Fake It Til You Make It, Honey

Do you ever have one of those moments where you feel almost suffocated by the weight of things you don’t know? I feel like I’ve been in the middle of one for the past few months. I’ve just finished my degree (I graduate the day after tomorrow) and I’m about to start my MA, yet I honestly think I knew a lot more heading into my undergrad than I do now. Even worse, I can’t help but feel that I’m skating by in life and that one day I’ll be revealed for being a massive pretender that really hasn’t got a clue.

I know bits and bobs about current affairs, politics, pop culture, the arts etc, (at least, I think I know bits and bobs, that could be me being generous to myself) and have loads of little things and pieces of ideas that I want to write about but freeze in terror any time that blank page in Word appears in front of my eyes. I haven’t read half as many books as I should have, have watched more sugary-sweet rom-coms than any sane person should ever admit to, and have a head so full of half-baked ideas it resembles the worktop of an unfortunate MasterChef contestant. As a result I have become a master informed bullshitter- give me half a statistic and I’ll give you an entire argument, but surely that means that one day I’m going to get caught out? What’s got this all going in my head is the prospect of starting my MA. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to begin and I’m so excited, but I’m also slightly terrified that I’m going to sit mute in the corner while all the brilliant, brainy people argue articulately and eloquently about the great, beautiful, misery-inducing, repression-and-depression filled, journey into alcoholism that is Irish Literature. While they’re there arguing out perfectly composed insights into the minds of geniuses I’ll sit twiddling my thumbs wondering how to get onto the next level in Candy Crush. Or maybe Angry Birds, if I really feel like testing myself. 

Ok ok, maybe this is all a bit premature and I’m overindulging in self pity, but it’s also a genuine fear of mine. I know it’s quite a petty fear seeing as there are people out there genuinely fearing for their lives, but, as Honey Boo Boo’s Mama always says: “It is what it is”. I can’t help it. I’ve spent years putting on this façade of Knowing Quite A Lot when my interior resembles a darling portrait entitled Knowing Fuck All. Or at least I think it’s a façade, maybe I do know a substantial amount but it’s the fear of not knowing enough that has driven the not-knowing-enough to be my own little distorted reality. So I could be living in a hyper-reality, not-so-blissfully unaware of the real reality that lingers just beyond the void. Hmmm….this is getting a bit to Baudrillard for my tastes.

Then again, I’m only 20 so I’m too old to think I know everything (oh, sweet teenage years) and too young to actually know enough. This is the decade in which I’m meant to start learning the stuff I’ll need and call on for the rest of my life, when I’m supposed to make all the stupid mistakes that help me learn (I don’t know about the rest of ye, but I find I only actually learn something after doing the wrong thing 4 times), and decide exactly what I want to know. I can’t know everything, that’d only put the rest of ye to shame. Though I could totes learn everything really easily. Mandarin, experimental physics, rocket science, how they get the fig in the Fig Roll. Totes. No Bodge. Ahem.

So maybe I’ll designate the coming year as the Year I Get My Shit Together. I’ll read all the books on my MA book list and a lot more besides, actually sit up and argue in class and outside (minus a bottle of wine in hand, which is how all my arguments seem to go so far), watch documentaries for the sake of them and learning something from them, not just because I love David Attenborough’s voice and want to do bad things to certain Mr. Theroux, and actually read the papers instead of idly flicking through the headlines before torpedoing my way to the culture section and the cartoons at the back. Then maybe this time next year I’ll know even a tiny bit more than I do now.  And even if all I emerge with on the other side is  the knowledge of where I can locate the cheapest bottle of drinkable wine, sure isn’t that learning something?

 

 

 

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Twenty? I think you mean twenteen…

Ahhh the teens, what cheeky little devils they are. They rip you from the nursery and plonk you in the middle of a volatile ocean on a boat barely able to carry itself, never mind you. Love, loss, spots and body parts you never had before are hurled at you while you try to remain calm in the face of yet another explosive storm with your mam because she is being, like, SO unreasonable and SUCH a bitch. Then, when you’ve just settled into secondary school and figured out how to navigate the dangerous boundaries and rocky shores between the various cliques, you’re wrung through the torture device that is the Leaving Cert before being made stew for a several weeks while your (immediate) future is decided by a tiny results sheet that has the ability to make or break you. Upon receiving these results you return to harbour for a few days until you cast off again to an unknown land, seemingly all by yourself. Hellloooooo college, bye bye mammy, central heating, food from anywhere other than Aldi, and the security of the group of friends you’ve had for years. Yes, the teenage years are great craic altogether.

