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.
Do I sound like a child mentioning my journals? Perhaps it is childish to keep one but I really, really couldn’t care less. I had originally intended to populate this chapter with phrases and sayings from my journals that are funny, inspirational, terrifying and devastating. But sitting here now with the open notebooks around me, I’m not ready to share them. They are my pride and joy. My soul and my charm. My biggest achievement and my delicious secret. I will not yet betray the fifteen-year-old me by laughing at his naivety or his bitchiness. I won’t share my sources of inspiration any more than I already have for fear that this book will turn you all into perfect human beings that I couldn’t possibly live up to. I won’t share my darkest, scariest thoughts because they are a part of me that I cannot discuss in a blasé fashion. I am not going to give heartbroken David a voice right now because I am finally in a good place and don’t wish to delve back into my past. I hope that my readers can respect that.
So what do my journals consist of? That’s a good question, and one that I have no idea how to answer. My journals are many books of all material, shapes and sizes that contain endless rambling entries about things that are, or were once of significance to me. They have quotes from songs and books that I can relate to. They contain beautiful Tumblr posts that I have transcribed. They hold thoughts and stories from my past that I love to read over. They have happy memories that I feel are vital to include and remember. They contain accounts of times that I crushed on or loved someone. They hold important letters, cards and even text messages that I have sent and received over time. There is only one drawing that I can think of in my journals because I am not good at, or passionate about drawing at all. I have written in short stories that I have penned, English assignments that I completed in secondary school and my few attempts at poetry. My earlier journals mostly consisted of gossip from school and long accounts of my day, but they have grown and matured along with me. They now mostly contain articles that I’ve written and quotes from books that I’ve been reading. I also continue to write about the most prominent issues that are affecting the life that I am leading.
Each chapter of this book, after publication will be handwritten into my journals in blue pen (the only shade that I will write my own words in). Is this a waste of my time? Perhaps. But the sentimental value of these journals cannot be denied. I adore them. I will admit that some of my entries over the years have been downright bizarre. But I love these entries just as much at the others because they were obviously important to me at one time. I owe everything to my journals. They have kept me sane when I didn’t think that I could go on. They’ve helped me to make decisions and to realise when I was being completely irrational. They’ve been a way for me to find my voice and to improve my writing. They’ve been a method for me to form opinions and realise my true intentions. They’ve helped me to disclose everything from my biggest dreams to my deepest fears and I would not be half the person that I am today without them.
I have also begun to recently do something that I read in Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth Gilbert mentions how, when she feels the need to, she’ll write in a notebook in order to engage in a sort of internal dialogue with herself. She uses this to comfort herself in times of anxiety and emotional turmoil. I love this idea and I’ve begun to do it myself. It provides me with solace when I’m feeling down and clarity when I have to make a difficult decision. It seems ridiculous writing to yourself at first, but you’d be surprised by the responses that you get.
It’s always been common knowledge to those around me that I’ve kept journals. I’ve kept them in a lock box in my room that sits on my floor in plain view. However, I am constantly losing the key and I am not particularly careful about always putting them back in this box. I am not naïve. I do believe that my family and my friends have probably had a peek when they’ve had the chance. I only hope that they didn’t read anything that impacted them in a negative way as I really don’t hold back when I write in my journals. I don’t write every day or even every week. There have been months when I didn’t so much as look at one of my journals. And then there have been months where I have written every day about something or other. I’m pretty relaxed about it and don’t bother getting annoyed at myself for the times when I’m too preoccupied to write. My biggest hope is that I keep these throughout my life so that I can one day look back on them and be proud of the life that I lived.
Read an excerpt from one of my journals here.
Watch my writing process below: