Fighting Our Secret Problems

I use the word escape a lot in this blog. When we aren’t entirely happy with something in our life, we generally try to escape from the issue that’s causing us stress. Many people have different forms of escapes from their everyday lives. For some, it can be something as serious as alcohol or drugs, for others it can be a cup of tea or a walk around the neighbourhood.

As part of my routine to keep in shape, I take a walk most evenings. The other night I decided to walk along Malahide beach. I strolled along and began to ask myself why I seemed to be losing so many battles in life. Everything seemed to be imploding on me all at once. My mum lost her ability to breathe without the assistance of an oxygen machine, work and college related hassle seemed to be crashing down on me and all whilst I was trying to rebuild myself after a breakup.

I got a little upset thinking about all these things….. and then I noticed the motion of the waves moving back and forward. I was distracted. My train of thought changed and I noticed the tide was moving in. It taught me a simple life lesson. Just like the ocean retreats, just like it seems it’s been beaten back when the tide goes out, every night it will come back blasting its waves over land, sometimes causing havoc and destruction and the tide will eventually move inland.

We can learn from this, that although we may sometimes feel we’re losing some battles in our lives, there is always the opportunity to bounce back. I realised I wasn’t losing so many battles in life; I still had the opportunity to fight back and beat them. So, we can choose to escape, we can choose to ignore our issues, or we can choose to face our problems head on in the arena of life.

Imagine yourself in a boxing match with something that’s bothering you. That something may have beaten you up bad, but always remember, that just like in life, a boxing match has rounds. Just because you lost round one, doesn’t mean you can’t stand up, dust yourself off and beat the shit into your problems for round two.

 

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Escape in the Summer

Each new day is a chance to change your life.

I’m starting to get that summer feeling again. The weather is improving, and that fresh clean scent in the air is starting to become more prominent.

We all start to feel a little happier around summer time. The brighter skies and warmer air help to boost our mood. I’ve certainly noticed a slight difference in how I feel lately.

Try and change some things in your life this summer and mainly just enjoy the good weather that’s on its way. Here’s some things you can do to make that happen:

  • While the good weather is around, it’s important we get out and enjoy it. Time after time we tend to pass off plans that are thrown at us with a minute’s notice. Next time a friend texts you for a random escape in the summer air, take them up on it. Don’t think and just go, you never know what might happen.
  • Find a nice beach and grab a bottle of wine, head down in the evening with some friends and let the fun flow. Let go of concerns, worries and stress. Go wild, be daring, share stories, have a laugh and just have fun.
  • As you embrace your inner wild side and just lose yourself in the nightlife that you’ve created along with friends, try and make small alterations to your diet to ensure you lead a happy and healthy summer. One small change you could do is drink green tea instead of normal tea, it has thousands of health benefits, including cancer and heart disease prevention.
  • When your friends aren’t around, soak up the sun and read a good book or listen to some of your favourite music, throughout the working months we forget to give ourseles some TLC, so when the sun hits the skies, this is the perfect time to do it.
  • You can also try camping, the summer night time sky might just be one of the most magical things you’ll witness. So soak it up, have a few drinks and tell some spooky stories.
  • If you can’t go for a night time excursion, pack up a picnic and head to your nearest park, either way try your best to just get out there and enjoy yourself.

Happy Summer

Aidan xoxo

Escape Stress

There are tonnes of ways to escape stress, and recently I’ve found a unique way to calm the mood. Before I explain this unique way, know that I have another article on my blog about stress, which you can check out by clicking here.

Recently stress has been something that keeps trickling into my life, and for many in this depressing economic climate, it is creeping into their lives too. You might be one of those people. I’ve tried various methods but some things just didn’t do it for me. Then I lit a candle in my room.

Lighting a candle can obliterate any negative feelings you may have. I now understand why some people decide to light candles in churches. They’re highly therapeutic. I’m not a deeply religious person, and I’m not advocating that a ‘God’ is making people feel better, but I honestly believe that the light from a candle uplifts the energy and senses of everyone who sees them.

The light from a candle is close to natural sunlight, it has a warmer and more fulfilling feeling than the artificial lighting we find in our homes. This is one reason why staring at a candle can be so relaxing, much like spending time in the bright outdoors can be.

Candlelight sparks the imagination, so stare into a flame as a focal point for relaxation. You can light numerous candles around the room to maximise the effect, and even if you aren’t a little spiritual or religious minded, you can still light a candle with a heartfelt intention in mind. Imagine that as the flame dies on the candle, so too does your worry or concern.

Ireland Must Cut €166 million in Aid to Uganda

Uganda, already a notorious country for violating international human rights laws, now intends to pass a bill that will carry the death penalty for members of it’s gay community.

David Bahati, a member of the Ugandan Parliament, introduced the bill under the merit that ‘homosexuality poses a serious threat to family values ‘, and would like to see anyone who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality” face seven years in prison. Landlords who rent rooms or homes to gays also could get seven years, while gay people themselves will face the death penalty.

European countries such as Sweden and Britain have threatened to cut aid to Uganda if the bill is passed, and I personally feel that Ireland should follow this step. Ireland’s new 5 year aid strategy for Uganda runs from 2010-2014, and commits over €166 million in funding to the Ugandan Government.

I would be absolutely ashamed to be a Citizen of this country if I knew that it was providing money to a Government that was shamelessly killing innocent people based on their sexual orientation. I would be sickened to know that millions of euro coming from irish pockets was paying for the slaughtering of gay and lesbian couples. We should not fuel this barbaric behaviour.

I believe in tough and tactile politics, we have to rise up with the UK and Sweden and say that we won’t be paying for anyone to be killed based on their sexual orientation. Since when can we afford to give another country €166 million anyway?

Call me harsh, but I believe in looking after our people first before any other country, and that money could be spent on the 5,500 people that are homeless in this country instead. It’s in human nature to look after those who are close to us before we look out for anyone else, especially if that someone else is going to be slaying people.

Imagine the unbearable fear you would live in if you were a gay person in Uganda. They can’t speak up for themselves or they’ll face imprisonment.

We have to speak out for them. I’ll be playing my part by raising the issue on all of the remaining advisory panels I sit on, I will speak to any political friends I have made throughout my activist life and I will push for Ireland to speak out against these potential crimes against humanity, because in the interest of basic human rights I firmly believe they must be forced to change their mind. We need to end Uganda’s outrageous ideas by threatening to end their funding.

Irish Aid Funding source listed here.

Flare up the Flames

Irish people in general seem to have a habit of bottling things up, heck I’m guilty of boxing things up too. Compared to other countries, our level of protesting against austerity is minimal. Marches and demonstrations are few, but when they do happen, they are a whirlwind success.

This should be a lesson to us. That we should try releasing our inner fury more often. As a young teenager, I was a nobody. I was quiet (hard to believe I know), and I was very much aware that I was gay, and I felt that I needed to dramatically change the timid person I was to protect myself from any form of homophobic abuse. It worked. The true meaning of my name ‘fiery one’ became a reality.

I became a confident person with zero tolerance for bullshit behaviour. I didn’t hold back on putting people in their place, and I became a leader. This helped me cop that my changed attitude was a recipe for reasonable success.

Reasonable and modest success is what each and every person deserves, and it can be achieved if you just refuse to hold back. I’m not advocating for people to be rude or obnoxious, I’m simply suggesting to flare up the flames of your confidence and don’t hold back on things you want to say. You will boost your level of respect if people view you as a voice of reason. 

For example, if a friend is treating you differently and unfairly just to gain brownie points with other people, I say sink that bitch and her pretentious popularity parade. It feels awful to sit at home and run through all the things you could have said – so say them!

Of course, I’m not telling anyone to be like this all the time. Just be strong when needed. I also accept, that there will be people that you will never be able to be fiery with. Family, best friends, and someone your romantically involved with, will always have a strong influence over you, so don’t start beating yourself up if you find it extremely difficult to be fiery with them too.

Fiercely protect those you love, and more importantly, never forget to protect yourself too. It’s better to be remembered as a Lion than to be remembered as a lamb.

Potential Cure for Cancer Discovered

A potential cure for cancer has been devised by a 17-year-old high school student. Angela Zhang, a United States student, devised the cure for a science project entry, which she recently won. The cure, although complex to understand without a PHd in Medicine, will be a form of medicine enabled to detect and destroy cancer cells without harming any of our natural, human cells. This discovery will pave the way for treatment without the need for difficult procedures such as chemotherapy.

For more information click here

 

We Can’t Control Everything

It’s common knowledge that everyone is fighting their own secret battle. Behind every smile there is a story. Deep within someone’s eyes we can sometimes see how these battles shaped and formed who they are today.

Some of the wars people face in their lives can be more difficult than what others are faced with. How do we fight these battles?

We must first learn that we cannot control everything. We will realise and learn this when, during the most vulnerable and private moments in our life, we fail to command our emotions. Everyone has experienced the dark and lonely moment when you sob yourself to sleep. We can’t control our tears. We can’t control what happens in our life.

But we can send it in the right direction.

We can choose to bow down or buckle up and embrace the fight ahead. We should never take  on these issues alone, instead seek support from friends, family, and anyone who cares about you.

The pain you experience is something that will make you stronger. When you least expect it, your pain evolves into ammunition. It becomes a force that you can use to plough ahead and use in future fights. Stand strong, move forward and be fearless. Once we allow fear to dictate our lives, we lose direction, we lose hope, we lose everything.