I left my teens yesterday  and in a few short months (more like weeks, eeekkkk) I’ll be leaving the beautiful harbour of NUIM that I’ve been calling home for the past 3 years. In my few short years here I’ve learned a lot, forgotten a lot more, became bestos with the bouncers at the Roost (heyo hunzos xoxo), made life-long friends, fallen in love, had my heart broken, and become the cynical bitch whom my friends lovingly call Kelly. If I could remain in this amazing little bubble for the next few years I would. In a heartbeat. I haven’t had nearly enough time walking around Iontas like I own the place, tutoring like a boss, and running away terrified from ConCon’s office because he’s made me realise what an ill-informed, unintelligent twat I am. Again. Also, we now have a beanbag room and a library that I’d take home with me if I could. MAYNOOTH, WHY YOU NO BE LIKE WHEN I WAS IN FIRST YEAR?! Ahem. You get the idea.

Now I’m REALLY off into open sea. I haven’t a clue where I’m going, where I’ll end up, or why I’m even going there in the first place. But, yano, I think I need to get lost. It might be nice. I may even enjoy it. I’m getting to know me better, but I still don’t know if it’s the better me. Cheesy, yeah, but I am cheesy so ye’re as well to embrace it. Anyway, I’m off to get lost, so I’ll see ye on the other side. And ye’d better have a stiff drink waiting for me when I get back,  I can only be parted from my Captain (Morgan) for so long…

Kelly x

Oh, you’ve twisted my arm, here’s a poem about getting lost. No need to thank me babeseseses.

The Price of Knowledge

Dirty sheets, broken bottles, cigarette
ends that still smoulder,
drugs, alcohol, hangovers,
and the ones that never quite die.

Missed days, lost days, forgotten days
where everyone’s the same,
limbo before the real world,
before we have to live.

Some money, no money, always money
for vodka, and the sharp shock
of another shot to the system.

Blurred memories of important people,
ideas, events and dates,
lessons never learned,
despite best intentions.

Discovering yourself through someone
who breaks you by being
exactly who they are,
the cry of ecstasy that becomes a whimper of pain.

Paths worn by an avalanche of tears,
forgotten wounds and barely healed
scars. The taste of sweet success on your lips,
beaten by the bitterness that defeated your tongue.

The price of knowledge is death, the
reward experience in a world
that destroys everything you are,
everything you dare to be.

You have to lose yourself,
it’s the only way to remember
who you are,
who you were,
who you are meant to be.

You need to lose yourself.
How can you be found
If you were never lost?
It’s your turn to die.

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Rose Petal Tea

I know, I know, another bloody poem! I actually like this one, be kind 🙂

Rose Petal Tea

You are my character;
I’ll draw you as I see fit.
Give you eyes to see,
Ears to listen,
Lips to taste
and kiss the whole
world around you.

I’ll let you dance,
Love, live and learn
what is it to be heartbroken.
To be afraid of yourself,
and to revel in the mystery.

You’ll laugh and cry and
wish to God you’d never been born.
Throw up in the street
and lie in arms that held
back your hair to let
the light dance off
the panes of your face.

Books will be cherished,
people adored, and films
admonished for never having reached
their full potential.
You’ll spend lazy afternoons curled
around him in bed,
arguing about rose petal tea and
whether America owns the moon.

You’ll live a life you never expected, but
a completely predictable one all the same.
Then, in the hazy sunshine,
you’ll slip out of this world
and into one of old friends and rest.
You’ll smile, and realise the peace that
lay unnoticed around you.

You are my character;
I’ll draw you as I see fit.
Then, at the very end,
I’ll realise that you were me all along.

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Untitled

 

Exquisite; it changes everyone.
We become liars,
masters of deception
that trick even ourselves into the belief
we’re something we’re not.

Dive in head first, don’t hold back
hoping for a light that never shines.
In this darkness you can escape
become something you want to be, 
even for a moment.

Relax, let go,
you don’t need anything here.
Not even yourself;
You’re only a figment of your imagination
built as you see fit,
but you’re not the best architect.

The shadows are alluring,
but that’s not where you belong.
Not really, this world may be yours,
but you don’t quite fit.

Sink into this beauty,
realise that in this calm you’re not lost.
How can you be,
You never existed to begin with.

