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Life's a B***h

Just an Irish girl trying to get through what life throws her way! Everything and anything that amuses and bothers me!

Friends Are The Family We Choose For Ourselves

Psychologists have said that if a friendship lasts seven years or more, it will last a lifetime! In the last year this is something that I have become a firm believer in. In a person’s life time they will encounter hundreds of friendships that will start like wildfire but eventually fizzle out like a sparkler! Not every person you met is compatible, it’s the people that you meet that make your friendship work against all odds that you should cherish!

Through every part of my life I have met tons of people, some I didn’t like but got on with to make life easier and others who I thought would be my friends for years to come! I make friends too easily, I try to be nice and welcoming to everyone I met, sometimes this is my downfall other times it has been the best decision of my life! One thing I have learnt throughout the years is to be secretly weary of the people that are coming into your life, not all of them want to be your friend or want to see you happy. It’s not nice having to remind yourself not to get too attached to new people that you meet even though you want to make new friends!

At times I would have done anything to get past friends back, even considering changing myself so that I could get their friendship back! Real friends wouldn’t let you do that to yourself, they take you and love you for who you are, from the minute they first meet you. I have tried to be somebody I was not for years, not knowing who I really was, mainly because I wanted to be liked by the cool girls and not wanting to be left out!

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I have lost ‘friends’ in the past years, at the time thinking that I had done something wrong and as time went on I realised that it was their lose not mine! But each friendship taught me a lesson and made me appreciate my true friends even more. Though I might not see or talk to the girls on a daily basis I know that they are there for me no matter what happens. The last year has being proof of that and I could not have asked for better friends!

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They have been there through the good times and most importantly they have been there through some of the most difficult times I have being through! I wouldn’t change any of them for the world!! I have known these ladies since secondary school. Though we might not have all hung around when we were younger, we have become great friends as the years went on! Today I realized we graduated from Loreto 8 years ago, those 8 years have flown by too quickly!! We all have went through some tough times and so much has happened but it only seems like yesterday walking into the hall on our first day as 1st years, not knowing what our future held but being too naïve to care!

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Each of us have come from different backgrounds but we have all grown into exceptional young ladies who have given life the two fingers at all the crap it has thrown our way as individuals, personally being grateful I didn’t have to deal with it on my own. I might not always ask for help, but knowing the girls are only a phone call away makes life a hell of a lot easier! Knowing that you can walk into the house and have a cup of tea while chatting about shite but still knowing that the conversation can turn to more serious stuff within seconds!

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They are the craziest people I have ever met but I love them all the same! They are individuals in their own right, we are all friends but no two of us are the same which I think makes us come together even more! We are comfortable with each other that we can sit in silence without it being awkward, we can be absolute idiots in front of one another and laugh till we cry at how ridiculously stupid we can be!!

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Simple things like throwing a ‘Congratulations for getting your Masters/Mary’s birthday’ Chinese night, which ends up with us high on helium and seeing who can fit into Moya’s toys!

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You couldn’t make this up if you tried! You don’t have to have wild, side splitting nights every week with your friends, it would get boring. It is the unexpected, gasping for air, laughing until your ribs hurt nights that are the best and make you realise why you still have these lunatics as friends!!

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To Mary, Lisa, Lily, Sandra and Lisa, I thank you for being the crazies that you are!! You are endless entertainment as well as my best friends! XX ❤ XX

Take Every Chance You Get

In January I made a decision that I wanted to make something of my life and I didn’t want to be just going from job to job with no qualification, I wanted to better myself. The last 6 months of 2014 were tough, they were unbearable at times, I was just going through the motions to please everyone around me and make sure everyday was a good day for my brothers. Since Angie had passed away I was trying to trying to get passed each event that was in our calendar, trying not to worry about the future until the next milestone had passed; Christmas and the boy’s birthday was our main milestone. In the back of your mind you don’t think you can get as far as December, let alone Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and then the boy’s birthday. Fair enough Evan was in hospital for New Years, but it was nothing serious and he was out and about in no time.

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When the New Year was quietly rang in, realisation set in that even though Angie was no longer with us and that there was going to be tough days, we were going to be ok! What was going to be the hardest few weeks, we got through them, yes they were tough but as a family we were there for each other and with laughter, tears and Daddy’s sarcasm we made it to 2015! There isn’t a day that goes by where we do not think of Angie but at the same time we cannot live in the past if we want to get on with our future. This is what made me take stock of my life and try and make something of my future but still being there for the boys.

