Learn to Let Go

One of my major problems in life is that I let myself believe I have problems. I have convinced myself that I am in some way damaged, broken and that problems in my relationships are my fault, and that I am to blame when things don’t go to plan or when things are not 100% perfect.

Over the last few weeks I have been having endless internal conversations with myself and several external conversations with my partner. These conversations have been about me and my mindset and all sorts of other deep and meaningfuls. The conclusion I have come to, when I break it all down and really examine the crux of why I’ve let myself get so negative is because I can’t let things the fuck go.

Honestly, it’s no wonder I’m living like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders when I’m walking around thinking about things some bitch said to me in 2004 and it’s come to the stage now where I need to look myself in the eye and tell myself to build a bridge and get over it!

I still find, in moments of silence, thinking about my time at school and how I would have done it all differently, and then I think about university and do the same thing and then I look at my time in London after that, and you get the point. I’ve spent most of my twenties looking back and that is not the way to live. I’ve taken away my own excitement about the future because I’m so dam focused on the past.

I had an awful time at school, I didn’t fit in and to be honest I didn’t really try to. I kept people at arm’s length and because of that, formed superficial friendships that do not exist today. A big part of that was probably down to my sexuality. I knew I was gay at 16, and I choose to suppress it and live my life as a ‘straight’ woman. But the thing is, I did that to myself, and the result is that now I punish myself and that results in me not being a very pleasant person to be around. I spent most of my time in London wanting to not be in London instead of enjoying it for what it was and having a bloody good time.

If I’ve taken one thing away from my weeks of reflection, it’s that nothing is permanent, even if it feels like a life sentence. School can only last until it’s over, University will end after three years and a bad living situation will only last until you decide you want it to change. But nothing is forever. So, let it go and enjoy it!

Let if go

Enjoy being unemployment for a short period, because when you get back into working you’ll crave free time.

Enjoy being single because there will be moments when you are in a relationship that you will wish for time alone.

Enjoy the honeymoon period of your new relationship, don’t throw something beautiful away because of useless worry – instead throw the past away.

Enjoy your partner, do not test them or burden them. Make them feel like they are special every single day.

Enjoy being young, because you are getting older every day.

Enjoy getting older, because you know more than you did yesterday.

Enjoy moments of sadness, because they remind us that we feel and they let us know when we are happy.

Enjoy your friends, they may be here in five years, they may not.

Enjoy your family. They will not always be around.

Enjoy yourself, be kind and gentle to your heart and mind.

Enjoy your present. In the end, it is really all we have.

Under Stars

It’s 2017 and the world seems to be painted in rainbow colours. Gays are getting married, leading countries – big shout to Ireland for making the move this year – and generally people are being allowed to live their lives as openly gay and being celebrated for it. So why is it so hard for us to accept ourselves?

I remember it so clearly the moment I knew I was gay. Picture this – a open topped bouncy cast, a clear summer night, stars for days and two teenage girls lying down holding hands. I know, it’s a scene worthy of a John Hughes credit, but it was a night that I will never forget. The important thing to note about this night was that nothing happened, there was no kissing, no big dramatic reveal and certainly no hanky-panky. It was perfect night, everyone else had left the party and we were just lying there enjoying the silence. The only thing I could hear was my heart beating at 5000 beats per minutes and the word LESBIAN echoing in my head.

I was 17 and girl on girl action wasn’t new to me. I had kissed girls at parties – I went to an all-girls school so you had to get your kicks from somewhere! And in those moments, I felt excited and exhilarated but I never thought I was gay, I put it down to the sheer taboo of it all. I was kissing girls and boys were watching and it was daring and it was sexy and I thought I must just be a bit of an exhibitionist. But then I met the girl who would led me to the bouncy castle and everything changed.

I was a lezza.

I liked girls. I fancied them and I wanted to kiss them. Boys were gross.

