Nicola Murphy on The In-Between Days

“We’ve spent most of our lives saying “when I grow up…”, and now the frightening reality is that for most of us, we are fast approaching the stage where that changes to “now that I’ve grown up…” 

Too Young
By Lang Leav
Too young for love
Too young to know
How far a touch
A kiss can go.
Too old for comfort
Or childhood charms
Too old to be held
In your mother’s arms
The world is so hard
When you’re in between
Your future world
And childhood dreams

I don’t think any of us remember the exact moment that we grew up. When our parents put us down and never picked us back up, when we were deemed old enough to dress ourselves, or make our own choices. Was it when we started liking those Biscotti biscuits they gave our mums with their coffees? It just happened.

We’ve spent most of our lives saying “when I grow up…”, and now the frightening reality is that for most of us, we are fast approaching the stage where that changes to “now that I’ve grown up…” We’re thinking about college courses, CAO points and careers. I know that for me, my dreams of being a fairy princess just don’t cut it anymore! Even though we are getting closer and closer to being grown-ups we are still stuck in the middle stage, the in-between days, too young to be accepted as an adult in society but still too old to be considered a child.

Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of my childhood memories are in some way linked to scouting, be it falling into a river as beaver, or falling into bogs as a scout. Scouting has played a huge part in shaping me as a person.

I’m not going to lie to you, not all my scouting experiences have been positive. I spent my first two years in the scout section being bullied by a few scouts to the point where I hated scouting and had to quit. To this day I believe that quitting was the best decision I’ve ever made. During those two years I had no confidence and I was ashamed to be a scout; I hated wearing my uniform or neckerchief in public and would vehemently deny any connection to the organisation were it alluded at. Anyone that knows me now will tell you, that just isn’t me. After realising how much I loved scouting itself and the people I learned that there was much more to scouting than simply my group. I branched out and now have amazing friends from all over the country! I quit because of people, but the people, so many other people, were also what made me return.

I didn’t let that negative experience taint my love for scouting though. If anything it strengthened it. I know our teenage years can be particularly challenging, and I also know that these are some of the best years of our lives. For me scouting has become my safe place, a place where I can simply be me.  You hear a lot about how we’re a very open and accepting community and it’s 100% true, but it’s something you have to experience to understand. We all have insecurities or maybe something that we might be wary to share elsewhere but I know that I’m always at my best when I’m surrounded by my fellow scouts.

I’ve been given so many opportunities to grow as a leader, a team member, a person, a musician, a writer, even as a makeup artist, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Nicola Murphy, 82nd Cork, Rathcormac

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