What Dean Eastmond Has Taught Me

Personal blog posts can be hard. I suppose all blog posts are personal to an extent- they’ve come from my mind and I’m writing about my opinions. But although most of my blog posts are opinionated, you won’t often catch me on here talking about the deep things going on in my life. Despite my blog being my personal space, a lot of the things I write about, apply to a lot of people. That’s the whole appeal of a blog, it’s relatable, chatty, you can picture yourself sat down with a cuppa bonding over the content. 

This blog post isn’t cheerful, it’s probably not the one you want to read on a Saturday night. But the more I was concerned about posting it, the more I was essentially rejecting the whole theme of the blog, and that, is speaking up. Speaking up, being proud and acting for the good of others. You learn a lot of from the people around you, and I wanted to write a blog post about one of the people who has taught me the most, almost definitely unknowing to him.

For the last 5 years, I’ve been friends with someone who is literally a life GOAL. The person I sit back and think, bloody hell, how can I even be this privileged to call him my friend? And that wasn’t a recent thought process, or something which has happened with the more ‘major’ things he’s achieved or gone through. It’s been since Day 1. When at a work party, we both had our first taste of Pimm’s and got far too drunk. And when we walked around the Olympic Village and shared secrets. And when we sat on the beach, years later, hardly getting through our sushi because we just had so much to talk about. And now, 5 years later, when he’s a co-founding Editor of HisKind, an LGBT+ magazine, when he balanced being a journalist with a degree when I can hardly choose which cereal to eat in the morning. When, last year, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and after discovering his boyfriend Adam wouldn’t be able to use his frozen sperm sample if Dean wasn’t to make it, decided to set about changing the policies regarding same-sex couples and fertility treatment. Which, by the way, he succeeded in doing.

So yeah, he’s a pretty big deal. 

I do a lot of reading. Newspaper reading, blog reading, fiction reading, auto-biography reading. Whatever it is, I will read it. And I couldn’t even count on one hand the amount of times I’ve thought ‘yeah, but, how much of this is true? This is all very inspirational but I couldn’t do it myself.’ And then, one of those people, was one of my friends. Someone I knew in real life was making a difference. A world of a difference, to thousands of people. And it just clicked.

So here is, in a nutshell what I've learnt from Dean. 

Whatever you think you’re doing, 9 times out of 10 you can do it better. If you don’t like something, change it. If you want to make a difference, find a way to make your voice heard. If you want something, go and get it. Life is not going to come to you, and life is not going to be easy, but that is not an excuse. It's not a reason to lie down and let opportunity pass you by. It's the opposite.

Maybe we aren’t all going to change the world. But there are plenty of circumstances presented to us in life, where we could make a movement to change somebody else's day. And the reason Dean is so important and special, for all of those other reasons aside, is that he makes me believe every single day that I can do something. That it is, in fact, possible. And this feeling, which he has unknowingly instilled in me, is a result of everything he has done, and is yet to do. 

I wanted to write this blog post, because it emulates for me the light in humanity in a time of complete darkness. I've literally watched my friend change the lives of people across the UK. And seen his Cancer Columns and journalism, reaches across the globe. No matter how dark times are, there’s something to be done. You just have to do it.  And it wasn’t my parents, or my teachers who taught me this critical life lesson. It was Dean.

Love, Alice x