On my 28th birthday, to my 18-year-old self

Today is my 28th birthday, which means I have been an adult for exactly a decade. Legally, anyway—while I might’ve been sure I was 100% an adult the second the clock ticked over to midnight on January 19, 2009, looking back I’m pretty sure you don’t actually feel grown-up until at least… 23? 27? 35? Somewhere around there.

Fittingly, there’s a “challenge” going around social media right now to post a photo of yourself 10 years ago and today, either to see your “glow up” or, more negatively, “how hard aging hit you.” Here’s mine:

Ah yes, the “myspace-angle selfies in the park” days
The humidity is doing a lot to my hair, none of it good

Definite glow up.

If I could talk to my 18-year-old self now, there’s a lot I would say (after I made her take off that terrible eyeliner).

Continue reading “On my 28th birthday, to my 18-year-old self”

Saturn returns & cyclical changes in life

I have friends who eagerly check their horoscopes each and every week, consulting the pages of Cosmopolitan or clicking into Refinery29 to see what the stars have in store for them. I don’t dis-believe in astrology, but I don’t believe in it in that way.

To me, it makes perfect sense that the universe has an influence on us; look at the way the moon influences the tide or the sun influences the temperature, how could it not affect humans the way it affects the world? And it makes sense that the influence can be emotional as well as physical; anyone who experiences SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or simply gets gloomy on a rainy day or excited about a warm summer afternoon understands. And there’s no denying that things like the full moon and the infamous Mercury in retrograde have a huge impact on many of us. But I don’t personally believe that the location of Mars on a certain date lets you know that you should buy a lottery ticket or whatever; I think celestial influence is much broader and less personalised.

It’s also not something I tend to seek out too much information about, so occasionally I discover something new to me that relates to my interpretation of astrology’s impact, and that happened for me last week when I learned about Saturn returns.

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Home is where… something.

This is the kind of post I always debate about posting on this blog, figuring maybe it’s better suited for my private journaling. God, Mateer, I think, don’t bother with this feely shit: just tell ’em what you think of the new Juanes album. (Look, friends, I haven’t listened to it yet; maybe I’ll do the double on Colombian musician CD reviews when Shakira’s latest comes out tomorrow. Also I know most of you probably don’t care but I’m sorry, I’m never going to write another entry about the term “ovaries before brovaries,” no matter how many times people find my blog by googling it).

Anyway, I’ve just had a friend from Ithaca visiting for the weekend while she studies abroad in London, and now I’m in the process of finding someone to move in to the house when one of my housemates moves out to go teach English in China. Between those two things and the upcoming launch of the NUIG MA in Literature and Publishing’s literary journal ROPES (check out the Facebook page for the launch party and enjoy how seamlessly/shamelessly I just plugged it), I’ve been thinking a lot about home. Not home like Bucks County, Pennsylvania, or home like this house in the Claddagh, but home, generally.

For the first 18.5 years of my life, I lived in one house, one town, one state, one country. Over the next five years, up to now, I’ve lived in four more cities in three more countries than where I’d been before. With only two weeks of classes left in the MA, I’m starting to get that “What will you do after this?” question again. First of all, don’t ask; it freaks me out just as much now as it did before I knew I was going to Ithaca in my senior year of high school, and as much as it did before I knew I was coming to Galway in my senior year of college.

Continue reading “Home is where… something.”