Tuesday, 28 June 2016

'I Just Had A Change Of Heart'

I've been listening to The 1975's new album as of late, in particular the song 'Change of Heart'. This piece stemmed from listening to the song repetitively, mainly to the lyrics.

A song can instil and rise emotions from us, the lyrics similar to own feelings. Even the feelings we keep hidden. CoH reminds me of how we all start new adventures with naive ideas and dreams of how things will occur. Mostly, these ideas never quite come to fruition, leaving us alone and not shattered, but feeling defeated.

A change of heart doesn't have to relate to a lover or a romance. It can be a friendship, conversations or events. It can be the change in the dynamic of how people act towards each other or relate to a topic. When one person may foolishly think everything will remain the idealistic way things were initially, without realising another has parallel ideas and thoughts.

Hiding a change of heart until the last minute helps nobody, especially you. Smashing the ideals of how things were with a cruel and calculated expression of face and words is unnecessary. Yet blaming the change of heart on the other is more fatal a blow.

A change of heart can be healthy, it can show you the toxicity of relationships and people you once trusted. The person you once confided in, can believe you to be the enemy and dirt under the hooves of their high horse in an instant. These are the type of people not to partake in company with. The cruel and calloused of this earth should be avoided, along with their evil calculated motives.

Yet, a change of heart can teach you about yourself and the kinder amongst you. To think I was weak was a mistake. I am a fighter, I am a voice, for the betterment of society, I aim to speak up for those who are quiet and silent. I fear causing pain to others, knowing that so many have caused the same damage to me. Knowing the lasting impact of the hurt. Knowing it can be avoided.

On occasion, a reminder of your own personal strength and endurance is necessary and required. Reminding oneself of the events you have overcome can bring extra strength and resilience. I once said that it was the small act of bravery that define us in our lives.

Those small acts of bravery can sometimes be opening your door, knowing what may be on the opposite side of the door, in the wooden hall. It can be going to eat breakfast or entering the kitchen Monday through Friday for a semester. Bravery can be knocking on a person's door trying to resolve an issue, followed by the realisation that no matter your actions, a person can simply be close-minded, stubborn and spiteful.

Their change of heart can initially cause discontent, but knowing the true calibre of a person and their true nature is more important than a false friendship. I referenced this quote in my sixth year yearbook that 'your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.'

I had another flick through the yearbook and found a friend wrote, 'You have a voice, use it!'

I stayed silent for months on end. An acquiescent silence should never be imposed upon me, or anyone, by dramatics and crocodile tears. Any attempt to speak out should never be doubted by gaslighting and a torrent of imposing isolation.

You are wrong to doubt me and my emotional strength. You aren't the first to try beat me down with cruel syllables and actions. I won't stand for it. Not any more.

I too have had a change of heart. I'm not sorry. 
I did all I could.

I dreamed the idealistic dreams and achieved a few of them.
I'm not sorry that I achieved them.
I'm sorry that you didn't.
I'm sorry for your indignation and utter hatred regarding those dreams and their reality.

I'm dreaming more dreams of my life and its events. You're no longer in them.
 I had a change of heart too.
 I'm not sorry.

I wrote this blog post a couple of months ago and only really got around to posting this now.  Yet I must acknowledge internally that feelings are real and should be experienced, not bottled up or hidden.

Monday, 20 June 2016

To my Nana.

Born in the year of the assassination of Michael Collins and the formation of the Irish Free State, 
my Nana lived through a time of great change and history, not only in Ireland but globally.

She viewed a rich tapestry of world history throughout her life that we now can only read of in books or view in faded black and white photographs.

Nana wouldn't have been impressed that I started this ode by mentioning the name of Michael Collins. A woman from a staunchly pro- De Valera household, the thought of the current history books teaching the praises of Collins and the flaws of de Valera was a shock to her. One particular afternoon just after my Leaving Cert, I sat with her and discussed Irish history and the change in the opinions of school history books. 

