Life, Writing

Growing Up… Growing Down and Everything in Between…

Well four weeks have come and past, freshers week has come and went, and through it all I’ve emerged my bag intact, a stationary supply as weak as water and about as much knowledge of politics and economics as I do on how to speak Hebrew. All things considered; college is fun. I’m waking up each morning and meeting new people, studying subjects I actually enjoy instead of force feeding myself one more geography essay, and I actually (don’t) know where I’m going this year (in trying to find buildings in UCC I successfully located Galifriey, the Chamber of Secrets, a rather peculiar wardrobe and Wonderland).

Meanwhile, when I’m not inside the Booles frantic for that one last slide on something long and psychological (which I won’t begin to spell as my dyslexia will have a field day) or staring into space in the students centre in the morning pontificating the inner most meanings of my tea cup  (COULD be talking to girls. But it turns out that, “Any milk?” isn’t a chat up line much to my best efforts), I’m stacking shelves in Tesco in my first proper part time job.

On paper: I’ve a job and I’m in college doing a REAL degree with REAL career prospects and a REAL job that’s not me at my keyboard thinking I’m Stephen King. I’ve been in college a month and already I feel old, which raises a question which I’ve thought about since I was 10… HAVE I GROWN UP?

Back when I was 12, there was something about growing up which seemed to freak me out and confine me to my bedroom up until about six months ago. For years instead of going out and actually living and going out there and exploring the world I spent my days trapped inside the cosy panels of the new issues of Spider Man and Batman. While most of my friends were out talking to girls and testing the boundaries; there was me at home with 100 or so issues of Avengers trying to figure out the best continuity for them and a way that would make most sense for reading. I also wore black, listened to bands named Slipknot and seemed to have some problem with society and life which eludes me to this day. Looking back I can’t help by cringe at my vain attempts at protecting my innocence and handcuffing myself to a ghost.

Even when I repeated last year and spent a year in the College of Commerce; the trudge to nineteen began. By trudge; I mean it was a one legged man limping through a quagmire blindfolded. Throughout the year I began basic traits of nineteen; what not to say to girls (turns out making constant Liverpool jokes and expressing your disdain towards Dundalk FC isn’t the best way to open up), what guys to for fun (pints, pool and random road trips to Fermoy!) and also how to do a good leaving cert*.

In college now; it’s not that scary. With every new goal I get (job, college, writing stints) new challenges and responsibilities prevail over and sense of complacency and each day I’ve to fight that little bit harder and harder to keep up with the pace.

If life is a race, then I’m getting fit and joining in. No point in strolling in behind, you’ll only miss out. Give me a few more weeks and I could be doing a few marathons even.

Now… if you don’t mind, I’ve a small bit of training to do there. Thanks again as always,

Dylan.

PS: Always hold onto who you are. Don’t cover up what you are with masks and false promise. In between everything sure; you’ll still see me in my Spider Man tee shirts, watching Doctor Who and listening to metal. I’m not trying to change who I am, but adapt to the pace.

*Little bits in moderation, do what you can, don’t over stress and take public holidays seriously and not say you’re going to study and end up stumbling in the door at midnight after supposable two pints.

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Football

Living the Dream

When people say the expression “Living the Dream”, what comes to mind?  I’ll be frank with you here, I never really knew what it meant. Usually when someone says to me they are “Living the Dream” I smile and nod politely, completely lost to what they are on about. Can things really be that perfect? Can a person really reach a point in their life where they are happy content with what they have achieved and have reached the peak of  all their wants and goals?

After much thought and deliberation, over fine details and this and that. One name sticks out in my mind more than anyone else; Steven Gerrard.

Whenever it was out in the park between two jumpers or two bins on a crowded housing terrace, we all imagined in our heads we where playing in the Champions League final, making a vicious comeback; trying to claw ourselves back into the game and hopefully beat our friends to the much coveted trophy. Has anyone ever done it though? Broke through from the terraces to the tunnel? Gone from finding the ball under the car to finding the best place to stick a penalty in Old Trafford?

