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Little Thoughts, Big Dreams

There’s been a pattern to a lot of my blog posts of late, and it seems to be one of finding myself. I’ve talked a lot about my post college life, my struggle to adapt to ‘the real world’, gaining jobs, quitting jobs, moving countries and so on and so forth. There’s no denying it’s been a pretty chaotic time, and I’m constantly having to remind myself that I’m not even a year out of college yet!

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last number of months though. I’m discovering new aspects of my character almost every day. I’ve been surprised to discover that things I thought I would enjoy, I really don’t! It’s true the saying, you really don’t know unless you try.

Lately I’ve found myself with a yearning to really make a difference. I know that might sound a little cheesy, but I just have this strong desire to give back in some way. (Don’t worry, I won’t be turning into Mother Teresa anytime soon!). In my early years when ‘big people’ would ask me what I wanted to be, I always responded with a confident assertion of  ‘ a teacher and a best selling author’. I liked the idea of being able to help people, and impart some sort of wisdom.

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In my later years I abandoned any desire I had to become a teacher entirely. (Still holding out hope for the best selling author, mind you) ‘Not a hope in hell’ I’d scoff. Why would you want to go through 18 years of education to end up back in the very place you spent the best part of those years trying to escape? My present self realises that perhaps this thinking was a bit naive. I mean it is different, you’re on the other side of it as such. It’s not really the same.

I suppose you’re wondering where I’m going with this, well I guess the answer is I’m not really sure, but that’s the fun of it. I’m not vehemently opposed to the idea of teaching anymore. In fact, I find myself thinking more and more about it. So much so that I’ve enrolled in a TEFL (teaching English as a Foreign Language), course. I’ve always loved the English language, I’ve had a fascination with words and stories for as long as I remember. While a lot of my friends were out pucking around a sliotar, I was most likely found under a tree with my nose in a book or making up stories, reciting them to anyone who’d give me an ear. (I wasn’t the weird kid, I swear….).

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Which is why I now find myself toying with the idea of teaching my beloved language abroad. Not only is it a chance to travel the world before I get tied down in a career, but it’s the chance to really make the difference I’m after. I’m not out for self-gratification, it’s more about doing something meaningful, something I believe in,  while I figure out what it is I actually want to do with my life! I guess the good thing about my college degree is that it’s so broad. It’s both a blessing and a curse. In one way it’s difficult to figure out where I ‘fit in’ and thus what I’m ‘qualified for’. But on the other hand, I’m not pigeon holed. There’s an array of areas I can venture into and try my hand at.  I’m realising what it is I like, and what it is I absolutely hate, and that’s an exciting experience. So why not keep learning? Why not keep exploring?

As many of you know, I can’t stay in one place for too long! With Sweden, Barcelona, and London all conquered destinations,  I’m itching for another notch on my belt! Who knows where my TEFL venture will take me? 

I’ll keep you posted on the upcoming adventures 😉

~J

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My Never Ending Series of Unfortunate Events – A Collection of ‘Jessisms’.

So the other day while casually pondering life (ya know, as ya do), it occurred to me that I’ve had some pretty weird and unfortunate shit happen to me over the years. Now I know we all have our wacky experiences and encounters, but I’m starting to think that I have a significant amount more than others. After 23 years, and countless inputs from friends and family, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘it’s just something about me.’  Apparently ‘I just have that ‘look’ (whatever that look is I’ll never know).

I’m just a recipe for disaster. A walking calamity. A magnet for mishaps. Quite a while back, I decided it might be a fun idea to compile a list of what I like to call my ‘Jessisms’, or in other words my own personal never ending series of unfortunate events. I’ve had this blog saved as a draft for some time now, and I’ve been slowly adding to it as my propensity for misfortune continues.

(Before I begin I must point out that most of these instances weren’t actually my fault, and therefore the circumstances surrounding them should not solely be put down to, clumsiness, stupidity, intoxication, or the colour of my hair).

Without further ado…

Being bitten in Coppers:

This is probably the most bizarre of them all. So there I am on my 19th birthday, minding my own business, enjoying my suddy and red to the gentle sway of Nicki Minaj in the basement of coppers. Utterly Sophisticated. When then, out of no where some middle aged bald guy runs up to me, bites me on the shoulder, and runs away. Next thing I know I’m being fussed over, your man is ‘goin to get the absolute shit kicked out of him,’  and there’s talks of tetanus and A&E in case the creature drew blood. Luckily he didn’t. Probably not surprising for coppers, but still unfortunate nonetheless.

