30/11/20 – Signing Off, Thank You❤️

This is it, the final day has arrived and just in time as well. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the blog now, but I’ll definitely not be writing for at least a week. I think I’m going to try and make writing a daily routine, perhaps 250 words a day, compiled into a 1,000 word post every Friday or something. Yeah, that actually sounds like what I’m going to do, I think that might be interesting to see trial. Regardless, I’ve been considering committing to doing this every November and I think I will, I reckon if I said to my mates that they would commit to next year as well. So, I know I said I would finish strong, but please forgive any substandard content I’ve produced in the last 30 days.

As I embark on the final post of November, I’d like to reflect on the writing I’ve done in the past month. I wrote my blog post yesterday in under 30 minutes, compared to when I first started and it was taking me about an hour and 15 minutes every post, so there’s that. Additionally, I feel like I found a style/format of writing which I enjoy and I understand what I want to achieve in a piece. I haven’t read many posts back, even by this stage, but I will go back over them in the coming month and edit them entirely. Some of them could definitely have been funnier, I think I only did one really factual one and the vast majority were simple opinion pieces. Needless to say, opinion pieces are the most fun and quickest to do, but I think if I put slightly more effort into my writing, they’d be funnier. Perhaps the next natural step is for me to take a course in writing and see if I can improve further.

In terms of the actual point of the challenge, to raise money, we did pretty well. We managed to raise $1,750, providing clean water to 50 people. I’ll be in contact with the charity to see about getting some progress pictures of where our money has been spent.

Now, I know I keep saying this, but I’m seriously proud of my mates. I feel lucky to have friends that support me, and who are genuinely good people interested in doing nice things. So, I’d like to thank all of my mates for their commitment, all of the people who read the blog and to anyone that donated anything to the cause, it means the world.

So, whilst I’m glad it’s over, I’m concerned about the void left by the blog and I’m feeling incredibly proud to have pulled this off.

I suppose an appropriate way to end the blog is by doing what I enjoy the most, writing off the top of my head with absolutely no pressure.

Well, if I were to be completely honest, the thing I miss the most in the world is probably secondary school. I hated it at the time and I vowed to never forget how stressed I was, it was truly terrible at times. That said, you were showing up for six and a half hours of learning and having the craic with your mates, we literally got the entire day to chat shit to one another in between periods, lunch etc. Man, I miss school so much, everything was so small when we were in school. My view of the world was so much narrower and simplistic – naive, in other words. As soon as I left school I began my awakening, my path started with breaking all of the imaginary barriers to entry that school erects. I then moved on to peeling back the layers of our society which were hidden from view before. I must disclaim that I went to Rathmore, a school renowned for snobbery and whilst that is a overly simplistic view in itself, truth be told, the majority of students come from middle class backgrounds. Because of that fact, it does allow for a slightly golden-veiled view of the world and when I left school and was unemployed, it suddenly flipped my entire worldview on its head. The best example I can think of is in Finding Nemo, you know the scene, at the start, when they’re all in the nursery and they see the open ocean on the edge of the coral? Well, leaving Rathmore was like going from the safety of the coral one day, to being out in the open ocean the very next. When you’re in the open ocean you see all of the cruelty of life, when you lose that safety net and are thrust into a new life, it exposes you to an almost restricted part of society. I do want to clarify though, it wasn’t a choice, it was more so an enlightenment, all of a sudden, I was cast from the Pride Lands and into the wilderness.

On the left, Rathmore and on the right, the real world.

The other benefit of this enlightenment has been a boost in my confidence, I’m more comfortable as a person and I feel like I know myself more. I was forced to adapt to my change in circumstance and I think, the fact that I did, has given me the confidence to know that I can – comparable to swimming without armbands for the first time or riding a bike without stabilisers, once you realise you can do it, you can do it.

So, this is my closing statement, I will be so appreciative of not having to write a blog tomorrow and in that sense, the project was a real success. When I set out to do it, I wanted to set myself a challenge that might make me more grateful and bring me back down to earth. Well, I honestly believe I’ve done that, I have found this really challenging to be honest and it definitely does put things into perspective. I’m embarrassed by how wound up I get about typing 1,000 words on my phone or computer every day and the opportunity to put the state-sponsored education I received to good use – poor me! That’s the point though, people around the world struggle every day and it goes unreported, but just because you don’t always see it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. I know that I need to learn to be more grateful for what I have. I have had an undeniably easy ride thus far in life, in truth, I’ll probably always have an easy ride in relative terms. Well, I have my parents and society to thank for the cards I’ve been dealt, I know how to look after my parents, but how does one go about thanking an entire society? It’s obvious to me and it’s going to be a serious goal in my life, I think that the best way to thank society for my circumstances is by using them to improve other people’s.

That’s the goal, that’s what I want to do in my life, I want to give back to society by improving other people’s lives and I promise, I will.

Finally then, thank you so much for taking the time to read anything I’ve ever written, I know that time is our most valuable asset and that people are very stingey with it nowadays, so time is always appreciated. That’s me done then, I feel like crying, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to anyone who supported this in any way, shape or form and thank you to anyone who gave me positive feedback or encouragement about my writing, compliments take two seconds and a bit of courage to share, but the impact can be unfathomable and felt for years.

Thank you ever so much,

Seán Marshall.

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