A Life Beyond

I don’t intend on this post being too long, but if you’ve gotten to the end and this ends up being a veritable War & Peace, then I guess this blog is true to form for me: completely wrong, utterly unreliable and forever rambling.

People are afraid of sharks. I’m afraid of sharks. I mean, of course I’m afraid of them – I’ve seen all of the Jaws movies, it would be weird if I wasn’t. I’ve really never thought about why I’m actually afraid of sharks. I don’t really swim, and I definitely don’t swim in the sea. Sure, they’re pointy, and their tiny, beady eyes register as ‘scary’ and ‘untrustworthy’ in that reptilian part of our brains, but that’s not entirely it.

We’re afraid of sharks because we are basically sharks. And that scares us.

No, I am not a furry-…scally? Do sharks have scales? Whatever, stick with me here.

The ocean is a wild, vast unknown entity. As much as we know about the ocean, there are still parts of it that are complete mysteries to us – mysteries that may never ever be unraveled. In that wild unknown sharks thrive, sharks fail, sharks live, and sharks die. And life is a little bit like the ocean in that way – life is strange, and unknowable, and big, and scary.

Sharks must keep swimming, or else they’ll die. And that’s what I want to talk about today.

The scariest parts of life, to me, aren’t the new challenges or the sad finales (though they are really frightening), but the ‘inbetweens’ in life. The periods when you finish one major part of your life, and have no idea what you’re going to do next. Can you remember how scary it was when you finished sixth class and went on to ‘the big school’? Do you remember how terrified you were when the post-fuck the Leaving Cert bliss passed, and you realised you had to go to college/get a job? Or, if you went to college, the fear you felt whenever your aunt or some stranger asked you “well, what next?” That’s what I’m talking about, and that’s where I am.

A few months back, I finished college, probably forever. And a few days ago (at the time of writing), I properly finished with student media, something that’s been in my life for the best part of five years – and being suddenly just done with all of that…

I know the shark metaphor was- wait, was it a simile? I know the shark simile was unnecessary, a bit weird, and thoroughly clunky, but sharks are cool, and I wanted to talk more about sharks. But seriously, I am so anxious about this next step – the first step into the life beyond college – but I’m sure we’ll be alright.


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