Getting caught in the clothes line: 

It was a grand summers evening, and being the model child that I am I decided to hang out the washing for the fam. It was back in the too-young-for-a-job-days, so doing the housework would get you your 20 euro for the week. Which looking back is kind of bordering on the lines of child labour, but anyway. I had set out with great intentions, only the next thing I know I find myself literally stuck to the line. My long hair had betrayed me by getting deeply entangled in one of the pegs. The only thing I could do was stand there helplessly and hope someone would rescue me. A good forty minutes later my sister arrives back from my nan’s and sets me free. I have had a strange aversion to clothes lines ever since.

Being put in a strangers car by my father:

(Here’s looking at you Tom Keogh).

I regret to say that this one actually happened. It was around about 5 years ago, before my driving days. My dad was giving me a lift to the bus station, as I was heading back to college. All was going well, it was a seemingly inconspicuous Monday morning. That is until the car broke down less than half way through the journey. It wouldn’t have been so much of a big deal, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had a test that day that I couldn’t miss. If I missed the bus I missed the test. The car wasn’t budging and there was no one around to come to our rescue. So what does my dad do? Stands out in the middle of the road and attempts to flag down oncoming traffic. He then starts pleading with random strangers to take me and my mortified self to the bus station. Next thing I know I’m flung into a car, case in tow, with a woman called Ann and her two kids. Ann kindly threw me out at Waterford bus station some twenty minutes later, after the longest and most uncomfortable silence of my life. On the re-telling of this story my  Dad always says, “well didn’t ya make the bus?”. Yes Dad, I may have made the bus, but I can assure you my pride did not. (Also, she could’ve been a psycho killer, but whatever, “sure I made the bus”).

Accidentally using ‘Intimate feminine wipes’ on my face

Okay now this was just deceptively cruel. Who even knew such things existed? Again, not my fault. The culprits in question were bought for me under the illusion that they were, in fact, normal facial cleansing wipes. A similar incident happened shortly thereafter, when I used my nephews  “nappy rash” cream on my face. A serious dupe for sudocream let me tell you. I’ve now come to the conclusion that I need to just give up on facial products in general.

Drinking my own contact lense:

Some of you may remember this one from Facebook.

Yes I indeed happened to drink my own contact lense. I’m not proud of it, in fact it still haunts me to this day, almost exactly two years after it first occurred. It wasn’t a sick dare or anything, it was just something horribly and disgustingly unfortunate. You see, anyone with contact lenses will understand the hardship of taking them out after a night out. Sometimes you surprise yourself and manage to store them perfectly in their little containers of solution. More often times than not they can end up glued to your eyelids, left to shrivel on two plates, or in this instance floating in glasses of water. Now you can see what happened next. I’m drunk, I wake up in the middle of the night, I’m thirsty. I innocently reach for one of the glasses of water beside my bed, and well you get the rest.

Capsizing in the waters of Slovenia

Now this one was a genuine near death experience. Not being dramatic. So I’m on an inter-rail with a group of friends, and we decide to do something other than destroy our livers. That something turned out to be white-water rafting. Very adventurous of us altogether. Let me set the scene. So we’re looking sexy in our wet suits as we embark our vessel. (Which was basically a blow up floating boat, and not a raft made of sticks like I had originally imagined/secretly hoped). Our instructor ‘Yuri’ was quite the man, and ensured us we were completely safe as we navigated our way through Slovenian waters. All was going well, until all of a sudden the boat capsized. Before long we were all being flung rapidly downstream. At first we found it amusing, but after Yuri’s frantic screams of ‘this is fucking serious,’ we were in full titanic mode. The water was fairly shallow, so me being me, think ‘ah sher it’s grand I can just stand up and sort of walk back’. Disaster. Of course I’m flung back straight onto my arse and dragged across rocks, dodging trees, and screaming for my life along the way. What made me think I could walk against a rapid current, I’ll never know.  In the end I somehow managed to swim back to the raft, oar in hand, exhausted. All I could do was lay there like a wet seal and wait for the others to be rescued. Tragic stuff.

Being asked on a date to Mcdonalds by a Dublin Bus driver:

Now I know some of you might not view this as unfortunate per se, some might find it flattering. But picture the scene. It’s 11:34pm. I’m en route home from a late shift and I have to be up and back in work at 7am. All I want to do is peacefully disembark the bus and fall in to bed. I press the buzzer and I approach my stop. The bus driver seemingly innocent, turns to me and asks in the thickest Dublin accent “Dya wanna go ta Mcdonalds?”  Still genuinely not sure if he was asking me on a date, or if I looked like the type of person who frequents McDonalds. Either way I stared blankly at him, shook my head politely, disembarked the bus and ran for my life.