This wasn't new. My childhood conversations with my Nana revolved around conversations of 'The Emergency' as the Second World War was called in Ireland,, ration books, Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, tales of the evils of the Black and Tans and everything in between. 

As a child, history was a massive passion for me. Having a Nana that lived through what I read in the history books in school never ceased to amaze me. Having a person who lived in the eras that we learned about in school and talking to my Nana about these events was truly magical.

The opportunity to discuss events with my Nana who lived through such a time of societal change and advancement was a privilege to say the least.  

Yet, these wonderful people can't live forever. Ní bhíonn in aon rud ach seal.

 Despite our wishes, the people who experienced decades of history and life, fall ill and must depart this life. One of these people was recently my Nana who passed away on June 12th 2016. 

June 12th always was important for me, it was the day that my childhood idol, Anne Frank was born on in 1929 and it's the anniversary of my parent's wedding, this year being their 25th. With all these reminders, I highly doubt I'll ever forget the date. 

No matter how old our grandparents and other loved ones are, we never really want to let them go. Even if they are 94, we can't bear with the thought of saying goodbye. Because saying goodbye means that it is the end, that it is in essence, over. 

Yet it can never be over. A life may end in the physical sense, the heartbeat that was so strong may have ended.
But they live on in the memories of others.
Flashes of sporadic memories, picking weeds in childhood, to hospital visits and various discussions related to history. 

The thought that when I visit, Nana won't be lying on the sofa is a strange concept. That she is gone is well frankly, upsetting.

The phrase, 'an end of an era' was a phrase thrown around for days afterwards. it was quite true. 94 years was a long time, a life containing a wealth of knowledge, memories and recollections.

A myriad of memories have come back to the fore in my mind, both old and new. The oldest are just as emotionally intense as the new ones.

We must preserve these memories and keep them safe. Cherish the times you have with your loved ones, because they could be taken away from you as quickly as anything.

It is with a lump in my throat and a heavy heart that I must say goodbye to my Nana

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour

Last week, The Sibling and I flew from Dublin to London for a couple of days. This was the result of a random and a sporadic idea a couple of months ago. The last time I travelled to London was around three years ago when I was sixteen in Transition Year so I felt it was time to pay a visit once more. 

On the first day, we travelled to the Warner Bros Studio Tour London which is the Making of Harry Potter. My brother and I have been fans of Harry Potter since we were children. I can recall being read 'The Philosopher's Stone' by my Mam when I was around four or five. Summers in my childhood were dominated by the latest Harry Potter book release, either reading the books myself or asking my Mam to read them, aswell as watching the latest film and listening to the audio books. 

Halloween in childhood was for dressing up as my idol, Hermione Granger. The smart, intelligent girl who many never took seriously or liked, even though she was always correct. She was also kind and caring but still managed to put those who wronged her in their place. (Hermione punching Draco Malfoy in the Prisoner of Azkaban was goals). As a child in primary school, I related a lot to Hermione, I felt out of place and at odds with my school environment despite flourishing academically. However, reading the books brought me strength, In essence, Harry Potter had a huge effect on my character and personality and helped mould me into who I am now. 

Which is why I felt it was time to pay a visit to the Studio Tour in the UK. 

A nice trip back into childhood can be a wonderful experience as I found out. The magic never really leaves you. The Sibling and I got the Harry Potter bus from the nearby station to the studio. As soon as we walked in the doors, the magic of Harry Potter burst back into our lives quicker than you could say alohomora. 

In total, we spent around 3 hours between the studio tour and the giftshop. Between us, The Sibling and I took over 300+ photos, a small selection of which are included here. To say I enjoyed the experience is an understatement. To see where the films were shot, the actual props used and find out little nuggets of information was worth everything. I felt like a child going around looking at the sets. I succumbed to fits of excitement and giggles, especially upon seeing The Knight Bus and tasting Butterbeer ice-cream! (Also seeing the Hogwarts Express as the video above illustrates) 

Have you ever been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour? What did you think of it?
Let me know, in the comments or tweet me!

Mischief Managed,