What a year. When I started 2017, I never thought I’d be here by the end of it – let alone be me!! In January, I was struggling to see the next day – anything further than that was just pitch black. Now, I’m here. I can see. Well, ok…technically the “person” who started 2017 didn’t make it to the end. Weird huh? I started the year as 1 “person” and ended it as another. How many people can say that?!
There have been many reasons for why I am the way I am. Quite a few things I’ve talked about in previous posts. But that’s the past. This is the year I looked forward. It’s been a really fucking tough year but a very important one. I like to think of 2017 as the year I fell out!! I didn’t really think about coming out as transgender in any official way. I mean, I had no plan or anything. I was just focusing on being me when a few people found my new Instagram profile just as I was setting it up. In the past I would have panicked but I didn’t because it felt right. I just thought “fuck it, let’s just take a chance and do something different”. So I did. I re-branded and let the world into a secret struggle that had haunted me since I was a really young kid. Gender dysphoria became less scary and more real. I was finally able to say the words. I was finally able to admit that I am not male.
So what is the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year? Ummm…tough one…that the labels on painkillers aren’t lying when they say it can cause addiction?!! Haha. Seriously though, I’ve learned a lot this year but I think one of the biggest things to take from it is that change is possible. If you want something enough, you can make it happen. The only person stopping you…is you!! Whether it’s because you’re afraid of going against society, afraid of change or afraid of the unknown, you kind of convince yourself or make excuses for why you don’t do something different. It’s much easier to stick to what you’re used to…but what if that “something” isn’t working for you? You’re used to it, you know it’s not working or making you happy…yet you carry on doing it. I could’ve spent the year complaining to myself that my life sucks and that I’ll never be the person I need to be…but that would be like the previous year. And the year before that etc. I learned that if the same stuff keeps repeating itself, then why not change it? It’s down to me to take a chance, especially when it’s something I really want. I realised this shortly before falling out. When that realisation hit me, the fear disappeared. Almost instantly. Like with any good Pokemon, the fear had evolved. Levelling up to determination. Yeh, it’s still scary as fuck but a good and exciting kind of scary. Any change is scary but what have you got to lose? A year is a long time. The rest of your life is even longer. Having connected with some awesome people on social media who also came out this year, I can honestly say that being true to yourself and allowing change to happen is a great thing.
As I’ve been whinging for a while about needing a haircut, I finally decided to take another step into the unknown with a complete style change. Although I had to do it quickly to stop myself changing my mind or finding an excuse for not going through with it (those traits will always be with me), I’m glad I did.
Surprisingly, I found that people have been incredibly supportive. Thank you so much, everyone, for letting me be me. I want to say a HUGE thank you to my other half, my best friend and to Sinead for all they’ve done for me this year. I really wouldn’t be here or who I am today without them. I’ve made some really awesome friends this year too which, for somebody who gets nervous in social situations or meeting people, is an achievement. Whether it’s inspiring me to keep going, inspiring my sense of fashion or just being there to offer advice: thank you. You’ll never know the difference you’ve made ❤
Sadly the world isn’t perfect. There are a few twats who disapprove or don’t agree with what I’m doing, but I’m not bothered about them. They’re not the ones that have to live my life. They’ve never had to go through what I have. Sure they can have their own opinions but when they show no respect and enforce their opinion, or go out of their way to ignore my wishes, then I don’t have room for them in my world. The awesome Kobra And The Lotus have a track called “You Don’t Know” and it got me through some dark times this year. I was lucky enough to meet them a few weeks ago, they’re such awesome people. This song is a reminder of what I stand for, who I am and how far I’ve come. It’s a big fuck you to those that judge, stare or discriminate, thinking they know. They don’t.
After taking time out this year to find myself (literally!!) I’m determined to get back into the office in 2018. I need to be back behind my drum kit, making music. That’s definitely one of my New Year’s resolutions. Another is to help more people. I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I’ve been through but I know it’s part of the journey. Instead, I can be there for people and hopefully find ways to inspire people to start their journeys. No matter where you are, who you are, or what’s going on in your life, I just want you to know that you can be in control and that you do have the strength to be yourself. Just let go and take a step into the unknown. If you fall, there are more people on hand to catch you than you realise. Not that you’re going to fall, only climb higher.
Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all have a fantastic New Year celebration and I wish you all the best for 2018.
Featured image: via Google
Featured video: “You Don’t Know” by Kobra And The Lotus (via Napalm Records’ Youtube page)