Aug 13 2008
Well, the Leaving Cert results are out today. Well done and commiserations to anyone it matters to.
My results day was a bitter-sweet affair, as I’m sure it was for a lot of people. Since the day the exams finished, I had been on a high. I don’t think I gave my results a single thought until the morning of the results. I had a brilliant Summer – one that has only been rivaled this year. I met so many wonderful and strange people. I had money and went out a lot. I had a girlfriend with loose morals. Life was good. I had no reason to ponder my future – the present was good enough for me.
So, I walked up to the school (I think a group of us went up together – it’s a bit blurry). I collected my results and left (alone). I opened them as I walked towards the front gate of the school. I reached the basketball courts, the halfway point, and collapsed in a heap on the ground. My chest hurt, my vision tunneled and I bawled my eyes out. I saw my future and it was short. I had royally fucked up. Me, a good student, an intelligent student, I completely ruined my future by not studying. I cried. I cried. I cried.
I have a vague recollection of one of the bimbos in the class consoling me. At that moment in time, much as I needed consoling, she was the last person who was going to make me feel any better. I pulled myself together.
Within the hour we had congregated in my local pub. I was feeling better. No – I wasn’t feeling better, but I was hiding it better. We had a few drinks, we discussed life, the universe and anything. I remember seeing Lottie that day (we were not going out together at the time). Her group got kicked out of the bar for being too young. Ah, how we laughed. 🙂
By 3 o’clockin the afternoon, I was far too drunk for anyone to be at three o’clock in the afternoon. I decided to go home (I’m not sure it was a conscious decision). Lying in bed in the early evening, I cried once again. I could see nothing ahead of me. My girlfriend at the time made efforts to comfort me, but she wasn’t particularly good at it. I think she was the only person who had more disdain for me at that point that I had myself.
I don’t remember if I went out that evening or just stayed in bed. It’s all lost to the ether at this stage. Over the following three months my life took so many twisting changes that it was hard to keep up. I ended the year 2000 with a new job, a fun college life, a new home in Dublin and, most importantly, Lottie.
I‘m happily able to look back on my life now with very few regrets and, awful as that day was, I wouldn’t erase it. The Leaving Cert is NOT everything. There is so much more to life than results and college places. I would not swap my uneducated life for anything now. Sometimes even the bad moments in our lives can have unexpectedly positive outcomes.