. Stressed. Sick. Chain-smoking. Living on caffeine and 20min naps in the (less interesting) lectures..... Some of the many things I DON'T miss about being a student.
(well, the naps were pretty nice, actually...)

And yet, this day two weeks, that's exactly what I'll be once again.

One of my old DIT lecturers popped into my shop the other day, picking up a repair for his wife, and smilingly said, "Studentdom is wasted on the students. You'll appreciate college so much more this time."

Hope so.

The course I'm doing is open to all sorts: geeks who fell into jobs and finally want formal qualifications; geeks who've been fiddling with their own computers for years and finally decided to study IT formally; and geeks who were a little misguided on their choice of undergrad (i.e. me) and want a chance to ctrl+y the whole college thing... Like any postgrad, and unlike an undergrad, we're all going to be at different ages, stages, levels of experience...

I just hope I'm not gonna be the dunce in the corner! Much as I've always been interested in computers and all that, tbh I'd be exaggerating to even call it a hobby. Hell, since teaching myself quick, proper typing as a kid, and then basic html in my pree-teens (to build fansites for pokemon, etc, that never made it online..!), I haven't done a damn thing. That's over a decade. My myspace page, a brilliant practice-ground, has been gathering dust for what feels like millennia, and this blog? Well. You can see how often I update the content - let alone the decorative script. Tech-Aoife is someone I haven't seen in a LONG time. She's more than just rusty, she's practically fossilised.

So, I'm worried I'm too out of touch. Too far behind. I don't want to be slower than the others. I don't want to be blatantly struggling. I'm usually "the weird, slightly cold-at-first, nerdy girl"; I don't want to be "the weird, totally in-over-her-head, ditzy girl". Christ. Not in a classroom full of people who could've fuckin' written the course itself (and just need the cert. to prove it...) I feel inferior, hugely inferior, to people I haven't even met yet.

This is stupid.
What am I on about?
Like everything new, this is daunting. Even... scary. But I pick things up quickly enough, I'm interested (I must be - I chose it over every other course i could find - not for the title, but for the modules themselves), and being interested means I'll be at an advantage straight away. It's something I've always been interested in, and faffing around with journalism for four years doesn't make me an airy-fairy arty type who won't be able to grasp the tough stuff. On the contrary, I'll be shorthanding my notes and kicking ass with my essays and finding the theory-side a piece of cake, leaving more time to study and absorb the more alien info. Yeah!

It'll be fine.

All I can do is my best. And it'll be grand. (So long as the money doesn't run out...) Roll on studentdom, brokedom, over-workedom, stressdom, (and all the other doms)... Things have been static, stagnant, for too long. At least this is a change. And, whether change is good or bad... at least it's something.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Burgled! (also hello hello, been a while, etc)

Nothing major stolen from me. I haven't much worth stealing, it seems... An unopened perfume/make-up gift set I'd just gotten that looked valuable, some electrical items.... And a hat. (Which I imagine was used to prevent leaving prints as it was tossed outside by my back door). My housemate, however, lost laptop, camera, etc... Poor guy.

Landlady got an earful (seeing as it was entirely her fault) and agreed to take a chunk off the rent to make up for the fact I've been (a) robbed and (b) essentially been homeless for a week and a half. BUT my window's now been fixed, and new more secure bars go up tomorrow. I may then feel comfortable staying here again. I miss my room, but couldn't very well expect to sleep soundly with my window hanging by one hinge and only a bike-lock between me and the burglar's return.

The gardai who came to have a look around and take fingerprints gave us one piece of advice: Move.

Evidence of rats (and human-rats) hanging around outside our back door, bad plumbing (filthy)... But mainly because we are so completely exposed at the back of the house. The bars will help make the place more "secure" but, 'though we won't have another break-in, they will hinder a speedy exit in case of fire (actually, they'll make it near impossible, but that's a worry for another time)

So, move I shall. Not right now, but soon enough.

But where to? This prime-positioned but grotty home of mine may be convenient for work and everything but, come late September, Northside may be a better location as I'll be spending most days of the week doing my new course.
Yes. After a year working aimlessly, I'm going back to school again. I.T. this time. Should be fun!

Why I.T.? It just happened that way... I finished my thesis, FYPs and all the related rubbish this time last year. Done. I then went into a kind of hibernation - working away, minimum wage, pretending the epiphany would strike any minute and/or I'd be poached from my shop and whisked away onto the first rung of the career ladder of my dreams. Any minute now...!

I just went to work and wasted the months away; daydreaming, but not doing. Once fed up with that, I started trawling through course after course online...
Masters, Post-grads... Even brand new BAs... Evening courses, Part-time courses, Internships, Everything. I even looked into the possibility of packing it all in and going back to study Art! (Which is what my very talented little sister is doing, despite the fact I was the more "arty" child...)

I don't envy her achievements and plans; I chose the path to here, and am happy with that. What I do envy, however, is her certainty. She knows what area is hers, and even where within it she'd like to get to. A talent I lack.

I decided against the art thing. I didn't want it badly enough first time around, and I don't fancy investing another, what, 3-4 years in something I'm just doing for the sake of a pre-teen whim I've long grown out of. Once upon a time, it was my "thing". Not anymore.

I looked at courses in publishing, media, script writing, editing, radio, tv production, and all sorts of semi-related crap. Most seemed interesting. None seemed right.

I then saw an article on a website praising conversion courses - the handy way to re-route your studies with a short, practical, graduate-only course.


I.T.? Hmm... ok... just to see...


When the page loaded up, a list of modules appeared. All were subjects I've often wondered about, always wanted to learn more about, but never did. All were covered in one, fabulous year. I sent the deposit away today. It's official.

As for moving? The bars will buy me some time. I've been asking myself whether I'm ready to move in with himself yet or not. The dust is settling here, slowly, and my room and home will be my room and home again soon enough. When I can think straight once again, I suspect it won't be a tough decision.

Let's hope I don't procrastinate long enough to burn to death, 'though.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So, was away in Kildare on a training day today for work. Interesting, I guess.
No, I liked it.

On the train there, 'though, first thing this morning...

Well, firstly, I have a bit of a cold. A nasty sort of one where your nose just...doesn't...stop...running...

I took a tissue from my bag and, discretely as possible, in my own empty train booth, blew my nose.

A "lady", in the booth across the aisle (about a meter away), bowed her head, held her hand to her face, winced in an OTT dramatic way, and then returned, frowningly, to her reading.

I thought maybe she had a headache...?

Minutes later, I started quietly honking again. Low and behold, she repeated her ritual.

It struck me... about the difference in opinion on what constitutes ignorance/rudeness.

We were equally appalled by each other.

Her, by my audible illness. Me, by her very deliberate display of disgust at something I couldn't help.

The training day was nice, 'though. Jotted down a few interesting points that came up so I could share them at work. Hope they're helpful to others too.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Well... I've come out of hiding.
And hiding is exactly ALL I've been doing since finishing college back in May.
I got a 1st. Woo. And a degree I should be proud of.
And I am. Christ, I'd be stupid not to be. Like all my classmates, I'd a tough aul four years. Nice to see it end. And sad. But mostly...inconvenient.


Because the plan was always: School => College => Blank. The blank was to fill itself once I got to it - like coming upon a clearing in misty woods (or some poetic bollox like that)... Everything, once a fogged blur, would come into focus: Paradise! The end of the road. The goal.

But, instead, I'm living in the Blank. Surrounded by Blank. I feel like a hamster who just fell off his wheel. Years of running, giving it my all... Lying on the ground, dazed now, looking back to realise I'm no further than when I started.

I've done nothing since May. Nothing of use, anyway. Plenty of fun and stuff (and still working full-time in retail) but, bleurgh, I need to dust the cobwebs off my brain and LEARN or DO. Or... just THINK even.

Well. I had an idea that the hiding and the avoiding and the *try-not-to-think-about-the-blank* would all be shaken off after a holiday: London! 10 days this summer. Lovely. No good, though.
So I thought: A week over Christmas! That'll be the time I need to set things right in my head and get motivated to A) research my options B) get off my arse and do something, and C) stop being afraid.
(Not necessarily in that order... C, I'd imagine, would come first)
Christmas is over now and I've work tomorrow. And the holiday didn't bring the epiphany I'd expected......

It did, however, give me time to relax... To think about what I want from a job (within whatever career path I eventually settle on), and what I want to do next with myself. (Drinking and scratching my arse is getting old.)

I finally (finally - for the first time in my life) turned on, tuned in, and got online to look at postgrads. *gasp*

That mammoth step took just a few measley minutes. And it changed everything.

I've a few ideas now. Only vaguely relating to my undergrad degree (if at all) but who gives a flying fuckwit?
I like the sound of one or two of the courses on offer. And one, in particular, sounded really fascinating: computery and technical and fun twiddly solo work. Just what I like.

What I want from a course:
= For it to be 1 or 2 years only - any more's too big a comittment for me after just having served 4.
= For it to be in Dublin.
= For it to be different, difficult, and open new and DIFFERENT potential NextSteps
= For it to involve(even just a pinch of an element of) creativity.

What I want from a job(when I grow up):
= For it to be challenging, fast-paced, demanding.
= For it to be (even just a little) interesting. (Even just at first.)
= For it to treat me as well as I will treat it. I want a job that I WANT to work hard at!

When I find my job, I want one I sort of hate a bit, but one where I'm tempted to stay late, work through lunch, take it home with me, dream about it... That's the sort of job I'll work well at. I'm lazy when I'm not under pressure. Well, not lazy, but certainly not at my productive best.

If a job could match me, overwhelm me, challenge me, it wouldn't matter what discipline, what sector, what I was doing at all.

Anyway, as I may have written earlier, I've work tomorrow. But I'm in a place at the moment where I need to do a lot of thinking, and that means talking to myself, which is fun on here. So...

I'm back, blogland. Hear me roar.

Friday, July 09, 2010

As for this blog?

As for this blog?

I'll probably leave it lying here, or save it somewhere, for the sake of perusing a few memories on some distant, bored, future day... but for now, I can't imagine being here very often. My visits, posts, enthusiasm, has fizzled out.. Any following I once cultivated I've completely neglected for the last god-knows-how-many months.

I started this thing in 1st year. I'm done now; no more to say.


As hard as the four years were, they were great. I'm glad I worked part-time straight through the years, exhausted and barely scraping by... because I paid my way and that feels really fucking good to say. And maybe it was easier for those with loans/living at home... but maybe not either. We all had our own distractions, it wasn't an easy 4 years, and I loved hearing that everyone did well... Even if I am pretty sure I won't have much contact with any of them beyond the grads - which is my own fault, entirely... I was too wrapped up in my self/work/stress/other to make the effort I should have, except sporadically, and that's not enough... In fact,when I did try, I think it was just a bit weird, in retrospect... Popping up for a group-night-out thing once every 6 months then disappearing again.


All in all, a nice bunch. Maybe it isn't too late. Or maybe paths will cross amach anseo.

I'm glad I missed lectures from being hungover/shattered after long Conradh nights... It got me mad-cool marks in Irish, and opened up a whole new world to me... I'm glad for everything. Even the really, really stupid stuff I did.

College really was... pretty great.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm preactically finished college, about 99.99% finished. I feel like I should mark the moment with a post here. But I don't really know how I feel.

[_] Scared.
[_] Relieved.
[_] Free.
[_] Lost.
[_] Aimless.
[X] All of the above.

I've never been a great one for plans. It's better to just see what happens, watch where the flow's taking you, react, and take it from there.

I had a vague idea, though... It went: School, College, Blank.
The blank was meant to fill itself.

It hasn't.

So, now blank seems to = Work... for now. In a job I'm lucky to have and...well... could it be forever..? Could it be a route worth taking? There's a great Optom course in DIT... Familiar ground and everything...

New plan, then?
Wait and see.

Tbh, I can probably afford to bide a little time. So, I'll save and save and think and think and then...God knows what I'll do. It'll hit me some day soon.

And if not - what's the fucking hurry anyway?

For the first time in 4 years, I have time to read again! ^_^ Draw, play video games, paint, go for long walks, maybe do a bit more stand-up...whatever the fuck I want.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I bloody fucking managed to do it! ... I DID IT.

I did it. Dissertation in, radio sorted. Life is manageable again. I KNEW the universe wouldn't let me down.
I knew I wouldn't let me down.
And the Dropkicks last night were effin' brilliant. I caught a guitar pick!

Time to start doing myself justice, 'though. As soon as I've recovered from these two consecutive (and painful) all-nighters, I'm straight back in - head first - to make the most of the little college that's left.

I got an award this week (that's apparently been sitting in a box for a while now, having been awarded at a ceremony I couldn't go to - and no one told me!!) and I was thrilled about it. It was for "outstanding contribution" to a college society over the four years I've been here. Delighted.

Then I found out that, this Monday, I'm being presented with another: the Chairperson's Medal for my "outstanding contribution to college life". Again, it's for all the societies stuff I did. Similar - but sounds to be a much bigger deal. I didn't even know such a thing existed. Socs office nominated me.

Whether it's deserved or not, it's certainly flattering. There are 10 medals in total and, when I heard who else was nominated, I was gobsmacked that the socs office thought I was up there with them: People who've worked their arses off and really made a huge difference, people who've set up hugely successful societies, people who've powered through college despite crazy hectic outside lives, people who've done amazing things...

I dunno if I've done "amazing" things for socs, but it feels amazing to have won something like this. I'll be honest... I've, genuinely, spent the last few months doubting my choices... wondering if my priorities were a bit fucked up going through college... wondering if I should have concentrated on the course more than all the other shit I got sidetracked with... wondering if I'd spent four years here working hard at wasting a whole lot of time.

But the shit I got sidetracked with was amazing shit. It was worthwhile shit. It was the best possible kind of shit. And it's that shit that I'm going to take with me from my college experience... and cherish forever.

When our Cumann Gaelach was awarded the "Most Improved Society" award in my second year of college, we got through to BICS - the national final. There was a guy there who'd won "Best Individual" in DIT, and who'd just gone on to win "Best Individual" nationally. Basically, it means he was, by far, the hardest working individual person in any college society in the country. He certainly was. Everyone knew it. He helped make something magical out of the already brilliant Drama Soc. And he was involved in every other aspect of college life too. And studying full time. And doing everything else you could possibly imagine. Think "impossible amount of achievement"... now, double it.

I remember talking to him... Barely. I was "interviewing" him, both of us propping up the bar, drunk as skunks... I wrote down his answers in the margins of the awards ceremony brochure... Scrabbling together a few quotes for my report in the DIT News was tricky; my usually illegible scrawl is even worse when I'm drunk.

But I got one good quote out of it. And a damn good one at that.

"If you're not involved in a society you're not going to college, you're going to class."

Here here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I thought for certain I'd become a mad hermit for these weeks - crawl deep into my work and block all out; Obsess. And get it done.

But I've spent plenty of time with him . He offered help and I took it; ignoring my usual pride, vanity, stubborness, control-freaky-osity... I asked him for help. He was a brilliant help. And good at it. Every call he made was good. It's nice to know, too, that he understands the inner-workings of it all a little better. I can share that, for the first time.

And, best and strangest of all, I've let him in.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Standing Up... for the impossible.

"You're not actually doing this...?"
My friends couldn't believe me when I told them I was going to do it.
They certainly didn't think I'd be able to do it.

Can't possibly make people laugh?

Can't possibly write my dissertation in less than a week?

Watch me.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Exactly 2 weeks.

Exactly two weeks and it's hand-in day. Jesus H. Christ.

Thousands have gone before and managed it, must remember that, must keep saying that. No way in hell I'm the LEAST organised person to ever finish this course. Nor the least able. Far from it.

2 weeks - 336 hours, right? And I'm more than able - and willing - to run on the minimum amount of sleep. Or none, I'd imagine, nearing the end.

Don't ask me how I fell so far behind. But, fuck it, if there's one thing I'm good at it's last-minute, quality cramming. Aoife McCrammy-Ryan. Old habits die hard and I never genuinely expected any less - even if it IS final year, even if it IS the dissertation... It's how I do things. And I've scraped by fine so far.


We'll all do fine. Or, at the very least, we'll all get through it.


And my reward? What I'm most looking forward to? Not the degree I've lost enthusiam for, not a fun-filled summer, not a breather from the weight of work and stress of it all.... No. My brightest light at the end of the tunnel is...

That's right. The night of the 22nd it'll be me, the boy, the Bucky, and the Dropkick Murphys. Win, Lose or Draw; that will be a damn good night.

Hell. Fucking. Yeah.

Goodnight... tomorrow begins the marathon...

Monday, April 05, 2010

No Escape

On holliers from all my jobs... All of them. One month of nothing. Nothing. Christ - I can't stand it.

It's probably been about 3'na half years since I'd this much damn time off. Nowhere to rush to. No mad work schedule (with bleak hours of study crammed in wherever possible; never a minute of "free time" without that hanging guilt of procrastination...)

I quit to create time to do my Dissertation, y'see... To finish my research and write it all up; leather-bound and beautiful by the 22nd. Also, the radio project needs finishing (a documentary on how Stand-Up Comics start out - with my very own performance coming up on the 13th. Yes. I'm really doing it. God help us all.)

But, even 'though it's a lot of work, I feel...idle. Helplessly idle. Without the pressure of work and lateness and lack of time to do college work, it's been impossible to do college work.

What's that expression? "If you want something done, ask a busy person"...? That's just it. My momentum's gone. And there's no escape into work or rehearsals or society work or... anything. Seems it was easier to get assignments done when all I had were those tiny, designated, rare windows.

I took this time off to work solely on college: final stretch of final year, get it done! I thought I needed time...
But I'm going insane with endless empty hours... to fill as I please...

Ah well... I'll just have to get used to it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Almost...! Graaaah!

I think I'm getting there. If I can't come out of today with a solid plan for this dratted dissertation, then I may as well give up. Today. Obsessively. I must sort it out.

Everyone's started collecting data already and have been workin' away for a month or so, as I've been wrestling with my research plan and scrambling to pinpoint some basic fucking idea of the direction for the thing.

But I think I've almost got it.

It all has to come down to Today. It has to be Today. I want to go to sleep tonight happy that I know what the hell I'm doing.

In other news... Other proj's are going swimmingly. Suspiciously so. But whatever.
And I'm still utterly smitten - more-so every day.
And life is good. (Except for dissertations and research topics. All else; good.)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Write what you love...

This isn't it.

What am I doing? Fuck this college stuff. But won't shy at the last hurdle. Gonna do it. And do it well.

And, on a vaguely related note, something (wonderful) happened that I, at first, thought would scupper my final year successes (...when you least expect it, they say...) But, bad timing or no, I couldn't be more delighted that it happened. Whenever it happened. So long as it happened.

And... I have found it hard to stop smiling all month. Everything else may be demanding, stressful, difficult... but this has been effortless. Uncharacteristically, and ideally, I feel neither threatened nor desperate to sabotage. Everyone says it's supposed to be hard - and I believed that. And I saw it, from experience, to be true. But it's not meant to be hard.
It's so deliriously easy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A whole new direction entirely?

What of Dublin? Do I stay or do I go? Is there any point being there? Certainly more of a point than being in Limerick. I never felt home in Limerick... and can't imagine uprooting all over again...

I'm tempted to stay put - it's easier to imagine. But I'm restless, too. And people keep asking asking asking - What are your plans for next year? My response of "I haven't any" gets pricklier every time..

I've gotten along fine 'till now favourong impulses over plans. So, fuck it, that's what I'll do this time too. Play it by ear. I feel that prickle of annoyance subsiding already.

Everyone has an opinion, 'though... You should travel. You should work for a while and think about it. You should do a masters.

I'll do what feels right when the time comes. And, for now, enjoy being where I am.