STORIES

I just want to be me

26th April, 2017   |    By Alex   |    7 min read

Let me begin with an admission.
I am only one person.
I am here to help you.
But I cannot promise you answers to the questions you hold.
And I cannot promise to solve every trouble you have.
But you can be damned sure I’m going to try.
And- Oh dear – I haven’t properly introduced myself, have I? Where are my manners? Possibly underneath my bed with all my other possessions, but thats not what you’re here for, is it? I’m Alex. It’s lovely to meet you. I’ve never seen eyes quite like that -The way they light up-
Damn. I promised myself I wouldn’t get distracted.
Now, mind your step. I haven’t had a chance to clean up and I do have a habit of jumping around from one thought to another, so please bear with me.
There’s not much else to know about me. I suppose I’m like you in many ways, and by the same token, we may be barely alike. You’ve probably seen me around before; average colouring, average hair, a little overweight and usually, I’m the kind of person you’ll hear before you see.
Wonderful. Now we’re done with introductions, let’s get into something juicy.

Sexuality

It’s during this wondrous, occasionally hellish period- also known as ‘the teenage years’- when we begin to realise what we’re looking for. And when there’s a mix of hormonal, horny teenagers all thrown together, that’s when things become interesting.
I’m pansexual.
And I’m not at all ashamed to say it.
Before you ask, no it doesn’t mean I’m partial to certain kitchen utensils. Pansexuality is an attraction to people of all gender identities and biological sexes. Lucky me, right?
In my family, from a very young age, we were always encouraged to be truthful to our parents to ourselves. My siblings and I were always told that it didn’t matter what we were; gay, straight, transsexual or asexual.
I know that I am one of the very few lucky ones.
My mother told me only last week that love was something so deep, so powerful, it shouldn’t be contained within the borders we create.
Truthfully, I haven’t ‘come out’ yet. But I don’t think I need to.
I love how I want, and I’ll love who I want. And no one is going to change that. No one can change that.
Sexuality is not something we choose, though I’m guessing you know that.
And neither is sexuality a brand to be worn forever.
So you’re a guy, who’s always thought him to be straight – What’s so wrong with thinking that guy is cute? And what’s so wrong with talking to him?
If you’re at a party, in a bar, at a wedding- whatever- and you see someone you think is cute, go and talk to them. So what if they’re a boy or a girl and so what if you’re a boy or a girl (or neither)? Sexuality is a label that we give to help people understand the truly complex nature of love and attraction.
Homosexuality isn’t unnatural.
Letting someone else’s opinions and beliefs influence your sexuality is.
Sexuality isn’t a black and white scale. Open yourself to love in all its forms.
I didn’t think I could love my best friend.
I didn’t think I could be anything but straight.
But now I know what I am, and it’s perfect.
Because I’m comfortable, and I’m me.
I told my friend I was pansexual. She smirked and shrugged and that was it.
In the end, it isn’t your parents who make the decision, nor your friends.
Of course they can support you. But no one can force you to be something you aren’t.
In the end, you’ll always know. In the end, you know who you are.
And that’s all that matters. Really.
Don’t roll your eyes at me. I’m trying to be deep.
There’s that smile.
As Doctor Seuss once wrote, in the end, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.

I know that it’s hard. And I know it’s terrifying.
I know that sometimes your thoughts can scream louder than anything else, and people still don’t notice.
I know the odds are that you’ve thought about killing yourself.
I know what it’s like to want to end it all.
And I do know one more thing.
I know that they’re lying when they say it gets better.
It doesn’t get better.
You do.
You are more than the words they say and the marks they leave.
You are more than you could ever imagine.
It was last week when I made a deal with myself.
It was after I screamed and cried and tore at my hair.
(I wasn’t having a good day.)
I swore this:
“It is what it is.
I do not consider life fair, nor do I consider it unkind.
My only hope is that when Death comes for me, I will meet him with open arms and not a closed fist.
And today, I swear, I will fill my world and my life with the beauty in things, and not the ugliness in people. I am determined to overcome the human nature of fickleness, and hope to see the beauty in everything I am and everything I do. I will not pretend to be perfect, nor dwell on the imperfections I cannot change.”
From birth, we are lucky.
We are given a life expectancy of more than triple that of some developing nations.
We are given eighty years to enjoy life and its beauty.
That’s it.
No take two.
No formal presentation.
That’s it.
And that’s only if we are lucky.
It is our time and our life in which to spend it.
We are given people which tip the scales of good and bad in our lives, and it is our responsibility to keep the balance.
We are only human.
We are candles that burn at both ends.
It was Roald Dahl who said: “My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah my foes, and oh my friends, it gives a lovely light.”
We will not last through the night.
But we have one chance. One mind and one voice.
Even when the thoughts are boiling inside of your head, and when your screams fall on deaf ears, just remember:
You have made it this far.
And I could not be more proud of you.
Listen to Sara Bareille: Brave
And Scouting for Girls: Downtempo
They’re the songs that get me out of a rut.

So I want you to promise me something now.
After all of this
Promise me something will be different.
Promise me you won’t cut yourself to fit inside the shape that society wants you to be.
Promise me that you won’t spend your life on people who don’t deserve it.
Promise me that you’ll love as freely as you smile.
And promise me.
Promise me that this is worthwhile.
Tell me that these thousand words aren’t going to dissolve into layers of code.
Tell me that you can hear them.
Tell me that when everything is at its hardest, and when you’re pushed to the edge, that you’ll remember this.
Read. Listen to all the music the world has to offer. Speak with the people who fill your life with joy, and speak with them often. Fall in love with the imperfections in this world. Take time to smell the roses, to burn the cookies, to smile wide enough to make your eyes crinkle.
Fall in love with this world the way I hope to.
If I die tomorrow, know that I have fallen in love with this life of ours; this muddled, confusing, perfectly imperfect life. And that it is the best feeling in the world.

And do one other thing for me.
Live.
Really live.


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