Enter the Internal.

Posted May 27, 2014 by Mary Egan
Categories: Uncategorized

If you were to wander upon the carnage following a war, a battle, an argument, an accident, you would most likely be shocked, disgusted and affected in some way. But the question remains: Why is the visual, physical more effective in evoking emotive responses than more internal, verbal expressions? Is leaving too much to the imagination the problem?

It is no shock that internal issues such as those of “mental illness” or even general internal though processes are hard for the general public to empathize with. Furthermore, even friends and family members can have difficulties understanding and identifying with emotions and thoughts they cannot interact with in a physical domain. Take for example, an injury given a fall from a height. While an individual may recover from bruises or physical defaults within certain time periods, interal injuries may exist long beyond the physical injuries heal. This itself can be hard for others on the outside to understand. It may be expected that the outside healing is reflective of internal healing. However, if there is anything that popular literature has taught us; it is that “appearances can be deceptive”.

It can be easy to assume that “what we see” is “what we get”. In reality, this is far from true. The happiest  and care-free of individuals may be the most anxious, paranoid, depressed of us. Mere facádes of smiles and optimistic comments can conceal a world of discontent and tears. This is not to say that every laid-back and optimistic individual is hiding something, but to draw attention to the ease of which a few smiles and nods can easily distract from the truth. 

The question remains: Why are we more drawn in with the physical evidence of agony? The signt of blood can draw empathy from most, yet no acknowledgement may be passed to an individual with severe internal injuries; whether mental or physical in nature. Is the proof in the pudding, or are we programmed to empathize more with those we see to be deserving. In other words, is “seeing, believing?”

Indiependence 2012!

Posted August 8, 2012 by Mary Egan
Categories: Uncategorized

On the weekend of July 31st to August 3rd myself, Niamh and Lisa ventured to Indiependence where we volunteered for the weekend. We got off to an interesting start, being dropped by the bus in Mitchelstown with no idea where to go, ringing a taxi and meeting a fellow volunteer from Turkey who then asked to stay in the tent. We avoided this due to fear of strangers and we met the people in charge, got our rotas and faced our next challenge.. pitching the tent! It took quite a while, sheer confusion and a little help from a neighbour tentee but we soon settled in for the night. The next day Lil Lisa headed off for work at 10am while me and Niamh were free to get (FREE) breakfast and wander the arena and take photos of stages and basically ourselves standing in the mud (Niamh doesn’t get out much). At 1pm we started work until 9pm. It was a lot more fun than expected, selling tickets to incoming campers and handing out prebooked tickets, telling artisits where to go and so on. Met a few friends on their way in which was cool too! Then it was time for Bressie, who was epic as always.. and beautiful. Always beautiful. Followed by Maverick Sabre, followed by befriending some Wexfordians who were impressed with Niamhs “yip ya boyoo” shouting skills.

Saturday was our day off. We saw some brilliant acts like Emerson(no longer our friends due to Niamhs interesting outbursts) who also won the Battle of the Bands in Cyprus Avenue a while ago. Our new friends Kodakid who are super nice and a really good band. The Raglans, whose music I quite enjoyed. We hadn’t intended on seeing them but wandering by they were so good we had to stop. Kellie Lewis, who was being accompanied by a friend of mine. She was such an amazing singer, all originals and such a pretty lady. I’d love to see her again. Jamie Sugree, a dj I know from Tralee, who was rather good which is quite the compliment coming from someone who hates dj music! We also caught a bit of Kodaline who also impressed me. Then came the ever brilliant Royseven and meeting the lead singer in the green room, The Frank and Walters, Feeder who were absolutely amazing, and a little bit of Scroobius pip. We went on this cool eco bus cafe, which was a bus, where we had our first pillows of the weekend and then I caught up with an intoxicated Karen for a little while before bed.

Sunday we started work at 12 and we finished at 8pm, which left us time to see Ham Sandwich, who I can’t wait to see again at Electric Picnic, and The Coronas who were great as usual! Missed Delerentos and Daithi though which I was gutted about. We spent an interesting evening getting to know our camping buddies. Then the next morning was time for packing up, dragging bags up the road and getting the bus home. Wonderful time!

I really enjoyed Indiependence. The size was definitely much better than Oxegen or other music festivals I’ve attended. There was a good crowd, without being packed or uncomfortable to move around in. There were no violent drunken people causing trouble and everyone we met was friendly and just interested in having amusing conversations. There was a lot of mud but we were lucky, as volunteers we got to camp in the VIP section so our section was much cleaner and quieter (no thanks to our loud, always drunk tent neighbours). Overall I can’t complain, great (FREE) music, great (FREE) food, great company, pretty good camping conditions, fun work and a free t-shirt (clearly a highlight). Oooh and I got my nose pierced which barely hurt at all!

