Age 14. I was never well-cultured or well-traveled, but my mother's delineation of a hypothetical Ireland trip inspired me to galvanize myself into adventure.
"There's Killarney, and Galway, and Ed Sheeran! Ooh, and don't forget about Giant's Causeway..." She would exclaim; each new destination along the Emerald Isle sounded like magic, and the idea seemed like the most wonderful escape from school, drama, social media, news, and routine.
"YES. YES." I continued to voice my excitement, and the graduation of my elder brother from college made the trip seem even more feasible. Before I knew it, we were set to go via Aer Lingus to the most beautiful place I had ever seen.
I never knew green until I saw the Irish countryside. The colors, the shapes of rocks. My camera loved it and captured nearly all of its greatness. Everything was foreign and new and spectacular. A jaded Virginian like myself could only dream of the smell of Ireland- cold, fresh air, and grassy perfume. We were no longer driving by the signs of rural development in the south that I was so used to; now, we saw vivid paintings in the sky and an array of new formations in the earth I didn't know or believe existed.
Ireland was my anodyne just as music is back home, but there was a moment when I found myself. Or lost myself. Or a bit of both, and the music rung like a sweet summer anthem.
We made our way to the Cliffs of Moher [mohr], and as I marveled at the view of the cliffs from below, I realized how fortunate I truly was. *Click, click.* Surrounded by my brother and mom, hiking the most picturesque Ireland attraction, and truly feeling the breeze. I danced in it and watched the waves crash into the cliffs.
Everything turned to a white, chunky foam. The ever so powerful waves demolished by the strong cliffside. It reminded me of my life when I found out about my parents' divorce- crash, crumble, roar. *Click, click.*
The Cliffs of Moher were rightfully adulated by all Irish people and for good reason. As you think and walk along these cliffs, a cold breeze fills your back. You see a stone structure in the distance, and as you approach it, you fatigue yourself.
If only you can make it to the stone! You will give yourself your best attempt at motivation, but no matter how hard you try, the cold breeze tightens and some rain may begin to fall, after all it is Ireland. But yet you continue and power through.
Just as we all do with obstacles- the crashing of the waves, my parents' divorce, was only a motivator to do better for myself. With attention divided on the legalities of a divorce, neither parent could fully commit to raising a teenager, so I grew up some. I cooked for myself; I did more chores than expected, and for what? For me.
The cliffs act as a life changer, honestly. Reaching the end of the pathway and getting to the stone reminds you that nothing is accomplished with no effort, and as the hilarious but sometimes relevant Michael Scott would say, "the only time I set the bar low is for limbo."
Full me, all the time. Always devoted, but always striving and working on the masterpiece of myself. A masterpiece in development, just like the continuously changing cliffs.
Moher. [Mohr]. Each city in Ireland was MOHER than I expected; the native people always willing to share their story. The potato famine, a history of violence in Northern Ireland particularly, great triumphs, the immigration to the United States.
They were always so eager to educate and tell stories, which I try to resemble now. There is no shame in an untraditional story that is filled with peaks and pits, but if I give moher of me, then I imagine others will reciprocate.
Moher of me is a goal, but as I begin to delve into a little of my past, I get that sharing my story is hard. And that difficulty is my story- I'm not always open, but I do like landscapes and photography, and I could sit and stare at the Irish countryside for forever, which may not be the most fascinating, but that's me.