An Irish Lesbian's thoughts and observations…

There’s no denying that we live in a very money driven world. In every shop there’s dozens of items for sale that we really don’t need yet are constantly bought anyway. On every sale day there’s people fighting for the best price for more and more items. I’m guilty of buying unnecessary items too of course. I’m sure we all are. Recently however I had a thought that I really disliked. I actually got sad that I didn’t have more money. I got annoyed that so many items are so difficult to afford and that coping financially isn’t easy for me. Maybe I was having these feelings because of the commercialism of the festive season or maybe it was just niggling at me anyway but I definitely didn’t like being annoyed
about something which is technically so fickle. I have a roof over my head, enough clothes and enough food so isn’t that good enough?

I always try to operate under the rule of “A bargain isn’t a bargain unless you are going to use it” but sometimes I mess up in the heat of the moment. I see something, it fits and feels good on and then I realise that I don’t need another t shirt or when am I even going to wear this shirt anyway? I found myself thinking a few months back that I needed a pair of shoes ‘in case I ever need them’. What? If I need them I’ll get them then, simple. We are constantly being bombarded by ads telling us we need the latest technology and the newest clothes. No, you don’t. Buy whatever you really want and if that happens to be the latest technology then great, off you go, but if not then save yourself some money and stick to what you have because if you’re aiming to keep up with the latest trends then you’ll eventually start to feel like you’re just going around in circles. My best advice to you on this issue is to just try not to let money bring you down. Don’t allow yourself to feel bad about something that doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.

Spend more time with those you love doing what you love and I’m sure you’ll feel way better than you did chasing items you think you’ll love.

Take care guys,
Alesbianspeaks

Yesterday they walked together hand in hand as they took their touches for granted. The town is alive with a hive of activity. It’s occupants seem to be too busy to notice. They don’t see the interlocked fingers as sweaty palms embrace. Their gaze does not include the love before them. The open declaration inspires little in it’s wake.

Today I too walked the same crowded streets as I weaved between those too busy to take a breath. Today was different. Right now I am the main attraction as I hold on tightly to her hand. Too many stares penetrated my space. I can suddenly relate to that goldfish confined to such a small bowl, a centrepiece to feast your eyes upon. Foul language and volatile behaviour rain down upon as we continue our nervous march. We exchange a look and silently agree. We will not let go.

Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow equality will welcome us as we march in a proud parade. Our colours will shine as we are given a guard of honour by supporters, children and animals alike. We will march as one to the beat of the same drum as we leave behind our reality to pretend we too can act like them. Tomorrow we will get a taste of what the future might be as we mingle safely in our numbers. Tomorrow I can be me. I can be me safely without judgement, fear or risk. I shall consider that day to be the greatest sample of freedom I could ever be given.

For this I just wrote without structure and allowed the words to flow. Here’s the result…

Jane strolled aimlessly along the lonely pathway. The murky water of the river beside her was still as the midday sun reflected in its centre. The chatter of the town was distant which only served to make her feel more alone. She sighed as she stopped to lower herself slowly to the ground. The dry earth appeared to be moving somehow as nature’s creatures marched in unison on their important mission. Jane allowed her mind to wander for a moment. She giggled to herself as she tried to imagine what these little ants were thinking of her. She pictured a small gang of them all gathered together equipped with miniature army helmets and ready to defend their families. They were ready for battle so why wasn’t she? A swan came into view as it drifted gracefully around the corner. Despite being cloaked in solitude this swan held its head high, confident in its own skin. Once this stunning creature was almost close enough to reach out to, Jane began to smile as she noticed it’s arrogance. Dipping in amd out of the water excitedly while still ignoring it’s audience. The swan made her think. She should be capable also of creating her own waves and following her own path. Inspired, she leapt to her feet ready for action. Action was exactly what she was going to get too. For too long she, unlike the swan, was consumed by the judgement of others and the interference she dealt with because she couldn’t find her voice. With her sights and her heart set on her future she could now not only speak out but roar in the face of adversity. If she was going to protect a whole country she must first start by guarding her hopes and her dreams. They were fragile too. She was scheduled to leave next week. She was about to be cast into the relative unknown far away from anything that resembles home yet she knew it was the right thing to do. She was going to make a difference and leave her mark. She, like the brave ants, was ready to be a defender.

Does Happiness Have a Recipe?

It’s difficult to keep throwing out blog posts but especially when you are your own worst critic. I’m critical of myself and my own work to the point of just being downright harsh. Right now however I’m putting those feelings aside in an attempt to reconnect with you all.

What’s been happening for me? I gained two new qualifications and completed two creative writing courses so I’m leaving 2014 feeling accomplished and proud of myself. I set goals for myself and was lucky enough to fulfill my own wishes. The resolution to do this came during the Summer so I also learned that not every great resolution starts on January 1st.

