Dil Wickremasinghe is on the right side of… 40!
Yes, it is a big birthday! The house is cleaned, the balloons are up, the music is set up and I’ve cooked enough curry to feed an army! As I wait for my friends and family to arrive I thought I’d share with whoever is reading this how incredibly blessed and grateful I am for my life as I turn 40 today.
This week has been amazing beyond my wildest dreams, first I heard the long awaited news that finally the Irish Government will hold the same-sex marriage referendum in 2015. This holds huge significance for me as my beautiful Anne Marie and I can finally make plans to have our special day and start a family of our own. I first became an activist 13 years ago to primarily campaign for Marriage Equality. Now after marching in countless marches and personally contributing so many articles and taking part in TV and Radio debates I feel an immense sense of pride and satisfaction that I was part of this movement.
Then my career as a broadcaster and journalist is going from strength to strength. This week Newstalk 106-108 kicked off an ad campaign on the Luas which for the first time features my programme Global Village and carries my name. As someone who started in Irish media just over 7 years ago I am so grateful that I found a media organisation that accepts me for who I am and believes in me. I can’t begin to tell you how much this means to me as 20 years ago almost to the day my boss in an independent radio station in Sri Lanka told me that if I wanted to succeed in media I would have to hide my sexuality and not be myself. I can’t believe that 20 years later not only am I working in my dream job but I am being myself and reporting on the issues that matter to me.
Then in my personal life I couldn’t be more blessed. I have an amazing partner that loves me, caring friends and today I even spoke to my Mum and Dad in Sri Lanka that wished me a happy birthday and wished me well. My Mum even said to pass her love on to Anne Marie. To most people this might seem ordinary but for me this is monumental as my parents always had difficulty accepting me as a lesbian and accepting my partner.
Amidst all the positivity this week my mental health took a dip as my inner critic decided to unleash a brutal attack on me. I found myself thinking “I am going to be 40, I own a house but I don’t live in it, my mortgage is in arrears, my out-goings are more than my in-comings, I don’t have a pension, I am self employed… I am not good enough”. I found myself battling with these thoughts for most of the week but finally yesterday the fog cleared and the dark cloud lifted. The turning point was when I was on the bus on my way to speak to a group of job seekers and share my story in an effort to inspire them, something that I love to do. The sun was shining and I felt so happy I turned my attention away from what I don’t have to what I have… and I realized that I am the richest I have ever been in my life, not in material things but in love, kindness, acceptance and peace. It took me 40 years to get here but I am now finally where I have always wanted to be. A place where I am truly and fully myself and all those around me accept me and love me for who I am. So as I say goodby to my 30’s I am deeply grateful for all I have, my life, my work, my love and my greatest gift… me!
Thank you universe!