Friday, 1 November 2013

Off the beaten track: A long story short

Oh it has been a busy time, so much so that I have let things slip... my fitness, my health both mental and physical, my blogging etc... Although all my while being busy and still moving forward in the right direction it has stalled, altered and spiraled off in different side paths.
Its easy to sometimes go with the flow, but thats not me, I dont want to move with the crowd, I want to move the crowd, there is a huge difference. Since the day and hour I picked up a shovel on my first day labouring to a squad of plasterers when I was 17 years old I knew that I wanted to always better my life... I dont know what it was, maybe it was because I knew what a days work was, maybe it was because I had just lost my father, maybe it was because fate had tossed me head first into the real world at rock bottom and said 'hey, there is a shovel, start building your future'. Who knows, all I know is that it was the defining moment/day in my life because it opened my eyes to life. But I dont want to follow the crowd, I wasnt made for that, manys a person is all for that and that is fine, I just know its not me.

From that first day on a building site in Cullaville on the border i strived to do better than anyone else, even better than I knew I was capable of, after labouring for 2 years on less than minimum wage without a cent of an increase I asked to be put 'on the tools' (I had asked all along but kept being brushed off) They put me on them now and again for a few months, so I'd work twice as hard and fast to keep 4 men in supply so I could get a chance to lift the tools and coat a wall or 2 myself before they ran low again... it was merciless work... stupid in hindsight but it got me using the tools and doing better work that another guy that worked for them who was in his 3rd years apprenticeship. After the few months of this I knew my worth and by god I was worth more than £21 a day, so I quit, moved to Belfast and called a guy that had advertised in the paper that he was looking fully qualified plasterers... I will have to admit I lied my ass off to him.. told him I was in my 4th year apprenticeship but was well advanced- not that I had done maybe 3 months off and on... but first day on the job, no questions where asked, I put the head down and worked my socks off, the Friday came and I got handed £450 into my hand as opposed to the £105 I had be used to.
Moral  of that story... know what you are worth and go out and get what your worth, if you can do something then do it to the best of your ability!!

From that I had an accident, messed up my back... out of hospital and on the same day I walked down the Royal Avenue in Belfast, into Topman and asked for a job... I started the next week selling suits and personal shopping, from that 8 months later I got offered a managers position in another Clothes shop D2 and took it. worked there for a year and realised I could go no further so I quit and moved home. Helped my brother lay wooden floors for a while but the work was scarce. Took up the plastering tools again and within 2 years I was running my own very successful plastering business, had my brother Carl as my right hand man and we where the most sought after plasterers in the Monaghan/Cavan areas.
Moral of that story... whatever it is you do, you are not stuck in it, you always have a choice and can start a fresh somewhere else.

When the recession hit, it hit hard. I had to close up my business and face lazy built up debts (so much was taken for granted in the boom time). So I moved to Clare, started a handyman business doing everything and anything to keep a roof over my head... fell deep into depression from the business closure, debts and issues in my head. Starting a kitchen garden turned my life around, growing my own and teaching myself to cook from it ignited a passion that I never knew existed. from this I got into the baking and celebration cake making, have my first cookbook coming out in 2 months time and am striving to become the best at what I do.
Moral of that story... J.K. Rowling summed it up by saying "Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life".

But as I say its easy to let things slip from time to time, let quarrels, issues, anxiety, panic attacks, stress, work, fear and depression get in the way... all of which are tests, fuck it life is a test, how do we respond to it? Let it rule us, get sucked in to the dramas and bullshit that inevitably will raise its ugly head? Or do we take charge, get into the right mindset and and go out and get what we are worth...
Lots of people want to be average, lots of people want to be better but end up average... I want to be better, I will be better and I will always push myself to be better. And its not about ego or pride or anything like that, it is about wanting to make a great life for you and the people you love.

I had one of my brothers lecture me recently, saying that I was chasing rainbows, would never be happy, always do my best and get as far as I can go but am still not content... damn fucking right thats not good enough for me.. whats wrong with bettering yourself and working hard to be the best at whatever it is that you do... you might not get there but at least you are trying...
Moral of that story is too obscene to print, but draw your own conclusion!

1 comment:

  1. well bettering yourself is a hell of a lot more productive than battering yourself! You are an inspiration Paul, and I am honoured to know you... kind of ;)


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