I was foolish enough to think that items were going to make me happy. Then I figured that people might make me happy. Now I get it. I really genuinely get it. I was already happy just the way I was/am without being surrounded by people who drag me down or make me feel bad about myself. I enjoy owning certain items but that enjoyment could never compare to the happiness I feel in the company of my wife. I once wished that I’d be surrounded by a dozen people I could call my friends but when I actually had this I was more miserable than ever. Moral of this story: I don’t need to follow a recipe to make me happy and I certainly won’t find this happiness in others. Luckily, I found it in myself. If you find yourself thinking that having loads of people in your life will make you happy then think again because it may not be as simple as that. I’m looking forward to the future but I’ve started planning it rather than hoping for good things to happen. I’m loving taking control over my journey.

How Much it Means to Matter

Dear friend,

Tomorrow is spaghetti day which is something I’ve been looking forward to even though I was the one who decided it should happen on a Tuesday. I enjoy looking forward to things even if its something as simple as a meal that I’m going to cook myself. I’m not feeling well physically tonight but my mind is at ease. I’ve been cleaning and throwing out unwanted clutter which always seems to lift my mood. Most people get a buzz from getting something new but I actually get more of a thrill from getting rid of things. Even though these items aren’t actually cluttering up anything I still like to call it decluttering because it helps me to feel like there is more order and organisation surrounding me. How are you doing? Is life treating you well and is it everything you want it to be?

Not too long ago I was feeling like any effort I was making to change my life and better myself was going unnoticed or wasn’t good enough. Perhaps this was a bit of a silly idea but it was a feeling which consumed my thoughts greatly back then. I thought that I’d made bad choices career wise but now I see that I’m heading in the exact direction that I’m destined for. I love being able to help people and make meaningful connections with others so a caring profession is right up my street. I’m going to make a difference, I promise. I see that I can be good for others and I can be a trustworthy, inspiring figure in someone’s life.

Why do I want to make such a difference, you ask. I grew up feeling invisible and unwanted. I felt turned away from social groups, family and my own father. I felt like teachers expected too much and couldn’t see how much help I needed. Friends who promised a lifetime of loyalty when we were teenagers gave up on me so easily so I figured in the end that I didn’t have an important place in the world. I felt that my existence was unnecessary and I don’t want anyone else to feel that way so I’m leaving my mark on this world through helping others. It may sound selfish in ways but I genuinely want to see others live their lives how they want to and I want to help other people to find happiness. I hate seeing other people experiencing the same deep emotional pain I felt for so long. Surely I can help to change the path of at least one person.

I look forward to making more meaningful connections with people and having deep conversations. Life left me frayed around the edges but my core remains warm sending flames of life to my worn exterior. Life is a roller coaster, friend, but always hold on tight and you will make it through anything. That’s what I learned anyway. Things get so much better than you’ll ever believe.

Best wishes,
Alesbianspeaks

Small LGBT Groups Need You

Ireland is actually so bad sometimes at supporting LGBT events in smaller towns. These small towns are the ones who need the support for their LGBT groups and communities the most. These places don’t have drop in centres, LGBT cafés or gay bars. They’re not granted the funding required to enable them to get their own premises so their meeting venues are the most difficult to source. They rarely get any funding at all but have so much passion and so many ideas. This is the reality for any group outside of the cities here in Ireland so putting an event together is even harder for them and advertising it is twice as hard. Night club venues don’t want to offer a room on one of their busy nights so you need to hope that people will bother coming to your event on a night that is not usually worth going out on. There’s so many obstacles so why are our own LGBT community one of them?

It would be so easy to fill a venue if the gay people from each area actually got together and went to these events and brought along their friends or family members. Wouldn’t it be great to just sit and chill at an event full of same sex loving peers? It’s so hard to meet other LGBT people in rural areas so when groups put effort into getting an event together I like to see a good crowd at it but unfortunately that’s rarely the case. Rural based groups from all around Ireland post pictures of their events online and the main thing they usually have in common is poor attendance. Why? I love going to these events when the opportunity arises for so many different reasons yet I am constantly disappointed by the lack of support from other people. A group can’t be held responsible for a lack of public support yet the public must have their reasons too for not attending. We need each other to fill these events and keep these small groups going. Together we can make them bigger and we can help to enable them to be more progressive and successful. It would be so sad if these groups and localised events disappeared, it really would. I hope that doesn’t happen.

Halloween Memories

Happy Halloween everyone!

Honestly this is my least favourite holiday but I think that’s because it feels like a boring commercialised event that’s lost so much of it’s fun throughout the years. I might be just saying that because I’m looking at it through an adult’s eyes. One undeniable positive is the fact that it’s a day which encourages eating chocolate. Any day which promotes eating chocolate can’t be all bad, right?

