What am I here for?


There’s this loneliness within me that never seems to go away. I don’t know how or why it originated. It’s just always been there for as long as I can remember. I’m constantly dissatisfied with the life I’m living because
I feel like I’m here for a higher purpose, to make my mark and to not just exist. But I can’t seem to find out what it is. Or how I should go about achieving it. I know that perhaps this sounds dramatic but I don’t know how else to put it. I’m burning to feel alive. I just dont. Despite a six figure salary at this age and a job with a lot of prestige. I’m not saying I’m dissatisfied with my job. It’s just that, whatever I do, this feeling is always there. Maybe the feeling that you were born for greatness isn’t necessarily a good thing because sometimes, instead of fuelling your dreams and pushing you to achieve them, it cripples you by constantly telling you that you aren’t living up to your fullest potential. I cannot be sure that what I feel is that of being born for greatness. But it is the closest I can come to in trying to verbalize this nameless feeling that nags at me eternally. Is it the infamous quarter life crisis that I’m going through or is it because my birth itself was a miracle, I always felt that I survived as a tiny, tiny premature baby defying all odds because I was supposed to be here and make an impact in the world? Is it because I gave myself pep talks every time I felt suicidal, that I can’t leave that easily since I was put here on this earth for a higher purpose? To serve people and to make a change, however small it may be?

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The dream of making your way across America on popcorn and hot dogs


It hadn’t been losing my father that broke my mother’s heart, if that was what had taken place, as it appeared. It was losing love itself—the dream of making your way across America on popcorn and hot dogs, dancing your way across America, in a sparkly dress with red underpants. Having someone think you were beautiful, which, she had told me, my father used to tell her she was, every day.
– Labor Day, Joyce Maynard

Bloomsday; A Celebration of Irish Women Poets 2013


Poethead

Rebecca O’Connor

Domestic Bliss

 
I place a jug of lavender on the table
to mask the smell of mould from under the fridge
 
while you draw nails to hammer with your fist.
Then I draw a hammer , and watch
 
as you try to lift it from the page.
by day it’s Mr Men, Mad Men, by night,
 
your father and I wishing we could be so bold.
you have no such wants, though sometimes I wonder
 
as you try to peer into Jack and Jill’s well
or climb the tiny ladder of your toy farm
to mend the roof of your miniature barn.
 

–  Rebecca O’Connor

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Rebecca O’Connor edits The Moth Magazine and organises the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize. She worked as a commissioning editor of literary fiction at Telegram Books in London before returning to Ireland with her family in 2008…

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25 things I wish I learned at 25


All over the internet you find posts and personal accounts of people at various stages of life revealing what they have learned at the said stage in life, with a point of wisdom each to equal their age. But what about the things you wish you had known or learned at a certain turning point of your life? How different would your life be today if you had known those things? I’ll be 26 years old this year, and quite frankly, there are certainly some things I wish I had known by the time I turned 25, so that it would have made me a different woman, a better woman than I am today.

