Bouncing Back.

I try to look on my time in France with a positive outlook. It was a big chapter in my life. I learned what it meant to grow up. To stand on my own two feet. Waking up every morning with purpose and a goal. What it meant to feel like nothing and still bounce back.

It’s the ‘nothing‘ part that gets to me. I’m terrified of being ‘nothing‘. It’s a big part of what makes me try. I try out of fear.

Naturally, I suffered a lot of setbacks over there. Shit hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m not afraid to say I crumbled a few times as well. I cried a lot. Gave up occasionally. When i first started my landscaping apprenticeship in Grenoble I doubted everything inside of me. Pascal was my boss. He told me to meet him on  my first morning at the work base in a village on the outskirts of the city, the opposite side from where I lived. It was basically a huge farm house with all the equipment in it. He gave me the street name, no postcode.

I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever been to Grenoble but there’s a stretch of motorway ‘La Rocade‘ which is notoriously bad for busy traffic (unbeknownst to me). Maps on my phone showed it to be the quickest route. Nevertheless it stayed true to form. I was late for my first day. After that it was almost like I was doomed to fail.

That first morning on site ‘sur chantier‘ it was pissing down. Bucketing from the high heavens. I got out the van, he handed me a shovel and told me to start digging. To be honest I barely understood a word he said. It was an uncomfortable introduction. I couldn’t even share patter with them. No craic or nothing. What the fuck can you say to your new boss and colleague when your soaked, nervous, confused. Basically a fucking idiot.

Well things never did get any better. I couldn’t overcome my nerves. I couldn’t learn as fast as Pascal wanted (he was an impatient soul) and I couldn’t adapt as quickly as I’d hoped. It wasn’t through lack of trying. Fuck I tried so hard. Every night when I got home I was exhausted. I’d take a shower, make some food and lock myself in my room. I became a bit of a social recluse in order to try and save my energy for the next day. It still wasn’t enough. He used to say to me, in French of course, ‘you’re a fucking retard‘, ‘you have no brain‘, ‘you’re never going to make it in this industry‘. Now I know Scottish men are all supposed to be thick-skinned and able to take some flack. But the truth is I eventually folded. No matter how hard I tried I just wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t even straighten out a surface with a rake. I phoned my dad and asked him ‘how the fuck do you do that?’ and he thought I was taking the piss. I woke up one morning and couldn’t face the day. I broke down and cried like fuck. Then he sacked me. I cost him too much money. I still fucking hate that guy to this day.

I knew I needed a different environment. Another company who would understand my situation and give me the confidence to succeed. Who would work with me on a more consistent level. It was Damien who gave me a chance. I was so grateful for it. My confidence grew and I started to improve. I was getting somewhere. I could use a rake competently! And we had a good team. Damiens dad Christian, my big mate Chaon from Tahiti and my wee bro David ‘mon frère’. I loved these boys along with every day I worked there. I miss them all the time and I hope I’ll go back to see them soon. This is where I learned so much about life. What it takes to make it in the profession. About dedication. About family. About being happy. I developed a new work ethic. It inspired me to be better. My only regret is that I never had the chance to stay longer and learn more from them.

Unfortunately things broke down in my personal life. My relationship broke down. I was hurting a lot. Being alone in a foreign country on apprentice wages meant I couldn’t really stay. I wanted to go home. I had no car and would’ve ended up homeless. For whatever reason it just wasn’t meant to be.

It’s been seven months now. A long and slow rebuilding process in my mind, within my surroundings and in my work. But I’m on the right track now. I’m back at college. Continuing my landscaping studies albeit on a more theoretically based course. There is some practical work however, and I’ll be doing my own work on the side alongside that. I’m getting my own van soon. My own equipment. And I met someone too. I’m smitten. What a darling. She’s helped me to realise its okay to take the foot off the gas once in a while. To relax. Easier said than done putting this into action but it’s a working progress and something I dedicate some effort to every day. All I know is it’s all just a part of bouncing back. Showing that French tadger Pascal that I am going to make it.. That there is a brain in here.. and it’s getting stronger. Ready to succeed.

