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.
Everyone says it but I’m not sure that everyone understands it. Change is inevitable. You cannot stop change. Ten years ago your life was completely different and in ten years time your life will be completely different. Everything has changed and will continue to change. Our feelings change, our opinions change, our understanding changes, our outlook changes, our dreams change, even our looks change. Something you thought was inexcusable last year you could be doing now. You could be married to someone you once hated. You could never speak to someone you once loved. You could wake up one day and realise that you no longer want what once made you happy. Getting annoyed or sad about change is like getting annoyed or sad about the weather (which I know some people do). You can try to ignore it or control it all you want but you can’t stop it.
Is change a good thing? I think so. It can sometimes feel horrible and unfair and like the last thing we want. But in my opinion nothing changes without good reason. We lose that job so we can travel the world. We lose our partner to teach us about ourselves. Our feelings change so that we can improve our lives. Maybe sometimes certain changes are unjustified and pointless. But giving out about them helps nothing. Loss is a part of change. We lose people, we lose things and sometimes we lose ourselves. That’s just how the world works. I’ve lost and gained many things through change. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I believe it’s always been for the best. I know that I’m only 18 but I have changed so much throughout my life. Every change has made me into the person that I am today and for that I am extremely grateful. I’ve shed some of my less desirable qualities while keeping the aspects of myself that I consider to be important. I hope to change many times throughout my life because that’s what’s natural. Trying to hang on to the past only leaves us stuck there.
It hasn’t ever been easy for me to let go of the past. I’ve spent many nights thinking about times when I felt more satisfied or more in touch with the universe than now. But this is a pointless exercise. I always wake up the next morning laughing at myself. We can’t go backwards, ever. And if we try, we risk losing our purpose and our sense of self. We can never be certain of anything. We can never plan for anything with absolute certainty that it will turn out that way. Things don’t stay the same. They just don’t. How do we keep sane in a world where things change all of the time? We just live. We make decisions understanding that it might not go as planned. We dream of happiness understanding that we might never get there. We appreciate what we have understanding that it won’t last forever.
This constant change can definitely be used to our advantage. We can be reborn, changing ourselves completely. Our circumstances can change, making it much easier for us to be happy. Our lives can be changed by a person, a situation, a conversation, a book, a song, a movie and so many other things. My biggest change was accepting myself. You hear about people accepting and loving themselves all of the time but you don’t ever understand how amazing it is until you’ve experienced it. I love myself unconditionally. I love myself despite my flaws. I love my body and my soul and my imperfections. I love the fact that I love myself. This rebirth was simple. I started to take time to do the little things. The things that make my soul happy. I now cross the road to walk in the sun. And wear big sunglasses in all weather. I wear big comfy cardigans that wrap around me. I listen to my favourite artists and watch my favourite TV programmes. I read books and write in my journal. I take the time to make myself a delicious hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is good for the soul and I try to have it at least once every three days.
I began to drink coffee to wake me up. I eventually developed a taste for red wine after having a glass every now and again. I drink three litres of water a day. I go on walks when I feel like it and I buy myself things that make me happy. Why wouldn’t I spend money on myself? I take the time to look around and appreciate a moment. When I’m laughing with my friends or on the bus into college while the sun rises. Or curled up in my warm bed while the rain pounds against my windows. I don’t get annoyed at myself for anything. I sometimes correct my thought processes if they’re not turning in my favour but I don’t get frustrated with myself. If you want to be happy make an effort. Don’t put off doing something that you want because “you don’t have time.” Sleep two hours one night and 16 the next. Stay up all night talking to your friends on the phone or watching movies. Spend the day in bed with a hangover. Life doesn’t have to be so serious. Let yourself cry over that boy that broke your heart, or the friend who stabbed you in the back. Then pick yourself up and drink a cup of tea. Spray that expensive perfume all over your clothes on an ordinary day and smile to yourself every time you smell it.
I digress. I wanted to change so I did. It wasn’t that hard because it was what I wanted. I decided to do something, looked at how I could do it and did it. Do I sound arrogant. I don’t mean to. I don’t mean to make it sound easy either. It wasn’t easy. But of course it was worth it to feel happy. Small steps usually lead to big results. Stop chasing the big, huge, seemingly impossible thing and focus on the small things that you can do to get closer to it. Don’t be so hard on yourself, because inside your head it’s only you. Don’t fight yourself, or criticise yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. That’s one of the most poisonous things that you can do. You are nothing like anyone else. So why do people make comparisons between one another?
What I’m trying to say with all of these ramblings is that you will encounter change throughout life. So why fight it? If you feel your mind changing about something, embrace it. If your situation becomes completely different than what it once was, go with it. If you fall out of love with someone end it (nicely). If you realise that the dream you were once chasing no longer matters to you, forget it. This world is unexpected and spontaneous. Something changes every second, every minute of every day. This is beautiful and frustrating. Exciting and terrifying. People come, people go and the only constant in our lives is ourselves. So appreciate what you have and get over it when it’s gone. Because more than likely, something else is waiting for you out there.
Read more Who Cares? here.
Buy Who Cares? here.
Watch How I Deal with Street Harassment below: