Growing Up

Growing up, my career ambitions fluctuated between three different things: drummer in a rock band, large animal vet, and scientist. I can’t remember which came first. I think it was drummer.

My drumming idol was Animal from the Muppets. You can’t deny it, he has flair. Tomorrow’s World (a simultaneously fascinating and boring TV show) formed the basis of my lab-coat obsession, satiated somewhat when I got one for Home Economics. I wanted to be a vet because I did, and still do, love animals.

Drumming was almost literally knocked out of me when I was in my primary school brass band. Dara O’Sullivan, the drummer, sat beside the trombone section and my head was always conveniently placed under the cymbal. I can still feel the gradual and slightly deafening build up to We Are Sailing ringing in my ears.

As I got older, my interest in science waned as my accident-prone tendencies in the school’s Biology labs waxed. Two broken beakers, one exploding ceramic dish and an unfortunate incident involving a Bunsen burner and the ceiling later, and my scientific career was effectively over. So too were all science experiments for my class at school. Sorry, cailíní.

This is a terrible thing to admit, but, when I was doing my Leaving Cert., points for Veterinary were something like 550 points. An Arts degree, on the other hand, had been hovering around the 320 points mark for a few years. 550 points would have meant straight As in my chosen subjects. These included two modern European languages, Biology (erm, that was never going to be an A) and History. An Arts degree meant coasting along and making sure I passed Maths (not a given, by any stretch. I only ever passed two Maths exams. I’m just lucky they were the State exams).

So where am I now? I’m in Switzerland working in procurement, which I thoroughly enjoy. Would four year old, drumming-obsessed Róisín recognise herself? What about the girl who wanted to use microscopes and Petri dishes? Or the animal lover? Sometimes it’s difficult to reconcile myself to the child I was. I know she’s me and I am her but it’s almost like looking at a movie and vaguely recognising the main character.

I suppose it’s just a case of growing up and maturing… But I don’t want to grow up, not fully. I want to make stupid jokes, jump in puddles, giggle when people fart, laugh when I fall over (if I didn’t, I’d spend a lot of time in tears, let me tell you) and watch cartoons. I miss Saturday mornings in the sitting room with my twin brother, making forts out of the couch cushions and our blankets, eating Cocopops and watching Transformers, ThunderCats or Batman (actually, I’m home for a week in November. This needs to happen).

I like paying my own bills, having my own place and being responsible for myself and my actions (even when they blow up in my face) but I always want to be that little girl who had red wellies and a blue bike, who loved The Little Mermaid and Irish fairy stories and who never thought twice about rolling around in the mud. My wellies are black, my Little Mermaid obsession continues and I’ve definitely rolled in some mud at least once in the past 12 months so maybe she’s not so far removed after all.

And I definitely still laugh at farts.

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