And in the end it is not the years in your life that counts, it is the life in your years
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Leaving Home

“Dublin by birth, London by choice”. Leaving home for me was a very easy thing to do. Okay what was to happen over the first year was hard, but the actual part of leaving home was quite easy. The only thing that made me think twice was the fact that I was the last one to leave and so in a way I was the one leaving my mum all on her own.

The day was the 17th of March, 2003, St Patrick’s Day. I had chosen that day deliberately. I have a terrible memory for special dates but this was one I really wanted to always remember, so by leaving on a day like Paddy’s day would always help me remember.
I will always remember saying my goodbyes, there were not a lot of them, only a few people really mattered to me, and three of them were girls and two of them were the girl’s mums. The few special real friends already sort of knew I was going to leave and go to London. I really did not have any real reason to stay. By the time I left, my first real love was off trying to win Miss World and make a career in the movies, my best mate had also left, and my chances of any real work were fairly small. So it was off to the big city to seek my fortune.
One of the real reasons for leaving home was my love of all things Arsenal. I had grown up a long distance gunner, and so the idea of moving to north London of course had great appeal. This was also one of the reasons i could not ever live south, east or west London, they were horrid areas with crap teams. I always knew it would be North London.

The one real memory of my departure from Dublin’s fair city was sitting on the bus in Dublin, waiting for it to leave. That brief moment, those few minutes where you doubt yourself, where you question your decision.  I could easily have stayed, and for less that 30 seconds I thought maybe I should. The old man in front of me, smoking, the two young girls to my left, who were both crying, and the family of gipsies at the back. And out the window it was a beautiful sunny morn. But then the bus engine started and my adventure was about to begin, no turning back now.

As I sat outside on the top deck of the ferry across the Irish Sea I had no idea what would become of me, what I would do, what would happen in my life, but I knew I had to remember a few things about Ireland. Not just the good things, but also the bad. I tried so hard to fill my head with life memories, Irish memories. I also knew I had a plan, go to London to make my fortune, and make sure I was back in the emerald isle within 10 years. So much for that...

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