Wearing my leggings inside out to work:

Now I must stress that for 6 months straight I had to endure the pain of 7am starts, something my former college student self wasn’t accustomed to at the time. (My present self is now peeling herself up at 6.30am). Anywho, after my early rise I then had a bit of a bitch of a commute, so naturally these types of mishaps were bound to occur…weren’t they? Nonetheless, after my usual ritual of crying into my cereal at the foot of the stairs, I set out for work. I got on the bus, put in my earphones and tried to avoid the oncoming plague of other passengers. Only then did I happen to look down and realise that my leggings were in fact inside out. Facing an hour long commute and a further 10 minute walk to work before I could rectify the situation, there was nothing I could do. Fortunately I wasn’t the strangest creature on the bus that day.

 Being abandoned by my ‘friends’ in a dyke:

 When I was in primary school we had a dyke (which is basically a washed out ditch/trench like thing), that ran along the back of the school. Of course we were forbidden from going near it, but that never stopped us. I remember coming to school after spraining my ankle in a separate unrelated trampoline incident. I was on crutches, but my friends convinced me to come out to the dyke anyway. Not wanting to miss out on any of the fun, I agreed. Next thing I know I’m being lowered into the dyke crutches and all. It was all fun and games until  someone got wind of one of the teachers coming. Everyone fled, leaving 10 year old me alone in the dyke to navigate my way out with my crutches.

Being run over by a bike in Sweden:

I think I’ll let the below speak for itself on this one. I did legitimately have a stalker in Sweden btw, but that’s a post entirely of it’s own.

Chipping my tooth on a pole in Barcelona:

Not intoxicated, just blind and laughing too much. I probably reacted a little too dramatically when this one happened, but in fairness it was one of my worst fears realised. I thought my whole tooth was gone. Plus, I hadn’t long shed my braces, so it was pretty upsetting. I did however, get to rock the ‘London Look’ for a few days.

At this stage, I think I should probably start wrapping this up! I am aware this post is probably quite long, but it has only just scratched the surface. I mean I could probably write an entire book filled with my misadventures, perhaps one day I will. For now I will leave you with these short anecdotes, in the hopes that you enjoyed reading them just as much as I enjoyed re-telling them!

As Mr Lemony Snicket himself once said:

 What might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey.

~Jessie

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It’s True, Nobody Likes You When You’re 23

I must admit, 8 months into my 23rd year and I’m starting to think Blink 182 were on to something.  In case anyone reading is unaware, (and it’s not obvious from the title), they coined the infamous lyric ‘nobody likes you when you’re 23’.

Twenty three is just awkward. It’s not as crazy as 18. It’s not as fun as 21. It’s not as blissfully oblivious as 22. Why you might ask? well because 23 is that horrible year where you have to start realising things. (Kylie Jenner I’m lookin’ at you).  You’re plucked from your lovely little college nest and turfed out in the real world to start fending for yourself.

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They don’t prepare you for this kind of thing. Nobody teaches you how to suddenly adult. Sure I spent the last four years perfecting the art of seeking out the cheapest wine, but that’s not exactly going to equip me for the impending 9-5 slog (although some would disagree with me!).

I’ve found these months of my post college life to be some of the toughest thus far. It’s more than coincidental that this time seems to coincide with my 23rd year..

I mean it’s very difficult figuring out what you want to do with your life, and it can be disconcerting when things don’t go how you expect. I packed up my life and hopped on over to London, only to move back 8 months later. As buzzfeed once said (yes, I’m quoting buzzfeed), you’re expected to have your shit together, but have none of the resources required to get your shit together. Truer words have never been spoken.

It seems like you have a lot of options, but they all come with some sort of catch. Do you find a job and start working right away? But that leaves no time for travel. But how do you fund the travel without a job first? So many questions, so little answers. Whatever you find yourself doing though, it’s terrifying because it’s the first time you have any real responsibility.

You’re an adult, but you’re essentially the baby version of an adult.

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Now you have to start thinking about scary things, like making appointments for yourself and learning how to cook a roast dinner. On top of all this you’re faced with the realistation that your next significant birthday isn’t until 40 (we all know people who throw 30th’s are kidding themselves).

