Space and despair in the chaos


For the first time in 11 years, I started the week not wanting to help people. Last week, I hit such a wall of despair. I spent much of the weekend crying, simply unable to process most of my feelings. Unable to get clarity on why I feel so disconnected from where others seem to be. To offer the help they sought, would be to just allow them to hide in the mirage of stagnation. Treading sludge in times of such possible upheaval.

More than anything else right now this is a mass culling of ideas. The rules society has felt for too long it needs to follow. This is not an extended study break for students to cram their course. It’s a complete life reevaluation. What life do I want? What life is sustainable? Suddenly careers people once sneered at have become the foundation of a war effort. We don’t all need to go to college to feel whole. This was never the purpose of education.

I’m not prepared to simply hand out study sheets or timetables. I want this to be a whole self-care package. I want to use the time to understand your core self and needs. For those struggling with literacy, it offers the greatest potential to spend the time that has been gained in a really constructive way. We are no longer battling to find a slot in the noise to learn the way we need too. Everyone can learn to read their way. We are not trying to navigate the system to find a way to do this now by stealth. We have space and time. We no longer need to make excuses about who we are and how we learn differently. Everyone does, we’ve just been in denial. We’ve spent so much time needing to fit into the rat race. What’s expected of us. Suddenly nothing is as expected. It’s all been culled. There’s a liberation in that if you want to grasp it. It oddly feels as if we are all emitting the decay of noise from our lives – in order to become more than a half-lived life.

Others find it hard to comprehend why I don’t share my methods with the world. I don’t want to focus on the challenges for each person. Even if I present the best and worst possible for each – I know what you will choose to focus attention on. We have enough ways already to limit people. Those always choose darkness when given options. It’s about helping people see the best of themselves while experiencing as a spectator what wrong turns are possible too. It’s why I’ve spent two years writing in the hopes that others will be able to read their way to their own core.

Now it feels like kicking Pandora’s box open again for everyone. In the legend, she put the lid back on too soon and left hope trapped inside.

Naoisé O’Reilly

23rd March 2020