Everyone has a struggle

I don’t remember how old I was, but there I was, sat listening to a guest speaker that came to my school. It was a woman who doesn’t realise that she changed my thoughts about life. It is almost always guaranteed that guest speakers at schools will be boring, and make no impact because the only thing school kids (who think they know everything) hear is “blah blah blah” and wonder when it is going to be over so that they can go have lunch. Often the speaker is boring enough that I don’t blame anyone, and admittedly, I was one of those kids who thought I knew it all. I didn’t. Since the day I heard this woman’s story, I have believed that everyone has a struggle. At that stage of my life I didn’t have my struggle yet, but for some reason I still believed it. It is something I have never stopped believing. I think young me was very much in sync with slightly older me, telling me things before I knew them to be true.

I bet you are all wondering what this woman’s story was that she had such an impact on my thoughts. She spoke about her son that was born blind, and their struggles and how they overcame every obstacle before them. I do have sympathy for them, but the story didn’t touch me in any significant way. Just the belief that came with it… that everyone has a struggle. I remember sitting there thinking that if you have a perfect life, and everything has always worked out perfectly for you, it won’t always be like that and your struggle is yet to come. I don’t know why these exact thoughts and that exact moment has always stuck with me, but it is something that never leaves my mind. I also remember thinking that once you have lived your struggle, everything will go well for you from then on, because you have already overcome your struggle. I admit though, that I did go have that lunch I was daydreaming about and carried on with my normal young teen life.

In case you don’t know, I am just slightly obsessed with YouTube. If you happen to be too, you might know who Shay Carl and Anna Saccone are. They are both family vloggers who came out to the world about secrets they have kept and details about themselves that have never come out on YouTube. It’s amazing how much of your life you can share but still have a huge detail of it not known to anyone. The things they have announced have just once again, made my belief in my statement even stronger. Shay announced to the few million people who watches him every day that he used to be an alcoholic. While Anna announced that she has been struggling with an eating disorder (bulimia, to be exact) since she was a teenager, and has only recently started making progress to improve after seeing a psychologist for a long time because she doesn’t want this to affect her two children. She didn’t want to carry on living that way. I just want to point out, that I love and respect Anna so much, and their vlogs make me smile every day. Watching their videos makes my struggle a bit easier. I also think Shay is an amazing man who has so many great things to say and so many amazing opinions and advice, and the love he has for his wife and his 5 children never seizes to amaze me. I look up to him.

There was one thing from each of their videos that stood out to me and that I have been thinking about since watching them. Anna said something along the lines of every person having a different struggle, and no persons’ struggle is the same. She said that even though everyone has a different struggle, you can still understand and respect another person’s struggle because you are also going through something. You can understand how difficult it can be. Don’t quote me on this, Anna said it better! What Shay said… I have really been thinking about a lot. He said that he believes we are here to struggle. We were put on this earth to struggle and we ARE strong enough to overcome it. I don’t know if I believe that struggling is our purpose… maybe one day I will have a better opinion about it. Maybe one of our purposes though… like my best friends favourite words to me that I have heard more times than I can count, “You can’t know real happiness if you haven’t experienced sadness”.

I am still very unsure about many of my opinions, and as I woke up crying a few mornings ago… I found myself thinking, “What is the point?” The point of life, the point of these things happening to us, what is the point of it all? Is it to one day know true happiness? One day when you have conquered the challenges life throws? I can’t answer that question yet… but one thing I do know, is that I will not stop fighting. I refuse to give up.

For those of you who are very confused… among many other things, my girlfriend was forced to move overseas. And of course life is trying to make it impossible for us. I shouldn’t be surprised really… because I was cursed with people in my life being taken away from me. Not by death… but by distance.

She came to visit me for 3 weeks, and let me just say that it was the most amazing three weeks I could have ever imagined. Cuddles at night with an electric blanket; waking up to her special hot chocolate with bubbles, just the way I like it; card games and wine, date nights and cozy movie nights; flowers, hugs, kisses, adventures; from petting and taking a selfie with a cheetah to shopping and late night walks. A life with her is a never ending adventure that I never want to stop living. Saying goodbye breaks me like nothing has ever broken me before.

But… seeing her, holding her hand, touching her skin, looking into her eyes… those are the things that make me believe that this struggle is worth it. This struggle I will fight until I come out on the other side and I can feel her skin and look into her eyes forever, and never have to let go or fear leaving. Never having to say goodbye again. Never ending the adventure.

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Homophobia and Orlando

“It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.”

 

I found this quote a few days ago and haven’t been able to forget about it. That quote basically sums up my aim for these blogs. To not only make someone else feel less alone, but also to make myself feel less alone. Make myself feel free because writing things down makes them seem more official and makes it feel like a weight’s lifted and I can breathe. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, there is a sense of relief that comes with writing something down. Like now the paper carries the weight instead of me.

 

It is quite ironic to say that my own story will heal me, because at the moment it is my own story that hurts the most. I can believe though, that one day my story will truly heal me. I imagine a future where my own story is the reason for my happiness. I have found that there is great power in imagining.