When I was about 8 or maybe 9 years old I was trick or treating with a friend. We stopped at the house of a gentle old man who lived alone and when he opened the door, as tradition dictates, we shrieked a chorus of “Trick or treat” with our excitement making our voices more high pitched than intended. We held out our little treat bags expectantly but this old guy just said “Oh what charity are you collecting for?”. We looked at each other and despite her mask I could tell that my friend was just as confused as I was. We told him that we weren’t collecting for charity and that we were there because it was Halloween. He had no idea it was Halloween that day and didn’t even realise it was coming up soon. He grabbed some loose change and divided it between us. He was so apologetic too. Looking back on the whole scene both sadness and amusement can be found in it. It was actually quite pitiful that someone that had lived for so many years had gotten to the stage in his life where each day had begun blending into another. It’s an unusual memory of Halloween but it’s one that’s never left me.

Have a great Halloween everyone!! I hope you have a great time and make some wonderful memories.. 🙂

An Awesome Piece of Advice

Today I was involved in a conversation about anger, challenging behaviour and how to deal with conflict. To be honest with you all, I am the type of person that would happily run a mile from a potential argument but I now realise that’s a habit that I must consider changing. Don’t get me wrong here: I don’t mean that I should be aggressive or irrationally challenging. That would make any situation so much worse. The advice I received today was so simple yet I never considered it before. I was told that if someone does something which upsets me I should always highlight it immediately. I shouldn’t let it slide or think that it doesn’t matter. I shouldn’t be afraid to speak up for myself or defend my feelings.

The woman who gave this advice also claimed that taking this strategy on board herself changed how she valued herself and how others treated her. We all should have a massive amount of respect for ourselves because let’s face it; respecting yourself encourages others to show you the same treatment. I’m going to try telling people that they’ve upset me before they get the opportunity to do it again. It’ll be difficult to break such a long term habit so I guess the greatest challenge will be standing up to my own ideas of what I’m worth rather than the challenge of standing up to the person before me. I think a lot of the time we do not mention the ways others hurt us because we think we don’t deserve to be treated any better than that. You never deserve to have someone intentionally or even unintentionally hurt you. Speak out. You’re worth every syllable.

Hey all! I have been swamped with assignments hence my absence from WordPress and blog land. The downside – missing out on my virtual socialising, the plus side – an awesome qualification at the end of all this hard work.

I’m hoping that volunteer work is on the horizon for me pretty soon which prompted this thought process… does being butch actually decrease your job opportunities? Will this be a factor in a future employers decision regarding your potential employment? Or does this discrimination only exist in certain types of work? To be honest I’ve never been served in a shop by a butch woman. I actually haven’t encountered one elsewhere either for that matter but I am not sure if that means that butches aren’t being hired or if they’re just not applying for these jobs in particular. Even if they are applying for these jobs it must also be said that a lack of qualifications is a possible reason for them not achieving employment also. It could be any number of reasons really so it’s hard to blame discrimination alone.

Like I already mentioned, I am hoping to get some work experience through volunteer work which will revolve around caring for people who have intellectual disabilities. One thought which struck me recently was “Should I grow my hair? Should I make myself look less butch?”. I know, I know, you should always be true to yourself but I still found myself thinking about how my looks could potentially impact people’s impression of me. I was initially thinking that having longer hair may help my cause but then I got a haircut so I failed big time there. Then I wondered if my small chest is a factor when I’m presumed to be a guy but no way on earth would I be happy wearing something designed to emphasise what little breasts I do have. Wearing make-up just isn’t me… I’d probably end up looking like a drag queen to be honest.

In the end I thought to myself “Why can’t being butch be an asset for me instead of simply being something negative?”. After some research I found out that there is very little out there to help or educate people who have intellectual disabilities and identify as LGBT so this lead me to thinking that I could actually be able to offer some form of support for these people. Maybe sharing my experiences and knowledge could actually inspire understanding and compassion amongst those who have intellectual disabilities. It’s something that many heterosexual workers and volunteers may not feel equipped to handle so perhaps that could be where I can help?
I guess my point is that sometimes your sexuality and your style may be more of an asset than you first realise. Our world is undeniably becoming more accepting and even more fond of us rainbow folk and I’m glad I didn’t even entertain the idea of changing myself to fit in or be more accepted when this energy can be better put into helping to transform attitudes for the better. Right now I’m genuinely pretty excited about the possibility of speaking about a topic that remained taboo for such vulnerable people for so long. I’m feeling determined and ready to play an active role in my community.

I hope all of you are having a great week.
Take care of yourselves. 🙂

This Video Made Me Cry…

I’ve been studying various medical conditions and disabilities recently. What I’ve learned so far is that these ‘disabilities’ in no way stop people from living full lives. I genuinely think there’s so much we can actually learn from people who have these long term illnesses and disabilities.

I had a habit of throwing in the towel myself in the past. I often gave up when things got hard. The amazing thing is these remarkable people do not let that even be an option for them. We can help them in ways but they can help us in so many more ways than we actually realise. Opening your eyes to the bravery that is their normality will actually inspire you so much.

Tag Cloud