I seen an ad on Facebook and I knew one of the lads from home had done a course with this company, so after a few messages and a bit of information later I rang Image Fitness to secure my place on their next course. I secure finance and a few days later I was enrolled on their combination course starting in March! To say I was thrilled would be an understatement but I was also nervous and a bit frightened. I had never done anything like this before and I wasn’t the fittest person in the world to begin with, but the ladies in the office assured me that their previous students had come from all walks of life and were all shapes and sizes! It was decided, I was going to train to be a Fitness instructor, a Group Instructor and a Personal Trainer. Why not, life was too short to sit at home waiting for something to come your way.

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The first day of the course had finally arrived,  I arrived early thinking it would be great. wore my best jeans, nice top, wanting to look good coming into a class of complete strangers. As the other people started to arrive I realised everyone else was in work out gear! I didn’t think we would be doing anything active on our first day, how wrong I was!! As I was waiting on the gym floor to go into the classroom, skinny, muscular, fit people were coming up and waiting along side me. Saying I was overwhelmed and feeling a bit out of my league was and understatement!! My fees were paid and I was standing there, bit too late to pull out!! But like every adventure, you have to start somewhere!

The first part of our course focused on Fitness and Group Instruction, every Monday and Tuesday for 8 weeks. Bryan took us for Fitness theory, Sue for our Group and Niall for Anatomy and Physiology and Resistance. There were different levels of knowledge throughout the class, many had being training themselves and wanted to get into the industry, others just wanted to better their knowledge and others, like me wanted a fresh start at something different. One or two people knew each other but we were all basically strangers, but as weeks went on you could see there were clicks beginning to form. But me being me, I tried to get on with everyone even though you could see the falseness oozing from them. But it’s the price you pay for no drama during school time!! As the weeks went on we all began to loosen up a bit and have fun in the class

As the weeks went on we all learnt things we thought we knew and more. It was interesting to listen to other people’s take on topics we were covering in class. Our first set of exams were looming and the excitement was outweighed by the nerves! Everyone was helping each other with notes and routines. The week of exams came and everyone was over the moon to be finished and just waiting on results. unfortunately I wasn’t able to do the exams with the rest of the class, but I did get to resit them all tow weeks before our final exams! I wasn’t chuffed doing exams with strangers but I have to say it wasn’t the worst in the world. As we came into the next section of our course, the Personal training side, everyone had become comfortable and were beginning to show their true colours!! Though you try your best with people sometimes they just aren’t worth your time!

Last week we finished our final exams, both practical and theory. The week was filled with a mixture of emotions; relief, happiness, pride, anguish and sadness. There was a definite divide in the class on the last exam, but no matter where you go in life, whatever you do there will always be a divide in option. But the one thing I am most glad for is the friends that I made from this course. No matter what has happened in our past, it hasn’t affected the fact that we friendship has grown. Maybe it is our pasts that has pulled us together, whatever it is I am grateful for it.

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That option can be left for another day!!

But without a doubt I would recommend Image Fitness to anyone interested in getting into the fitness industry or even just to become more knowledgeable. Their tutors are extremely knowledgeable, sometimes there was too much information. But too much information is better than not enough! The ladies behind the scenes, in the office were helpful when help was needed. As well as qualifying as a Fitness Instructor, Group Instructor and Personal Trainer we also got to qualify in 5workshops; Strongman, Group Boxing, Spinning, TRX-Suspension and Kettlebells. Though they were different, they gave us the opportunity to try new areas as well as letting us teach each other in familiar surroundings as well as building our confidence!

FACT: 28th May 2014 changed our lives FOREVER.

Wednesday 28th May my step-mother, Angie suddenly passed away. The most devastating part is that she left behind not just a loving husband and two step- daughters, but two beautiful twin boys, 5 years old. Many say we are meant to lose the ones we love so that we can realise how much we care for them. Yes, when someone is taken away from you you realise how important they were to you and how much you appreciated them. But what good is that, their not going to come back just because you came to your senses.