 

I can’t really say why life does what is does. I don’t know yet if it is because of decisions that were made or if there is some higher power out to make things difficult for us. I also can’t cast blame on other people, although that is often the easiest way to go. The reason I am saying these things is because I just finished watching Ingrid Nilsen’s new video “Coming Out: A year later” as well as having the recent events in Orlando constantly on my mind for the last three days. I remember Ingrid talking about feeling trapped. This stood out to me the most from her whole video because I too have felt trapped, trapped inside myself and trapped in this world. I don’t want to talk about myself too much right now, I will get to that.

 

I really want to mention the shooting in Orlando. It is terrible of me to admit this, but no other terrorist attack or shooting has shocked me or stayed with me as much as this one has. I might be biased, but I have never before felt personally threatened or scared because of one of these attacks. I do live on the other side of the world to America and Europe, but never have I felt like “one of the people” who were targeted. I am talking about categories here such as race, gender, sexuality, religion etc. All the labels that at the end of the day should mean nothing, but somehow they mean everything and I can’t for the life of me fathom why!? Why do these meaningless words take over our lives? I don’t know, and I never will.

 

Our Pride month is still coming up towards the end of the year. I attended last year, but now I am scared to attend this year. It sucks, it is breaking my heart to think that I can’t go to an event to stand up for something I believe in and something I am part of because I am scared of something happening. Scared of being shot. Scared of being attacked. Scared of being hated. This thought has been driving me crazy since hearing about what happened in Orlando. And yes, some might say it was only one homophobic guy who didn’t agree with Pride. What’s next though? Two guys, three guys?

 

The media has put so much emphasis on the fact that it was a gay bar and a lgbt+ event, if terrorists weren’t thinking about that before, they sure are now. Like “Helloo, you don’t only have to think about race and religion, there is sexuality to attack too!” almost like a huge announcement and awakening of the lgbt+ community to the world. Is it just me who feels this way? No other attacks have highlighted this fact as strongly as this Orlando attack.Three days ago I was almost sure I am going to Pride later this year, now I’m curious to see if I will.

 

I also recently saw a post about the word “homophobia” and that it is not a phobia because you aren’t scared of gay people, you are just an asshole. I want to disagree, because I think it is 99,9% a phobia. A phobia of the unknown. A phobia of the unwanted. A phobia of something outside of norms. A phobia of changing the world. I say this because I have firsthand experienced this phobia with people who are supposed to love and accept me no matter what.

 

I could go on endlessly about this topic, I have a whole story to tell after all. I just had to get the Orlando event off my chest. After all, if there was any time to talk about it, it would be now. I might not have great things to say and I definitely don’t know how to help or fix it. I am, however, sure, that I am not the only one who is scared…

Let’s See…

So I have a friend who is a writer and I am convinced she was born to be one. I, on the other hand, am not one. I guess I’m just trying to embrace and accept the fact that we are different and have different writing styles. Nobody writes the same, right? This friend of mine started a blog and convinced… no wait, inspired… me to make my own blog too. Despite my lack in writing talents. So here I am, writing my first post. To be quite honest, I don’t really know what I am going to write about in this blog. Apparently I have many profound things to say though, so let’s see what I come up with. I am scared that this blog will just be me ranting and complaining, because isn’t that just the easiest thing to talk about? Maybe it will force me to highlight the happy things, because in-between this thing called life there certainly are happy moments too.

 

Maybe I should start with what I am doing right now. I am writing this post on a couch in a home that is not mine, while the two children I watch in the afternoon take their nap. They are two little girls, 4 and 5 years old. The 5-year-old is a special needs child, and can’t walk or talk properly yet. I don’t mind watching her though, once you get to know her and can understand what she says and what she wants, it’s easy. Oh and of course, knowing how to change a nappy! The 4-year-old is the sweetest little girl and she is incredibly smart. She is always asking questions that I seldom know how to answer and luckily for me, she listens very well and I hardly ever have to get strict or angry. I get paid very little for this job but it is better than doing nothing. Along with the other job I have in the mornings, I am saving to go overseas at the end of this year. I don’t know if I will afford it but I will die trying. It’s at least a little step towards my future.

 

The problem with working from 8:30 in the morning till 7:30 at night, excluding my dance nights, is that I never have time for myself. I only have a few short hours of me time before I’m too tired to keep my eyes open any longer. Of course all this time is used to catch up on YouTube videos because I am always behind. Considering you can only watch an average of 4-6 vlogs an hour, catching up is a slow business and I end up falling more and more behind as the days go on. Which results in a whole Sunday in bed with my laptop. Anti-productive I know, but it’s what I do and what I have always done to relax and forget about my life for a while. It is refreshing to live in someone else’s world instead of my own. I am, however, longing to read books, make videos and write. Time is a nasty thing and none of us ever have enough of it. Only when we don’t want a lot of time… then suddenly it decides to take forever. Recently I have been reading Looking for Alaska by John Green. Don’t mind the fact that I have been working on it for quite a few months now, and have little spurts and moments of reading time and then stare at the book on my bedside table for another few weeks before opening it again. Of course I could read it in this little time gap I have every day, but I usually fall asleep during this time too so writing this post is already quite an achievement.

 

I seem to be doing okay with this writing thing, truthfully I was always better with writing and languages than I was with maths and science. My life feels like a crazy movie or novel, so let’s see where this blog takes me. I must admit, it feels good to be writing it all down.