A lot of my recent posts have been all about the book, the book, the book…I’ve barely had time to stop and reflect. I’ve managed to flee Christmas, a season I’ve never particularly liked, by signing books here, posting advertisements there. I’ve been in full on battle mode. But today is a change of pace, because ten years ago to the day, something very important and significant happened and I’d be remiss not to recall it.
I was working a low-end job, earning little, writing less, adrift. I didn’t understand people. I didn’t understand how to be around them. I thought being myself was insufficient, and people picked up on that sense of insufficiency and drifted off. I had no sense of direction and little purpose. I knew I wanted to write, was told I had talent, but was so easily distracted. I felt as if I occupied space rather than anything more positive. As a person, I was lost and unhappy.
Then, on a rainy night in Galway not unlike this one, waiting for a party somewhere else, I wandered into the pub everyone wanders into and someone was sitting at a table reading a book called Thirty-Three Moments of Happiness and I fell into conversation with them – and just like that, without my knowing it, my life changed forever.
That I found my place in my society, that I stood up and no longer apologised for the space I inhabit, that I was essentially redeemed and loved – able to cash it all and start again – I owe to this fateful meeting and the time afterwards. I will never forget that. So, as a note of joyous gratitude, and a nod to the season that’s in it – and to the oul’ truce – here’s a beautiful song from one of my favourite First World War films, Joyeux Noel. Have a good one, everyone.