To begin with our love story is the only way I can truly share my love for the unexpected things in life. Séan and I are together a lifetime through hard times and good – with my being completely content for the majority of that time that marriage was not for us. Sean never shared my sentiment. But there is no denying it for me it was definitely love at first sight.
Flashback to a more dishevelled artist version of myself when somehow, in the line of duty, I broke my two ribs. For the life of me, I still don’t know how it happened. I was painting two large scale mural-draped rooms in Trinity College to a tight deadline so there was no time to dwell on the pain. Life went on as time was not my friend. I had a collaborated with SUAS Educational Development Authority and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) on the project. It was my role to design and visualise a unique educational space that underprivileged students from inner city Dublin could use to learn the basics of programming. This creation was one of the highlights of my career, in fact. The project was a roaring success with the Provost of the prestigious College taking an active interest in it and expressing a desire to host the grand opening. Ehm, what pressure?
Already the majority of the work was done single-handedly by me – two cascading murals on eight walls, one room with a forest theme that reimagined the idea of an organic working environment, and the other full of detail of the Dublin skyline, graffiti and sub-cultural references. All room were spray painted from top to bottom. To accentuate these rooms I had designed a range of organic-looking furniture with a local carpenter from the Liberties suitable for the two adjoining rooms of the facility. They were slick; curved and flowing unlike normal desk spaces or seating. But I was suffering in silence until that point because of the pure excitement of the job. Then while spray-painting these connecting wooden pieces to a high shine, mirror-like, gloss finish I had very laboured breathing. So much so that Kenny, the carpenter commented that I was, in his words, “on the way out” or so he believed.
He suggested I maybe needed some help to finish “the snag list” as we refer to it in painting. He even suggested two painters I should hire to work for those final high octane weeks. I laughed off his suggestion firstly thinking “s’grand” and secondly thinking he probably owes these two guys a favour and thats why he suggested them to me. Pfffft – Girl power, and all that.
Cut to the next day when I was unfashionably popping pain killers, unwashed hair, no shoes, no sleep and covered in paint from many early morning painting errors. My decision was made. I caved into Kenny’s idea and told him to invite The Two over for a trial. My patience was thinning and my conditions were clear. If they were useless during the trial, l would be showing they the door without any hesitation.
Kenny shouted me. I clambered down the scaffolding backwards only to be greeted by one of The Two. Not lying when I say this, but I saw Séan and I was like ~couldn’t care less if he can paint~ he is so handsome he has to stay.
I never spoke to Séan in the entire three weeks he worked for me, but did change my schedule to only work at night because by day, when he worked, I was too distracted by him. Neither of us made it known at the time, obviously enough considering the circumstances, but he felt exactly as I did. Cut to the deadline day, the culmination of a cool project executed with precision by all involved and only then did I realise I wouldn’t see him ever again. It was a frantic sweaty, painstaking, time-crunching race to the deadline time. My friend Benny was roped in to help in the clear-up. I’ll never forget the feeling. The space – occupied for nearly 8 weeks prior to this – had to be cleared of every paint-related item for the opening ceremony.
And It was. We did it. And then He was gone. I never said goodbye. I never said thanks. I never even talked to him! I never said anything because I was exhausted and a sweaty, emotional mess. I can describe to you how I looked during the whole period, but dark circles and greasy hair does not spell attractive. And worse still Kenny my carpenter came rushing over just before he left brandishing a gift from The Two.
Devastated. Mortified. Clueless. What could I do to see him again. With a quick team talk with Benny (who told me I was a f***ing eejit for not saying anything for three weeks), I came up with a plan to pay the tab for dinner and drinks for them as a thank you.
Let’s just say I showed up that night.
Séan would tell you now that his jaw dropped when I walked up the stairs in a well known pub in Temple Bar to meet them. The banter was good, the food was delicious the atmosphere was electric. We had long conversations into the small hours. I thought we were all talking together, but slowly and methodically the other guys slipped outside, but never came back to join us at the table. Until it was only Séan and I left.
That was thirteen years ago, on December 19th this year.
We got married in a pretty villa outside Florence, Italy with our close friends and family on a magical moonlit ceremony that I will never forget.
Our baby girl Bodhi Ocea was born in February this year so our love story is really only just beginning. Sometimes you have to just trust that you will find forever and then you do.