I learned a lot about being a friend when I was alone

So I’m gonna share a story today.

Back when I was in second year, a shy awkward 14 year old who listened to Bob Dylan and Paramore religiously, I had a bit of a hard time. It’s not a year I look back on fondly. I remember the point that it all started going downhill was around the time we went on a trip to the Gaeltacht for a weekend and I genuinely said about 10 words that whole weekend. The reason for my lack of conversation was that I had gotten some really bad news and was terribly upset about it and when bad things happen to me, I’m one of those people that will not tell you. I will use the old “I’m just tired” excuse and keep it to myself because I have always had the “well my problems aren’t that bad and other people have their own things to be dealing with” kind of mindset.

After we got back from that trip, I started distancing myself more and more from the group of friends I had. I sat alone at lunch and always made myself look really busy so no one would bother me. I usually sat alone in the canteen and if I thought I was starting to draw attention to myself because I was alone at lunchtime, I’d go outside or to the PE hall. One of the places that I ate in a few times was Mr Heveran’s classroom. I remember I asked him could I sit there one day because I ‘had work to catch up on’.  Being the fantastic man he is, he let me sit there whenever I asked. I’m honestly not sure if he’d even remember me coming to him those few lunchtimes but I was always grateful for it.

I can’t remember how long I sat alone at lunch for but I do remember I once called home pretending to be sick because I just did not have the heart to do it that day. That was the same day a girl in my year wrote to me on MSN (back when MSN was all the rage) to make sure I was ok. We had chatted a few times before and somehow the topic got onto how I sat alone at lunch sometimes and she asked me to sit with her and her friends the next day.

I guess the moral of my long winded “I know what being alone is like” story is that the smallest gestures do make a difference. That sounds so incredibly cheesy but I was in such a terrible place until someone reached out and made an effort to make sure I was ok. So just be kind to each other because you don’t know the depth of difference your actions are making, and what better legacy to leave than one of kindness?

My friend Lauren wrote a really excellent piece on the misconceptions about depression (http://ellaur.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/depression/) and it inspired me to write this post, so go check it out if you haven’t already!

If music was the food of love, then I’d be a fat romantic slob

I, like the rest of the world, have an undeserved sense of egotism when it comes to my music taste so what better way to higher my level of music snobbery than to post my favourite albums here? Enjoy them (and please don’t judge me).

  • Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
    – they’re odd. Very odd.
  • Busted: A Present For Everyone
    – if you don’t like Busted then you must hate fun things and you can’t be trusted.
  • Band Of Horses: Cease To Begin
    – the kind of album that’s perfect for staring out the window of the car in the rain and thinking about sad things.
  • The Black Keys: El Camino
    – this is an album that I think about 90% of the world is familiar with and if you’re not, you’re doing something wrong.
  • The Beatles: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
    – how very clichéed of me.
  • Bleachers: Strange Desire
    – if ever a film is made about my life, let this be the soundtrack. Personal favourites; I Wanna Get Better and Like A River Runs.
  • Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
    – I’m not entirely sure what being a hipster actually consists of, but this album makes me feel hipster to the bone.
  • Blink 182: Take Off Your Pants & Jacket
    – it’s almost a cliché for pop punk fans to love this album but there’s a reason it’s their most popular.
  • Biffy Clyro: Puzzle
    – excellent lyrics to angry music, what more do you want from life?
  • Brand New: The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
    -if you listen to anything from this album, make sure it’s Jesus Christ and The Archers Bows Have Broken.
  • CHVRCHES: The Bones Of What You Believe
    – it’s a really good album to jog to. It’s also a really good album whether you jog or not.
  • Citizen: Youth
    – I’m not sure there has ever been a more perfect debut album.
  • Damien Rice: 9
    – because he’s so much more than Cannonball.
  • Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: Self Titled Album
    – I won’t even make any comment, I’ll let the music do the talking on this one.
  • Fences: Self Titled Album
    – the singer has tattoos on his face so he’s not going to be employed anywhere else, the least you could do is buy their music so they’re earning money (it’s also a really good album so there’s that too)
  • Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
    – this album will be passed from father to son for generations so do yourself a favour and jump on the bandwagon that has existed the last 30 years.
  • Frank Turner: Tape Deck Heart
    – everything this man has ever done makes me fall in love with music all over again.
  • John Mayer: Continuum
    – the only man that will ever make you wish he was singing to you.
  • Keaton Henson: Dear
    – this guy just gets it. What “it” actually is, I’m not sure, but he gets it. (Special shoutout to Meagan for getting me into him)
  • The Killers: Hot Fuss
    – the first album I bought with my own money so it holds a special place in my heart. I assume everyone loves this album as much as I think they do, and if they do, that means everyone loves this album A LOT.
  • Little Green Cars: Absolute Zero
    – you want this band in your life and you want them in your life before they get really famous and I become that really annoying person who always brings up how I was a fan before they went mainstream.
  • Lorde: Pure Heroine
    – the song 400 Lux actually has the lyric “you buy me orange juice” and if that doesn’t persuade you to want to listen then maybe the excellent music will.
  • The Lumineers: Self Titled Album
    – the only album that could compete with Citizen for the “best debut album” title
  • Oasis: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory
    -the only Oasis album you need in your life
  • Paramore: Riot
    – set free the angsty teen in you
  • Porter Robinson: Worlds
    – this album hasn’t actually been released yet but I don’t know any of his other stuff and the singles already released are really good, so get this when it comes out.
  • Real Friends: Put Yourself Back Together
    – I hope to one day be scorned by a lover so I have an excuse to sing along passionately to this album. I mean, I already sing along really passionately, but I need justification for it.
  • Rise Against: Appeal To Reason
    – the only album that makes me want to start a revolution (and I have the Les Mis soundtrack on my iPod)
  • The Shins: Oh, Inverted World
    – they’re just an all round pleasing kind of band.
  • Tegan & Sara: Heartthrob
    – one of the few bands me and Ellen actually agreed on, so that’s one thing. It’s also a great album, so that’s another thing.
  • The White Buffalo: Shadows, Greys and Evil Ways
    – if you like anything Eddie Vedder has ever done, you will love this guy. Personal favourites include The Whistler and Redemption #2

So there you have it. The list could have been longer had I added that I love B*Witched (I can almost hear Ellen and my da rolling their eyes at that) but I thought exposing my love for them might have made people not take me seriously and I wanted you all to think I had really good taste. Pretty sure I’ve succeeded in that…right?