I’ve always been a worrier…

Friday March 7th 2014

FEABHRA 2014- AOÍFE NÍ SHIADHÁIL

So we’re finally back in business in DCU with all the scrúdaithe passed buíochas mór le Dia and Semester 2 already bringing hours of reading, fun-filled nights out and the nicest of new housemates all the way from Delaware! I think Hannah’s secretly alarmed by my sporadic Frozen quotes and the fact that she can barely understand a word I say but overall she’s settling in nicely!

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Easily one of the buaicphointí of Semester 2 so far was Lá Mór na Gaeilge on the 15th of February when 10,000 Gaeilgeoirí from every cearn of the country walked from Cearnóg Parnell to Cearnóg Mhuirfean.

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The day was about taking a stand for language rights and showing the governments thuaidh agus theas how much support there is don Ghaeilge. It was an incredibly special day when we as lovers of ár dteanga dhúchais stood united. In a way it was a celebration of the number of people in our country who are proud of our heritage, proud of who we are and proud to speak our beautiful tongue. People talked about ensuring a future for our language but honestly, after seeing the scenes in BÁC that day I have no doubt go bhfuil an teanga slán sabháilte go fóill, regardless of government policy. There were chants of “Tír le teanga, tír le hanam”, “Cearta teanga, cearta daonna”, “Seasaimid le chéile ar son na Gaeilge, siúlaimid le chéile ar son na Gaeilge.” It really was a ‘Gaeilforce’ day.

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I’ve always been a worrier, a stressball, incredibly self-conscious and so easily embarrassed. At times I don’t want to get out of bed and face the day because it’s i bhfad níos fusa to avoid everything. I panic and put things off and then when they don’t work out I panic some more. With the turn of the new year I decided enough was enough. I wrote a list of the things I don’t like about my life and I had a think about how I could go about improving them. Some of them have gone ó neart go neart and some have a bóthar fada to go yet. But like someone special once said to me “The measure of a person’s strength is not in the goals they reach but in how hard they tried to get there.”

Some people say you should always look at the bigger picture but the truth is sometimes doing just that is what gets me in a panic. Sampla simplí that springs to mind is the Belfast City Marathon. I’m running the relay along with the other Michaela scholars in the hope that we can raise a few bob to give back to the Foundation that has given us so much. Corruair I think about the fact that I have to run 7 miles and a wave of panic washes through me. But if I keep my eye on the ball and focus on the next day of training I hope to get there sa deireadh thiar thall.

In my mind, faith is putting your trust in the lord and knowing that he’ll get you through. I like to believe go n-oibreoidh cúrsaí amach for no reason other than that he won’t let me miss out on the good stuff he has planned for me. Maybe that makes me naïve or idéalach or rómánsúil or whatever you want to call it but I know one thing for sure; it makes me feel better. That isn’t to say that there aren’t bad days, lots and lots of bad days. I’ve had those bad days and I’ll keep having them but God is good agus éiríonn sé níos fearr. Little things happen that make it worth enduring the bad days just to earn the right to have the good days. You know if you get through you’re giving yourself seans níos fearr of being a smiler for the hundreds of better days to come. And then you appreciate those blessings more because you remember how bad it was ag am amháin. My new motto is small victories. Baby steps, inches, na rudaí beaga. I’m inclined to look too big and to get overwhelmed. Now I’m trying harder to appreciate the small stuff and to dwell on the little gems.

It’s the simple truth that time moves too fast. I’m naoi mbliana déag d’aois, this is my sixth blog as a Michaela scholar and I’ve been a third-level student for 6 months now- when did all that happen?! Lines like “live everyday like it’s your last” have been said so often that they’ve lost their meaning. But anois is arís things happen to make you stop and think. A few weeks ago DCU was enveloped in grief when we lost Patrick Halpin. One day he was there and the next he wasn’t. We think of Conor Boyle. We think of Dónal Walsh. We think of those who lost their lives due to the neknomination craze. We think of people who die on Irish roads or in freak accidents. We think of Cormac McAnallen. We think of Michaela. Téann an liosta ar aghaidh and everyone has at least one person who comes to mind. It’s morbid and unnerving but it’s reality. Given the crosses some people have been forced to bear in recent times, I count myself pretty lucky. I suppose what I’m trying to say here is that I don’t want to wait around for milestones or catastrophe before I start living my life.

In keeping with this, one of my new year’s resolutions was to have more adventures. These past few weeks since finishing my exams have been some of my best in a long time. I was gnóthach and constantly moving and my days were full to bursting point. But they were great days and I went to sleep with a smile on my face. I got to spend time with people I love, I made new friends agus níor stad mé den gháire. I’m trying so hard to look around me more and to take notice of all the wonderful reasons le bheith beo. I’m looking to get up earlier, to make plans and to fill my days with worthwhile things.

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Last week I took part in Tóg Amach Mé (Take Me Out) in Club an Chonartha which was organised by our Cumann Gaelach here in DCU. I think I speak for everyone who was there when I say it was an oíche den scoth. Anyone who knows me well will understand that this is something that I would ordinarily have been absolutely mortified to do and even though it was all in aid of the craic, the fact that I got up on that stage was a pretty big deal for me. Míle buíochas to my partner in crime Caoimhe who shouted down my objections and pushed me into getting up there with her. Since I’m trying to branch out I went to Wagamamas, a Japanese restaurant, with mo chairde i ndiaidh Lá Mór na Gaeilge. There was no red sauce to be found in the building and I haven’t quite gotten over it since. I tell myself some things aren’t meant to change!

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So I’ve come to the conclusion that life is all about how you deal with adversity. There’s so much negativity and uafás all around us and every day we make a choice about the type of person we want to be. In my mind the ideal is to look adversity in the eye and to deal with it with as much grace and integrity as possible. In the same wavelength as this I hope the Gooch has a speedy recovery from injury and I’d like to let him know that we can still get married!

Mar fhocal scoir, I was struck by two particular lines while studying the Bible readings at a liturgy group meeting last week. By the time this blog goes live they will have been read out at mass the previous Sunday but I’d just like to draw attention to them- “So don’t worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Who are these people who say the Bible is outdated, old fashioned and irrelevant to 21st century life?

Go dtí an chéad uair eile, slán agus beannacht,

Aoífe

P.S. Feel free to sponsor us for the Belfast Marathon here http://www.justgiving.com/Aoife-Ni-Shiadhail All support is greatly appreciated!