Mr Right

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I think about him all the time. I spiral into thoughts of ‘what if we were together?’. I tease myself for a while until I pull out of my reverie as I know building a fantasy in my head leads to heartache. I knew I liked him a while ago but I had already decided to leave and move home. What’s the point in getting involved with someone before I leave right? I’m not looking for a long-distance relationship. So we stayed friends and I kept my feelings to myself.

I had a great farewell but feel as though I missed an opportunity to say a proper goodbye to him.

Would I be missing him so much if there was someone here for me? If there was someone who caught my eye and occupied my time and attention like my thoughts for him do. If so, would I even think of him again as more than a good friend?

Lost in another daydream I wonder if he feels the same way. Going over previous conversations, messages and interactions I start analysing if I had already started building my fantasy back then. Were some of the moments we had as special for him as they were for me? What if I wasn’t so closed off. What if I had let him in? Where would our friendship be now?

I get a text. It’s him. My heart skips a beat. He mentions he had a soft spot for me. That’s all the confirmation I needed. I wasn’t imagining it. I’m glowing.

Now what? Do I continue to tease myself and go down the road of seeing where it goes in the hope he might move here one day or do I get on with my new life and be open to someone new. Do I want him just because I can’t have him? I’m tired with the questions that roll around in my mind and the pangs in my heart that yearn to be with someone. I wish I had Dumbledore’s pensive to drop my thoughts and emotions into. Hello, feelfivefundred. I release the endless questions, encounters and mind chatter, take a step back and watch them swirl.
There’s been a shift.
I can breathe again.

Days pass and the communication between us stops. I’m actually OK with this and he is obviously getting on with his life, as I am with mine. The obsession has subsided for now. I’m tired of my head games. Why do I make this so hard on myself? Why am I finding falling in love again so hard? Others make it look so easy.

I reflect on my newly discovered identity (my true Self) and realise that I’m better than these head games. I’m beautiful. I’m courageous. I’m confident. I’m creative. I have faith that if I continue to be Myself, I will find love with someone equally as worthy.

I’m here Mr Right. I’m ready.

A Letter to My Younger Self

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You’ll grow up in the bosom of your mum’s affection.

Enjoy it, it will be a secure attachment for the next 30 years and beyond.

Your Dad will change from a gentle giant to a demanding disciplinarian. He’ll make you work hard and will have a cruel streak. He’ll expect high standards and offer little praise.

Don’t fret. His behaviour is not to do with you, it’s to do with issues arising from his own childhood, far deeper than anything you’ll have to confront in your life. Soon, you’ll be bigger than him, physically and emotionally. He’ll become inconsequential and when the time is right you’ll cut him loose. There’ll be an unexpected bonus from your Dads ways. The working world will be easy. You’ll wonder how you can get paid for what is a fraction of the effort required to work with your Dad. This work ethic combined with your mum’s emotional intelligence will serve you well.

You’ll be soft and compassionate by nature, like your mum. This will make life at school difficult, particularly primary and early secondary school. You won’t understand aggression and will be forced to tolerate it, until you can figure out what to do about it. Your gentle nature will also make you sensitive to your Dads behaviour. It will cause you to over-invest in friends who won’t invest in you. It will cause you to treat women with tenderness and respect but they won’t always see the value in that until much later.

You don’t realise it now but this is your greatest strength. Later in life, it will enable you to form many a loving relationship, mentor people to great feats and be a leader in almost every domain of your life. You’ll come to realise that strong is sensitive. You’ll learn to spread your compassion a little more wisely. There is only so much to go around, so you’ll learn to protect yourself a little better. Your relationship with women will change. They will come to notice your strength and sensitivity. This brings responsibility. They will be drawn to you in a way you are not drawn to them, be gentle with their hearts because one day you’ll wish someone was more careful with yours.

You’ll love sport. Rugby, gaelic football but in particular soccer. You’ll be of average talent. You’ll lack the aggression required for rugby and the skills needed to guarantee your place on the soccer field. This will play on your mind. It will be added to by puberty. No matter how many sit ups you do in your bedroom you cannot fight biology and so, until you grow tall, you’ll remain chubby as your Dad will remind you. This uncertainty about your athletic identity will be compounded by a younger brother full of the talent and aggression required for sporting prowess.

Your early days on the sporting field will be difficult but your love of sport will sustain you for the rest of your days. You and your friends will follow your sports teams around the globe. You too will become an athlete. In the autumn of 2003, with your mum’s encouragement you’ll go for a run with an athletics club. The main thoughts occupying your mind will be ‘how to keep up and not be embarrassed’. What you don’t realise is that this will be the first day of the rest of your life. You’ll become an athlete in a sport where your work ethic is rewarded. You’ll suffer many injuries but your perseverance will pay off. You’ll meet a mentor, an older man, who will become one of your best friends. He will be the first man in your life to tell you that anything is possible. You’ll believe him and with every step you run your confidence will soar. You’ll make a career in sport and understanding all there is to know about it. At times you will feel as though you are living your dream – you are, well done my resilient friend, well done.

In your late teens and early twenties, you’ll still feel a little at odds with the world. You’ll struggle when not surrounded by your tribe of hard working athletic friends. Working abroad you’ll wonder why you don’t want to go the pub with everyone else, every weekend. You’ll wish you could fit in a bit better but at the same time you’ll always feel compelled to choose the alternative path of your interests.

You are right and they are lost. They appear certain by the strength of their numbers. In reality, they crave, at least subconsciously, your hobbies, interests and passions. These aspects of your life are what keep you physically and mentally sharp. It’s hard being the odd one out but on a Sunday morning, look at yourself and look at them. I know which one you and they would rather be. Hold tight, being the odd one out is what will make you a great leader. Remember, although you see things clearly, they cannot, so be gentle. Give more and expect less of them and your friends. They have not yet had your good fortune.

You, your mum and your brother will become the 3 best friends that anyone could ever have and by the way, eventually those sit-ups will give you a six pack.

Aren’t you the lucky one – enjoy the rest.

This article has been published as over five hundred words, only because the author is exceptional.

Identity

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The real you. The true self. The old me. Me now.

How do we construct an identity for ourselves and have it be so true? How do we know how to do it? How do some people do it better than others? I am currently undergoing an identity reformation whereby I am confronting every facet of my life; friends, family, work, lifestyle, etc. It’s been brewing for some time now but only in the past six weeks have I really moved on it. Made some fairly drastic changes; trying to build in new habits and remove old ones. It’s a peaceful process, albeit sometimes cathartic and emotional.

Have you ever just wanted to escape from the world? Feeling overwhelmed by social media and friends and society? Ever wondered if you’re the only one feeling empty and existing in this crazy world? The key is to build your own world, not rely on the one that’s in front of you. It’s about taking control of yourself and being fearless to confront and remove anything that isn’t at standard. You are the one in control. Be fearless and true to yourself. Even if you don’t know who your true self is, follow your gut and if anyone or thing is getting you down – ask yourself why they’re there. What else do they give you, and is it worth it?

As for your hobbies and interests, if you haven’t found something yet that you feel is truly your passion – that’s all bull anyway. I read once that passion doesn’t just appear. It forms over a period of time, much like your identity. Pick something, do it enough and it will become part of you. Most importantly, other people cannot be your identity to begin with – they can only compliment you (I do not have children yet so cannot comment for parents here). Friends and partners do not make you. They come into your life because of you, but they did not make you who you were to begin with.

Identity, eh. For me, self-identity is always growing. It has to. Your identity should always grow otherwise you’re not living, merely existing in a stagnant trap of delusion.