At the heart of it all, we just want to matter.

It’s the little things that keep us warm.

Normally I can be found sitting behind the laptop drumming up one-liners or little anecdotes to put up on my Facebook page for anyone who reads them, and I love that people get a laugh out of them on an otherwise dreary day. Sure, it’s a good ego boost, who doesn’t love that? Yet, what drives me mostly is the desire to be that one thing in someone’s news feed that might give them a chuckle or a laugh-out-loud moment that gets them strange looks on the bus first thing in the morning as they scroll down on their phone.

In among the countless bad weather updates or declarations of how hungover their friends are, I’m happy to share the fact that, depending on what shoes I’m wearing on any given day, there’s a fifty per cent chance I won’t be able to reach up and close down the boot of my car. Hell, it makes even ME laugh sometimes. After the fact, obviously. Laughing in the pouring rain at your own misfortune may look charming in ads and indie movies, but it only gets you odd looks and no help whatsoever.

In essence, I don’t see my personal Facebook profile page as any way personal, I think I look on it sometimes as an extension of my public persona, and I’m  guessing a lot of people do the same. There are others who wear their heart and soul on their Facebook sleeve, using their status updates like a kind of mini-journal, not giving a flying fuck who takes notice and who doesn’t. In among those people, though, are people who care way too much about who takes notice. Some give thinly-veiled observations obviously directed at a particular person without mentioning names, some just put up an emoticon and hope that someone will ask what’s wrong. Inevitably, someone will always ask what’s wrong, out of sheer morbid curiosity if nothing else. However, if people are honest, it’s never the person they WANT who asks the all-important question.

I bring this up because at times, all I want to do is just that. I want to use my Facebook profile to rage and scream against the world, and tell people every day how miserable I am, that life sucks and at times I can’t even stomach getting out of bed because the list of ordinary mundane things that every basic adult in the world knows how to do just seems like a mountain of Herculean tasks to my messy, hectic, addled brain. (sometimes I do it anyway, mostly through the medium of appropriate YouTube song titles.)

Sometimes, life is fucking fantastic. Good things happen, I feel on top of the world, life is cruising along in the right gear, and I love all my friends, and they love me, and the birds in the trees are lining up alongside the squirrels and the mice like a Disney movie to sing about the lovely world we live in. That’s also stuff worth sharing for a few ‘likes’.  People are generally very good-natured on Facebook, mostly because hitting ‘like’ on some bit of good news or other takes about as much effort as exhaling.

I wonder though, how many people would send a message to someone they saw on their news feed who seemed genuinely depressed or down? I include myself in this too. It may not even be welcome on the part of the person receiving it, but it would let them know that they have been seen and heard, and maybe, that’s all they wanted in the first place.

In a sea of mass activity such as that of Facebook, it’s easy for people to be lost and feel like they’re screaming into the wind, so sometimes they test the waters by throwing out a little emotional bait to see who bites. No harm in that. The beauty of social networking means we’re no more than a ‘like’ away from making someone feel good, the downside for people like me is that I’m on-line so much, nobody needs to text me to see how I am, they just log on and see what manner of shite is grinding my gears right at that very moment. Which is fair enough. It’s cheaper than a text…

In essence, I have no real purpose or agenda in writing this, it’s just something I’ve noticed as I look through my news feed. There’s a lot of unhappy people out there, some more vocal about it than others, some who just post a sad song or quotation, some will ask their entire friends list out to see if anyone wants to meet for coffee. For all our closeness with people we spend hours talking to day in and day out on our phones and laptops, there’s no substitute for a bit of face-to-face attention from someone who genuinely wants to meet up and see how you’re getting on in the real world. It’s a lonely, tough world – and everyone has a story. We should mind each other more.

At the heart of it all, we just want to matter.

J-Ro Vs Brain, pt 5

Brain: “Oooh, who’s he?”

Me: “That’s Chris Hemsworth. He’s the guy who plays Thor in the new Avengers.”

Brain: “Can I have him?”

Me: “No, you can’t. That’s just a picture. He’s not actually standing here in front of me.”

Brain: “I NEED HIM TO MAKE LOVELY BABIES.”

Me: “Would you relax? We go through this every time. You did the same thing with Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy.”

Brain: “I can’t hear you. I’m busy going through the reasons why we would totally have a chance with Thor.”

Me: “Seriously. It’s never going to happen.”

Brain: “YOU CAN’T KNOW THAT!”

Me: “I really can. I’m not moving to LA anytime soon, and he’s never going to come to Kildimo to shoot a movie. There’s just the top two reasons it’ll never happen.”

Brain: “Five minutes. That’s all I need. I’m really funny, Superheroes dig that. I must marry him. You owe it to your genetics. COME ON.”

Me: *sigh*

Brain: “Better get typing on that “Thor 3: Escape From Kildimo” screenplay I’m about to launch up in here…”

Me: “I swear to God, if you don’t stop these weekly lunches with Ovaries and Uterus I’m going to consider some drastic surgeries.”

Brain: “THOR MAKE GOOD BABIES…”

Me: “Shut up.”

Why ‘The Secret’ is a load of old bollocks…

The Secret is...people will believe anything if they have to pay for it.