4 months.

Posted July 22, 2012 by Mary Egan
Categories: Uncategorized

Its been 4 months since my Grandad passed away. I’ve never gone this long without seeing him. I think about and miss him everyday, which is happy and sad. Today Nan said she doesn’t feel like hes gone at all. She looks at photos, listens to videos of stories he told and reads the diary he wrote. She feels like hes still here. I do too, I think we all do. Someone with such a huge, warm personality can never leave you. In nearly every dilemma I’m faced with I think of what he would do and it never leads me wrong. I think of him and I feel inspired and lucky and proud. The love between him and my nan was so strong. He spoke about the first day they met all the time, in such detail as if it were the day before, and with such care and love and excitement as a new couple. The love he had for his children, and us, his grandchildren, was just as strong. As his only daughter, he kept my mom’s first milk teeth in his pocket always. They were in his pocket the day he passed away, and he was burried with them, along with a photo of myself, my brother and sister. I found comfort in the fact that we would always be with him because he will certainly always be with us. When I think of grandad, my initial response is to cry over how deeply I miss him, but I always end up in knots of laughter moments later, as I think of stories he told, jokes he made or just what he would say if he were here now. He supported and cared for me and loved me always, from the moment I was born, through my earliest years where I sat on his lap and learned card tricks, to my teenage years when he teased me over my red hair and sat in silence, holding my hand the morning my dad died. And he still supports me now as I think of the person he was and the love he showed, I know just who I want to be, how I want to act and how to do this. He showed me the way and he gave me the strength and support to get there and get through things. He taught me to make jokes and laugh anyway, even in the midst of a fight with someone, even with topics that make you sad, uncomfortable or angry. He taught me to smile and mess even in the most difficult of situations. I hope that I can make him as proud as I am of him. He has always been and always will me by role model and one of the dearest people to me. He was not only a grandad to me, but a parent, a friend and a role model. 

 

I love you forever, Grandad x

Playing God.

Posted July 15, 2011 by Mary Egan
Categories: Uncategorized

Yesterday, I was collecting money for the Tralee branch of Amnesty International, via bucket collection. As it was a bucket collection, it didn’t entail stopping customers, merely sitting in the one spot and interacting with those who donate and asked questions, by choice. Despite this lack of intereference on our part, one man decided he would interfere with us. He approached the table enquiring as to what Amnesty was. He seemed quite hesitant but I assumed this was just due to his confusion of what we were. I began to explain about the various actions we do. I explained about the Human Rights Activisits in Malawi who were under threat of death, and how we sent money to them so they could get round the clock protection. I was half way through explaining the death penalty actions when he suddenly interrupted saying “Ye’re after the babys. Ye want abortions and all that ole stuff”. Shook his head and walked away, while I was still mid-sentence.

Now I’m all for freedom of speech, but I think that should include listening to the other persons views too and engaging in some form of discussion. Not cutting someone off mid-sentence, making one single-minded point as if thats all Amnesty does, and then walking off once you’ve had your say. I was really not happy about that incident and hoped noone else would react this badly.

Then he came back a second time to say ” You’re by the way doing good but killing babys”, to which I replied “No, this is the Tralee Amnesty branch, we sent aid to countries that need it and our main campaign at the moment is getting rid of the death penalty”. I proceeded to pick up the petition against the death penalty and was (AGAIN) still speaking when he said “No you’re killing babies, thats all your about”, so I gave up and said “Im just trying to do a job here” and stopped engaging in vain attempts to get through to his ignorant head. A nice lady came over so I spoke to her instead, and he began to wander off, but not without saying one last time ” you’re killing babies”.

In my opinion, that was the height of ignorance and rudeness. To approach me twice with this verbal attack, while I’m just trying to collect money for a cause, alone. There were other collectors but they were all older, and many in groups. To target the youngest and a person on their own is just cowardly. If you’re really bursting to share your opinion that much, why not get two ears instead of one. After the first time he approached I considered that maybe he just felt strongly about this particular issue and felt compelled to say something. But the second instance was just pure rudeness. I was making good points, and he ignored them all because he just wanted to focus on one issue that he could pick fault with. (He could hardly have a problem with a petition against the death penalty or sending aid to people that need it.) But I also told him that this was the Tralee Branch of Amnesty, and if he had the decency to listen who would’ve realised this meant that we don’t have anything to do with abortion, because Ireland said no to Abortion. Therefore we don’t do any work on abortion, but other Amnesty International committes in other countries do.  If he’d listened to what I was telling him about the work that we do, he would’ve understood that there is no requirement to be involved in every campaign, so even if Irish Amnesty was pro-abortion, this mighn’t mean I was involved in any way, with that particular area. He wasted both our time due to his own ignorance. Thats why I think its important for freedom of speech to include active listening, otherwise whats the point. You’re not going to learn anything, or understand the other person, or have any kind of worthwhile conversation.