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That Wednesday started out being a spectacular day; the sun was shining, I wasn’t working until evening, I was meeting up with my sister and I had finished college! Meeting my sister by Crover lake we decided to go for a walk down passed where our Grandfather used to be a caretaker when we were younger. As we were enjoying the sun chatting away Dad rang Tam’s phone (dad only rings when he is looking for coffee or with bad news), but we thought nothing of it because we didn’t expect bad news. Tammy just stopped in her tracks, first we thought something had happened to our brother Evan, then Tammy swings around and says, ‘Angies dead’. As you can imagine I didn’t believe her and we stood there looking at each other until Dad told us more, but he didn’t, he just hung up. Still in complete shock we raced back to our cars to get to Dads as quickly as possible, while on the way ringing our boyfriends and our mother. I can’t really say to share the news, but when you get a call like that no matter who you are with, there is always that one person who you believe will make it all alright by telling them and they tell you it is nonsense.

To be frank I am surprised we both made it to Dads in one piece as well as with no speeding tickets or being pulled over! As we drove down the drive way we could see Dad’s van abandoned, not the best sign. As we got closer we realised there was two ambulances parked at the house. Things were not looking good. Racing round trying to find Dad, we were told he was up in the vegetable garden. Climbing the steep steps we prayed there had being some mistake an Dad would be laughing at his own stupidity fro ringing us. How wrong we were. When we reached the top step all we could see were two ambulance men standing with Dad’s neighbour John Galligan (who we later found out rang the ambulance and dad) looking at their feet. As we looked around we seen Daddy sitting on the ground beside a heap covered with a red blanket, which was Angie’s body On a second glance we could see Dad holding Angie’s hand beside her body. We gasped, taking in the scene, not wanting to believe our eyes, but not having a choice in the matter.

That moment will be with me forever. I have never seen my father cry, when we walked over toward him and Angie he broke, he cried, we cried. But what else would you expect. His wife, who he loved with everything he had, was suddenly taken away from him, no warnings, no signs. He would never speak to her again, hold her again, see her play with their sons again.

The most surreal thing about that day fro me was that Angie’s body never grew cold while she was waiting to be moved. The sun was out and splitting the stones, but when you see a body you expect it to grow colder as time goes on. Angie was still warm leaving Larrigan, maybe it is a factor in why I find it so hard to believe that she is gone.

Wednesday night and Thursday went by so slowly while we waiting for Angie to come home. When people began to come to the house to pay their respects, Thursday turned into Friday, when Angie was being taken to the church. It all came so fast after waiting what seemed a life time to have her back home again. The boys had being kept busy over the two days with friends and neighbours. We don’t give kids the credit they are due, when they seen so many people in their house they knew something was wrong. Hats off to my Father, though grieving he took it in his stride to explain to the boys, the best he could, that Mammy had become sick and that she was going away to look after God. They were told she would be coming home for one night but she would be sleeping, though they could talk to her and kiss her. They were told when she would be leaving on Friday, Mammy would not be coming home again. Even remembering that moment now I have tears in my eyes, it took all the strength my Daddy had to be able to tell his sons their mother would not be coming home again. Though they processed the information Dad had given them, they didn’t really understand the concept of death and Mammy going away forever. Many did not agree with his actions, the boys were allowed to see Angie when she came home, kiss her, hug her and touch her as well as being present at the funeral mass and graveyard. But as I have said to many, the boys cannot be left to think that Mammy just left them at school that morning and then vanished. That could do more harm than good. They have to be able to see that Mam was brought away sleeping and hopefully as they get older they will ask questions and understand a bit more. As Daddy always says, ‘You have to be cruel to be kind.’

Many might wonder why I have put this piece together, for me writing is the best form of therapy. I am not a great talker, but when I write I feel a bit of freedom. It is also to highlight that no matter who you are, where you are from, death will poke its ugly head in the door. Everyone suffers a death a some stage in their lives, some more than others. It is the way we deal with our grieve that makes us the people we are today. Would your loved one want you to mop and be depressed over their death? Or would they prefer for you to be out living your life like there is no tomorrow, celebrating their life? The choice is yours.

Though there are tough days, days were I want to stay in bed and not care about anything, I choose to live, I choose to remember Angie with a positive way of life. Helping Dad to give the boys the best childhood they can have, to tell them about their mother and what an amazing person she was and how much she loved both of them with ALL her heart.

Life is all about decisions…

Every one has decisions in their life, it just depends on the angle you look at them from! Simple decisions as to weather you are going to put your alarm on snooze or get up and bite the morning blues, to more harder decisions as to weather your outlook on the day will be positive or negative.

