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Saturday, July 25, 2015

The People In My Life: Part 5

Gus and I have known each other for over 15 years. We knew all the same people but never really spent much time in each others company. Then we both lived away from Ireland at different times. But Gus was definitely someone that the universe wanted me to keep bumping into. From our random meet ups in the town I began to get to know him. I knew he was funny, kind, sensitive and friendly. Jakers, Gus and I used to do the music thing years ago but we were all much less experienced then. It was only last summer when I cajoled Gus into jamming once again that I really considered him to be a friend.

Of course, there's always that awkwardness around friendship when it's of the girl/boy variety. One of the things I most admired about Gus was that he wanted to be my boyfriend but didn't turn his nose up at friendship when that's all that was offered. He didn't give up on me as a person because I wasn't the person he wanted me to be. Indeed, all the times that I spent feeling lonely I did not ask the universe for a man, but a friend, a good friend that cared about me genuinely.

When we lived together briefly at the beginning of the year it was a fun time for me. This was really when I got to know Gus properly. We laughed, cooked together, debated life and listened to each other when we talked about the tough times. We shared our souls whilst being so silly and carefree at the same time. When Gus told me he was thinking of moving back home I felt sadness in my heart. I wasn't surprised at how I felt considering the never ending trial of flatmate problems but I acknowledged that it felt similar to a break-up in a way and I guess that made me realise that my feelings ran a little deeper than just friendship. Gus had been a proper friend to me and it was only right that I should be a proper friend to him so, when he asked me what I thought I should do I said nothing. I kept my silence because what I thought he should do was stay in the flat with me. I felt I could argue that it was for his benefit but when I was truthful with myself I realised I wanted him to stay because it made me feel better.

Things have a funny way of turning out. If Gus hadn't have moved back home I would never have been able to gain clarity about my feelings. By giving him space to listen to his heart a space was created for me to listen to my own. It told me that I was happy when gus was around. What more clarity did I need?

Gus might be the tallest, strongest guy (he won a strong man competition when he was a teenager, you know those things where they lift cars and pull them with their teeth) I have been with but he is the softest and gentlest inside. He is also the funniest and has an uncanny knack for remembering every single theme tune there ever was. He is like a juke box and I can demand any theme tune from 80's cartoons and adverts. He also knows big words despite not being much of a reader.

I look forward to this adventure with Gus, wherever it takes us and for however long. Life is so crazy and it's nice to have someone to laugh and share worries with. It's nice to have someone to climb trees and go brain jobby hunting with. It's nice to have someone to just be with. And when I see the way things have turned out I am so thankful for getting to know myself and trusting my decisons. My intiution led me into the arms of a real man with a real heart.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The People In My Life: Part 4

You'll notice a distinct lack of females so far. There have been many important, significant women in my life but just not at the minute. Except for my mum who has been my beacon for the past few years. To me, my mum and dad are lke yin and yang and I have developed a rather contradictory set of personality traits from them both. I have my dad's patience, gentleness and shyness and then I have my mum's temper, stubborness and tendency to worry. I don't mean to say that my dad has all the good personality traits and my mum has the negative because Nelly is one of the kindest people on the planet. She is intelligent, sharp and witty but she could cut you like a knife. And she'd have no qualms about doing so.

But really, my mum and dad are not so dissimilar and they are both caring, compassionate people. They both brought me up to respect and help others. Through the past few years my mum and I have grown together. There have been many painful times, painful memories to sift through and a rainbow of emotions to ride out. Never I have I worked so hard on a relationship in my life and been so lucky to have the other person work just as hard. And why? I truly believed that in order for any of my relationships to be successful I must first have a successful relationship with myself, and this involved opening myself up completely to the most important person in my life, the person that has had the most influence in my life, the person that brought me into this world. It was just something I had to do.

My mum is only wee but her personality is giant. People always flock to her and she blames Bert for the many visitors that pass through her door but she forgets that it is also her humour, sensitivity and kindness that keep people coming back. Humour is definitely one of my mum's strong points and I smile often at things she's said or stories she's told me. Really, I could write for hours about Nelly's vivacious personality and hilarious anecdotes but most people who read this blog know my mum and know how wonderful she is.

