Defying Gravity

‘When I loved myself enough, I began to see I didn’t have to chase after life. If I am quiet and hold still life comes to me.’ Thank you Gabby for that reminder.

Now I wouldn’t be considered the most patient person. Sure I am very laid back and have bucket loads of patience for daily activities and people but when it comes to my dreams and achieving them not so much. I tend to panic, watch the clock and want to run before I walk towards them. This usually results in me stumbling, getting frustrated or getting lost (sometimes all of the above!) which only slows the process down.

Lucky for me, I grew up in a family where dreaming is important, where dreams were possible, attainable and worthwhile. Every time I tripped up and fell on my way to a dream, my mother would wipe the dirt off my knee and helped me look at the map to se where I had gone off course, my father would teach me how to read the map and gave me the provisions to sustain me on the adventure.

I tend to be rather stubborn too, so if there is something I want I go after it in any way I can until I have what I want. At twenty four I have realized sometimes I hold my map upside down, and the thing I’m actually looking for may not be what I’m running to. This is a good lesson, it slows me down, making me pause to read the map properly, to notice the beautiful scenery around me and to check in with myself. It’s at those moments where I experience true magic and find a new door open, a shortcut on my map or a dream arrive and land at my feet.

‘I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be’ 

This rings true for me, the scenic route has been an exciting one and guarantees more excitement to come, looking back if I had known the route from the start I still would have chosen this path, it brought me to so many different places and brought me so many beautiful people, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I start my new job with Virgin Atlantic tomorrow and I couldn’t be happier. Yes it’s not a film job but I feel as though I have been guided here, I am not alone and I’m being looked after. I’ll continue on my journey toward my dreams and I thank you for being part of this adventure, you help light the way, I hope in some small way I can return the favour.

‘Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.’

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Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You!!

I usually get an idea for a blog by something that has inspired me, it could be a conversation or a line in a movie or anything at all. Then I store it away in my brain to develop and when I have more time to sit down and write it, the blog happens when I physically cannot leave it alone, when I have this determined urge to write it. This one arrived this morning, 1am as I was just falling into sleep, after sitting patiently in my head for a week.

I was talking to a friend of mine about a film I had made recently, (which you can find here https://vimeo.com/42902661 Love Letters) and she was relieved for my sake that I wasn’t gay although she had wondered. This made me curious, why was she relieved?! Being gay is not a bad thing, not that I know what being gay is. Yet she agreed and said that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks; that we all make mistakes. We left it at that because it was late but I came away not able to sleep.
I found it fascinating that a well rounded and educated woman could agree with me that it was wrong to judge people on their sexuality yet still saw it as wrong, as a mistake. I’m sad for her, that she really doesn’t see it, that she doesn’t really get to experience the celebration if a person who is gay. I have a lot of gay friends and I delight in them.

What a blessing and a priviledge it is to be around someone who has taken a hard step in accepting who they are, evolving in it and holding it out to the world; ‘this is who i am’. I admire that. I find I’m still learning, still evolving and still accepting who I am, so I learn a lot from being around people who are willing to be themselves, it’s a gift for me.

And yet I have to admit, I was nervous when writing my film, a lot of people told me to think twice maybe three times before including gay and disabled storylines. But my intention to break the mould and light up some darkness was strong and I needed to get it out there. Sure I was scared people would think I was gay because it had my own pieces of poetry. Not because being gay is a bad thing, I was just scared of what people’s perceptions of me would be, until I heard myself think it and slapped myself with humble pie. I needed to put it out there BECAUSE I was scared, and not only that. I needed to play the gay role to teach myself what I was trying to tell the world.

I’m glad I played the gay character, I’m glad I got to step into her shoes. Susannah is strong, and confident in who she is and how she feels, she’s patient and kind and is content within herself to not push the love of her life into loving her, instead she waits. Not only that but Susannah has curves and wears no make up yet is loveable, is attractive, is wanted. Susannah is someone I’d love to know and love to be more like. I have no regrets playing her.

One of my actresses asked me why didn’t I play Bridget (the first character) ‘because that’s obviously you’ when in fact they are all me, they all come from me, those poems arose from parts of my life. It’s funny how people can perceive you differently. This is why I didn’t cast a deaf girl to play Isabella and cast a perfectly able, wonderful friend of mine.The character was not just her disability, far from it, I wanted to show how normal someone is with one,and how the perspective within is quite different to those who surround you.

I looked at the footage when sitting down with my editor and good friend Tom, and was not afraid that people would think I was gay, in fact I am proud to stand up for and beside any gay person. No, all I saw were my bulges and double chins, my left leg turning in and my left hand playing an invisible piano. It frustrated me.

Then I had a humbling moment when Tom turned to me and asked had I watched the film, had I not wrote it? Did I not understand it? I was being a hyprocrite, sure preach to everyone else to become okay in who they are but despise yourself. I realized if I didn’t like my own bulges and saw them as faults I was in no fit manner to help anyone else. So I made a conscious effort to love who I am, to love every bump, to celebrate my disability, to dance in my uniqueness and to joyfully excite in whomever I fall in love with! To not be my own obstacle. Judge not lest ye be judged. Choose wisely before you pass somebody else’s actions off as mistakes or sins; their actions are most likely perfect for their life and will aid in their happiness immensely. There is no wrong or right when it comes to free will and love, no black and white, jusy colour lots and lots of rainbow colours!

