Being

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It’s eight minutes past three in the afternoon and I’m in a local coffee shop with high hopes of “getting my life together”.

In fact, I’m sitting here, with this humongous weight on my chest. I’ve been struggling for a while about what to write, to bring to life the ideas in my head either for this blog or otherwise. I had great plans of figuring everything out but once I sit down, my mind falls blank.

There’s this catch in my throat. I’m feeling guilty about my life at the minute – it’s not something I’ve really experienced before. I rehash events in my head where I was the direct cause of something negative. I go through old ex’s profiles, their new girlfriends seem nice, I try to remind myself that their beauty isn’t an absence of my own but it doesn’t work.

I sort of get now what Britney meant by “my loneliness is killing me”. I wouldn’t really put it so far but there’s definitely been a sense of isolation I have been feeling lately that could be as a result of my location, my job, my all-consuming hobbies, and maybe my lack of desire to do anything in between due to sheer tiredness. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was depressed.

But I’m not, at least not the whole hog anyway, because I’ve been there many times before. I feel like a huge blot on the face of a seemingly perfect life and I don’t quite know how I got here or how to proceed.

So in a bid to end this isolation, I’m reaching out because I know I’m not the only one who feels this. This isn’t a cry for help, or a cry for attention, this is genuine curiosity – I’m not the only one, right?

I see now that even the best of us don’t feel our best even 60% of the time. Looking back on my social media, especially Instagram, my life looks pretty perfect and yet, I don’t feel anywhere near that. In between those curated posts, there are days I slept right through, evenings I argued with people, where I cried, days I wondered what my worth or purpose was. I’m still striving to be better/to improve/to glo up/to wake up among white plushy duvets and pillows with the New York Times next to a tray with coffee and toast but I’m not giving myself a chance to be human. No matter what we have, we always want better. And I think that’s part of why I feel so down. I’m constantly competing with myself.

I feel guilty for doing anything that isn’t productive – playing video games, sleeping in, even eating breakfast or scrolling on my phone. I’m always thinking “I could be doing something better as if the things I do don’t already give me satisfaction. “I shouldn’t enjoy these things because they don’t fit in with who I want to be” and then I’ll be at work or doing something productive and I’ll long for doing something I enjoy. It’s like I can’t win.

I push myself to be better than just being.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve ourselves but we strive so hard to improve what is already good, what is already the pinnacle of who we are. I will hold my hands up here and say I’m absolutely guilty for striving to be better just so that someone else will like me more. I never feel good enough for my friends – I don’t know why, I know I’m worthy of their attention, it’s like a game, how bad can I feel before it magically gets better.

My aim this week so, is to simply just be. If I want to cry, I can. If I want to do nothing, I give myself permission to do so. I give myself permission to be myself without forcing a greater image of myself onto my already vulnerable mind. We can still improve myself or at least strive to but we need to be kinder to ourselves in doing so.

 

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April Reads

April Reads

I have recently begun devouring books again. And I mean, flying through three books in two weeks. That was usually so unlike me. In fact, not too long ago, I could barely finish a book in a year. School and college deterred me from reading for fun, drained my eyes and felt like a chore. And when I did try to read for fun, it was usually non-fiction – so there’s really no wonder why I struggled and struggled.

But after reading The Lord of the Rings, I found myself back in the habit. I read so much that when I went to the bookshop and picked up a few new novels, I didn’t feel guilty – that was the rate I was going at.

So here are a few things I’ve read lately:

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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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OCD, Nine Years On.

OCD, Nine Years On.

This year will be nine years since I started experiencing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (and six since I started doing something about it).

I think a lot of people who knew me when I started college are aware of this but I’m choosing to write about it now, nearly a decade on from the first instance of it (during my Junior Cert!), and six since I sought help, as I have a much better perspective of my experience than before.

There are two days in my life that could categorically be dubbed ‘the worst days of my life’.

The first one was when I was 18 on a family holiday in France and the other when I was on a trip to Achill Island in 2013.

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Here’s To

Here’s To

A brief one as I stand in line for 2018

Here’s to the one who said it was going to be fine, when I was sure it wasn’t.

To the one who wanted a catch up but didn’t let me say a thing.

To the one whose actions contradict their words

To the one who didn’t ask questions and just sent support

To the one who never makes me feel welcome

To the one who thought I had no feelings of my own to hurt.

To the ones I hurt more than I knew.

To the one I wish I ended things better with

To the friends I disappointed by my own lack of courage or back bone

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6 Lessons I’ve Learned From My First Office Job

6 Lessons I’ve Learned From My First Office Job

Hello New Graduates

Welcome to the Real World of taxes, graduate programmes, conferences, long client phone calls, and insurance. It’s not a pretty one. In fact, it often gets really, really ugly. Gone are the days where having four classes in a day was a justifiable complaint, when you could skip a lecture every now and then, where you spent all day and all night labouring over an essay like you were giving birth. Now you’re into what they have been complaining about for decades – the dreaded 9-5.

There are many things you won’t miss. The exams, the study, the essays, the meetings with lecturers or speaking out at seminars but the stress and emotions associated with them, they now come in different forms. You will still stress about writing papers, submitting reviews, passing interview questions or questions from your superiors. Deadlines still exist, as do hangovers, correct email etiquette matters now more than ever but it’s not all bad – in fact, you begin to relish evenings, weekends and bank holidays where you don’t have to come home to more work.

Sure, work life can be stressful but at least you’re spared of the constant fear of how your performance will impact your grade nine months down the road.

I’m out of college 18 months now and I’m in my first office job just over four months – I’ve had stints in shops and internships in the meantime – and I think I’ve learned more from being a so-called “professional” than a student. It’s as if college life prepared you for the basics but nothing can prepare you for everything that it contains.

I’ve prepared six lessons I’ve learned from the last few months of full time office work – including my internship – that I would have loved to have known when I graduated. Remember that starting a full time job is the first step on a very long ladder. You can’t see where it ends but you know that taking that step will bring you closer to whatever it is.

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Who We Are

Who We Are

I base a lot of my self worth on the opinions of others. And then some.

I base a lot of my self worth on the opinions of others and in long drawn-out comparisons that leave me feeling stale. And every time, it ends with “why not me”.

It’s something that’s been there for a lot of my life. My school was competitive, elitist – and whilst it taught me some incredibly important moral values, it didn’t see us all as equal. Some were just more equal than others. Ten year old me wanted to be good at sports but I couldn’t because I didn’t take extra classes outside of school, I wanted to wear the bulky Tiffany necklaces and own a Mini Cooper, things that divided the social standing, gave you a sense of “identity”, and initiated you in the unspoken secret society of kids who I believed to be undeniably happy, the only problems in their lives being whether or not they wanted to curl their hair in the morning.

It wasn’t jealousy so much as it was thinking, I wasn’t good enough or happy until I had these things.

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