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It only takes one fleeting thought to change a great morning into a horrible day and vis versa! But it also takes a person’s inner strength to banish those negative thoughts and continue with a positive attitude throughout the day, week, month, year etc.

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Your life is what you make it and you make it with the decisions you make every day! The little trivial questions you ask yourself everyday might just be the making of a better, happier you! It is up to you weather you let yourself be that person!

Threading in the Deep

It has been a while since I have written a piece!! When I’m not in school teaching I am in college being taught and when I am not there I am at home planning lessons, making PowerPoint presentations or trying to catch up on class readers for lectures. It just doesn’t seem to end, and it is only the Halloween break!! I can only imagine what the next 8 months will be like!

First week of school was mainly paper work and teachers getting back into the feel of school life. A lot of subject planning hand to be done for the school to submit to the department. It was a good way to get to know the other teachers, the school and the way they run things without having the stress of students as well. There were 8 new teachers this year, 4 of us are Dip students as they call us! 3 of us are 1st years in UCD and the 4th is a 2nd year in DCU.

Trying to organize classes was difficult as some of them clashed with other classes I was taking or with lectures in college. But in the end I got 9 classes which fulfilled UCD requirements. I am taking a 1st year class, two 2nd year classes and a 4th year class. I have being teaching 2A3 from the start as their substitute teacher doesn’t teach history I am slowly integrating into 2A1 with Liam. I am team teaching with Ms. Shaw with 1st year Geography and with Ms. Cavanan with 4th year History. The other teachers in the school are fantastic, they are there if advice or help is needed. They are always giving words of encouragement and helping with class presentations and materials.

But there are times, which seem to be more frequent, that I have them overwhelming feeling of standing at the edge of a cliff waiting for the load to get too much! I believe in the saying ‘messing house/room, messing head’. Some weeks it is the simplest things of cleaning out the car, my bedroom or my study area that have a greater effect then just putting things away. At times it feels like a veil has lifted and I can see things more clearly and I can see a way past the mountain load of work that as to be done!

I wasn’t kidding myself heading into this Degree, I knew this year alone would challenge me in ways that I could never image, but I wasn’t prepared for the challenges to be there from the beginning! However, like everything else I will battle my way through with a smile on my face, because I do know that at the end it will be worth every step and I can be proud of myself for the accomplishment.

Some Of The Best Adventures Have Yet To Be Travelled

I’m about to embark on what I see as the biggest adventure of my life to date!! I am heading back to college to do the Professional Masters in Education in UCD, to become a qualified secondary school teacher!! I have waited 5 years to get this course, applying year after year to PAC hoping I would get a place! What I didn’t realise the first few times was that it went on your Undergraduate degree results! I was too naïve and believed what some randomer had said to me in college!! When I finally took charge and looked into other ways of getting a place for my Masters I realised that I had taken the easy way out in my Degree and just got the minimum results needed to pass! I always had an excuse why I didn’t get good grades; I had to work every weekend, I didn’t like the course, I moved out of my house, I had to commute, my ‘friends’ bullied me!! I could give you a list as long as your arm! I had to be truthful with myself and say that I just didn’t bother, I did the bare minimum and hopped for the best! I had to take stock of my life and come up with a plan to get me where I wanted to go! Yes it was going to take me a little bit longer than I had hoped but if I really wanted it, it was going to be worth every minute!

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I went about trying to figure out how I was going to increase my grades so that I might have a better chance of getting a place in the Maters programmes in Ireland, otherwise I was considering going to the UK. Opening The Irish Independent one Sunday I seen an ad for The Independent Colleges in Dublin, after investigating a few courses and a few calls later from heads of departments I had enrolled in their Higher Diploma in Psychotherapy Studies. Psychology had being something I have being interested in for years but never pursued. Though Psychotherapy and Psychology are tow different ways of thinking I am glad I chose Psychotherapy, it has made me look at life and the people around me in a different light and made me realise that people are and do what they do because of reasons we might not understand. It was scary beginning this course, it was aimed at mature students and I was only 23!

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It was tough, a lot of information and theories to get your head around but it was also rewarding and intriguing. I worked as well as studying to pay my fees, I had done it before but this time I made sure I worked hard on my studies and made them my priority. And by God did I work, I brought my notes and laptop everywhere with me, every chance I got I was reading books or pdfs, watching movies in a different light to see the real meaning behind them. The library became my best friend and I was on first name basis with the ladies behind the desk!! But it was worth every minute of it! I got a 2:1 (Second Class Honours, Grade 1) in my exams and assessments all I had to complete was my Dissertation!!

