No, there is nothing life altering happening. I am, for once, living a good quiet life involving hard work, no drinking and up untill now early nights. Perhaps this is exactly what is life altering. I've had to leave something of my independence behind me in the fabulous city of Cork, and move to my family home in Carlow. Now don't get me wrong, I do love my family, very much. I consider myself rather lucky on that count. But I'm 23. Nearly 24. To once again have to explain all the time where I'm going and with whom and when will I be back, and to give as much notice as possible of all of the above.....well, it gets a bit irritating. Especially having lived away from home for so long, when I could, on a whim, decide to go camping in the wiles of Waterford with people I've only really just met, or decide, at 10pm, to head out, and get plastered, and maybe, all going well, kiss some lucky young fellow (I'm very fussy, don't you know) or even, on those wonderful days when it's pouring rain outside and the wind is howling, to stay in bed until three in the afternoon, reading. Now I feel guilty if I stay in bed past ten, and as for the luxury of reading all day on a day off? Forget it - there must be SOMETHING useful I could be doing around the house.
But it's not even this which is keeping me awake. I think about it alright, but not too much, because I know I made the right decision in coming home, I know it was necessary and logical and if I just keep my head down and get on with it, it will all be fine. Besides, it's not like I don't have any friends here. I have plenty. Friends. Therein lies the rub. Specifically the friends I've left behind. I miss them. Very much. Of course in this day and age I have plenty of options for keeping in touch with all of them, and I fully intend on doing so, but the sad truth is that despite all our new ways of keeping in touch, it's still all too easy to lose it. When you take into account that we are all busy leading our own lives full of work and our own everyday dramas, an email or even a text is not quite the same as actually being there when Mary's ex boyfriend John saw her kissing some fella in a club and punched him before being dragged away by the bouncers with Mary screaming all the while in a corner and having to be taken to hospital for a ferocious attack of anxiety. It's just never the same. It's missing out I suppose, is the problem. There are lots of wonderful things happening back in my beloved adopted city, life continuing without me, as it should. But I miss it. I feel left out. And I can't help wondering about missed opportunities. Or at the very least, possible missed opportunities. What if?
Would that question had never been invented! Aside from it's use in a rather fun drama game, it is the plague of many a person, and the cause of more sleepless nights than my own I'm willing to bet. What if? Please make it stop. I suppose it wouldn't be a good idea to ban it altogether. Imagine if Einstein had never said What if E=MC2? or Benjamin Franklin had never said What if I tied a metal key to the end of this kite in an electrical storm? or Alexander Graham Bell had said...you get the idea. Still, I really wish it leave me alone right now. It's all I can think about. Not the same question over and over, but a large variety of questions which could possibly summed up by the single question: what if I had stayed in Cork? Well, part of that I can answer with certainty - I would be stone cold broke. Again, I know I made the right decision for me. Still, I do wonder....
And that is what is keeping me awake. Wondering. What if? It is a most pointless exercise and genuinely hadn't bothered me all that much up till tonight. Probably because up until I'd been working like crazy and was therefore exhausted most of the time. Once upon a time I would have been very definite about my belief in fate and things happening for very good reasons though we may not see at the time. I probably would have soothed my case of what if? with a balm of everything happens for a reason and if something is meant to happen it will and for the love of all that is good do not forget that what's for you wont pass you. Now, I'm not quite so definite about that belief, but I suppose there really is nothing I can do. I have neither a crystal ball for the future nor a time turner for the past. I should really get in touch with Dr Who. Failing that, I suppose I shall just have to submit to the harrowing human condition of having to wait and see.
That's cheered me right up.