Identity

Escaping Discomfort

I used to think I was a fat girl inside a skinny girl’s body. I trained for so long in a weight-controlled sport that I was always aware of my weight – usually accurate to within a 100g. But I never felt I belonged in it. At my skinniest, I would feel the absence of something tangible – but I prided myself on my discipline and self-deprivation. I always knew it was temporary, that eventually my greed would outweigh my willpower. Continue reading “Escaping Discomfort”

Identity

Irishness

How do you define someone’s Irishness? Is it by their accent, their passport, their residence, their parents, their birthplace, or is it their appearance? I recently took part in a social experiment by Una Kavanagh to capture images of those of us who are Irish, but don’t look Irish, and are regularly asked “where are you really from?”. Continue reading “Irishness”

Identity

Leaving Ireland To Gain Perspective

I was asked by an English friend nearly 6 years ago “if you got pregnant now, would you keep it?” I was 27 at the time, single, and had been in London less than 6 months, in a temporary job, and a stack of student debt after finishing my Masters the year before. And yet, I didn’t even think about options, I just tried to explain to her that growing up in Ireland, with a strong Catholic influence, that the “sanctity of life for the unborn child” is paramount.

Continue reading “Leaving Ireland To Gain Perspective”

Identity

Learning how to make (authentic) friends

I remember being a teenager and having this breakthrough realisation that if I was just really nice to everyone then they would have to like me and be my friend! Genius!

I was obviously a lonely teenager, with very few friends. I didn’t know who I was, or who I wanted to be. Continue reading “Learning how to make (authentic) friends”

Identity

I write. Therefore…

I am a writer.

Wow.

It feels exhilarating to even write that!

I have been writing blog posts since February of this year, and yet it is only in the last few days that I feel able to say I am a writer. It was only a few months ago that I even identified the desire to be a writer ‘someday’. Well, why not today?  Continue reading “I write. Therefore…”

Identity

Otherness

Immigrant, expat, part of the Irish diaspora – which one am I? Born in Malaysia to an Indian father and an Irish mother, raised in Ireland where I lived till the age of 27. Now living in England for almost 7 years, my brown skin identifies my otherness, but my Irish accent catches people off guard. Continue reading “Otherness”

Identity

Unapologetic Introduction

Every time I give my name I feel apologetic that it’s so long and awkward. I’m conscious that no one can ever spell either my first name and/or my surname. “It’s Siobhan, yes it’s Irish, S-i-o-b… Yeah, the ‘bh’ is a ‘v’ in Irish… Then it’s Kangataran, yeah that’s K-a-n….” And so on. Continue reading “Unapologetic Introduction”