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.
In life, amongst other things, we have to battle two forms of doubt. The doubt that we have in our minds and the doubt that others have. Each is cruel. Each is horrible. I’m sorry. I wish you didn’t have to deal with these. I wish I didn’t have to deal with these. Are these two forms of doubt related? Of course. They walk hand in hand with one another. Other people’s doubt can make your doubt stronger and more relentless. The less self-doubt you have, the less other people’s doubts affect you.
The harsh truth is that people are assholes. They think that they know you when they don’t. They think that they have a right to criticise or advise you about aspects of your life that they have absolutely no idea about. They assume that they understand you which is a ridiculous assumption. We are all different. We really, really are. So why the hell do we judge one another? I’m not being one of those overly critical teenagers who hates the world. I’m really asking. How often have you felt like people don’t understand your feelings yet you know that they’re discussing you anyway? How often do you assume that it’s your right to give your advice or criticisms to someone when all it does is upset them? How often do you get annoyed at someone for not taking your advice when they actually never asked for it in the first place?
Why do we do this to each other? We are so mean to one another. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been more offended than appreciative of someone’s advice. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that we’re all entitled to our opinions. I just don’t think that we should always share them. If I’m unsure of something I will ask for your advice. Then you may tell me what you honestly think (within reason). Otherwise just leave me alone. Sometimes I want to vent about a problem that I’m having without you telling me how to solve it. Sometimes I want to tell you how upset I am without you telling me why you think I’m that way. Stop assuming you know what’s best because the reality is that you only know what’s best for yourself. Does this outlook annoy you? Well then you’re arrogant. I’m sorry but you are. I had to learn how to shut up when supporting those who I love too. I had to learn to shut up when I thought that they were making a mistake and how to pick them up without judgement afterwards. Because a person will appreciate support a lot more than criticism.
We all do stupid things. Sometimes we even know that we’re doing a stupid thing while we’re doing it. Leave us alone. Let us be stupid every now and again. It’s good for the soul. Humans also have a tendency to inflict their cynicism on others. If they failed at something they don’t expect another to succeed. They tell people that their dreams are too unrealistic or that they aren’t reaching their full potential. They urge people to follow their heads and not their hearts. They try to stop people from failing or making mistakes without realising that failure and mistakes are so important. You mustn’t listen to this. Ever! This is just one of the bumps along the road to your full potential. Please don’t listen. I beg you. Know yourself. Know your ability. Know your passions and your dreams. Don’t let them dictate any of this. Don’t let them stop you. I beg you not to.
Another thing you must ignore is the voice in your own head. You know the one. The one that compares you to other people. The one who tells you that you’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough, not funny enough. The one who tells you that you’re not original, or that no one likes you. The one who laughs sarcastically when you compliment yourself. This voice can be more horrible than anyone else’s. I don’t know what it is that makes it live in your head but it does nevertheless. Ignore it. That is my only advice. Learn to argue with it until it shuts up. Learn to replace it with a stronger voice. Learn to hate it. Because you do not deserve what it is telling you. It is possible to silence this voice. Maybe not forever but for when it’s important. It’s possible and it’s vital.
Read more Who Cares? here.
Buy Who Cares? here.
Watch my advice for blocking out negativity below: