Thursday, 25 June 2015

To Future Me

I write this after coming across a post on Facebook by Carly Findlay titled, "To my Unborn Daughter". I've decided to write a letter to my future self because well, I don't want to dwell on my possible lack of longevity, I'd prefer to look forward and pray to God that I will live as long as I allow myself to. Does that sound odd?! Heaven only knows! Imagine I'm much older, for dramatic effect! This may be a bit confuzzling, but it's my way of taking to my future self. Take heed. 

Dear Future Me,

I am your younger 22 year old self and hell, I've got the time, so I might as well jump straight in. Firstly, congratulations on reaching 35. For someone who wasn't supposed to live for long, you've certainly managed to excel yourself. You've proved doctors wrong with your stubborn attitude, you've got a good life and I hope, you're happy. I want to explain to you a few concerns and my reasonings. 

I'm consciously choosing not to have biological children, despite the advertisement of big boobs and lookalikes. I am aware that people with ichthyosis have got biological kids and I applaud them. But it's not for me. My body already works a gazillion times faster than the average person and to throw a child into the mix would be overkill. I am a relatively healthy and fit person now, but I credit that to all the activity I do. I already get tired from just an average day, imagine that with a pregnancy. Plus, do I really want to risk passing the Harlequin gene onto my child? Would that be fair for them? To have to suffer? No, I, along with my medical team have worked hard to get me where I am today and I would like to keep it that way. I won't rule out adoption though, I come from a family where adoption is kind of de riguer so I suppose it will happen and any man I choose to marry may just have to accept that biological kids are out, and adoptions are in. 

Secondly, be more open with yourself, be gracious in receiving others, be confident in yourself and know that with pitfalls, people will have your back, mostly. Go out there, you didn't survive this long to be a sad lonely tosser. Know that when bad things happen, it's okay to cry, it's okay to rant, because you're human. Know that just because you're already a strong person, doesn't mean you have to be the strong person all the time, it's okay to let your guard down sometimes. And learn to laugh naturally, don't force it.

Boys and men. Huh. It's either gonna happen or it won't. Don't push it too hard. You're going to find mr Right one day. You don't need Tinder and you don't need OKCupid. "Nuff said. 

I hope that by the time you read this, there will be more research into the Harlequin gene, though I can't imagine that happening just yet. I can however, imagine more creams, more steroids, but also less of it. Don't pump your body with unnecessary things, you'll be immune to it soon enough and that would suck. 

I hope people will become more tolerant of you and those with visible differences. It's a tough world out there. I hope the public will be more tolerant of us and won't have the audacity to throw around random bits of abuse at people they deem to be different. Remember, if people hurt you because of being you, know that it's not your fault and you should never blame yourself, it is their problem and not yours.

I hope that by the time you read this, you'll be doing what you love and if it's anything like 13 years earlier, you'll be refereeing some damn good rugby, and hopefully setting the stage overseas. Be prepared to seek guidance, be prepared to fail, be prepared to whip out the cards once in a while. Listen to your coaches, don't be complacent, you don't know it all and you need to learn as you go along. You should at least be at ARFU or World Rugby level by now but if not, get to it!

I've said a lot and I hope it resonates when you read this later on. 

Remember, eat, smile, laugh, look after yourself and enjoy life, you've made it this far, so don't bloody stop now!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Just a Typical Juno

June, ha! Where do I begin?! It's the beginning of summer, it feels like an oven AND it's also the rainy season. That's got to be good, no? But don't let me divert you as we are not here to discuss George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. I am not Eliza Doolittle and we are not at Ascot, hence we do not need to discuss "the weather and everybody's health"! Though it is one of my favourite musicals and Rex Harrison is divine and so are Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn. I read in Julie Andrews' biography and she's mentioned it tons of times, it's interesting how although it clear that Pygmalion is a love story, never does it once mention the word "love", that's British stiff upper lip for you! 

June for me has been amazing, truly. And pretty sucky as well in unequal amounts... 

The 28th May was a pretty unsettling day for me. Now I travel on public transport every day, the public bus service in HK is well, good. Good for speed, for socialisation skills, not quite. See, for those who don't have me on Facebook and don't know, I was discriminated against by a bus driver. It was a horrible thing for me and my parents to deal with and I know that for those with a visible difference, discrimination is par of the course, sadly. The driver indicated all sorts of things. You can read the full post at my dad's blog or you can read it on our Facebook page, The Girl Behind The Face. From a shitty experience, I got some positivity from it. I got so much support from so many people but my parents were the two biggest rocks of all. They jumped into action as soon as I'd stopped crying on the phone and was able to supply them with what info I had. Although I had to dash off for an injection as well, I was treated by my lovely parents to a steak and chips at our local Texan barbecue restaurant, Anthony's. So for a day which was full of grief and love in unequal amounts, that day really showed my just how much people truly care for my family and me. 

I know you're all dying to know, but the rugby refereeing season has come to it sweaty conclusion until August. Which isn't too long a break, but it's enough! A few days after my bus driver incident, I got the surprise of my life when I was awarded at the HK Rugby Referees Annual Dinner for a) turning up to training pretty much every week and b) demonstrating "overcoming life's challenges and adversities". I cannot thank the HK Rugby Referees society enough for their ongoing support. I got my first ever tankard as well :-). For me, it was an acknowledgement by others that I was making some kind of difference. I may not be at the top of the leagues just yet, but it looks like I may be able to start refereeing colts games this coming season and I'm excited! I've been doing minis for the best part of 3 years and while it's been a fantastic learning experience, I have always desired to move up the ranks. As for many a referee, their goal is to reach regional level, before reaching World Rugby denomination and subsequently refereeing the World Cup Final. And I am no different. And that acknowledgement my my fellow referees was like a massive thumbs up that I'm slowly getting better. Thanks all!  

And I won't include the fact the President of the Society had to bring my mug back to Sai Kung for me after I left it on a bar in Wan Chai...cheers Wazza!

I super excited about a test I did a few weeks ago. A DNA gene test called 23AndMe. And believe me a lot of spit was needed for that test! It'll be fascinating to know about what sorts of things I may be susceptible to or at risk for. Though it's pretty damn obvious that I do suffer from Harlequin Ichthyosis! But in all honesty, as someone who was adopted, it'll be interesting to see if my birth family had conditions that I might not be aware of. It will take a few weeks for it to be pressed, but I'll let you know what happens! Thank you to the lovely Dr Lauren Bramley for organizing this, plus looking after my health so well for the past 10+ years, I don't think I'd be as healthy now if I didn't have you, I am just so abundantly blessed to have you in my family's life!

It was also my mummy's birthday this month and my Grandmother was over to celebrate. It was a short 5 days and unfortunately I was at work most days, but I was thankful to be able to spend some time with my grandmother who I don't see very often, maybe once every few years? We had a great Saturday afternoon together spending time together in sportswear shops of all places. Well, I lost my rugby boot bag on my morning commute and ding ding ding, my boots were in there. She very generously offered to buy me a new pair of boots as well as some new trainers.. And I may have introduced her to hydration tablets too...hehe!

What else have I got lined up?

Well, I've got a busy week at work, we are two days away from putting together our annual show called We All. I'm in charge of the media crew, right up my street and on the 29th, we've got a bonding trip to Disneyland. I'm fairly sure my reactions won't be the same as they were when I went with my grandma when I was much younger, but I'm sure it'll be a fun day out!

It's been a long long post..and I need my sleep....zzzzzz

Nos Da! (That's Welsh for Good Night!)