Ireland Deserves Better

So recently the Troika (made up of the EU, IMF and the ECB) held a press conference to let us know as a nation how we were doing with our bailout. They told us that we were meeting our targets, and they made some comments on the progress Ireland is making in meeting the demands of the bailout programme.

The representatives in the press conference, who are some of the main players behind our bailout programme, sat before strong members of Ireland’s media. One of the journalists present was TV3’s Vincent Browne.

As many people may be aware, it is now the Irish tax payer that pays the wages of these EU / IMF representatives. Put simply, we’re paying huge interest on the “bailout” we received, which in turn pays their wages.

As a result of this, I felt that these people were accountable to any questions we may have- effectively they are working for us- we have requested their service to the State.

So, Vincent Browne posed the most interesting and hard-hitting question. He was right to. But before you read the question let me first explain that the irish taxpayer paying for this bailout is ridiculous. We are rescuing bondholders who made a gamble. It’s a bit like me turning up at your door and demanding you pay for a horse racing bet I lost, even though you had nothing to do with it. Just like the Irish tax payer had nothing to do with this crisis.

Vincent Browne, despite attempts from the Director of the Press Conference, Barbara Nolan (I will share my feelings on her below) to skip his question, demanded an immediate response to what he had asked.

Klaus Masuch, did your taxi driver tell you how the Irish people are bewildered that we are required to pay unguaranteed bondholders billions of euros for debts that the Irish people have no relation to or no bearing with, primarily to bail out or to ensure the solvency of European banks? And if the taxi driver had asked you that question, what would have been your response?

They refused to answer his question, and so Vincent Browne had this to say (gwann Vinny B).

Well, just a minute now. This isn’t, this isn’t good enough… You people are intervening in this society causing huge damage by requiring us to make payments not for the benefit of anybody in Ireland but for the benefit of European financial institutions. Now, could you explain why the Irish people are inflicted with this burden?”

Barbara Nolan then swept this statement aside and moved on. What an absolute disgrace! We as people that are funding this project, deserve to know everything we need to and want to know about it. Vincent Browne’s treatment was despicable, and after his performance at the conference I will forever view him as a true fighter for the irish people. No matter what people say about that man, he’s a true hero.

Shouldn’t we have a right to at least get answers on something that we will be paying for, for generations to come!?

Anyway, here’s what I thought of Barbara Nolan:

The Meaning Behind Holding Hands

Holding hands may seem like an innocent gesture, but they show more than a simple interlocking of fingers. Your hands are one of the most essential parts of your body: you build with them, feed with them, hold with them, touch with them, fight with them; they are the tools of the human body.

To take a hold of another’s hand is to break from living individually. It is to link yourself to another being, to momentarily entwine your life with another’s, to promise, for a moment, that you need not face the world alone.

More simple, more aesthetically naive than other forms of affection, i.e kissing, hugging, sexing, the act of holding hands is often trivialized in its true implications. As the Beatles once said: ”All I want to do is hold your hand.

Top 20 Craziest Things I’ve Done in the UK

So last night I was speaking with one of my closest best friends Niamh and we discussed the craziest things we done whilst living in Leeds, UK. I decided it’d be fun to share them with you guys!

Bare in mind, there’s a story behind all of these, so remember that when you start thinking you should pick up the phone for the Mental Health Services.

  • Me casually inviting a troop of transvestites back to the apartment for tea and toast after clubbing, Niamh got a lovely surprise when we arrived at the apartment!
  • Finding ducks outside our apartment.
  • Being in an apartment I wasn’t meant to be in and having to crush myself into a tiny wardrobe to hide.
  • Dancing with an obese girl who decided to bend down and sniff a line of coke from her shoe.
  • Niamh deciding to microwave a cup of tea and then head to bed without drinking it.
  • Bringing a middle aged transvestite called ‘Mandy’ on nights out.
  • Pulling dancers off a pole and deciding we were more qualified.
  • Screaming ‘UP THE RA’ in a major United Kingdom train station whilst intoxicated.
  • Smackin the middle finger into a taxi man’s face for deciding to bring us on a tour around the city.
  • Robbing Ben & Jerry’s from a member of the British Army.
  • Niamh going on a 24 hour rave and coming home with enough glow sticks to start a lighthouse.
  • Myself and an amazing work colleague called Shannon exploring the haunted quarters of the hotel I worked in, and finding a picture of a demented baby with razor sharp teeth. Gorgeous.
  • Niamh not coming home because she decided to have an all night booze session at work.
  • Telling Niamh she made the nicest cup of tea ever and then vomiting a minute afterwards.
  • Having a picnic on an island full of bats.
  • Throwing a set of keys at my ex’s best friend.
  • Not making it out the door for a party after having ten too many sambucca shots.
  • Doing a 360 flip over the couch and wondering what the fuck just happened.
  • Niamh sticking the fingers up to her boss so she could come home and look after me when I passed out in work.
  • Breaking into this ‘beautiful’ abandoned building at midnight: