It’s nearly two years ago that I put all my worldly possessions in a box and moved my pretty little face to Leeds without a penny to my name or confirmation that I had a degree. But guess what, it’s been a bloody good adventure so far!
At first I thought I was going to be stuck in some mediocre job on a mediocre wage, working for some mediocre company doing mediocre tasks (yes, I am making a point) that are enough to drive anyone with an inquisitive and driven mind to insanity. I’d done the odd temp zero hour shift here and there, done the signing on thing and claimed housing benefits (never again), I’d tired endlessly to find a job that would take on a graduate-to-be without any relevant experience and without confirmation I had actually got my degree.
My luck paid off, I received confirmation that I had been awarded a place on the IT Trainee Scheme for one of the UK’s largest banks. I’d been selected to work in the Security Engineering function providing expert support and guidance as a security consultant to projects throughout the bank. I couldn’t have asked for a better job. Not only has this job given me the depth and breadth of knowledge within IT Security, but it has given me a whole host of transferable professional and inter-personal skills that can be applied to every day life. Hell, it sounds like I am writing a CV…
This wasn’t the real reason behind my blog though, you thought it was all going to be about me… It’s not. One of my many problems is I rarely show gratitude to the people who deserve it. Not through choice, but often I am incapable of making people aware how grateful I actually am. I often don’t realise this at first, but it is often too late once I realise how stupid I have been. Yes, you could argue that you don’t always have to show physical gratitude to the people who care about you, but sometimes you do to let them know how thankful you actually are.
There’s a few people who have helped me become the person I am today, who have shaped me into the Keiran you all know (or don’t), who have pushed and pushed me to achieve something I honestly thought I was never going to achieve, and those who have put up with me when things got rough.
The first person I would like to mention my mother. She had to deal with my tantrums, my sorrows, my anger, and my frustration. She was there to help me pick up the pieces when my father passed away. She helped me out when things got rough and made me realise that you don’t have to be rich to have a good time. She showed me that there are plenty of people out there who are absolutely rotten to the core, and you’ve just got to get on with your life and forget about these pathetic people constantly trying to get you down.
My mum supported me financially throughout my last year at university. She helped me out when things got a bit tight by lending me money when I needed it, or a lift into University when she was free. My mother is one of the most important people in my life, and it’s very rare how much I actually show how much I love her.
The first year after moving away from home was pretty hard. My mum was always there for me, and going from having a mother at home every night, to having a mother 70 miles away in another county was pretty hard. Low and behold, I got through it, but that was only because I was in such amazing company. Without the amazing Layna, I wouldn’t be in Leeds at all.
I was trying to decide whether to move out of Lancashire to find new prospects to put my degree to some good, and there was one person in the world who I knew it would be an amazing idea to live with, Layna. So I sent her a text simply saying that I’m moving to Leeds. Layna supported me financially (bills & cigarettes) for 3 months until I got my first pay check.
She put up with my constant whining about not having any money, my constant whining about not having a job and being at home all the time, and my constant whining that it was annoying having to walk to the job centre just for them to screw my appointments up. But we got there. By December, I had a job nearby that would help me settle my debts, offer me financial stability, and open up new prospects for my career in the future.
But, it didn’t just stop there. She helped me out of dark times, she showed me that it’s not all doom and gloom, and that give things a bit of time and everything will be just right in the end. We spent so many nights drunk, found a damp sofa and basically became rednecks for the evening. We made cheese on toast at 3 o’clock in the morning (because why not – and frankly this is one of my best memories in the world). We’d sit and have highly philosophical conversations after seeing something on television, and most of all, we’d sit in the same room silent but know that everything’s okay!
Yes, things did get rough over the past couple of months. Yes, tensions frayed and tempers were tested, but that never changed the fact that I still loved her as my best friend from the bottom of my heart (and I still do to this day). We may have gone our separate ways, but our friendship will always be there, and you know how I know this? Because a true friendship was kindled at 3 o’clock in the morning on Fishergate on Valentines Day when I fell over, Layna found this hilarious, so I pulled her over too, and from that moment, I knew it was a forever friendship.
The third person I would like to thank is my university lecturer and personal tutor, John Dempsey. John gave me a lot of time and patience when it came to my degree. It wasn’t easy – my father passed away in my second year, and I had an illness which saw me out of university for over a month, but he gave me all the support I needed and once I was ready to get back into the swing of things, he provided me with all the necessary resources.
Without John’s proverbial arse-kickings and his infamous “Do-it Club”, chances are, I wouldn’t have made it out the other end alive (or at least in one piece). It was also the little things, like the random conversations walking to the lectures, and the big things, like blasting it down the hill on a bike that was too small for me screaming at the top of my voice something about my arse and being used to it…..
I should point out here that these aren’t the only three people. There are far too many people who have shaped me into the person I am today. People who have accepted me and taken me under their wings. People who saw me as an outsider and let me join them. People who have given me a chance.
Mum, Layna, John, Vicky, Ryan, Sophie, Josh, George, Zoe, Derek, Carl, Timmy, Michael, James… you’re all amazing people. Thank you for everything!!
If I didn’t mention your name, I’m sorry!
For that, I would like to thank every one of you for everything you have done to make the past two years of my life one of the best adventures yet, and I am hoping that the next two years are an even bigger adventure.