Ciao for now.. Troops X

grenoble
”Grenoble” blog.kazaden.com

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise. I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

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Old Photies.

I’ve been going through my camera. Haven’t looked at it in months. I realised I still had a lot of photos from the last few years. So over the next few days I plan on sharing them with you all. This was taken in Prishtina, Kosovo. Summer 2018.

You can see the rest of my photos on Instagram. Click Here.

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise. I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 

 

 

Keep Your Heart Strong.

Today is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay

I won’t say much. I just think it’s important to share something in order to highlight the issues surrounding this subject. 

Life can be tough. So fucking tough. But whatever is broken, can always be fixed. 

Reach out. Don’t be afraid.

If you ever find your mind meandering in a dark place, just remember that it can always get better.

Below are a few links/groups/numbers that I believe can be very beneficial to anyone struggling. Feel free to message myself as well on any platform. I’m no professional but I know how it feels.

Take Care, Aidan X

COPE Scotland – A mental health charity based in Drumchapel who offer one to one counselling sessions. Highly recommend. I am a current user and have used in the past. Click Here to visit the COPE website.

Breathing Space – A confidential phone line for anyone to use in times of need. It’s free and again I have used it myself when I have really been struggling. Talking to a relative or a friend might seem too much and this is the great thing about this service. Neither you or the call handler will remain strictly unidentifiable. Click Here to visit the Breathing Space Website.

DACA (Dumbarton Council on Alcohol) – A community service in Clydebank dedicated to helping those with alcohol related issues. I visited this place for a short period when I was younger. I used to drink and use other drugs to prove to myself I had a good life. But it only ever done me harm. A great help for anyone willing. Click Here to visit the DACA Website.

Stepping Stones – The first counselling service I ever visited when I was 15. Based in Clydebank. Click Here to visit the Stepping Stones website.

SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) – Nationwide charity who provide a range of services and opportunities to those they work with. An amazing organisation. Click Here to visit the SAMH website.

Over the coming months I hope to find out some more about other groups, charities and organisations so I can share them here. Not just service providers but classes and workshops, educational meetings, which could be beneficial to someone who is looking.

Music is a great helper in difficult moments. So I’ve chosen a song which keeps me going in times where I might not feel like there’s much point anymore.

Thanks again for reading and please share far and wide. 

 

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise. I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope it’s able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 

 

Drifting Fate.

Have you ever wondered if someone who has become so significant in your life ever passed you by somewhere or sometime in the past?

Take your partner for instance. Your closest companion who ‘stumbled’ into your life at a certain point. Before it all happened and you became entwined in each others lives, did they ever pass you in the street? Or did you ever brush past them in a busy place? Perhaps you even shared a quick conversation.. Something as simple as a shared joke in a shop queue. It’s funny to think about these moments and how little you had known about the person you just encountered or how much importance they would hold in your own future.

What if these moments are the kickstart to the story of your journey? That as soon as your energies interact and investigate the compatibility that lies within, you and your loved one (unknowingly) are set on a course to retrieve and ignite the fervour of this drifting fate.

Some of us are lucky and find our match early on. Others may search for a long time, hoping that the one for them is soon to be found. There are those who will force the issue and consequently hurt themselves by opening their hearts to the wrong people. In fact this theory gives life to an endless list of varying possibilities. Two people who are not meant to be may even spend their whole lives together without ever really knowing that somewhere out there in this vast universe, the other they subconsciously sought is yet to be found. In a world diluted with material ambitions and downtrodden dreams this scenario may be unfortunately common. However, such as there are those who wish not to seek their true destinies through fear or worry or whatever reason.. There are those who remain undaunted in the face of challenge (or indeed loneliness) and continue upon a pure path of patience and trust in an external matter which they cannot control.