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Truly Being

‘Being part of something special makes you special’ Rachel. Glee.

That is one of my favourite quotes from my favourite show because it resonates with me so powerfully. The moments in life that stand out are the moments that make you. For me, this past year has been such a special year because I was part of something truly spectacular. My last year of university has been a gift that I believe not many people get to have, my class I have only known since September have become a family to me. Together we have created many pieces of art that speak out, that reach out, that mean something. The creativity in coming together, brainstorming, stressing, becoming passionate about ideas and making them into something has been inspirational. The openess, vulnerability and passion shared sparks hope into the future.

I often find similarities in glee to my own life, especially the most recent season of glee where many of the members are graduating, moving onto the next chapter of their lives, becoming truly ready to be. Stepping off the security blanket into something new can be exciting but it can also be scary. It is understandable to want to remain in the moment that meant so much. I’d be quite happy to live in our little ‘hub’ of a computer room that holds so many memories that brought us to here but then all the experiences and all of the strength from this year would be of nothing if I did not step into the future and share the spark, the light, the hope that has been shared with me.

‘When you come to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown. Faith is knowing one of two things shall happen, either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.’

I am ready to fly, I am ready to soar, and it doesn’t mean I leave it all behind and shut the door. Rather it is taking those moments, those memories and making them into something extraordinary. Once your candle is lit, it’d be such a waste to not light the others with the fire in you. You will not lose any of the warmth, it will just multiply indefinitely.
I know in the next few months and years, when I’m thirty four, and fifty four, I will look back on this year and smile, knowing it was here where my story began.

Wherever your path may lead you, do not be afraid to shine and do not be afraid to let that spark catch fire, one day you just might set the world alight!

For what it’s worth, watch my film 🙂

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Through my eyes @17

A short story I wrote as a seventeen year old, thought I’d share.

It was the start of November, a bitter cold and dull day. The wind battled with our bus in its frustrated, stubborn, resentful way and believe me my feelings were mutual. We turned a corner, in the dirty, depressing streets of Dublin that oppressed our small fleet. Just like the road underneath, I was turning a corner in my own life, only I didn’t know it  yet. 

Looking around the class I was traveling with, reminded me of ‘Grease’; the pink ladies and the Grease boys; however  just like my two friends before me, I was just an onlooker. 

My mind reflected on the performance I had been in two years previously and of the certain ‘Patti Simcox’ that was at this very moment fighting for her life. She hadn’t left my mind for weeks now, as I had worried constantly  about my dear friend who meant so much to me.

Looking out the window, I can still remember the view now, like it was yesterday. I had hope in my heart, I wished and yearned so hard on the stars that sat above the bus, I almost started believing she was getting better and would be up again someday. 

Then as shooting stars fall, my vulnerable delicate hopes were dashed upon the sidewalk. There was a phonecall, the phonecall, my tears started to run as I saw and heard the girl’s expressions change. People around me told me to be strong, there’d been rumours filtering our minds for ages, this would just be another. But in my heart, I knew something wasn’t right, even though my mind begged every lucky star to believe it wasn’t true but then came the second call and it was.

My body heaved into tears as my heart gave in to despair and pain, my world shattered into pieces before my very eyes. The person who swore she’d never leave me, left me.

One of the girls, a fellow onlooker, took me in her arms, her heart also breaking. From that very moment deep within all the trauma , grief and commotion a friendship was born. One so powerful and needed that we had come to realize later on down the line, our friend had not left us at all. Somehow we made our way to the first area of destination , the Lottery Building. Yet in this place of good fortune, I felt no security, my mind far far away.

A few of us, it had been decided, would be sent home, skipping the play that had been arranged, and those on the bus, less fortunate not to have met our recent angel, would attend. 

I’ll never forget the atmosphere in the taxi coming home. The five of us knew we would never feel the same again. The pain I felt engulfed me as I sat there, glancing through my watery eyes once again at Dublin, my body paralysed like stone, my breath hard to find. The driver, a happy little man chatted of small trivial matters, unaware of the emotional baggage we withheld, and turned on the radio. 

None of us listened to the man, it was impossible to do so, but politely we nodded and agreed where appropriate. “Five people killed”, said the radio presenter. I nudged my friend beside me and pointed to the window, it was as if I myself was looking through a window to my own life. There was a hotel outside that seemed to take forever to pass with the same name as the one we’d lost. Little did we know that was the first of many symbols to come throughout the following prolonged months. 

Looking back, her funeral was a beautiful one; filled with love and music just like she had been. She altered my past, enriched it, her death alters my future. Looking hesitantly into the future, I feel pain, a soft, sharp, tugging pain that never really goes away, a loneliness that can’t be fixed, a sense of something missing . 

But as my friendship that took flight on the bus strengthens, I know she’ll always be a part of this small ambiguous world. In the smiles and the laughter of the people around me, whenever the sea gently hugs the sand and in every blooming sunflower. She’ll never stop making a difference in my life.

In memory of Claire Kelly. My dearest angel.

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Be Passionate.

‘Without passion you cannot succeed’ Santana on Glee.

Today I had an interview toward my dream. It was a gateway to one of the paths on my journey, a hero’s call and I answered. We do not have to answer, many times we don’t, many times we ignore the call, many times we answer and say no. But today for this call, I responded and went with it. It’s funny how some swerves in the road can seem so tailormade for you that you wonder were you always meant to take this scenic route, get lost, run out of petrol and land here, exactly where you were always meant to be, chez Ciara or chez you.

Today I had the opportunity to inspire people, and I saw the ripple effect almost immediately, passion returned to the room tenfold and the place was lit up with possibility.

Whichever way this scenic stopoff leads me, whoever I meet on this restplace I know it will take me on an adventure of a lifetime, that I am certain will have me arrive at my destination. There’s a whole lot of magic in believing. There’s a whole lot of productivity in passion. When we are passionate, the sky is the limit, there is a fire burning within that is driving everything. If you are passionate about what you are doing, where you are going, how you are doing it then you cannot but succeed, passion has intent. Let what drives you drive you.

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Short Story :)

This is what a half hour in Starbucks will do Just a short story I wrote today & I thought I’d share. Follow your heart, it’ll lead you places you’ve never imagined.

The One That Got Away
I looked into the fire and disappeared, the flames danced in their autumn parade of light, licking the coal, slowly turning it to dust. Left alone in the room I was free to communicate with myself, the past came back with the doubts and the thoughts to tease and torment me.

It was a cold night in the middle of summer, I pulled at my white flimsy nightgown, it barely went past my knees yet I yearned for them to be covered, wrapped up, tangled up in the familiar sequence of skin. Momentarily, I tried blinking, hoping the action would deliver it, him, you to me. But nothing. Nothing but the welcome breeze of the fan, I had no intention of stopping, even though it was well into the midnight hours.

The ghost of your hand slipped its way around my waist as I lay rehashing the memories of yesterday. We had danced in each others’ light, drank up the energy between us, and fed on our joy. When our eyes collided, the world refused to spin and in that moment I knew your eyes were the only ones I ever wanted to fall into.

Soft passion spoke greatly to a lost heart looking for healing. This was what people dreamed about, what fairytales consisted of. It was what I had always promised myself in finding. All of earth’s problems were solved in the sound of your laughter and all my problems ceased to exist as I tripped over myself and you used your angel hands to catch me, taking my heart with it. In the months that followed, we were magnets drawn together time and time again. It was only a matter of time, I saw my future in your eyes, your smile, the way you spoke to me, a tone solely reserved for me. I delighted in our discussions. No more were we two bodies but one housing two content souls. I had every notioon that my search was over, that you were mine. I was wrong.

My heart not only broken, but ripped apart at the seam, right where the stitch that held us together lay. I could read your eyes better than my own; I knew it was done, the fairytale over, another girl had won.

Orange, red, blue and yellow flames came together in a cascade as the fireplace was brought to life. The dust resettled and I breathed a sigh of relief. What was done, was done. My heart repaired itself, it had to; I was too full of love for it to go to waste. Dreams had to be rediscovered, renamed, unwoven.

Yes, the ghost of your lips whispering into my ear, the sparkle of your vampire skin, the warmth of your aura still played chords to the pricks in my heart, even tonight as I lay there awake, hoping to once again feel that way. To innocently and wholeheartedly fall into love, without question or worry, to naively know when love is love. What a gift it was to hold if only momentarily. That is the hope, the dream, the goal of my soul.

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See You At The Finish Line

My life is very interesting at the moment, I’m living it like it’s a book and I get to read the chapters, each page brings me onto a new adventure where it’s a great mystery to see whether I choose the right path or the left one to reach my destination.

In the long term I know where I am going, I am on my way and I have no doubt I will get there. In the short term, I’ve no idea where I’m going and that is okay. Each day brings new opportunities, new choices, more paths to go down to reach my goal. In the hero’s journey, the hero gets a call to answer, depending on that answer they go on an epic adventure, meeting obstacles and magical gifts, I feel as though I am on my hero’s journey but I am not stressing. I believe everything happens for a reason and things fall into place, at least in my experience on this earth this has been happening for me. So as opportunities arise I make my choice and I see what happens. At the moment, I am waiting for one of those choices, the answer will either give me the direction to go left or right, either way I’m on my way.
We live such short lives, it would be such a pity not to relish in the small moments of life that reach such opportunities. I sometimes watch my life detached as it were on a book and smile at my life, what happens when I merely show up fascinates me. I do not have to do anything more but show up and life takes care of itself. Therefore I am not afraid or worried of what’s to come, I am quite excited and fearless. Bring it on!

I am the master of my life, the captain of my ship, the hero on my own journey.
Fear not fellow hero, your journey will unfold before your eyes and I will meet you at the finish line. In the meantime, keep dreaming.

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