I am enjoying writing about the people in my life. In doing so I realise how lucky I am to have special connections with so many people (I'm not even done yet). Some people view them just as relationships with family and friends but they are more than that to me. They are adventures and challenges and a minefield of learning opportunities. I want deep connections with people because it makes me feel alive and it prepares me for what I want to do with my life.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The People In My Life: Part 3

Mi Padre. My dad was pretty much my idol when I was a little girl. He could do no wrong. He can still do no wrong. My dad is a dude! He was the one who sheltered me from the world of pop music and was so passionate about his indie taste that it was impossible not to share in his enthusiasm for bands like Nirvana, Pixies and Blur. I used to borrow his T.shirts and jackets even though they were far too big for me. My favourite was the Therapy? T.Shirt that said "Have A NIce Day" on the front and "In Hell" at the back. Because of my alternative style people my age used to sneer at me and my friends. The Therapy? T.Shirt always caught them out.

I always respected my dad. I remember how he taught me that I shouldn't repeat what I'd heard others saying without understanding what it meant. And once he'd explained what it meant I realised I didn't want to use the same words that other people used. Dad was the first ever eco warrior that I knew who took his plastic bags to the supermarket 20 years before anyone else. He joined Greenpeace and had us all sign up for the children's membership. He believed in comics and 10p mix ups. He became vegetarian and we all followed suit because dad's compassion was very much a part of us.

When I was 15 dad was offered a job in England. I chose to go with him but when it came to it I decided to stay in Ireland. I had a good circle of friends and a boyfriend I didn't want to leave and I thought I was probably old enough to do without my dad. It was hard at first. Living with mum full time was not something I had fully considered and my teenage years were troublesome. At 18 I went to university in the same city that dad was living. We lived together for a year when I had finished uni and didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. It was an extra bonus year of bonding with my dad. I felt really lucky to have that.

Now I am a big girl and I do just fine without him but that doesn't make me love him any less. And it's true, girls do seek out a man that's like their father. Not personality or lookswise but they seek out a man who is as good and decent as their father and my dad set the bar pretty high. Nothing wrong with that though :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

The People In My Life: Part 2

Jakers doesn't really need an introduction to this blog as he's been a big part of it for so many years. When I first began blogging I was going out with Salt Face. I was very young and naive (I mean younger and more naive) and I guess I really did truly believe that Salt Face and Pepper Head would be together forever. As I got older I became more coy about writing about other people. Jakers and I were "seeing each other" for about 8 months before I allowed myself to be called his girlfriend. But, once I realised that the dude was going to be a part of my life I let my guard down and I wrote about him all the time just as my dear sweet mother writes about Bert all the time. We split up more than once and we were always very dignified about it and there was never ever a need, nor a desire, for me to write about anything that had happened between us.

Jakers and I have been split up for nearly 3 years now and my love for him has extended way beyond the romantic, lustful kind. It has transcended the physical. He is a true friend to me and we have grown together for quite some time now. We have seen each other at the very depths and we have pulled each other out of the mire. We've debated life, love, science and spirituality. We've laughed, sang and cried together. We beared our souls and we know each other inside and out. We don't always agree with each other, which I guess is why we didn't work out but we care very deeply for one another.

I remember reading a book and there was a guy who went to a therapist. He was a jock athlete and was very dismissive of the therapist's work, like it was too feminine and weak for him to engage in. The therapist said,

"It takes tremendous amounts of guts and strength to talk about what you pass off as touchy-feely. Matters of the heart are matters of life. Maybe you've just got a hole in your heart or a block in your brain, but if you need a few minutes to pysch yourself up like in a locker room or something, I'll be happy to sit here while you walk outside and muster up the courage to come back in here and talk to me like a real man with a real heart." The Charge, Brendan Burchard, pg.94.

I always liked that quote because it reminded me that Jakers was a real man with a real heart and it is such a good heart. The reason we can be good friends is because we communicate with each other. The reason it is important for me to be friends with him is because when I was at uni an ex-boyfriend died in a fire. Though our last parting words were positive I regretted every single fight we had and I never wanted to feel that way again about someone I had loved.

Jakers is a bit of a musical child genius. He understands it in a way that I just don't get. He can pick up most instruments and get some kind of a tune out of them within minutes. Mostly, he's winging it but he wings it well. He's also a technical whizz kid. I guess he just has that kind of brain that understands numbers, patterns and sequences. Whereas my brain understands sugar, stupid accents and fluffy animals. The music and history and shared social circle bonds us. He is very much a part of my family. He said to me recently, "I love you like a sister", then he thought about what he'd said, scrunched up his face and said "actually, no, that's a bit weird". I knew what he meant though.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The People In My Life: Part 1

I've known Zen-N for about a year and a half. I met him through work and I remember taking an instant liking to him as he causually welcomed me to the department one Sunday afternoon. I found out that Zen-N was a few years ahead of me on the counselling degree so it was natural that we struck up a friendship.