All of a sudden you can’t afford your lifestyle. All of your lovely luxury student discounts have disappeared, and you weren’t prepared for the reality of ‘adult’ prices. Honestly how do they expect you to afford full whack when now you actually have to pay bills? So rude.  With that being said, I’m still doing my best with the ‘strategic thumb place’ and wrangling whatever cinema and train tickets I can. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do;)

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The thought of getting older is scary because you feel so far behind both in an emotional sense and a career sense. You’re itching to get beyond your years and make something of yourself, yet at the same time you don’t feel as if you’re ready. It’s a total mind-field really.

I read someone describe the year of 23 as ‘upsetting, brightening, hardening and hectic all at once’. I couldn’t agree more. It’s just one big massive limbo. I find myself pushing myself to be the best version of myself. I’m constantly striving to do better. I find myself in working environments surrounded by people who have achieved so much, and subsequently I feel a bit useless. I then have to remind myself that these people are much older than me. They have more experience, and I am only, after all, just twenty three.

The biggest thing I’ve learned in the last few months is that sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards. Because the truth is you ain’t gonna walk out those college gates and into your dream job. You’re still gonna have to rely on a helping hand every now and again, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. You have to walk before you run and all that jazz.

If nothing else, 24 is only 5 months away 😉

 

 

 

 

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Moving to London

As many of you may already know, around about 4 weeks ago I took the plunge and moved across the pond. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but it was an opportunity. An opportunity I felt I couldn’t pass up. I’ve always been slightly in awe at the many directions life can take. There’s an abundance of twists and turns and the truth is you never know where you might end up from one year to the next. For instance if you had told me two years ago I’d be spending 5 Months in snowy Sweden, I wouldn’t have believed you. If you had said the following summer would see me leave pieces of my heart across Barcelona, I wouldn’t have believed you. And if you had said a year on from that, that I’d be living in London 6 weeks after finishing college, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you.

In fact I probably would’ve laughed in your face.

But here I am. Finally ‘an adult’ and starting to make my way in the world. It’s funny, my last couple of blog posts were fraught with final year woes and the fear of the unknown. I didn’t know where I was going to end up and I couldn’t see past the immediate sadness of post university life. I probably should’ve listened to all those words of wisdom, voices of loved ones telling me ‘it would all fall into place’.

So London. Why you might ask? Why Not.

I mean in an ideal world I would’ve landed a cushy job back in the Big Smoke, lived with my Nan again, and been surrounded by friends and family. But it’s all too safe isn’t it? There comes a time when you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I’m not going to lie I thought the transition would be easy. Sure it’s only across the pond, 40 minute flight, be grand. Its not like I’m going to Australia. All mantras I kept repeating to myself in the lead up to the big move. I mean I’d lived abroad twice before sure, in my mind I was a pro at this. Only I forgot to consider the very real fact that this time there was no return date. That sounds very dramatic! Of course I can hop on a plane and come home at any time, but I mean in the sense that this time around things are pretty long term.

I’ve never really considered myself the ‘home bird’ type. So I was surprised to find myself feeling so homesick. As someone who was used to the freedom of driving everywhere in the last year (lazy so and so I know), it was a huge shock to my system to suddenly be sharing my journey to work with hundreds, if not thousands of other commuters every morning. London underground can be a very dreary place- if you let it. Hoards of people stomping down the ramps to the station, their footsteps echoing in perfectly synchronised misery. It’s all very regimented. People going about their day. Not caring to stop for the few seconds it takes to put a smile on their faces. In the short time I’ve been here I’ve found ways to look past what has become a very mundane aspect of my daily routine.

It might be the woman who takes her Pug on the Northern line every evening at Moorgate, or the little french girl with the red rimmed glasses bursting with the excitement of it all, or my personal favourite, the station controller at London Bridge. Honestly, though he’s just a faceless voice from above (literally), he really puts a huge smile on my face every morning. For a man who spends most of his morning repeating things like “Miiiiiind the dooors, this train is now ready to depaaaart,”, he does so with such enthusiasm. Every morning he greets passengers on the platform, tells a few jokes in between trains, and wishes everyone a good day at work. He even apologies when the tube is so packed and can’t let anymore people on. As if it was personally his fault. You can hear the smile in his voice every morning, and I don’t know about the 100 others but he definitely gets my day off to a more pleasant start. He’s actually so great I’m genuinely thinking about writing a separate blog post about him (stay tuned).

So yeah. I’ve started to look for little things like this to make me smile. Not that London isn’t already full of amazing things to do and discover. Sitting along the river Thames down on Southbank has become one of my favourite things to do on an idle weekend.