I find that peoples attitudes towards other charities can be quite disheartening too. I work in a charity shop, Threshold. A few times people have tried to bargain down the prices of items and have become quite hostile when we haven’t complied to their wishes. This despite the fact that there are numerous large signs around the shop stating that we cannot bring the prices down any lower than they are. 95% of items are 0.50c – €6. The only prices higher than that are when we recieve expensive items like garden equipment, and even at that, the most expensive tends to be €20, even though they’re brand new, still in the box and worth €50-€60. Its generally items that are in the €2-€3 region that become a problem. People seem to forget this isn’t a shop with a sale on. Its a charity shop raising money for Homeless people. Threshold stores in Ireland overall save 2 homes from becoming homeless daily. They really depend on the funds from their shops to raise the majority of this money. I think its wrong, personally, for people to try and bargain items to lower prices when the proceeds are going to such a good cause. I know its a recession but these prices are really good value and many items are brand new, or at least in the best of condition. However little money someone might have, someone who is homeless has a lot less. People seem to forget that..

Real People are Never Fake, and Fake People are Never Real.

Posted June 10, 2011 by Mary Egan
Categories: Uncategorized

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things that we do”. More and more people seem to be adapting to the idea of smiling to someone’s face, while badmouthing them at the next opportunity. Sometimes there are reasons behind the comments. Underlying issues caused by betrayl, lies, arguments, previously overheard comments about oneself, on their part. The list goes on. Other times, there are no reasons as such. This fits under the catergory of “previously overheard comments about onself”- which starts a vicious cycel of backstabbing comments, with smiling faces and polite chit-chat in public.

But why? If you’re going to the effort of putting issues aside for pretence sake, ask the dutiful questions, laugh at their jokes, write a friendly ole message on their facebook wall, why not make the effort to leave all ill-feeling behind overall. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t play the martyr in private and run to their every beck and call in public. If you’re brave enough to call them out for whatever issue, have some consistency. Stop being fake.

Often it is the case that these people will only collect more reasons to badmouth their “allies”, by pursuing this public pretence. If these undeniable issues exist why continuously fuel the fire. Either learn to handle their “abuse” or learn to be real.

New Year, New You.

Posted January 1, 2011 by Mary Egan
Categories: Uncategorized

Its that time of year of year again, where the slates wiped clean and we can all start again (unless your Chinese, then you have another month to go). Theres a certain sense of optimism in the creation of New Years resolutions, whether you’re off to the gym, starting a new hobby or vowing to end night before essays forever. I like this part of New Years.

However then theres the part where people start judging the previous year and putting expectations on the year to come. I’m not belittling anyones problems but I don’t think we should condemn an entire year of our lives based on a few bad experiences. That said I’m sure are there people who’ve had exceptionally hard times and associate the year with bad experiences, but my point is we shouldn’t forget the positive times either.

Another new years tradition, as I mentioned, is demanding perfection from the year to come. I see Facebook groups such as “like if you fucked up in 2010”, but life doesn’t suddenly become perfect because the year number changes. Theres always going to be some things out of your control, but you can always improve bits and pieces. There will always be good and bad elements, but neither eliminates the other. Saying 2010 was the worst year ever sometimes makes you forget the good times in between.

All in all, I think 2010 was a pretty good year. I started college in the course I love, moved to Cork (more H&M Time woo) , made some epic new friends, met my favorite band and lots more. Sure there were bad times too but I wouldn’t write off the whole year for it, you can’t overlook the amazing times. Sometimes we need to take a step back and appreciate what we do have and focus on that, so we can start of the year on that positive note.

The art of thinking independently together.

Posted July 15, 2010 by Mary Egan
Categories: Uncategorized

I recently read up on the opinions of the traditional catholic belief, assuming it was pretty similar to the general catholic church. I was surprised that their views were much stronger than this, but what bothered me was their views on society. One particular bishop openly advocates holocaust denial and is very much in favor of adhering to strict gender roles. A practice which is very damaging to the diversity and development of the individual.

He basically outlines women should not be allowed wear trousers or shorts, attend college or university or have careers. As for men, he believes a huge emphasis should be placed on “manliness”, as if we didn’t have enough brainwashing advertisments as it is.

Religion should be about bettering oneself as a person and inter-person relationships. I fail to see how wearing a skirt makes someone a better person.  It appears to be quite superficial to place emphasis on gender roles here. Femininity and masculinity are not concepts that alter a persons conscience.