Of course, I did what any other girl in my position would do. A girl who was raised as a catholic, in a family who were super religious, in a small Northern Ireland town that was very unforgiving – I suppressed it. I was not going to be gay, that was not my life and I ran from myself and shut myself in a closet for most of my adult life.

Let me tell you something about living in the closet, it’s dark and it’s lonely and it puts in in situations you don’t want to be in (hello all the hetro sex I endured). My advice; get your sexy gay ass out of there, honestly, it’s so fun out here now!

Oh why, oh why is it not that simple I hear you say, why can’t I come out, why can’t I tell anyone. Because the first person you must tell is yourself.

I know that sounds ridiculous, why would you tell yourself something you already know. But you don’t know, until you look yourself in the eyes and say the words out loud, then you don’t know.

The day I turned my back on my happiness and locked the closet shut was another scene John Hughes would have approved (side note; I love me a John Hughes film). Me and bouncy castle girl were standing face to face and she asked me to be with her and come out together, and be there for each other if it all went tits up (pun completely intended). And I looked her in the eyea and I said, ‘I’m sorry I’m not gay.’ In five words, I lost my best friend, my friendship circle and what could have been a great love. In five words, I was completely alone. Alone in the closet.

Guys, girls and everyone in between – take note. The moment you know that you are marching to the beat of a different drum, own it. Even if the only person you own it is the person looking back at you in the mirror. Because the closet is not a home, and it’s certainly not were the bright young things of the world should be hiding. Get out, come out, be proud!

Because if you can’t accept yourself, how the hell can you expect anyone else to accept you (Thank you RuPaul)

Love always, A

All We Need Is Love

There have been two events in the past week that have shaken me to my core. This was not how I planned to open this blog, it’s not even ready but some things just get inside your heart and your soul and no matter how much you try you cannot shake them.

The George is Dublin’s most iconic LGBT venue and is home to some of Ireland’s most famous drag queens. On Friday 19th May some animals – it’s really the only PC word I can use to describe these people – vandalised the front of the bar. In an act that was so disgusting and so filled with hatred, those responsible managed to set Ireland back 20 years and remind members of the LGBT community that, although progress is being made, we shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves because there will always be someone out there to remind us that we are different and in some corners of the world, we are not welcome, wanted or worthy of love. It breaks my heart that might include Ireland. The bar was painted with words that shouldn’t be spoken to another human being and branded with a symbol unfit for human eyes.

The second incident was the horrific attack in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert, where more than 20 men, women and children lost their lives and too many others are left to fit for lies that will never truly heal. The event has shaken the UK and has instilled fear into the hearts of the world.

These two events have a ripple effect, and leave us with two options. To love or to hate.

Let’s choose LOVE people.

I was at the Ariana Grande concert in Dublin the Saturday night before the Manchester attack, and the atmosphere was electric. This pint size woman made an entire arena feel euphoric, that voice sent messages of female empowerment, love, sexuality and equality. After the concert I ventured to the George to continue the celebrations and within just 24 hours the efforts of a few narrow minded people had been erased and the LGBT community continue to move forward.

 

Choose love people, love is stronger than hate, love is what has kept us as a community strong. It is what has taken us from shamed family secrets to openly married couples. Love is what will make the family members of the Manchester victims get out of bed each and every day. We must fight through this because otherwise the world will implode and we will lose this fight.

So call your parents, tell them you love them. Go for a walk in the sunshine. Get dressed up and dance all night. Have good food with good company. Buy another *insert whatever you have too many of here*. Eat dessert. Drink wine. Travel. Take photographs. Don’t delete photographs. Stop waiting until you lose weight, save money, meet someone special. Meet someone special – tell them how you feel, as soon as you feel it. Don’t be scared of rejection. Don’t waste time. Quit your job. Skip the gym. Find the sunrise, chase the waterfalls. Laugh. Cry. Be honest. Take a chance. Don’t be afraid to say no. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Do not take your loved ones for granted. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t go to bed upset. Reach out. Don’t feel alone. Laugh. Take adventures.

Leave the past, thrive in the present, and do not fear the future.