I am not ashamed to admit that Zen-N got a chance to practice his counselling skills on me as the blossoming of our friendship coincided with some difficult times in my life. As Zen-N gave me the space to be myself I found my strength and, in turn, gave him the space to be himself so he could find his strength. I did not view Zen-N as a counsellor, and nor did he try to be my counsellor but we are very much a part of a 'therapeutic relationship'.

So what's he like? Well, he's quirky, which is sometimes intentional but quite often not. He's submissive around dogs and Ziggy always took a hand out of him just because he could. I've never really seen him drunk but he told me once that he was likened to Bernard from Black Books. Whilst I don't find this hard to believe it's nothing like the Zen-N I know who is far from being cynical and grumpy. The Zen-N I know is a little like Mr. Burns in the episode of the Simpsons where he is mistaken for an alien, the one where he says "I bring you love, I bring you peace".

Personally, I think the guy's a dude and I think this for several reasons. We have similar tastes in a lot of music, films and books but it is our shared outlook on life that really bonds us. We both share a passion for Carl Rogers, the main man in the person centred approach to counselling and we both have an appreciation for the magical beauty of the world. But the reason why I felt he was worthy of a write up is because I'm thankful for our friendship. I'm thankful for him being in my life and walking by my side, not ahead of me trying to show me the way or behind me trying to follow my lead, but beside me seeing the world as I see it. I also know that one day Zen-N will come play music with the GCDC's :)

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Do It Do It Do It

Gus and I play a game with rhyming words. The rules of the game our quite simple; to rhyme words with other words. There is no prize for winning, just an overall sense of achievement at having beat the other. We have played similar games with types of apples.

Having suffered from Swine and Donkey Flu in the past I knew that this recent bout of Jobby Flu would be tough but wouldn't kill me. A quick search of my history has reminded me that I have also suffered from Hannah Flu and Whiskey Flu. How am I even still alive?

It was a tough week though with flashes of brilliance. Being on the Waltzer at Barry's was definitely a highlight but by the weekend I was good for nothing and slept on and off for 19 hours. When I wasn't sleeping I was eating. All the energy from the food was going straight back into giving me energy to eat the food that I was eating.

Gus and I have several characters for our comedy sketch show that will only ever really be alive in the Museum of Good Ideas (The Ideatorium). The latest ones are all well known fictional characters who have skin complaints, for example; Eczema The Warrior Princess, Rosemary's Scabies, Anne of Gangrene Gables. As we are both the sensitive skin types we find this amusing. Then again, we think it's amusing to dance down the street chanting "Do it, Do it, Do it!" When I say dance, I mean, walk like a drunk thunderbird puppet and the "Do it" mantra is interchangeable with "Eat it", "Drink it", "Bite it" or any other verb.

The weather had been really good and now it's pretty rubbish again. I was thinking of sleeping in the treehouse this weekend no matter what the weather is like. But now, I must go check on my magic stew.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


The clock says 22:40 and I should have been sleeping two hours ago. It's not very often that I am insomniatic but it's been a peculiar day and I have a lot on my mind. My date last night was lovely. I had been dropping Gus' name more frequently in my posts but now I'm just gonna admit that we are in a relationship. Luckily for me he never reads my blog so I can write about him without feeling too embarassed.

But that is not why I'm still up with thoughts racing through my head. I thought I had a new flatmate sorted but it fell through. I worried for a few hours and then I took Ziggy for a walk. Walking always helps me to think and I thought about how I don't want to worry anymore. And I thought about why I was worried and it's because I have committed myself to the counselling degree and I need to be able to afford it, as well as living. Then I thought about who was holding the gun to my head and it was me.

This lead to other thoughts about the world in general and all the many, many people within it. I thought about trust and fear; how most people are scared to trust others, fear the unknown, how disconnected it all makes us. I thought about good and evil, yin and yang, how the news keeps reminding us that there's "bad people" out there. I thought about theories of consciousness, how we create our own reality, mind over matter. And I came to the conclusion that no matter how many people tell me not to trust that everyone is good I will stand by my belief. I won't bow down to the fear and when everyone else has as much faith in humankind as I do then maybe, just maybe the world will be a better place. I realise that very few people think like I do and that can make it seem like I'm fighting a losing battle. Sometimes the warrior spirit can feel a little defeated but it never gives up surfing the blowhole and picking up grains of happiness on the way.