On Celebrating the Small Things

On Celebrating the Small Things

There are many things in life we take for granted. Especially the small things. And as things in this world are not exactly wholly positive, it’s now more than ever that we should celebrate the small things. And yeah, it’s a bit of an erroneous list to write but why should we not do things for the fear of other people finding it cheesy?

I’m making a better effort to celebrate the small things in life like…

When the crowds and stragglers finally clear and you can take a photo you can be proud of

When you get onto the train just seconds before the doors close (or when the bus driver waits for you). Bonus points if you get a seat upstairs at the very front.

When the sun comes out on a cool day and warms your face

When you finally have that chance to overtake a slow car and have endless empty road in front of you

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25 for 25

25 for 25

I turn 25 on Friday.

I don’t think I’m as horrified as I could be (or should be). I don’t mind birthdays but they were never really a huge focus in my life. I’m not a “it’s my birthday month” kind of person, I honestly just want to get on with my day.

It took me a while to realise that your birthday is just another day in the calendar. You’re not supposed to (or expected to) magically feel anything in particular. Things aren’t meant to be miraculously different. You won’t discover the meaning of life or find enlightenment. It really is just another day. So I’ve stopped having massive expectations for my birthday and allowed it to just be. And for that, I am much happier.

But classing myself as being in my ‘mid-20s’ is a little frightening. Here I am, 24 going on 25, with a handful of achievements and dreams of a couple more.

I share my birthday with Reese Witherspoon and William Shatner (v cool) as well as my best friend (medium cool) who was born in the same hospital on the same day in the same year just hours apart. He and I only met in college but our lives ran pretty parallel to one another until then.

In those 25 years, I’ve done a lot. As much as anyone would really. There’s nothing particularly extraordinary about my life. I haven’t achieved anything massively spectacular or survived any enormous amount of trauma (aside from mental health struggles) but I have learned a few things; things that have helped me, things that I wish I knew before I learned them, things that have been difficult to come to terms with and things that have more or less saved my life – both metaphorically and literally.

So I thought it’d be fitting to share twenty-five of those things here and maybe when I hit fifty, I’ll have another twenty-five to throw at you.

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5 Ways to kind of be a Better Person

5 Ways to kind of be a Better Person

We all want to be a better person. Unless you think you are the *best* person and if so, you probably need to work on your humility.

I often find myself wishing I was better but better at what, I don’t know. Sometimes I get frustrated that even when I’m trying my absolute best, I’m not improving and nothing is changing, whether it’s with work, friendships, family relationships or things I do day to day. I have an image in my head as to what I want and immediately lament that I’m too dumb/stupid/lazy/incompetent to do it. And then I wind up with low confidence which feeds the circle of “I want to be better” and we start all over again.

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Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly

When I told my American History Professor that I wanted to write my Michaelmas term paper on Buddy Holly, he looked at me funny. Not in a “who is that” kind of way but more in a “sounds pretty specific but ok” way. I wrote my paper on race relations and Buddy Holly’s music – spoiler alert: not a whole lot to write about there – but it was a paper I wrote more for myself than anyone else.

If you have read this blog long enough, you’ll know about my struggles with anxiety. In fact, I seem to be starting all my blog posts like that now. But this one is a little different.

When I was younger, Buddy Holly never meant more than a dorky kid with black rimmed glasses that tried his hand at rock and roll. I didn’t know any of his songs or his impact or his untimely death. I didn’t know he inspired Elvis or The Beatles or Bruce Springsteen or that he broke the foundations to what is now rock and roll. He just wasn’t someone I was bothered about.

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Everything I’ve Learned

Everything I’ve Learned

Do you want an emotional and soppy post? No?

Tough, you’re getting it anyway.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the people around me, the people who have shaped me since I was a child, the ones who have been constant and the ones who drift in and out. And it’s especially true for periods of transitions where you’re a little in the dark. In the last 18 months, I moved out of home, I started a new job, I went back to college, I sought treatment for my anxiety and I took a two week travelling trip to the US on my own. This is more than I could probably have imagined for my 24 year old self when I was in college.

But transitions like these are hard.

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2009 v 2019

2009 v 2019

I see everyone posting their 10 year challenge pictures.

Ten years ago my life was widely different to what it is now. Sure, everyone’s is – be a bit weird if it wasn’t, right?  But ten years ago, I was preparing for my Junior Cert which  was a catalyst for some of the major issues I faced in my late teenage years and early 20s.

Up until 2016, I categorised my life before and after 2009. My life was calm, smooth and pleasant before 2009 and after, it became a chaotic, anxious mess. Because 2009 was the year that I first experienced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I’ve written about my OCD before. Numerous amounts of times. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re all sick of hearing about it because God knows I am. I can’t say I was an anxious child growing up – I don’t really remember – but if you had said I’d an underlying mental health issue, I don’t think I’d have believed you.

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Vienna

Vienna

Today’s post is more of a photo diary (with photos in no particular order to reflect my life). I spent the last five days visiting friends in Austria, taking a much needed break.

Vienna was ten times better this time around – probably because I had a friend to show me around rather than just scrambling about for myself. We had a lot of good coffee, good Aperol and plenty of indescribably great experiences (such as one time on The Danube, struggling to steer our electric boat whilst treating to the shores of the river to Beyonce). It was good. I feel rejuvinated. And most importantly, it was soul-healing.

(thank you so much, Fi and Hannes for a really incredible trip and letting me invade your home, you guys are truly the most welcoming hosts)

Ps, Fi took some of the photos on this post – I think someone should get her a camera stat. Also, a puppy.

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A Tolkien of Modernity

A Tolkien of Modernity

If you don’t know me, you won’t know that I’ve recently fallen into a Hobbit shaped hole which I don’t really want to crawl out of just yet. I’ve become so enthralled with it that I’ve noticed it creeping into my style choices – which given the other worldly aesthetic, probably isn’t such a bad idea.

(Tolkien may have said all that is gold does not glitter but I don’t think at that stage he’d seen any of Chupi’s pieces yet)

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February 2.0

February 2.0

February feels like that first breath of fresh air you get when you get off the plane that is January. It’s like suffering through 31 days of turbulence, not really knowing when you’ll hit the ground, if at all, and only happy once the 1st of February’s brief string of days roll around in the form of the seatbelt light going off.

I know where I was going with this, I promise.

The days are getting brighter which means that I no longer leave for work in the dead of night and arrive home in the dead of night. The air feels fresher (though the weather is still yoyoing), everyone seems to be in a better mood, and it’s fine to start “spring cleaning” because hey, it’s technically Spring if you live on this island.

I’ve been beyond busy with work, gym, and drama (the good kind) that I’ve barely had a moment to myself amidst rehearsals, fighting for treadmills, and receiving cold calls from stationery suppliers in the back end of nowhere.

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2018

2018

What I’m bringing in to 2018

  1. A fully comprehensible planner for both work and personal life that I won’t invariably give up on sometime between January 20th and February 3rd.
  2. A whole lot more water even if it comes in the form of coffee or tea or Volvic with Robinson’s shots squeezed in or stress tears.
  3. Breathing through my stress and not giving a shit what the people who are walking on your heels are thinking. Because that’s stress you definitely do not need.
  4. Remembering that bringing other people’s problems back to my own experiences or issues is not always helpful and quite often just plain patronising.
  5. Reaching out instead of being insular but to only the people who bring joy into my life and don’t say things like “I Miss You by Blink 182 isn’t even a good song”.
  6. Reminding myself and others that we are not burdens, no matter how much you think you may be. You are not an accident or an annoyance. You are a human being.
  7. Dropping the constant need for reassurance or approval on what I consider “big” decisions. There are people who can sort out their gym membership without their mother’s opinion, you know.
  8. Less Social Media and oversharing, more creative media and active caring.
  9. Listening more, speaking less, understanding better (or at least trying)
  10. Biting my tongue, swallowing my pride and admitting when I’m wrong instead of the stress of making up a half-assed excuse.
  11. No longer religiously and obsessively checking who religiously and obsessively checks my social media.
  12. Buying less things. A lot less things. We have far too much stuff that it’s almost suffocating.
  13. Not waiting for anyone else to join me on doing the things I want. You could wait a lifetime and not get anything done.
  14. No more comparing myself or anyone to anyone else. What one person thinks is fantastic, another definitely thinks is trash.
  15. Living the idea that there’s only one way to become the person you want to be and that’s just to BE.
  16. Knowing that writing cliched and soppy posts may be one way to get people to roll eyes at you but this is your platform and if it helps just one, it’s worth it.