When the two bounds of energy finally rediscover one another after a period of time apart, the surrounding atmosphere erupts around them like a spontaneous combustion. Our bodies sense the event taking place. As a result all kinds of reactions begin to commence. Every aspect of our system responds immediately and activates our inner instincts. Emotional & physical. The wait for this moment is finally over and that long-held desire that came into life after a seemingly meaningless moment some time ago can now be fulfilled. Can you remember what it was like when you first felt that rush? That magical experience of knowing, just knowing, that whoever you were laying eyes upon was the one you had been waiting for. It’s possible you didn’t know that you were waiting at all until a chance encounter which brought you together. It may be that now you have found your soul mate.

It’s only a theory, but it’s nice to imagine.

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise. I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 

 

 

Down The Rabbit Hole.

Clyde Waterfront, 25th August 2019.

I find it incredibly hard to control my emotions right now. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, a rare occurrence in the West of Scotland. It’s been a turbulent time in my brain. My thoughts are seldom clear. They come thick and fast. On several occasions I’ve caught myself forgetting to breath. These are not the pleasant experiences I am fond of.

I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust anyone else. It feels like everyone is against me. They’re out to ruin me. Even my own mind lacks a functional synchronicity with the rest of my body. I am exhausted, I am drained and I do not know how to wake up from this funk.

I can’t sleep at night. Most nights it’s around 3am before I convince myself to stop thinking and start winding down. My feng shui is fucked. I panic, I worry, I fear just about everything. I’m revisiting dark places I thought I had long left behind.

I started counselling again. Three years I’d managed without it. I feel almost weak again that it’s come to this point. Guilt for being a burden. Embarrassment for struggling again. Shame that I cannot seem to shake it off.

If I was to give myself advice I reckon I’d have sorted this. But it’s difficult to be objective when it’s your own emotions at work. I’m trying to bring myself positive energy. But my resistance against this barrage of negativity has been evidently futile. I’m hanging onto a hope that again, one day, it will all get better. It’s happened before. It can happen again.

I needed to write this. It wouldn’t go away. And now that I’ve began to get some of it out I can begin to move on in a positive light. Just another bump in the road, I keep saying.

‘I am happy, healthy and stable.’

That’s an affirmation I’m trying out every day. Like I said, positive energy. One day at a time. It will all work out. I’ll be back at work, my usual old self, and ready to take on whatever comes next.

Peace out, Wide Eye X

”If we go down the rabbit hole of our unconsciousness and try to unravel the knotty points of our life story we may encounter a bunch of hidden niceties or emotional stowaways. Forgotten details in the windmill of our mind may daintily reveal, where things might have gone wrong… (I wonder what went wrong.)” 

Erik Pevernagie.

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‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise. I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 

A Nightmare Begins with Boris.

The Scotch – what a verminous race!

Canny, pushy, chippy, they’re all over the place.

Battening off us with false bonhomie;

Polluting our stock, undermining our economy.

Down with sandy hair and knobbly knees!

Suppress the tartan dwarves and the Wee Frees!

Ban the kilt, the skean-dhu and the sporran

As provocatively, offensively foreign!

It’s time Hadrian’s Wall was refortified

To pen them in a ghetto on the other side.

I would go further. The nation

Deserves not merely isolation

But comprehensive extermination.

‘Friendly Fires’ by James Michie. Published in The Spectator Magazine by then editor Boris Johnson. Yes, the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister. It has since been removed from the magazines archive. Can’t possibly understand why.

Prick.

Crushed Creativity.

When I first started this project I hoped it would inspire me to really develop and nurture my writing. I thought of it as a platform for which to grow and motivate my work. To gain an understanding of what was expected in order to become the best creative writer I could. But as time went on it became clear that there is an added responsibility of other interfering aspects. Finance and time being two of them. I stopped writing freely and wrote more to beat deadlines. I attempted to introduce monetization.

It wasn’t what I intended.

Moving home hasn’t helped. I work awful shift patterns in an environment which doesn’t feed me the way my previous did. I have been feeling drained and the website has taken a hit because of this.

So I intend to take smaller steps in the hope that they will  be more productive and beneficial for The Wide-Eyed Scotsman in the long run. I will continue to post what I can but without rush or hesitation. It’s important I stick to the very essence of it’s incorporation.

Keep a look out for more updates soon. Hopefully less laborious and more exciting than before.

