Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A Stream of Consciousness | For My Pals

There are many things in my day-to-day life that bring me sweet, utter and complete joy. Off the top of my head, here are some that are on my list:

Saying hello to people as I pass by them.
Facemasks and a chill playlist.
The first cup of tea in the morning.
Good company.

Today I want to elaborate on the latter.

I am about to progress onto my second year of university. While I am excited about what lies ahead and how everything will pan itself out, I cannot help but feel incredibly reflective of the year gone by. It is something that has dominated my poems of late ('Twenty', 'Coming of Age' and 'To Leave, To Live) but I have not elaborated to any great length or depth in the written word, here.

A young Catherine spent a lot of her time praying for the day to arrive where most things, or at least important things would fall into place. She willed whatever Greater Being there was to show her what it was like to feel understood, that she belonged. In school, she typically kept a lot of thoughts to herself and often did not pass comment in groups for fear of being talked over or her words falling flat in empty air. She clocked in every morning and clocked out in the afternoon, threw herself into homework in the evening and aimed to get enough sleep to get her heels out of bed the next day.

Often, looking at herself in the mirror in the morning to adjust the collar of her blouse, the same question would flash through her mind, “How in the name of God am I still able to do this?”

At her debs, towards the end of the night, a (rather intoxicated) classmate reminisced the “good aul’ craic” that was had over their six years of schooling together, to which she merely nodded. Walking back from the smoking area (which she only passed time and attempted to avoid second-hand smoke), he swung back to her to make a final comment:
“But you, Catherine, were always on the sidelines.”
Knowing there was no reasoning with him, and a high likelihood of him failing to remember what he had said, she kept a level head.

“Maybe that was where you put me and kept me, but that is somewhere I certainly won’t be for much longer,” she said before taking a swig of her drink and walking away with a swoosh of her skirt across the function room into the nightclub.

Fast forward two months later and I began to meet an endless number of people, who would without knowing themselves, go on to help shape how I delved into my personhood from there on in. This has involved everyone from my housemates, journalism crew, friends of friends, other supa fly peeps who came along the way and random drunken chats in the girls’ toilets (if we’re being completely honest here).

There have been small things too of course, more significant things that have hallmarked their way into my memory to stay, some of which I will list, in no particular order:

The high-fives I received from my friends as they walked in and saw I finally got the seating I needed for my lectures.

Nights in with my SWIG gang and our Christmas dinner to which I got “BOOTY-CALL” shouted at me for unfortunately having to leave early for reasons which were most definitely not of that nature.

One of my closest friends offered to meet me in town to bring me home after I rang her, aimlessly walking around a college campus not familiar to me following news I received which was not sunshine and roses. An hour later I finally got a bus home, but she met me at my flat with a bottle of wine and popcorn.

Having had only two hours sleep on said night above mentioned, I was adamant I would not miss out on a lecture. Someone popped down to me from the back of the lecture room with a scone in a brown paper bag, hugged me and said; “I know, and it’s awful. But he is irrelevant. I am staying with you next Thursday and we will do something fun.”

The willingness of anyone who has been happy to link with me en route from pre-drinks to the bus to town, or from town to home in the little hours of the night, you are honestly the truest gems.

Bonfire night, two mates came down for a visit. We tried to locate a “secret beach”, which ended up being the most well-known beach in Achill. I proceeded to suffer from the worst hangover in all eternity, but of course, completely worth it.

Leaving Hangar and my pal sitting in the front seat asking the taxi driver: “Whats your full name Mr Driverman?”

Literally, anytime I go shopping with the intent of purchasing hippy pants and/or bralettes (yes, shock horror), I always think of a certain Foody friend (I hope you’re reading this lol).

Playing Mario-Kart with my housemates and our friends, living life content with our Dominoes order. My lamp that made a number of appearances, was placed in the corner of the room to give a lilt of “ambiance” that humble student accommodation struggles to provide. We all loved that lamp.

These are only a fraction of summarised stories I think of regularly. They are some of the stories, though in their own small and big ways, have helped me to find peace with the world I am a mere spec of. There are stories I could tell that have come about more recently, but I would be here writing a book.

The one thing that they all have in common is; the individuals behind them all hold the kindest of hearts and free spirits. I think as a creative person, connections such as these can form the fundamental bones of tangible art which one can ultimately go on to feeling spiritually strong and content.

As whimsical as that may sound, that has what has unfolded in this chapter in this tidal wave of my life.

Thank you, my wondrous pals, let’s keep swimming.