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.
We learn to appreciate ourselves by acting in a way that makes us proud. I believe that the best way of doing this is by learning through other people’s experiences. Throughout my entire life, if there was a character in a movie or a book that I admired, I would pick my favourite aspects of their personality and adopt it into mine. If I looked up to traits that my friends or family possessed, I tried to also possess these traits. I don’t think that this is being fake, quite the opposite in fact. I think it’s being true to yourself to want to develop into a person that you admire. It takes courage to do things that you look up to in other people. To me, it’s quite noble to desire to be your best self.
I’ve expressed my passion for books many times throughout this. I really, really, really recognise an importance in reading. I could bore you for hours talking about the latest book that I’ve read or all of the books that I am planning to read. I believe that everyone should read. I don’t care if you say that you are not a reader or that you don’t have time. Make time. I am an extremely busy person yet I constantly devote time to reading. I don’t think one will ever regret time that they have spent reading a book. Even if you only read ten pages a day at least you are doing something. You will learn so much more from a single book than you will from watching TV or being on your phone. You should still watch TV and be on your phone if you want but make sure you read as well.
Don’t be one of those people who sacrifices their dreams. Decide what you want and go after it. I don’t care if you’re reading this book at 60 years old. Decide what you most want now, figure out a way to get it and go after it. Make a plan at this time of your life and follow it. If you change your mind in the future that’s okay. It will be difficult and scary, but that only means that you’re doing something right. My current dreams are quite career based. I want to make a difference. I want to write and speak about issues that need to be discussed. I want my voice to be heard. I don’t really think about kids or marriage in my future. Although I’m not closed off to the ideas. The idea of marriage kind of confuses me. How am I supposed to make a promise and keep it for the rest of my life? Although, let’s face it. A wedding sounds like something I would want. A whole day where I’m the centre of attention? Something tells me that I’d enjoy that. Chasing what you want will definitely help you to appreciate yourself. Even if you don’t get it, at least you’ll know that you tried your best.
Focus on what you love and what’s positive in your life. Try to let go of the negative experiences and situations that you’ve been in. I see it like this: When you focus on something positive it’s like tying yourself to a helium balloon. It raises you upwards and helps you to fly (ugh what a cliché). Negative things are anchors that hold us in the one spot. Things like fear, resentment, hatred, insecurity and things that have upset or damaged us in our past can all hold us back. We cannot untie ourselves from these anchors easily or quickly. But slowly we work to move past them. You’ll probably always have an anchor or two tied to you at any given time. I think that one or two are necessary to keep us from floating off into oblivion. However, if you focus on the balloons as much as possible, you can move up to where you need and want to be.
Don’t let fear stop you from being amazing. Fear can be a formidable enemy. He’s this asshole who sits in our brain and tells us not to do things. He sends out an army of nerves to course through our bodies and stop us from doing what we want. Make fear your friend. Try to understand why he’s scared and tell him not to be. Sometimes he is justified. Listen to him when you think he is speaking sense. Be kind to him. Don’t tell him that he’s ridiculous. Instead assure him that you can get through this. When you do this, the nerves that run through your body also become your friends. They motivate you and make you perform at your best. They can be used to achieve instead of stopping you from doing just that.
Don’t deny any aspects of yourself. I always find it so strange how people can lie to themselves about who they are or what they want and need. I’ve taught myself to accept every part of myself. I relish in every aspect of myself that I like, but also the parts that I’m not a big fan of. For example, I have an intense rage and sadness inside me as a result of my past. I don’t ignore these or pretend that they’re not there. Instead, I acknowledge them and put them into my journals where they can’t harm anyone, myself included. Putting these ugly traits into something beautiful like writing helps me to love these aspects of myself. Channelling them into creativity is the healthiest way that I can deal with them. If I pretended that they weren’t there the only result would be a build-up that I eventually wouldn’t be able to handle.
I’m also quite a lazy person. This is a fact that I’ve accepted and I don’t necessarily think that it’s a flaw. I use it to my advantage now. It helps me to find the quickest, most productive method of getting things done. It’s also something that I can overcome if absolutely necessary. I don’t let it get in the way of my work or my personal life. I have become more disciplined over time. But I am lazy by nature and this is an aspect of myself that I am okay with.
Another thing that I often see in those around me is a fear of failure. This is disturbing for me. I don’t know why, but I have never, ever been afraid of failing no matter what I did. I don’t expect to fail and if I do, I just get on with it. Failure is an extremely important part of life and of being creative. You can never afford to be afraid to fail or you will not achieve your full potential. So what if you fail? Who cares? If people are happy because of your failure, ignore them. The people that you love should support you no matter what. Striving for your best is the only true method of appreciating yourself.
Read how I control my late night thoughts here.
Watch how to feel good below: