How many times have I sat down to write this…and walked away. Because I was scared to speak my truth. I’m already brave just for existing as I am in a world that constantly wants to erase queer and trans bodies. I’m bad at being brave–only because being brave has usually meant not being afraid of anything. But if I’ve learned anything, bravery and courage allow space for fear and doing things in spite of that fear.
Or, in the words from one of my favorite movies The Princess Diaries, “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear; the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.” ~ Meg Cabot
“But the cautious do not live at all…” I had forgotten about that part of the quote.
It is my yearly practice to look back and see how much growth has happened in the course of a year and look forward to where I’d like to be in the next year. The past two years, I’ve come up with a few key phrases as a mantra for the year.
2017 – You are safe. You are loved. You are not alone.
2018 – You are good. You are enough. You belong.
I’m not sure what my words are yet for 2019, but I do know the one word I keep coming back to is bravery. I do not feel very brave. My wife tells me I’m brave all the time.
“You love you, you accept you, and you believe in you…I love you, I accept you, and I believe in you.” ~ my wonderful wife earlier this week
Life transitions are hard. And transitioning from one thing to the next is natural. For me, I’m looking at somewhat of a physical transition that will help me feel more myself. The beginning of that starts with next Thursday when I will be getting an IUD to help mitigate symptoms of dysphoria that my menstrual cycle causes.
Meanwhile, I’m also dealing with conflicts in relationship with my mother and what reconciliation looks like, if a relationship with her can be possible right now, will I come out (again) to my family? Whilst being in seminary and pursuing a graduate degree, I’m looking ahead to taking care of my body, loving my body, and considering top surgery.
All this feels like a lot to share and honestly, living in this world as a non binary person can be terrifying. Most of the time, I try not to think about how often I do not fit in and how being “out” as non binary may lead to being treated not only as misunderstood, but as less than. Again. At this point, I just feel like I’m rambling on because my anxiety and fear are so present, and I ramble when I’m scared. Or I clam up and keep everything inside until it comes bursting forth.
2019 only has one word so far: You are brave.
Because maybe if I say that enough times, I will actually believe it. I am brave. And transitions on life’s way help us become who we were meant to be.
Please let me just be brave enough to be myself.