Paul is a senior university lecturer in Theatre, Directing, Writing and Workshop Leader. He lived in London most of his adult life but recently packed his bags to follow his heart and dreams, and flew off to Melbourne, Australia. He is currently studying for his PhD entitled The Performativity of (dis)closure in which he is attempting to marry performance theory with storytelling to create a poetics of disclosure which will help people breach their inner/outer world personas and histories with confidence, clarity, courage and compassion.
He has dreams in his eyes, stars in his smile and an awful lot of love that he shares with compassion, empathy and a relentless drive to help people enrich their lives. He continues to work in Swaziland, Southern Africa, with the charity, Possible Dreams International as part of his PhD research.
In his own words:
What prompted you to contribute to ‘Love Me As I Am‘?
I felt that it was a very powerful exercise, especially since I wrote my letter just as I sat at the airport waiting to board a plane jetting me off to Australia to start a new life! I know that I wanted to live a full and an authentic life as much as I possibly can. Writing my letter was a wonderful way of getting some closure on all the years I spent thinking that there was ‘something wrong with me’ and that ‘I wasn’t good enough’, before I embarked on my new life in the sunshine. In many ways, it felt like I was coming home to myself and taking the best of me out here in the knowledge that I was ALWAYS alright and good enough. It was a very powerful experience. I hope ‘Love Me As I Am’ will impact the lives of whoever reads the book, in a similar way.
What did writing your story mean for you? How did it impact your life?
Actually, it’s already had a big effect on my life. I’ve shared it with a few mates already, here in Melbourne, and it’s had the knock on effect of making them want to write their own letters to themselves. Most recently, I spoke online to a young boy of 18 who had just been kicked out of his house by his own mother when she found out he was gay. I shared my letter with him because he just couldn’t see a future for himself where it would all work out and where he might be happy again. He said that reading my letter changed all that and it moved him beyond tears. He’s doing ok now, just a few weeks later, but he still cites reading it as a turning point for him. I couldn’t have wished for anything more from this work.