Im Back!

As if the fact that it has been nearly four months since my last blog post isn’t evidence enough that I did the right thing, I finally sent in my notice for work! This week will be my last at the restaurant. It took me a hella long time to come to this decision, even though I thought I had made up my mind when I was road tripping with my parents (everything is better on the road). I realized why the decision was so hard when I realized that it was about more than money. It was about the stability of work. It was about my anxious brain benefiting from purpose, from someone telling me what to do. It was about feeling productive after a 12 hour shift (and then promptly erasing it from my mind). It was about what its always been about, using constant excuses and distractions to keep me from chasing my potential. Last year it was school and friends. Now it was work. I found myself stuck in exactly the handcuffs I came here to free myself of. I remember craving freedom, for once in my life not having to answer to an institution, a school, a job, a boss, a girlfriend. Despite this, the capitalist subject trades in one pair of handcuffs for another. And most of the time she does so willingly, because the handcuffs can be cozy. They give you a sense of purpose and security. Because really being free is scary. When your hands are chained they can’t do too much. But when they’re free there’s no excuse for what they aren’t doing, no excuse for not building a masterpiece, theres no hiding behind chains.
Having the freedom, the time, no excuses present, to chase your dreams and manifest your goals is scary. Theres so much pressure to succeed. Mostly from yourself, but also from those around you. When you choose to commit to something, fully, you’re taking a huge risk. What it comes down to is fear. Its not about money, its about fear. Of the unknown, of that leap, of failure, of feeling unmotivated and not achieving your goals and dreams. When you’re an entrepreneur, an artist, you make your own purpose. When you work for The Man, you show up, are given tasks, complete them, and go home. When you work for yourself, you make your own tasks, your own schedules. You decide your own hours and goals. You define your own success. You watch the hours drip by, constantly tormented by not having enough time.
I’ve been hiding behind work, school, and other defences; using them as wind blockers. Im proud of myself, albeit a little scared, for having the courage to step out from behind them, and face the wind without excuses, without major distractions, without the fear of being blown away.
I got kinda sad for a minute because I felt like maybe I’m not cut out for the kind of life I thought I wanted, for whatever it is I came here to do. Maybe I’m meant to be boring, maybe I’d be happier that way. But then I was like, nah fuck that. Because I believe in doing things that scare you. If it makes you feel something, its probably a good idea. And I believe in being as risk-oriented as possible. If not now, when?

Not to say I haven’t done anything else since I’ve started working. Look out for some post-dated blog posts about what the last few months of my life have entailed!

Spain & Portugal

Had a whirlwind road trip with my brother through Spain and Portugal. We started in Lisbon, drove across the boarder to Seville, then down to the southernmost point of the Iberian peninsula, Gibraltar. We then spent the next three days making our way back up the coast of Portugal. We spent my birthday in Albufera, and a beach day in Portimao. After sleeping in our camper van for two nights, we spent a day in Lisbon before flying back to Dublin.
Check out the rest of the photos from our adventure on flickr

Amsterdam

A good friend from high school who also recently moved to Europe called me up and said “lets go to Amsterdam next weekend.” I thought that was one of the best things anyone’s ever said to me. I deliberated for half a second before agreeing. The next weekend there we were, hugging in Amsterdam’s beautiful Centraal station. We spent the next four days wandering canals and alleyways, chatting for hours in coffeeshops, taking in beautiful museums and endless architecture, and of course, following a strict Dutch diet of cheese and waffles. Though we’ve been friends since grade 9, we’ve only lived in the same country for the first year of a friendship that is now almost a decade old.
Thankful for new adventures with old friends.
Check out more photos on my flickr

London

Hurricane Ophelia struck the Emerald Isle the day I was trying to fly back to Dublin from Germany. Then ensued the craziest flying adventure I’ve yet to experience, featuring delays, miscommunications, missed connections, you name it! I finally made it home to Dublin 2 days later, but not without being stranded for a day… in one of the greatest cities on earth. Check out my wanderings in London on flickr

Germany

More adventures with great friends. Spent a week driving around the German countryside with some good pals, saw castles and mountains, villages and cows, strolled and laughed and sang and took many a photograph. Cheap wine always tastes better in good company.

For more photos check out the album on my Flickr

October

I had the chance to explore more of Ireland this month, and even better, with a good friend from University. We went all the way across the Island, to the Cliffs of Moher, and then made our way back through little villages and along the stunning Irish coast, sprinkled with trappings of granite, thousands of miles of penny walls, and grazing cattle.

October 8: Streets as Stage


Yesterday I had the pleasure of playing at Dublin’s annual Busker Fleadh. It was a really cool festival, beanbag chairs and a wide variety of street acts. While I was playing I was thinking about busking as an art, and quite an ancient one at that. From Socrates to Jesus to Ed Sheeran, people have always used the street as a stage. That’s why I believe that the streets should be kept public, for poets and preachers alike, to share what they feel they need to with the world. Boycott busking permits, they kill art. The street serves as a dynamic stage, with the performer using the environment around them for props and sets. Your audience is constantly changing, they come in waves, they stay they go they ebb they flow. If you can get even one to pause, it’s almost certain that more will gather. Free entertainment for the world, for the street, and it’s strange that nothing feels better than feeling deserving of someone’s pocket change. I love the streets of Dublin. As much as I miss Hamilton’s quiet curves and bends, it’s subtle charm, I can’t get enough of strolling Dublin streets at the moment. They make for quite the stage. Everywhere you go, the voices of singers and songwriters bounce off tall stoic brick building faces, flow down cobblestones and in front of shops.
As I was playing I was thinking of the Shakespeare poem “all the world is a stage” and rewrote it in my head:
Every street is a stage,
And all the men and women merely buskers,
They enter and exit, sometimes with instruments, sometimes with friends, sometimes on their own,
And one busker in his time plays many parts,
A performer, an observer, a kind stranger, a distracted passerby,
Every street is stage.