Now that I’ve made my ebook “Who Cares? Life for an Irish Transgender Teen” free to the public (you can download the full thing here), I’ve decided to publish the chapters here on my website. Below is a chapter from this book which was published in April 2016.
When my friends and I started to gain a bit more independence around the age of 15 we began to visit Dublin. We couldn’t do it as much as we would have liked because you needed money, but we did it every now and again. We would get the unreliable bus service from Gorey to Dublin which is little over an hour’s journey. I used to adore these trips. I’ve always had an appreciation for the city. I would look at pictures of New York and London on my laptop and get thrills in the core of my stomach. I always knew that I’d end up there. When researching colleges I looked at no options outside of Dublin. That was always where I needed to be. I adore Dublin. I’m not comparing it to New York or London but it is a good compromise for now.
At the beginning of the Summer of 2015, I did my final exams in secondary school. They went well but I wouldn’t get the results until the middle of August. I was quite relaxed about the results. During my exams my sister began to organise accommodation with her friends. Rachael and her friends were looking at apartments not far from the city centre. They had an extra room and I just knew that it was meant for me. They offered it to me and I was overjoyed. We went up to look at the apartment one day and I couldn’t believe it. It was so beautiful. I could immediately imagine myself living there. We put down a deposit that day and I was on a high for weeks. I decided to move up early before college started, although I used to come back home a lot too. We took a risk putting down a deposit on the apartment before we knew if I’d gotten into college but I was confident that it would pay off. It did. I got what I wanted in my exams and I got straight into college.
I now live in my apartment with Rachael and two other girls. We are all busy people leading our own separate lives and getting work done. College was everything that I expected. My course challenges me daily and I’ve met some wonderful people. I get a bus in and out to my college which is very central to the city. I go out from time to time and socialise often. My friends and I live very cosmopolitan lives in which we regularly go out to lunch, for coffee or for dinner. We make time for one another and enjoy each other’s company. We spend our last fivers on clothes or food and enjoy the freedom of being irresponsible. I thank the stars every day for my daily experiences of the city. I don’t think that I’ll ever get sick of looking around at everyone going about their lives. The anonymity is like a comforting blanket wrapped around me. Especially after living in such a small town for so long.
I’m extremely lucky. I understand this. My parents pay my rent for now. Something that I have endless appreciation for. I’m currently looking for a job although the search hasn’t gone too well. I’m a very independent person. I have many friends but I also enjoy a day of solitude every now and again. I’ll put the book I’m reading and my journal into my bag and then I’ll get the bus into town. I find a nice comfy seat in a coffee shop and begin reading and writing. I could spend hours doing this without a care in the world that I’m alone. I’ll walk around clothes shops and book shops. Stop and get a smoothie or some lunch. I’ll walk along the quays or through the park. Occasionally I go to the cinema by myself. I really enjoy doing this too. When you enjoy your own company, loneliness isn’t a problem.
It’s been a dream come true to lead this life. I always knew that it was what I wanted and so I went after it. There were many reasons to stop me from moving up to Dublin alone at the age of 17. Self-doubt, money problems, fear, loneliness. But I could not pay attention to these. If you want something, stop thinking of reasons that you won’t or can’t get it. Think of how you’ll feel when you get it and go after it. Don’t be held back by anyone, ever! Chase your happiness. You’re not guaranteed to find it but you’re guaranteed not to find it if you don’t chase it. It’s not supposed to be easy. If you’re struggling, failing or coming across obstacles, that just means you’re doing it right. I am happy here in Dublin. It’s not always beautiful and glamorous and it’s not where I want to end up, but it’s what I want at this current moment in time. And that’s all that matters to me. Not what others think of my decision to move, but what I think of it. Decide what you want and get it.
Read more Who Cares? here.
Buy Who Cares? here.
Watch my poem Hi, I’m Transgender below: