Sunday, 8 February 2015

About Me: 2015 Afterword

 On clear day you can see forever.

If anything, the two years since my last "About Me" post have brought clarity ... maybe too much.

As I've grown into myself, I see more, more of how I am, how others are, and how the world is. A mixed blessing, perhaps. As I finally come of age, the world collapses. In just over a month, my transition will be complete. I will re-enter a world nearing collapse. Where will the rest of my life lead? Will my new beginning happen just in time for the world's end?  My life expands, the world closes in. I see too much.


2014 brought many resolutions in my life. I came out to my family and, happily, they accept me. Enough water had passed under the bridge with a couple of my exes that we became friends. Years worth of tension blew away and suddenly my past no longer mattered so much, I sped towards my future. Time sped up. My SRS was approved in the spring, my surgery date was confirmed in the fall. I wrote, blogged, but it was difficult to keep up. The "About Me" section already seemed very out of date.

I've become conscious of growing older, aware of there being less and less time to do the things in life that I need to do. The old things, some social activities, began last year to fall away. I had already ended my radio program in late 2013. Gradually, I stopped dancing and live DJ'ing as well. Community gardening didn't fall away completely, but became less frequent. My role in the world seemed to be shifting.

But the clearer my sight, the foggier the road ahead became. My poetry idealized a simple life on a farm with a guy, a guy who could hold me as the world around us fell apart. I saw the violence, warfare, disease and environmental catastrophe in the news, all of our futures are in danger. It was too much to digest. I took fantasy refuge in a rustic life. But fantasy fades eventually and by the end of summer, it was gone.

The Saturday of Labour Day weekend, I was on my way to work on the Skytrain. It was a sunny, warm late summer morning. I had received a birthday card in the mail from my folks who had been out in Vancouver for week in August, a couple of weeks earlier. I opened the envelope and pulled out the baby blue and pink card. It was addressed to "a wonderful daughter". 

Today, in the midst
of your busy life,
may you have
at least one moment
to sit back and relax -
when you don't have to do anything
or be anywhere
in particular ...
May you have a moment
to reflect on the past year
and all you've accomplished
and to look forward
to all that may be waiting
for you in the year ahead ...

But mostly,
in that moment,
may you realize here and now 
what a gift your life is -
not just to you
but to everyone who knows you -
and how wonderful it is
to have you for a daughter.

I finished reading the card and wept with joy.


With autumn came the onset of seasonal affective disorder, much worse than in previous years. With it came a fatigue that was hard to shake, even with doubling my anti-depressant dosage. I had also been seeing a counsellor for several months. With the rain and less daylight came a desire to hide out at home. I dealt with both insomnia and oversleeping. At the end of October and early November, I took two weeks vacation as a mental health break.


Meanwhile, people had begun to say that I had finally found my look. For starters, I had reverted to natural hair after two years as a blonde. The bleach and toner had made my hair brittle, so my return to dark hair had been practical, but by the summer I had taken to sporting an afro. My inner retro calendar had advanced to 1969, my tastes moving onto hippie and bohemian fashion. I was determined to move forward with it regardless of what year it actually was.


Work was busy, the weather got much cooler. It snowed for one weekend, but warmed up in December. I got some more correspondence and paperwork together in preparation for surgery. Time was accelerating towards some unseen point in the near future. The new year seemed at once promising and foreboding. The holidays were unusually quiet, but I saw them as one last break before the rush.


So with the new year came much busyness, medical tests in preparation for surgery. Trying to stay healthy has been a full-time occupation. That and fending off feelings of dread about the future. What would my future be like? Would I be happier? Would I be lonely? And the world? What of all of us?

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