Aidan X

 

 

Readables: Ramayana

**I changed the name of my book reviewing series from the previously titled ‘Good Wee Reads’. It was a half decent idea until I realised that the biggest online review source was infact ‘Good Reads’. Schoolboy error, but at least that’s out the way.**

”The Ramayana is one of the great epics of the ancient world, with versions spanning the cultures, religions and languages of Asia. Its story of Rama’s quest to recover his wife Sita from her abduction by Raavana, the Lord of the Underworld, has enchanted readers and audiences across the Eastern world for thousands of years.”

 

ramayana

 

I took a wander around Waterstones a few weeks ago, only to come across this book while browsing. I seem to enjoy reading stories with a religious or spiritual influence. It’s not that I’m religious. I’m open to all ideas. And the stories which are told throughout different creeds around the world generally (in my humble opinion) make for a good read. Let’s be honest, The Bible is class. There are great discussions regarding who wrote it in the first place. Many say Moses wrote the Old Testament and Paul the Apostle wrote the New Testament. This hasn’t been confirmed. But whoever it was.. I applaud them. For if the Bible was claimed to be another Fiction epic like Lord of The Rings or Harry Potter it would easily become a Cinema Classic. They’d probably make about nine blockbusters out of it then follow it up with spinoffs.

So aye. They do make for good reading, the old religious tales, and Ramayana is no different. It’s one of two old Indian classics (the other being Mahābhārata, cheers copy and paste) and has been passed down through the centuries. Retold and revisited time and time again, the stories have been shared across the Asian continent. The author Daljit Nagra takes inspiration from the Punjabi version he learned from his family and combines it with a wide scope of other versions (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal and Laos amongst others) and brings the story to life in a modern, inclusive and far-reaching manner.

It’s a pretty mad book and the storyline is imaginative to say the least. It’s a bit like an Indian Game of Thrones to be honest. Rama is the hero. He’s the typical ‘Prince Charming’ kind of guy, good at everything and gets all the attention. An absolute stallion. The word Rama means peace in Sanskrit, the Indian language. Him and his brother leave home on a journey and face all sorts of trials and tribulations. But they find themselves in trouble when Rama’s missus is taken by the Lord of the Underworld, Ravana. Epic battles and fights to the death are all included in Rama’s quest to get his burd back. And there’s even an army of courageous monkeys to seal the deal.

All in all it’s a pretty fun book even if it isn’t what you would usually read. Nagra’s writing style is also somewhat odd with the use of different fonts and strange layouts but it all contributes to the buzz of the book. So immerse yourself in an old Indian tale and take an insight into the ancient culture and tradition of the world’s seventh largest country. It’s very easy to see how a story like this could become so popular and celebrated among literally billions of people across Asia. And now Mr. Nagra has opened this Homeric adventure tale to wee guys like me, in council estates in the West of Scotland.

Here’s a short video of the author giving an insight into the book…

 

 

RAMAYANA by Daljit Nagra. Published by Faber & Faber. Click Here to Buy Your Copy.

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise. I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.


Mental Health Awareness Week – A Short Story.

I have often thought about suicide.

It used to scare me. Now it intrigues me.

I would be so terrified of losing control of my life and my actions that I’d panic my overloaded brain into thinking very cruel things. It was a riot. When I was younger I somehow took solace in these depressieve moments. The ease of slipping into a negative state lead me to become almost obsessed with my own funeral. There was less difficulty in staying broken than dragging myself out of this destructive slumber. Inside me there evolved a false sense of satisfaction in wallowing in the self-deprecating slumber I resisted awakening from.

Alas I never really could take my own life. I thought about it. I considered it. An important reason contributing to my desire of living was purely down to the domino effect my departure could have on others. I will be clear when I tell you that this wasn’t the sole rationale for my continuing existence because I cannot agree with the notion that suffering for the benefit of others is any way to live. We as human beings are more than capable of living and not surviving. We are all intelligent enough to make our own decisions (except for those who may be mentally impaired or sick, but that’s another discussion) and each individual ultimately must make their own resolutions when dealing with their own personal lives.