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The week after I finished my final exams my step mom suddenly passed away, as you can imagine our lives were turned upside down and we were all emotional wrecks! As we tried to come to terms with our loss, I took some time off from writing my Dissertation to focus on my dad and twin brothers who were five. Fortunately my tutors and supervisor were understanding and said if I needed an extension that to apply closer to our due date! As the days and weeks went by I tried to get my life back to normal, even if just for a short while until I finished my Dissertation and hand my time back to spent with the boys! Though you think it is impossible to do everything that s to be done when your life is on a rollercoaster, you surprise yourself, I did. I didn’t think I would be able to juggle it all but thanks to amazing extended family, I was able to concentrate on my studies knowing the boys were in good hands until I could be with them full time! I didn’t think it would be possible to finish an acceptable paper to submit given that my head was nowhere near the place it should be to do the work that needed to be done! But I got an extension to give myself that extra few days to proof read and sent to and fro with my supervisor before sending it to the printers! On the 25th July 2014 I handed in my Dissertation to the office and I couldn’t have being happier and prouder of myself for sticking with it and completing it, now all that was left was to wait for the result!!

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With much nagging from my mother I reapplied through PAC  (Postgraduate Application Centre) for their new course, Professional Masters in Education with the results of my HDip added to my Undergraduate results.  I wasn’t getting my hopes up as I didn’t want to get them dashed again, I wasn’t very optimistic about it! I applied last December and put it out of my mind, I wouldn’t know the results until mid April. Thinking that I wouldn’t be successful I went about trying to find something else that I would like to do, I have a piece on why I chose Image Fitness and the courses I did. In early April I logged onto the PAC website and looked through my fingers as my page was loading to see if I was offered a place. I wasn’t hoping for much but when I seen that I didn’t get offered my first choice, Maynooth I was deflated and did get a bit upset. But as I kept scrolling I realised that I had being offered my second choice, UCD. Gobsmacked, I just stared at the screen, not knowing weather I was imaging it or weather it was real!! Sure enough it was real, I had being offered a place, my dreams were actually going to come true! I rang Brian, my mam, my dad, my sister, and my nan overwhelmingly telling them I had being offered a place on the Masters course, each as excited and thrilled as the next! After accepting my place I just had to wait until the college got in contact with my welcome pack and information on what to do next!

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When I received my package from UCD’s School of Education, it contained a Garda vetting form, a subject from (each student has to let the department know their subjects so a lecture timetable can be drawn up), a list of schools that have previous taken UCD students and a form that has to be filled out by the school the student is doing their placement in. I had what needed to be sent back in the post the following day! I was so excited I wanted to get everything done! The one problem I did have was trying to find a school to do my placement in, I was being picky at the beginning, not wanting too travel far (we are in school Monday morning, all day Tuesday, Wednesday morning and Friday morning and the rest of the time we have lectures in UCD). As the days turned into weeks I had to widen my search for a school, what I had been made aware of was that schools decided which subjects they can accommodate with regards to subjects, they can change from year to year. The schools that I was applying to didn’t want those subjects for the coming year or many schools already had their students which I couldn’t understand seeing has we had only got our acceptances! Many students had actually secured their placement in January and February, not knowing whether they had their places In the Masters yet, which was very disheartening. As time went ton I thought I wouldn’t get a school or get one on the north side of Dublin with a long trek back to UCD and then worrying about accommodation. Fortunately through good people and a willingness to participate I got a position in a Community School in South Dublin! The Principal and teachers have not sugar coated things for me which I am grateful for, it is a tough school but they have said it is worth every minute of it when students appreciate what you are doing for them. I am looking forward to the next year, to challenge myself, to prove to myself not just others that I am capable of everything I put my mind to. I also hope to encourage and show students that just because obstacles have being put in your way it doesn’t mean you have to give up, if you really want something in life you will always find a way to get it.

The day gets nearer that I move from the country to the big smoke, can’t wait but the nerves are starting to kick in! But all in the name of adventure I suppose!! It will be eventful to say the least, there will be screams, tears, laughter and a few head bangs of the wall but what’s life without some drama! I will most definitely be vent over the next few weeks and months on the ups and downs of being a student teacher!! If you want a good giggle you know where to go!! ❤

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