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  • Writer's pictureTINA

What will I be when I grow up?

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

I just finished reading two biography books, I rarely read books as I think I may have dyslexia or had when I was a child, and the fact the I read two back to back is strange. Plus it was my first time ever reading biographies. Its a funny thing a biography, it made me think about my own life and growing up here in the west of ireland. I was out walking tonight in the howling wind and thankfully it didn't rain, it must have decided to take a break after pissing down all day. My torch was useless as the battery was nearly dead. So I had to let Muffin my dog guide me on the dark roads. As I walked along the dark road and the glow in the sky got brighter as I got closer to the village, I thought this is kinda like my career todate. Absolutely clueless for the most part of my life, in the dark. I was certain as a child I would be a nurse, I loved cuts and blood and gore but then discovered I was rubbish at biology in secondary school. Then I thought for a bit I would join the army. So I joined the FCA otherwise known as the Free Clothing Association. A great place to get to shoot rifles, drink shit loads of alcohol at 16 years of age and meet lads. We did some serious stuff like dressing up in our No.1's for ceremonies, going out on the range shooting (best fun), early morning assembly marches. Guaranteed I would end up with a rock in left hand as I didnt know my left from my right and I would always go the wrong direction. Then of course we learned how to iron a crease into our trousers, I was terribly bad at that, I had at least 3 creases on each leg. We had to polish our boots. Which I hated doing. A corporal came into our bunk one morning to inspect our uniforms and he said to me "Private you need to use some elbow grease", I responded "Where do I get that Sir?". Everyone broke down laughing. I wasn't actually trying to be smart, I am putting it down to being blonde. I sometimes say things before I think about it. Please other blondes don't take offence. Well I think I was sent to scrub the toilets for my lack of respect. I remember us going out doing searches, marching through the fields in full combat uniform in a V formation. Maybe we had a war game. I cant remember. Between it being over 20 years ago and there being so much alcohol involved. I am surprised I remember that much. Well the army didn't work out as I discovered they wouldn't take me on because I had bad eyesight. There loss I reckon.

So I went to college to study applied physics and electronics, it was literally the only college offer I got. It was my last choice. I really didn't have much interest in my exams, I was more interested in singing Christy Moore songs, teaching myself the guitar singing "ride on" while smoking fags out my sky light window. But getting college meant I could leave home, which I think my mother and father were probably very glad of at that stage. As a mother now, I wouldn't have blamed them either. I would have wanted me out too. So I went to college till Christmas. When I say I went, I attended a couple of times a week and just slept in class as I was too busy working nights in a nightclub. I hadn't bought a pencil let alone a book. So I finished up a Christmas then worked full time. I am not even going to go into the amount of jobs I had. I moved jobs about the same amount of times I moved apartment or bedsit (prob 15 times in 4 years). I did end up reaching a little maturity and did a course in computerised business. This led me to doing book keeping and then creating databases. Then I dropped it all to go to Germany, go wild and come home to have my amazing son. I had a change of career again into childcare. Then back to book keeping and Web design. Then I tried a course in computer programming. That was a nono. Hated that.

I then volunteered at our local coastguard station and worked their for 4 years on call outs and attended training exercises. This is a whole other story for another time maybe, but the baby making down the road but an end to my volunteer days.

I was lucky enough to get to work with my dad for 2 months while my cousin was off getting married and stuff. I loved it. My dad was a carpenter. He made stairs at the time. I loved working in the workshop with him. I dont know why I never got to work with him sooner. We weren't allowed to do woodwork or tech graphics in secondary school as they were boy subjects, so maybe I just assumed I couldn't do mans work in the workshop? So in between some of this time I met my husband and got married. Started having more babies. Do you think there are woman out there that are just content being stay at home mam's and rearing their kids. In some ways I would have liked to have been content with that. But I hated being at home, being at home meant I had to clean the house. I fecking hate cleaning. Cleaning and shopping my biggest ever hates. So I avoided being at home, play dates, working part time, coffee mornings and exercise. My saving grace, running and walking. Then we built our shed after moving back into my grandfather house. Dad was hired to partition the upstairs and I was delighted to help him. He was great at teaching me. I was terrible at the cutting angles but he made me cut them and if I got it wrong he made me do it again. Super patient. It was one the best times I had was getting to work with him those weeks. We sometimes rarely spoke, other times we chatted about the kid, or we just listened to music. We were content as we worked together.

Some time after that my friend called by one evening with a bottle of wine, paint brushes, paint and slates from the old school house they had been renovating. She insisted I join her in a painting evening. So I did. I cant remember what I painted. It could have been a pig. But I thought it was fabulous. What I didnt tell you was, I have an older sister and a younger sister who are fabulous artists. They were the artists in the family, although neither of them had been practicing art at this stage. So I was really surprised and delighted with my talent. When I look back at some of that work now I realise it could have done with alot more improvement! But if I had that critical eye then maybe I wouldn't have thrown myself into painting. It became an obsession. I continued to paint on slate as I didnt know anything else. My dad thought I was wonderful too and I will always remember him saying "you will be a famous artist some day". I dont know about that but maybe I will leave a legacy behind for my children. I went back to college as a mature student to study art. 7 years later I am still discovering and exploring art. I chopped and changed careers, I could never settle. But the one thing I have stuck at the longest is art. Probably because it is so versatile. I can paint on slate, or I can get the angle grinder and cut the slate. I can paint on canvas or I can go get a stone from the beach and carve it. If I don't feel like that I can get a piece of wood and carve it. It would be the most wonderful job in the world if it paid, but it is the most wonderful job for my head and my creativity side of my brain. I highly recommend it!

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