The temptation to look back, in detail, upon the year of 2020 is allayed by the sheer foulness of its content. Yes, some events took place within the year that were good and noteworthy. But as with all things, you cannot take the good without the bad, in this case extraordinarily bad. So I will leave the year behind as a cautionary tale. I sincerely hope that we all learn from the failings that have brought us here.
I have lived for the last year at the precipice of anxiety. Balanced precariously and buffeted by life, it was inevitable that I would fall. I did fall, several times, only to claw my way back. I didn’t do this alone, for it was my wife, Michelle and my best friend, Joe who lent their shoulders and carried me when I could not walk. And while the falls hurt and they certainly did their damage, I also learned to roll with my landings. Ultimately, it is up to each person to find their balance again. It was not strength, but desperation that aided my reascension. Upon the icy peak of panic and doubt, I crouched, hoping to see a way to the calm valley below. I am still upon that peak, but somehow it doesn’t seem as cold or precarious as I remember, nor does the valley appear so very far away.
I spent my life as an introvert out of necessity, being uncomfortable in the role assigned to me, in order to keep my secret. After coming out, I was never really able to explore if this is simply how I am or if, like my taste in foods, it is something about me that has changed. At the moment that I was comfortable with who I was and how I presented myself, a pandemic forced us all (hopefully) into self-exile. I am still left wondering at what kind of person I am, what my personality actually is. I like to think that I have changed for the better while still remaining who I am at my core. That even the Masq didn’t quite hide all of who I was on the inside. I find myself falling back into old habits, only because they are habitual, not comfortable.
I have been having vivid dreams lately, sometimes sexual in nature, sometimes nonsensical and confusing. A lot of them mainly focus on me and my wife, that’s not unusual as we are together a lot, more than she would like I suspect. But a few of my dreams have been about my ex-wife, which is unusual. Mostly it’s as if we never divorced but in a different home and different attitudes. I’m… not sure either I’m out trans or a cis woman, I honestly can’t tell in the dreams. We aren’t fighting, she isn’t giving me a constant look of contempt and we seem happy and content. I know I caused a lot of the issues and the problems in not just our marriage but with her family, my family and friends. I wasn’t ready to be myself, I didn’t trust them with what lay behind the Masq. It comes down to this, I didn’t trust my ex because I was untrustworthy. I lied almost constantly to her, one lie always fed into another lie and I could never dig myself out. If I couldn’t be honest with her about my continued smoking (at the time), how could I possibly be honest with her about who I really was? This is my take on the dreams, trying to fix old lingering things that I feel convicted about. I was never honest with her, sometimes in an attempt to make myself seem cool enough for her or because I was embarrassed or whatever. But it was all about my own inadequacies, and I think the dreams are trying to purge me of what has already passed. I’m imperfect, I’m very flawed, I’m just me.
Winter is starting to become a reality, but I am looking at it as a time for peace and calm. It’s easy to drift into the malaise of the season, but I am walking into it with hope. Changes are coming and they appear to be only for the good. I am searching for new employment, it is just time to move on from where I have been for 21 years. I want to find something I am passionate about, as that is what is lacking in my life, passion. I have no problem throwing myself into work, but it has to be work that is worth doing with people that I respect and care about. I’m nervous about the idea of this, but change is never easy, I would know.
I currently work as a Logistics Coordinator, which isn’t something I ever saw myself doing. But when I transfered in my company to my current location, it was the position available at the time. I was always a computer geek, loving to work on electronics, ah, the smell of freshly soldered components. So when I transferred, I took a job outside what I enjoyed doing. Now though, I don’t know that I want to do even that anymore. I keep thinking about my life and the mistakes I have made, the time I wasted… I kind of want to find a way to give other LGBTQ+ people a chance to make good decisions, to not waste time, to have someone to talk to, to know they are not alone. I don’t know what that would look like, but I feel strongly that I’m not doing what I should be doing now.
I face the new year with hope and lightness of spirit. Not everything is perfect, sometimes it’s a mess. But it doesn’t have to be perfect, sometimes there is beauty in chaos. I will accept the good instead of always bracing for the bad and allow my life to take the course it needs. Change is coming, for me, for you, for us all. We can view the change with fear or we can harness that energy for the good of everyone. There is a short conversation in the 1997 film “Grosse Pointe Blank” that has always stuck with me and it feels right to leave with you now.
You know what you need?
You wanna tell me what that means?
It’s a swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever.
Oh, that’d be good. I think.
I wish everyone “Shakabuku”, if not the literal definition, the interpretation given above seems to fit better. Changing the paradigm is sometimes needed. I wish you all light, love and happiness in the coming year.