NOTE: (This does not mean anyone should ever encourage or enable an act of suicide or self harm. It is our moral duty as friends, family, peers and cohabitants to guide others in a positive light and onto a better path.)

But it did become important to me and eventually aided in my own realisation that I meant something to a lot of people. I have a large family and many close friends within a wider community/ social network. I can only speak for myself when I say that the knowledge of being important in another’s life is enough to try and find a way through whatever shadows you find yourself entrenched in. A different perspective can be sometimes all we need in moments of self-crisis.

This story is about a young boy who still mourns for his father after he ended his own life prematurely. I used this character as my idea of my own future son. I hold great aspirations in becoming a father eventually and by writing this particular short I am inspired to discover what it means to be a parent and to guard someone’s life, instead of a darker future of losing a battle against my own fears. It’s a personal reminder that there’s still a lot for me to do, to learn and experience. Even after the great adventures I will embark on in the future the horizons are still vast and I will still have new roles to motivate me after that.

The rain didn’t seem to bother him anymore. A thousand drops lashed him repeatedly and soaked him viciously down to the bone. A ruthless Scottish wind slapped his body violently. His white t-shirt was now wringable and his grey, cotton shorts now weighed considerably far more than when he left home. 

‘What’s the flu tae me?’ He asked himself. It was telling that he took comfort in finally feeling something…

”It’s been six years since my da’ died. My best mate. We done everything together. We’d watch the football. We’d play the football. He used to take me to my games every Sunday morning and to training twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday. Up at half five every morning to not return until the back of six at night. Only to get a quick scran then take me out again. Sometimes we wouldn’t be back until ten o’clock at night. My mum offered to go instead ’cause she could see he was knackered, but he never did say aye. It meant as much to him as it did to me. Possibly even more.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand really why he done it. How he could leave me and my mum like that. He might’ve been tired aye but I never thought he was depressed. I sometimes wonder if it was me that made him do it. Did I stress him out or did I make him miserable? Maybe he didn’t really love my mum or me. For the rest of my life I will always feel guilty. 

Mum tried so hard to pick up the pieces. With football and everything. I remember the first time she told me I couldn’t go. Her eyes swelling up with tears, choking on her words. She put on a brave face but it was easy to see. Eventually I stopped going altogether to help her feel less of the blame. ‘I’m no interested anymore mum.’ ‘I’m just gonny go up the park with my mates instead.’

I’m 19 now. Fuck I could do with having him here. College is shite. All I want to do is bevy and smoke green. Mum thinks I should be getting a girlfriend. Someone to take my heed out the gutter you know? I’m no interested. If my old man didn’t want to live with me then why would some daft wee lassie feel any fucking different?”

He’d walked a fair distance now. Daylight was starting to break but there was no glimpse of the sun. It was to be grey, cloudy, solemn.. this morning. ‘Fuck it’. He sat down at an old bus stop. A brief moment of sheltered relief from the rain. His cheeks were pink but his hands were blue. A car speeded past and nearly soaked him with a splash from a puddle on the road. There was nothing to suggest his life could ever get better. And yet he still took comfort in the desolation of it all.

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise (be gentle). I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 


 

Scotland will fucking flourish.

Excuse the swearing. I’m a passionate man. And nothing brings out that passion like a Scottish Independence March.

I love my country. I am a proud Scotsman and I want it to be free.

On Saturday gone by the Saltire prevailed and the good in this country was there for all to see in the city centre of Glasgow. The hope, the smiles, the sheer joy rampant in celebrating our home and willing it on to step away from a crooked union and into a very bright and positive future. It’s beyond the right time now to take back the control. Brexit is a very real example of how much ‘Great’ Britain has overrun its sell-by date.

Let’s get the fuck out lads.

I’m working on some longer Independence pieces for all you beautiful punters but for now I just hoped to share some very uplifting evidence of how class the Yes Movement is and how it stands for everything good in Bonnie Scotland.

Saor Alba, Free Scotland. 

 

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Taken by me. Incredible.
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Again, Me. Get oot.

 

 

scottish independence
And this is me. Proud and spirited.

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise (be gentle). I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.