Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Dirty Secrets and Little Victories

The last few weeks passed in a bit of a blur. It's been non-stop since I started back at RTE; add in the regular nuance of day-to-day life and the beginning of my TV Presenting and Production course at Park Studio and the plates I'm spinning are filled to the edge.
 
It's been stressful and sweet, frustrating and invigorating. The art of balance is a fine one, a line that I frequently dance with, not always successfully. 

To my consistent surprise, I've managed to fit in a social life - with romantic developments uping their game and a very enjoyable Saturday night spent with Kell Bells.

Following a stressful and hectic 48 hours, she arrived at my door with two bottles of wine, some random minatures (I'm still not sure why) and a bottle of West Coast Cooler's latest offering: wine and vodka mixed together.
 
 
                                                                  Photo: O'Briens.ie
 
 
If the elders of our society needs a physical embodiment of my generation's too-frequent binge-drinking, they need look no further. I've had this particular concotion before, although never marketed in the same bottle. Such mixtures usually occured on the back of a bus into town, or as a result of forgetting to bring Diet Coke to a gaff party. It's rocket fuel for the Hunzo's to neck as they blast out Nicki Minaj in their bedrooms while they squeeze their bodies into neon dresses and squash their perma-tanned feet into ridiculous platform heels. Not reccomended for anybody.

But, for our stereotypically girly catch-up, it was consumed as quickly as it took effect. And by effect, I mean the two of us singing along to "As Time Goes By" because I recently introduced Kells to Casablanca, and making drunken promises to each other that we'll mean for eternity.
 

 
It was the perfect antidote to the high pressure vacumn I've been operating in. And, as only your best friend can do, she helped bring me to some realistations, and assisted the development of ones I was already having.
A number of incidents over the last few weeks - the Cold War with my sister, complicated friendships, the future of my career dwelling on my mind - created a philosophical shift in my perspective.
 
Our past and future, achievements and defeats, are best handled by knowing what to hold onto and alternatively, let go of. None of us are passive observers of our lives; we exsist in a constant flurry of activity and deadlines, commitments and obligations. As such, we're designed to believe action is always the best course. What can I do? is an internal monologue that's difficult to switch off.

I'm a big believer in being pro-active. I dislike excessive amounts of free time and my instinct will always be to get my hands dirty rather than observe from a distance. But in the game of life, this is not always the best move to make.

There are some people that you just can't reason with, despite devoted conversation; career breaks that just don't happen, despite how hard you work; and situations that can't be simply resolved, no matter how many bows you try to tie on them.

Finding oneself in such a scenario can be jarring. Us Millenials were raised on a diet of preserverance - you can have anything and everything, if you're just willing to work hard enough for it. This, as a general principle, is true. To echo Invictus, we are the masters of our fate; the captain's of our soul.

But what they don't tell you is that in the ever-upwards movement towards success and love and status, there are going to be times when you get stuck. Not only will you get stuck, but you will find yourself temporarily constrained and bound.

This is the dirty little secret of the ambitious course. As a result, you end up feeling a sense of shame, mixed with a bit of personal failure. Because if your boss doesn't notice your potential and skills, or if your crush isn't quite sure you make them as tingly as they make you, you've done something wrong. We've underachieved; a mortal sin in our competitive world.
 
Some failures just aren't a personal reflection. They are some situations that say more about the other people involved, or the enviornment you're in, than they do about you. With my sister, I've come to realise that I cannot bear the responsibility for her unacceptable behaviour. With a certain friend of mine that behaves inappropriately for someone in a relationship, I'm not emotionally engaging in whatever thrill they're trying to seek. And with my career, I've realised that sometimes no matter how capable and talented and excellent I am, there are brick walls that I cannot demolish anytime soon.
 
A race isn't made up entirely of your strongest strides, there comes a time when you have to slow down your pace. To a casual onlooker, you might appear deflated, even defeated. They might draw the conclusion that you have given up. But you haven't. You're re-grouping. You're reassessing. You're adjusting your course.
 
It's in moments of quiet reflection and unflinching honesty that we discover where our heart truly lies, what secrets are good and which ones are bad, what matters and what doesn't - and with it, the quiet comfort that you are exactly where you're meant to be.
 
Mucho Love,
 
Vicky xoxo
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