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Act 1, Scene 3

Well, it doesn’t look like I’m getting any better at blogging regularly. Old habits die hard, I suppose! This is something I’ve been playing around with for a while. It still doesn’t feel finished, I’m not sure whether something needs to be added or taken away. If you’ve any suggestions I’d love to hear them 🙂 

 

Act 1, Scene 3

Dark corners and endless alleys
form the backdrop to our play,
hidden by the night’s thick curtain
of drunken revellers and smokey veils.
If we’re not ourselves we can’t get hurt
So I’ll act the part of someone else,
Let’s share a forgotten scene
as strangers untouched by tragedy.

And so we meet where shadows kiss
and whispers fade off-stage,
we never learn that fire burns,
and carves out life’s most painful trail.

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Invasion

It’s exam time, so of course that means copious amounts of time spent doing anything other than studying. Here’s a poem I wrote about five minutes ago. This is the first draft of Invasion so the finished piece probably won’t look anything like it. I would say enjoy, but it’s not a very happy poem!

 

Invasion

She’s the one who came out bleeding,
raw from the damage you inflicted,
shame rotting underneath her skin.

You live life unchanged;
it remains a succession of tumbles
from one set of bed sheets to another.

She’ll never be the same:
the scars will never heal,
appearing faintly, afraid to show their strength.

She’ll move on,
you’ll remain in this monotonous time lapse
of momentary pleasure and eternal pain.

Neither will emerge the victor,
one, however, will triumph,
a set of clean linens her prize.

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If this is our last NYE let’s make it a good one!

It seems that every year I write a blog rounding up the year (granted, there aren’t many other posts throughout it), so I thought it’d be a bit of a shame if I didn’t continue that tradition! 2011 was a bit of an odd year, in both the wider world and the somewhat smaller one around me. It really wasn’t a year of happy mediums; when it was good it was brilliant, when it was bad it was awful. Looking back, I honestly can’t say whether it was a good year or a bad one. It wasn’t one of the best, that’s for sure. A lot of stuff happened, and those events really changed me and altered the way I look at the future. I learned who my true friends were this year; that was a bit of a bittersweet revelation. My heart took a beating and my bank balance suffered an even greater one, though I’m so happy that the government didn’t bring in fees because then my year would have been very bleak indeed!
                College wise it was a brilliant year. I received good grades in my exams and I got a job as a peer tutor in the English department. The friends I made in college are such a massive part of my life that I cannot imagine life without them; some of them are like sisters to me. The summer away from them was torture; I’d gotten so used to them living literally minutes away, or, in the case of Lorna, the room next to me. The summer also highlighted how lucky I am with my friends. May was terrible month; I found out I was ill, moved away from those amazing college friends and broke up with my boyfriend. Without Ais, Fiona, Rois and Grace (my old friends from home) I don’t know how I’d have gotten through it. Rois especially, that woman is gifted ❤ The summer was spent going on long walks to the lake or on winding country roads with the gruesome twosome and absolutely everything was talked about! That was one thing 2011 was great for; I realised how important my friends are to me, and I really couldn’t ask for better ones.
                I suppose one of the most important things that happened to me was finding out that I’m sick. Not life-threateningly ill, thank God, but a lot of things I once took for granted are gone, or at the very least will be a lot more difficult to achieve. I’d been feeling ill for a while, but the “Ara sure I’ll be grand, nothin’ wrong with me at all” belief and fear of doctors kept me well out of and away from the waiting room. Lorna finally persuaded me to go and, after countless appointments, I found out (with perfect Emma timing, right in the middle of exams) what was wrong. I didn’t really realise the repercussions until I was talking to a friend of mine who has the same illness (syndrome? I’m not really sure what the right word is!). I remember writing a speech on “Your health is your wealth” in fifth year, little did I realise that it’d be a few years later in 2011 when I’d realise how true that statement is!
                One of the recent trending topics on Twitter was #2011in3words. What were my three? Hmmm….Ambition, friendship and disappointment. I now know exactly what I want, and nothing is going to stop me from getting it. The friends part has been explained, and 2011 was, overall, a disappointment. It didn’t start well, but I’ll make damn sure it ends well. I’m spending tonight with my friends, the people that got me through the year and kept for smiling for most of it. I don’t know what 2012 has in store, but as far as I’m concerned it can only get better.

Happy New Year! 🙂

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