Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Des Mooney

"I knew I could do better I sort of gave up"

I spent an enormous amount of time in my early years being told that I was not much good and wouldn’t amount to much. So much so that I believed much of what was being said and though I knew I could do better I sort of gave up, leaving school without any qualifications and drifting into an apprenticeship and subsequent trade. I also developed an unhealthy lifestyle, in addition to a propensity too ‘act-out’ and be unpredictable, which I used as a buffer to feelings of depression and a lack of self-esteem.

I was quite happy in this state for a number of years, blissfully running and racing about; a ‘tearaway’ some might say. Relationships came and went. This was usually as a result of either me or my partner acting bizarrely and the other one ‘having enough’ or being scared off. I understand now how difficult I found ‘social’ situations then but used alcohol to make them more bearable, and so continued to be blissfully unaware of the chaos that my life was becoming.

"I met new people who began to influence me"

Eventually a family tragedy forced me to confront who I was becoming. Over the next few years I began to come to terms with the shape of me, the smooth bits and the edges. I began to re-evaluate my lifestyle and allow myself to accept the person I am. I gave up my trade and wandered around, in my head and the world, for a while. I met new people who began to influence me. They were of the ‘do what you want, just try to make it interesting and good’ kind. I had always been interested in education and began to do short courses. Because I wanted to. These continued and I eventually did a Diploma, a Degree and have recently completed a MA in Higher Education. I have become a passionate advocate for education as salvation although I know that it was just my weapon of choice. As part of this process new careers beckoned, relationships became less frenetic and unmanageable; life has seemed easier to bear. The scars are still there, some self-inflicted, others borrowed from others.

Some people walk, run, travel, paint, sing, climb, play golf, read, write etc. etc. Why? Because it makes them feel good and they want to. Others like me study, change careers, become advocates for something new and life affirming, because it makes them feel good, and because they want to.

"I met new people who began to influence me"

The world has become a far more interesting place; I am married and have children, a house, a job I love doing. I have interests, friends and ambition. Corny really but adult education was the catalyst for all this. I am no longer blissfully unaware, rather I have become blissfully aware, of what it is I have and what it means to me.