Steven Gerrard was born on May 30th 1980 in Whiston Merseyside in England, where he grew up on the cobbled streets of Liverpool supporting his local football club through thick and thin. As a boy, he lived and breathed for football; getting up each morning to play out on the streets between the cars imaging he was one his heroes; Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness or local lad Phil Thomson. At nine years old he began playing for Liverpool Youth’s; a feat which many young men across Liverpool did; but so few made. After bouncing around from trial to trial across England, he eventually signed his first senior contract with the Reds on the 5th of November 1997.

Throughout his career; spanning 706 games for the Reds across the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Cup. Europa League, FA Cup and the League Cup; it is a safe bet to say Steven Gerrard lived the dream. He captained the side through thick and thin, from the Miracle of Istanbul, to the Gerrard Cup Final in 2006… and unfortunately, the infamous “slip” …

But, in fact forever, title or no title, Steven Gerrard still won where we all lost out He’s a man who led his boyhood club, from FA Cup matches away to Mansfield to away to the greatest stage of all in the Ataturk Stadium. So if you ask me, honestly and truly; Steven Gerrard has lived the Liverpool dream.

CHAMPIONS '05

CHAMPIONS ’05

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Uncategorized

The End?

I’m going to tell you a secret. Don’t worry; it’s not going to be some large Earth shocking secret which will shatter the Earth to the core and cause a Crisis on Infinity Earths or lead to a hundred people queued up outside my front door gunning for my head.

I don’t like endings very much. They’re rude and nasty things which plague us in the dead of night and ruin a good cup of tea. Since I was younger; I’ve hated endings. Whenever it was leaving primary school or the ending of my favorite cartoon (Batman: The Animated Series) I always longed for one more, something to go back and capture the taste and feel one last time.. no.. not one last time.. that was too little!! If something was going so well; why end it? If it’s not broken don’t fix it!!

All jokes aside; something about endings always seemed to scare me; as if: NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. You spend years building and building; the spot on the carpet where you spilled tea when Alonso scored the equalizer in 2005 or where you curled up with your Batman toys trying to ignore the growing pains around you. Then suddenly, one day, they burn the rug in front of you.

I know you’re saying; that’s life, but at the moment there seems to be a lot of endings…

Today; the 13th of May 2015 was my last day as a Repeat in the Cork College of Commerce. When the clock hit four and me and Mairead wondered out of business, something about me to go back into the room, sit down, and go numb. No Leaving Cert, no worries  insecurities or Cork City’s waning title chances, but to take it in, from every fine detail around me. At the start of the year I hated the place. By the time I finished up I didn’t want to go. I’d dug in and settled roots into Morrison Island,  having a routine which I rather enjoyed. Whenever it was Subway with Mallow Girl and talking for hours, bantering with my own Agent of Shield and Jones, or even talking through Translations with Road Girl, I had a system and enjoyed it. Things all seemed to fit into nice little boxes where I knew where everything was.

Even ignoring the College, on Monday fortnight will be probably my strangest goodbye. After 9 years of drama with the Wolfes, I’ll be having my final drama class. At risk of sounding overly sentimental;  I grew up there. When you spend countless hours laboring over Laramie or burning serous on the Bard; letting it go will be hard…

Not only is it the reason I can annoy you daily stutter free; but it also gave me a sense of identity and place to call my own in the social wastelands of Cork City.

I’m also saying goodbye to Cork City FC’s title chances. Yes. This is probably the hardest to swallow.

But, looking back and looking forward (just encase I walk into a poll or something, you know me) I’m still getting up in the morning. There is still breakfast on the table and opportunities will always present themselves. I’ve enjoyed my time in places, but I’m not going to have a big moral to all this; because really? Endings aren’t real. They’re boring. Quoting 7 year old Dylan:

“To Be Continued…”

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