Young people -Setbacks are an opportunity to find your wings.

TEDX Speech

Young people -Setbacks are an opportunity to find your wings.

My Dad died the week before my eighth birthday.

If you’ve been around here you will know that this is a big part of the stamp on my life. We find that with our lives- significant events change the direction from time to time.

At times I let myself wander and think of us sitting with Dad the way we do with my father in law. Making him cups of milky tea or offering him a cheeky whisky at a family gathering.

He would look on at his grand children.

My boys and my brother’s son begging Granda to play connect 4 or kick a football. Its a painful window but just for a moment I like the breeziness of escapism. Grief can do that to us- swoops of stinging loss mixed with dreamy “what ifs” .
Since the day Dad died my Mum has been the centre of the household. I once made a poem about her and described her like a purple fleece- warm to touch but weathers the storm. She helped my brother and I navigate life one decision at a time.

Nonetheless, she always allowed us to find our own wings.

I want to do the same for my three sons.
When I was 10 I didn’t pass an exam that in Northern Ireland determines the secondary school you will attend. My eldest boy has completed this “ transfer “ test and our second is to sit it later this year.
It may not be the transfer test, the driving test, an eye test for becoming a pilot or a hearing test to be a security guard but other “tests” will pop up. I want you to know that it’s ok to feel flat to begin with.

Shifts in direction are hard to weather.

My daydream about whether Dad would like lasagne or not, it stings for a brief minute and then passes. It also teaches me to keep present , to take on board the experience and to grow. The same applies to set backs in our real lives.
Dig deep into learning about the person you are, focus your energy on where you want it to be and the rest will follow. I learned this lately when I focused more on my original artwork instead of the sale of prints. My paintings are where mine and my audience’s attention remains.

Every fall or daydream is another opportunity to rise the next time and to spread your wings.