A new chapter?

Yes i know, I havent updated in a few months, but I have valid reasons, Honest. please don’t give me that look? how bout I tell you my reasons then give you a good update and all is forgiven? yeah? cool, lets start with what happened.

Firstly during the last few days of camp, my poor laptop finally gae up the will to live and broke beyond repair in a highly dramatic and key moment of camp (in the middle of over a hundred campers watching disney’s “UP”!) To my disamy this caused quite the issue!
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So this lead to me not having a laptop until about 3 weeks after I got back, I arrived back to the UK after what had to be a good 36 hours travelling and waiting around airports. The trip home consisted of washington to newark airport by bus. WAIT. newark to london .WAIT. London to glasgow. WAIT. eventually picked up and returned to Edinburgh. I know it doesn’t sound like a long time but believe me I couldn’t have been happier knowing I don’t have to use my passport anytime in the near future.

What was it like coming home I hear you ask? Well truth be told, It was amazing, It’s exactly how it sounds, “coming home” a weary traveller returning from his wanderings from distant lands to the place where he feels he belongs. I felt I had come back a new person, 3 months at such a young(ish) age is a long time, a lot happens. Especially when you are taken away from everything you have ever known and are essentially thrown into a completly new world you have ever only read about in magazines or seen in hollywood. I was star studded, cultured shocked and trying to learn and adapt in what was one of the hardest jobs I have ever had to do. Did i enjoy it? YES, without a doubt. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, I came back KNOWING Im good with people, that it’s what i want to do with my life, That I have the skills to adapt, to be creative, to be versatile, to embrace and conquer things that seem like IMPOSSIBLE challenges. That I shouldnt be worried about some of the fears I had before I left, many of them were “Am i cut out for student politics, Am I all passion and no knowledge?”. Something that genuinely terrified me ever since I was elected.

I probably will ramble throughout this post, but I’m just getting back into the swing of things so I’m gonna let this post slide in terms of any meaningful linear throught progression and just let the crazy thought process I call a brain churn stuff out (makes a change ;)) and roll with the punches on this one.

I’m back in bonnie Scotland, land of my ancestors, home of my friends and family, a place full of beauty and history that spans centuries, a sense of pride and culture and atmosphere like no where else on the planet, MY home. A place I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

I won’t hide the fact that over the summer, I made some amazing friends, but also lost some people very close to me, I made the choice to leave for a pretty long time, that puts strains on everything, my family, (especially my siblings) found it hard not being able to play games with me or have me read them a book. Some of my closest friends, and even peoople I was romantically involved with struggled with the concept of me being away, because of that we have grown distant, but i don’t regret my decision to leave,It was the risk I took and I still believe me leaving and letting them pursue and discover themselves was exactly what they needed. I came back so much more appreciative of all the things in my life, how lucky i am and readers please believe me, I am a lucky guy, I have the good fortune of having the most brilliant cluster of friends, from all walks of life and from all different areas of mines, from my local bar, to my GAME friends, to people on the NUS circuit to life long childhood friends that I couldn’t live without. To the most supportive family, who did whatever they could, and not just this summer, throughout my whole life to support me in EVERYTHING i did. Even if they didn’t fully understand it. Parents who supported me in pursuing a degree I probably shouldnt have started, to backing me 100% when it became clear I needed to change and pursue something that I was probably not only more suited for but also made me happy. Of course hindsight is always a “20/20” affair but looking back I realise I have the most phenomenal people giving me support, guidance, and love. Leaving for america made that very clear just how much I left behind, but also a huge part of them not only shaped me, but followed me across oceans and continents. Thats a hugely powerful thing that genuinely shocked me.

Another thing I didn’t expect was how much I affected other people, I expected the odd “we miss you” or “can’t wait till your home” from family and the odd friend. I never expected emails, or the hugs and love I recieved when i came back, wether it was Mike Ross RUGBY TACKLING ME FROM BEHIND the minute he bumped into me, or the plethora of people sending me text messages asking for catch ups.

I hope this post doesnt come across as big headed or pompous. thats not where I’m coming from. My point is you never fully realise what you have in life until It Is taken away or you leave it. America had a huge impact on everything in my life, I met amazing people who gave me different aspects on myself and the greater world at large, I feel I understand people as a whole and american culture in general a lot more. I come to realise things about myself, good and bad, and things I can work on. Something I am always proactive about. Why wouldnt I want to be the best ME I can be?

My advice to anyone sitting out there, IS DO IT. Make a change, do something extradoinary, even the smallest change can be just that. Learn an instrument, join a club, get that tattoo you always wanted. Seek something new from life. I have past a point now. A point where as well as being able to take advice and guidance and use it to make decisions and come to conclusions, I have the responsibility to pass that on to other people, in whatever capacity I can, Wether thats a bit of friendly advice on how not to KILL yourself while cooking as a newly wide eyed and bushy tailed fresher living away from home… or how to get out of that soul crushing feeling of absolute devastation when everything goes wrong, that its not the end, but just a close on that chapter, that you have a pen and a whole book still to write.

I truly have had amazing people walk in and out of my life, not all of them have been there forever and I’m sure there are more to come. My achievements are my own, but I amn’t foolish enough nor lacking in humility to admit that I am a product of the love and affection of a 1000 different people who to be honest, will never understand fully just how much they have impacted my life, and how grateful I am. I know the best thing I can do is just do what there advice or love ever wanted, carry on. As well as trying to pay it forward with the next person I come across.

I am proud of everything I have ever done, Even the mistakes. I couldnt handle the comupter science degree, but I know I wouldnt have been able to do the Information systems degree at that time either last year, I didn’t take a gap year then suffered a complete heartbreak in my first year at university, I spent last year learning how to be me again, fixing the whole, discovering who I was, realising what I wanted from life, and pursuing knowledge from an area outwith my field of study, I was always a social person, 5 minutes with me and people think im crazy, but that I clearly love to be involved in things. I lost my gleam some said in that 1st year, but everything I learnt last year, from my degree to my personal time, really has set me up for this degree, I feel my understanding of the outside world, business, politics and even my computer skills of all levels have grown, my articulation an belief in my own opinions aswell as the ability to understand and accept other peoples views has grown in leaps and bounds. Nothing cemented this in my mind better than at school officer training. Being one last year it was all new and shiney and I really was overwhelemed but excited by all of it. Keen to input and learn, seeing that look on the new school officers at training, listening to their ideas and passion and helping them understand everything the job entails and how they fit into the bigger picture. Looking through the eyes of MY mentors from last year.I see exactly what they saw, the future, and like I said remmebering to Pay it forward.

I don’t need to send personal thanks to everyone I love, everyone who made me who I am today. you all know who you are, of course my story has only just begun. I already feel like I have written a lifetime of things But I know I’m really just getting past the prologue. The best bits are still to come. This year holds new challenges, Stepping up my game to really understand the finer points of the position I hold within executive of my union. Being held accountable for my actions by the student body, tackling real tough issues at the heart of the student movement, and trying to connect with the disenfranchised minds on the fringe of it. Moving towards better health mentally and physically, something I feel I need to keep on top of if I set reasonable goals and understand it’s a marathon not a sprint when it comes to personal development, of course getting really on top of and of course embracing my degree is key. Something I dont plan on letting slip this time. I’m loving it, this degree is suited to me. I think passion and debate and all the skills and knowledge from other things I do and take an interest in, are relevant and useful here. Something Im very excited about.

My story is only beginning, where is yours and whats the next chapter for you? when your story ends how will it read? when your song is sung how will sound on playback? Hopefully I’ll be that bloke in the pub 25 years from now offering advice to some new kid I see who has that spark, that has a whole life in front of him and maybe just needs some reassurance It’ll work out, or that kick in the right direction. Being that person they will walk away from and go think about he conversation, even if there choice is completly contradictory to my advice. My advice, experiences opinions or even just telling them my story, will have helped in their thought process to make them realise whats next.

I think I need no quote today. I think I was “deep enough” for anyone who stuck through me throughout that rather long winded speech. thanks for listening, and thanks for sticking around waiting for this long overdue update. I wanted to finish this off with a small photo gallery, 4 photos of different stages of my life. A way of me really seeing how I CHANGED over the years.

First day of school

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~ by conorstrife on October 10, 2011.

2 Responses to “A new chapter?”

  1. The sooner this young man realises no one cares the better.. As for people who where really close to you drifting apart , they obviously where’nt that close to you on the first place!

  2. xxxx

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