  1. You will be truly blessed and lucky if you are able to get your act sorted by the time you are 25. Unlike you expected previously, you probably won’t have the job and the man of your dreams. Rather you will be stuck in job that you hate or even a job that you love but pays poorly.
  2. If you are single, you will wonder whether you will die a sad, lonely death with no one to hold your hand because let’s face it, everyone around you is getting married in a frenzy, they have found supposedly mature thoughtful individuals with whom they see themselves spending the rest of their lives and you are Facebook stalking that cute co-worker who says hi to you everyday in the elevator.
  3. If you are in a relationship, you will wonder at least at one point in the relationship (happens to the best of us), whether the man you’ve committed yourself to is actually able to accomodate and understand your physical and emotional needs and boundaries which in turn makes you wonder whether you are ready to spend the rest of your lives together.
  4. Love thrills, and hurts, in exactly the same way it did when you were 16.
  5. Having three failed relationships do not turn you into a relationship expert, or improve your ability to pick out a better man because even the classiest, most well-balanced guy you finally find, could turn out to be wrong for you. Nor does it make the pain easier to deal with if it ever comes down to that.
  6. you cannot stop your heart from going out and getting stuck in places where it does not belong, it will be stuck stubbornly and firmly the way Jane’s tonsil’s got stuck on her new boyfriend’s piercing in The Sweetest Thing.
  7. Remember the time you thought you’d be a well travelled young woman by 25? Well you’re 25 and too broke for it. Don’t worry you still have time to go see the world.
  8. That car you thought you’d be driving into work now, it’s out there somewhere in the not-so-distant future, waiting for you. Go and get it.
  9. It’s ok to feel a little lost.
  10. It’s perfectly fine to obsess over every little thing that guy you really want to go out with tells you.
  11. The urge to drink your troubles away does not go away magically just because you have turned 25.
  12. Your capacity to stay up till the wee hours of the morning will start dwindling right before your eyes.
  13. It’s ok to hate having to go to parties. It does not mean you’re getting old, rather, your priorities have changed and matured.
  14. Expect every aunt in your family to start asking you whether you’ve finally found anyone, especially at weddings and funerals. Handle it gracefully, they mean well.
  15. You really should fake a sick day or two once in a while to just stay at home and relax with a good book.
  16. You still have not mastered the art of living within your budget.
  17. There’s no point in trying to get a flat belly. It will never happen.
  18. Eat healthy. Workout as often as you can.
  19. Having a donut or two cupcakes for lunch do not make you a monster. Neither does failing to workout regularly.
  20. Choose your friends carefully. They will be the rock upon which you lean when times get tough.
  21. You’re no masterchef. All those recipes you thought you’d have mastered by now are weeping in a sad little corner.
  22. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is not romantic. It’s an inconvenience which makes you vulnerable. Use your emotions wisely.
  23. Your parents are growing old. Talk to them every single day. Tell them about your crappy day if you have nothing else to talk about.
  24.  It’s ok to want to get married and have babies. It’s not a weakness. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
  25.  It will get better.

Thoughts that keep me awake


I have these pieces of places, things, situations centering around you embedded firmly within the deep corners of my mind; though not as deep as I would like it to be, I guess, because they keep popping out and hurting me with their jagged corners. I guess everyone will have a different reason as to why they like you, why they love you. They will love and like their version of you.

My version of you consists of the boy who’d run up to me and carry my bag for me, the boy who allowed me to hold his hand while we watched a horror movie and knowingly or unknowingly traced patterns on my palm with his fingers while he did that. To me you’re the boy who waited outside the bus to help me get down while I was struggling with a heavy bag, the one who waited with me after class till someone came to pick me up despite being so tired, sleepy and hungry, just so I wouldn’t be alone. You are the 25 year old kid who would draw on my arms with a pen to annoy me, and the one who tried to kiss my hand out of the blue inside a crowded bar while not even drunk. And I’m the girl who laughed and pulled her hand away because she did not expect someone like you would want to kiss the hand of someone like me. I have these little bits and pieces of you that I have unconsciously glued together to create the guy that I have slowly come to fall in love with. If I were to know the real you with all the cracks and scars that we all hide within ourselves, would I see you differently, would I love you differently or even more, or would I love you at all…

Mine


The blush that creeps into my face when I see you
The smile that twitches at my lips
The eyes that tear themselves away
And the heart that momentarily sings
And sinks like a deflated balloon tired of soaring too high
Because hey, you aren’t really mine
But in the moments that you make these things happen, You are mine, and mine alone

In death


All these dreams, hopes and desires
Turn into ashes one day
My thoughts of you
My love for you
Whatever little of it that shall remain by then
But will remain, nevertheless
Will float out into the atmosphere
in miniscule grey particles
uniting with a universe far greater,
Far beyond the grasp of any one of us,
And there remain
Forever carrying my unspoken thoughts of you
Making the vast skies evermore beautiful