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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ainscough

It's Friday, I'm in Love

Recently it's been getting a lot easier to be myself and love her wildly. All over the world there have been more people from all genders, sexualities, ethnicities, body types, religions, disabilities, and personalities publicly dipping their toes into the water of pride and self love, and fuck me (yes please) the affect it is having is epic. (I mean epic in the real dictionary sense, I'm not trying to bring back that cringy naughties' slang). So, I figured I'd stop tip-toeing around the pool side and dive right in to let any of you who are still thinking about it know what the temperature is like... and my God it is warm! Get on in here, all of you, because it is fucking lovely and the company is fantastic. I know there's a long way to go, I know people still face horrific, life-threatening discrimination and hatred (I'm one of them!) but let's remember to celebrate the progress we are making, because we really are making it.

If I think back to my school-days, it makes me a bit sick to think what we all had to go through. As a little girl, as a child, the catchy tunes that were pumped out of every speaker in our schools, in our homes, in the streets, in the Nokia-bricks we all crowded round to hear, were appallingly hateful. We were literally bopping along, learning the lyrics off by heart to songs about date rape, coercive sex, domestic abuse, homophobia, and countless different ways to put down women (or just about anyone) with graphic, violent language. Like, that's what we danced to! What do you think that does to the mind of a child? Constantly reaffirming these disgusting messages about who people are. Telling children that they are only worth their sex appeal. Telling children that unless they look a certain way they're trash. Telling children to objectify women, or abuse them...or both. Does anyone else remember that song where Eminem fantasied about beating and murdering his wife? Like, what the actual fuck? That 'ur so gay' song where Katy Perry took the piss out of a guy for being feminine. No thank you. While our bodies and our minds were still developing, when we are most susceptible to learning from our environments and absorbing other people's values, we had catchy, up beat songs sticking like sticky-weed to our psyches singing bitch this and slut that.

I know there's still a long way to go... but I live opposite a primary school and at home time the streets are buzzing to the sound of little voices singing ballads of self love. I see little people strutting their stuff and looking up to strong, confident people of all genders who are proud to be vulnerable and to be kind. We've got body positive queens, queer icons we've got real, wonderful people to look up to. I am 23 years old and I am only now learning, really learning, about the body and the mind and how to look after yourself. How to treat my own body that I've been living in all this time. Mental health. Consent. Nutrition. Kindness.

I'm also learning things that only I can learn. Things about what I like, what makes me happy, who I am. I'm learning that my religion is really important to me, and my sex life is too. That I want a ton of tattoos to decorate and celebrate my body and that I want to learn about history, and plants and this little patch of the earth. I like to swear a little more than I need to and I love to get my nails done. The smell of rubber makes me feel relaxed and swimming and dancing make me really happy. My best nights sleep are underneath the stars. I like to re-read the same book every year. I like horror movies and reality TV. And above all else, I want to be kind, and I'm going to try with all my might to be.

And that journey (that I'm still on) has not been PG13. From the bottom of my heart I want to apologise to myself and to all other people that I have mistreated on my way here. (And to all those that I am sure I am yet to mistreat while I am still learning). I have hurt so many people just trying to feel okay and I am so sorry for that. When we don't love ourselves we try so, so hard but no matter what we do to try and stay afloat and be liked all that happens is that we scratch ourselves and the people around us. I am sorry that I was not brave enough to love me, and I am sorry that that the beautiful people around me got burned in that fire. But I forgive myself too, because I didn't know any better at the time.

Man, there's no other way to say this, I am just in love with me today! Like daaaaayum I am fine! These sexy curves, this spasming body, this fuzzy mind and lovely, squishy tummy! I'm in love with this life! Today I've been blessed with fewer symptoms so I have been dancing round my bungalow with my dog, sliding in my socks across the kitchen floor and winking at myself in every mirror. And these days in general, oh man am I loving dancing! It's like the weight is lifting. I'm dancing down streets stone cold sober because I give 0 shits. I'm eating food that helps keep me balanced. I'm trying my hardest to give my body the rest that it needs. And finally I can really see all this hard work paying off.

If today you aren't feeling quite so elated, that's okay, too. It's gonna take time (and not all days feel like this Friday). Like the seasons these feelings come and go. Be kind to yourself. Rest. Try your best and congratulate for all the little things. Just be a friend to you. Just be a really good friend to you.

I'm sending big bear hugs to each and every one of you. Can you feel it? I'm squeezing you soooooo tightly and letting you know that it is going to be okay. Summer is coming, sex bombs, and we got this. xox

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