Friday, March 8, 2019

The Goldilocks complex

Having just reached a little over a year since my return to Ireland I’m starting to feel like the string that’s tied between a balloon and a rock weighing it down. In LA, where I’d been living, it seemed that the sky is the limit, and, in Ireland, it's best to stay grounded and don't be gettin' yourself notions! I’ve often wondered if a people's aspirations is directly proportional to the size of the land mass they’re living on.

The false optimism in LA was annoying, that fake it until you make it shit, but the attitude of compliance over here, the stoic assent that life is shit and you have to just live for the weekend, is depressing. Nobody seems to want to talk about their problems when you ask, it's all just; "ah sure, it's grand." as they gulp down their glass of wine. That's a stark contrast to the dynamic of becoming the regular customers' psychotherapist when serving them coffee in Hollywood. A good symbol for the contrast between our cultures is those German brothers' concept of how we like to shop. In their European store, Aldi, it's all florescent lighting, dressed down decor and copies of popular brands right down to the logo. Whereas in the American Trader Joe's, they've gone for a quaint little neighborhood grocery store, where the labels look like they were drawn by the staff that morning, just before they stocked the shelves.

I was once told that when you move away from home and live abroad, if you return, you'll never have a home again, and that's becoming more true with each day that passes. I want to live in a country where if you need something trivial, say batteries or a light bulb, at night, they're available. I want to live in a country where if you decide to buy wine in the morning as a gift for somebody you're not prevented by a mollycoddling government that thinks you're an alcoholic! I want to live in a country where the averts on TV don't condescendingly pit you against your neighbor to compete for the best car or lawn. I want to live in a country where I've done more drugs than the chicken I'm eating has! I'll stop before I turn into a blueberry.

Maybe I'll never feel at home again. Maybe I'll just have to knuckle down and get myself some denim leggings. Maybe this is all an illusion resulting from my fear of giving up my dreams, and conforming to the babies/mortgage status quo. Maybe I'll have to keep tonguing the far recesses of my mouth in search for that illustrious taste of freedom I thought I once had. Maybe the porridge will never be just right. 


  1. I think you can keep moving towards your dreams and still continue into the next chapters that life throws at you. With a child for instance, having a new life to look after could give you the motivation to work harder or the inspiration to achieve more. I don't think there is a formula dictating anybody who has gained 'success'. No government or societal influences either. If you're happy and you have a goal that you are moving towards maybe you might get lucky enough one day for those dreams to come true.

  2. Thanks Kendrick, I totally agree. I think sometimes I worry that having a child would bring a financial responsibility that would yield me very little time for creativity, but, having said that, I've seen some friends who find the time and energy to make it work. I'm not there yet and thankfully my wife hasn't caught the moming bug so I still have time to moan about trivial differences between different cultures and their way of life!


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