For those wondering what it is I’m actually doing- (which lets be honest is probably no one but anyway), I’m a media executive. Sounds fancy, but it’s pretty standard. I work for a company that builds and manages relationships with Journalists and PR clients. It’s my job to make sure both sides are kept happy. I suppose I’m sort of like a middle man. Part of it involves interviewing Journalists (irony), and keeping clients up to date on where they are and what they’re writing about. I’m enjoying it so far. It’s a good gateway to getting my foot on the ladder so to speak. Everyone in the office is super friendly (refer to hangover post), so that helps!

This was probably pretty irrelevant for anyone else other than my Nan and aunties who want to tell the small town gossips back home what I’m up to.

Just tell them I’m a big shot soon -to -be famous exec lads, I won’t complain 😛

Anyway all in all I’ve decided to take it all in my stride- one day at a time. I’m looking forward to finding my feet, and exploring more of what London has to offer. Whether I’m here for  6 months, a year, or 5 years I’m sure i’ll have plenty of stories to take to the next place with me, be it the Emerald Isle or beyond.

P.S (No chipped teeth, stolen iPhones, Stalkers, or Lost luggage mishaps yet! maybe my unfortunate ways are changing?)

On that note, i’ll leave you with a cheesy pic of me trying to look cute with Big Ben in the distance.

Until next time,

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~Jessie
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Final Year Fear

FF_Divider_Pink4I’m aware at this stage that a lot of my recent blogs have adopted the same ‘help I’m in final year’ tone, but it’s hard not to think about the fact that ‘real adulthood’ is getting closer with each passing day.

I mean fuck, it’s scary. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Looking back first year seems like it was just yesterday, but at the same time it also feels like a million years ago. Back in 2012  19 year old fresher me thought 2016 was a lifetime a way. Yet here I am. A mere 12 weeks off graduating and becoming a person. It’s kind of a catch 22. In one way I can’t wait to finish and finally be done with essays, group presentations, and classic literature! But on the other hand I’m going to miss university life and the prospect of finding a job is actually terrifying.

When you’re little you  just assume that when you grow up you get a job and become successful, like it’s that easy. You also have that blissful innocence that you can be anything you want to be. I, like many others went through many different stages of wanting to be many different things. I think my very first dream job was to become an actress. I was quite the little drama queen, so it didn’t seem too far out of my reach.  I loved performing on ‘the stage’ in our house (that is the step in our family kitchen). I would parade around for anyone that would give me the time of day. It was all fun and games, until I realised we didn’t live in Hollywood and despite being a dead ringer for Beans from Disney’s ‘Evens Stevens,’ I wasn’t destined for sitcom fame.

So then came my next dream job. The classic ‘I love animals so naturally I’m going to be a vet’ phase. That is until I was swiftly informed I’d have to operate on the ‘ugly’ animals too. And there’d be blood. Ew. After that I think I scaled my ambitions back again. I decided I was going to be a teacher. But I had a conflict of interest because I also wanted to be an author. Naturally ten year old me decided that this wasn’t going to be a problem and I was just going to do both. Yep a teacher by day, and a kick ass best selling novelist by night. I think somewhere in between that I also wanted to be a doctor, but I knew even then that I couldn’t forgo my social life for 600 leaving cert points and 7 odd years in college. (Serious kudos to all those who do).

I suppose at this stage you’re wondering the point of this little rambling. I just think it’s funny that when you’re younger you have no concept of limitations or self doubt. Anything is achievable and you have the whole world in your sights. Now that I’m finally at this stage in my life it’s like I feel as If I can’t do any of it. Though deep down I know I have the skills, it’s just that awful fear of not being good enough, or not getting hired etc.  It’s mad, when you’re a child you’re supposed to look to the adults for help and guidance. Though I find myself longing for reassurance from fearless 10 year old me. I know she’d give me a right kick up the arse and tell me to cop myself on. Call me crazy but I think we’d actually be much better adults if we rekindled our inner child a bit! Obviously within reason.

There’s a common complaint among myself and those in my course; and that is we don’t get the time to read and write the things we actually want to read and write! Which is precisely why I’m writing this blog, to escape the annoying demands of  my FYP. In some ways I feel like academic life really does curb your creativity and confidence. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to work on other skills and aspects needed for the ‘dream job’. Which nowadays involves either staff writing for an online publication or something within radio or broadcast journalism. But ironically the further I progress in my academic pursuits, the further away it seems. Strange that.

Anyway I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more tears and breakdowns over the next twelve weeks, but as I’ve so frequently heard, ‘It’s all a means to an end’. Where I’ll be this time next year I’ve no clue, but as long as I have good people, a strong shade of Mac lippy, and a customary glass of wine in tow, I’m sure I’ll be alright.

Until the next existential Crisis!

~Jessie

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