Wowee! Kimbo just finished college! What? Like how did that happen? (I mean, this is presuming I passed all of my exams and my thesis’ aren’t shit…) “Thesis’?” I hear you say. Yes thesis X2 is a thing. A thing that I, unluckily had to do. But I did it and now it’s all over. Life’s a bit mad like that. Can’t seem to wrap my head around it all. It literally seems like about a month ago that I walked into JH for the first time. I so clearly remember being so very terrified in that huge lecture theatre. I felt so high up and like such a small, tiny, itty, bitty fish in a mighty, great, very big pond/ocean. I sat there dressed like SUCH a dork and remember thinking to myself how daunting three years seemed and feeling a little trapped. I was adamant that I wasn’t smart enough, wouldn’t fit in and would hate every second.
By god, I had no idea about the adventure that lay ahead. I am now a TOTALLY different person! I now know who I am; or rather, am well on the road to discovering myself. I have learned what I value the most in life. I have found my place, the place where I fit in and feel comfortable and oh, so happy. And I have found meaning to my life.
Man, I’ve been through some amount of shit the last three years but I can’t help but look back and beam with pride.
In first year when asked to say my name out loud in a tutorial class of like 20 people I had a panic attack. In second year I had a panic attack in my first Summer exam. This year I had my biggest ever panic attack when I got on the wrong train and ended up in Port Laoise instead of Heuston on my own at like 10pm. Then three weeks later I went on to address lecture halls and explained to people why they should believe in me and my ideas. Why this disaSTAR of a woman with awfully bad duck jokes, periodical extreme bouts of anxiety who runs around college with a yellow bath duck called Albert and talks far too much deserved to be Maynooth’s Welfare and Equality Officer.
I was vulnerable. Very vulnerable. I was terrified and unsure if I would get anywhere. But I believed so much in what I wanted to do. I was honest about my vulnerability and it turns out, a lot of people could relate. Winning Welfare was, undoubtably the best night of my life so far.
Mental illness is not a weakness. If understood and managed well, I firmly believe it’s a strength. We can do anything anyone else can do! Sometimes it just takes a little more persistence and bravery.
As for life? It’s been a little tough. But I’ve never been so calm about a set of exams in my life as I was for my finals. I was able to eat and wasn’t vomming 24/7 as per usually. I managed to somewhat sleep and I didn’t cry once during the exams, I don’t think. Immediately after I went into thesis writing and that was a bit tough. I ended up having to take a few days off and take some proper Kimbo time. That helped a lot and definitely got me to the end.
I wasn’t actually sure if I would get through this year with Ellen, Adam, Alisha and Cathal all away. But I did!! It forced me out of my comfort zone. I got closer with lots of other people. I had to rely on others I didn’t know so well. I made new friends. Great friends. This time last year I left for America, a shell of the person I am today. I’ve now been off medication for over a year. Without any medical intervention what so ever. (That is not a recommendation to anyone. It was a totally stupid, reckless decision that just, luckily, ended up working out class…) Although sometimes the world still seems a little terrifying, I am now stronger and happier than I have ever been.
Repeal won! That was fucking wonderful! I cried so much. That was emotional and historic and I was so proud of this little country! Thank you to any of you who voted Yes!! The feeling that people were voting on whether or not I deserved equal rights was a bit shit. But nevertheless, AMAZING result!
I’ve decided to go back to counselling. I’m in need of a top up and that is A OKAY! It’s exciting. I can only get stronger and happier. Life is good. Self-awareness and discovery are wonderful, wonderful concepts. Ellen is such a class psychoanalyst and that, amongst a million other reasons is why she’s the best. Speaking of which, we’re in Wexford right now chilling out and breathing and drinking wine. I was pretty fried before coming here but life is back on track again.
Summer is here and welfare work starts on Monday. Excited doesn’t even cover it! The world absolutely feels like my oyster right now. Pals are starting to arrive home from Erasmus which makes my heart so happy and bright and I really feel that the adventure is only beginning.
Life is quite beautiful at this moment. I feel at peace. I’m sitting on the 5th floor, looking out over the bay and a funky looking castle. The birds are chirping and I just got sent a really funny Dad joke. So that’s what I’m gonna leave you with. Sending all the love.
What do you call a guy with a rubber toe?
Keep laughing, and smile always,
Kimbo. X 🦋