MY LIFE SUCKS. If only there was a quick, easy-fix solution that involved me not taking any responsibility for any of my actions. If only there was a book I could get my hands on that would tell me everything I wanted to hear and offer to fix it without actually getting up off my ice-cream-loaded ass and being proactive enough to change things…but wait. What’s this? There IS such a book? It’s called ‘The Secret’? I’m intrigued already. It sounds so mysterious. Why would they call it that if they didn’t know some serious shit that could change the world?? I have to have this book. Let’s have a look. Oh, wait. It’s all sealed up. Wow. It must be unbelievably awesome. I MUST HAVE IT. It’s a bit expensive, but if it changes my life the way I think it will, then those few euros will be but a drop in the ocean of my massive wealth. I’m off to put all these universe embracing nuggets of wisdom into practice. Wish me luck.

Love

Dramatisation: DID NOT HAPPEN IN NANCY'S.

Friday night, Nancy Blake’s pub, 12.30am.

The Secret tells me that I need to act like I want to attract relationships, I can’t be negative, I need to be open to the prospect. So I wore an ‘I Heart Men’ T-shirt, wandering around packs of men singing Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Single’ at the top of my voice and grinned like a Cheshire cat at anyone I found remotely attractive – just to let the Universe know I was ready for love. I saw one particular ‘target’ so I decided to focus all my energy on him. I fixed my gaze and visualised him walking over to me, asking for my hand in marriage, and we had a beautiful wedding surrounded by 1500 of our closest family and friends. When I came to some hours later, the pub was closed and the bouncer was rifling through my wallet trying to contact a next-of-kin because he thought I’d had a catatonic episode. I tried to explain that I was just visualising my future husband, but he just put me in a cab and shook his head sadly as it drove off. I must have done it wrong.

Health

And she STILL had a better run than me.

Having been unsuccessful in my attempts at finding lasting love, I now relied on the wisdom of The Secret to help improve my health. The opportunity presented itself not long after the Nancy’s disaster, when I caught a horrible head cold from after wandering around in that skimpy t-shirt in the shitty weather for so long. Instead of my usual four pints of Benylin 4-Flu and seven hot water bottles put into a duvet cover to make the ultimate warm bed, I decided this time, I’d harness the germ-killing power of The Secret. Armed with nothing more than a strong sense of optimism and a vision of my body being an absolute powerhouse of strength and disease immunity, I decided to go for a little 10km jaunt to show off my new-found bacteria-fighting power. I took off like a bullet, ignoring the coughing and sneezing fit that kicked off 30 seconds in. “Not this time,” I thought. “The Secret will power me through….”

Coincidentally that, apparently, is what I was repeatedly muttering in the ambulance as I was driven away with an IV drip in my arm and an oxygen mask strapped to my face.

Money

I'm just one positive thought away from all this...

With two failures under my belt, my faith in The Secret was starting to wane. Only one essential area remained that needed taking care of; the immeasurable wealth that I was assured would be mine, if only I just visualised it. Fair enough, I thought. I had been labouring for years under the misapprehension that if you worked, you could get paid, and if you saved as much as you could, you’d have money to spend. What a gullible tulip I was.

Being in possession of the knowledge that money could be exchanged for goods and services, which made life easier to bear and indeed far more enjoyable, I was very much in the market for more. So I sat in my house for up to four weeks, ignoring upwards of eleven phone calls offering work and gigs, and visualised stacks of cheques winging their way to my door. I imagined checking my bank balance at the ATM machine and seeing an amount the size of an international phone number staring back at me. It was awesome.

So armed with all this spiritual knowledge and the strength of my visualisation, I marched into the bank one Monday, proud as punch, and politely asked the lady behind the counter for ten thousand of their finest euro which, I assured her, was most definitely mine – according to The Universe. The fact that my account balance said €0.74 on the computer screen was merely a glitch, I reassured her. (Obviously imaginary cheques written on behalf of The Universe take as long to clear as personal ones down on Earth.) Nevertheless, I pressed on, arguing my case, content in the knowledge that I would be leaving the bank a reaffirmed devotee of The Secret.

With the help of the nice security man and a ride in the back of a cop car, at least one part of that sentence came true.

Conclusion

Go on, try it.

Four weeks and one competency hearing later, I am clear-minded and realistic. I now understand that The Secret is most definitely a way to make an absolute fortune – if you’re the author. Apart from that, you’re up shit creek…and down a couple of euro for your trouble. Not that I’m bitter or anything after my experiences, but I can’t pass a copy of that stupid fucking book without laughing hysterically and giving it the finger…and when I’m allowed back into the Crescent Bookshop again, I’ll probably do the same thing a couple more times.

You can bet your ass I won’t get fooled again. What a load of shite. Who pays for that shi…hang on, what’s this? ‘The Power’? Oooh, it’s by the same author. I wonder is there anything different in this one? She wouldn’t have written a second book otherwise. I just have to pop over to Amazon there for a second. Be right back…

Same as it ever was…

It’s diary time again…the time when I trawl through the many volumes of gibberish I used to write in an attempt to keep myself sane, and inflict them on you, the unsuspecting public. I’d apologise, but we’re way past that now.

It was June 1999, and I was living on the island of Rhodes, Greece. I gigged for a living with my best friend Louise, and had the best – and most insane – time of my life there. More about that in another blog post (once the names have been changed). This list was born out of not having a telly, or any of that internet madness that was sweeping the world at the time. So armed with paper and pen, I sat down and had a right old go at feeling sorry for myself. Turns out, looking back, I didn’t really have much to go on. But God loves a trier. Illustrations and everything. If all else fails I can make a living breaking into people’s houses, finding their personal journals and adding delightful drawings to their innermost feelings…

You bet your ass I blacked out the names...

Yes, that is a Robbie Williams quote at the bottom of the page. Mortified. I can only blame it on the constant exposure to the sun and cheesy Club Med tunes that permeated the Faliraki landscape when we worked there. Please don’t hate me…