I have a lot to process. This past year or so has been a whirlwind, alright….in fact, I feel like this year has been an entire lifetime.
1.) my health finally broke down to the point that I COULD NO LONGER FUNCTION. I had to accept help in ways that terrified me….and figure out priorities. Stuff like “leaving a legacy”, which by all rights I should not have to think about yet….
2.) This made me really overwhelmed and pissed off….out of desperation, I guess I ran at full speed on instinct toward….Something. Anything. To make sense of it all. I had nothing to lose anymore, and dove head first into activism even though I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS GETTING INTO OR WHAT I WAS DOING.
3.) I was on the leadership team for a poetry slam about disabled, neurodivergent, and mad identities…..and this was both incredibly powerful, and incredibly stressful. Like….I’m talking everyone was hurling everything at me. No matter what the fuck I did, because I was apparently (without even ASKING for this position) the “face” of the movement. I learned to read through tone to get to the heart of the matter. I had to learn what to hold onto with all my passion….and what to leave behind.
I learned how others, all sorts of others, see me…and people like me, versus how I want to be perceived and feel I truly am. And despite the vitriol, at its heart….I saw some vague sense of understanding and desire. Perplexed faces. Faces of longing. I started to learn (again, out of necessity and desperation) how to tailor my messages to people who use entirely different languages.
4.) I went on a quest of sorts….a quest for stories. Stories of people who are a good influence in my life, whether that means holding my hand or challenging me to move forward or both. I cut ties with those who aren’t.
5.) I got really loud about all this online. I just didn’t have any fucks to give anymore. I felt like a teenager….a longing to be HEARD.
6.) …..I noticed increasing visibility, and all sorts of deep seeded fears came up. Fears and memories from my childhood and all of history. Memories that have shaped who I am today. Fears about getting noticed. Being in the spotlight. Realizing how, throughout all of history, certain kinds of people have been PUNISHED (over and over and over) just for daring to be themselves in this cruel world. I felt less alone than ever.
7.) and then….then I saw these:
….and it hit me all at once.
I know what I want my legacy to be, even if I don’t quite know what form this will take: I want to help make confusing, scary things less so to the confused and scared. I want to help provide safe platforms to spread stories of empowerment…..diverse stories, people grappling with all different kinds of scary things, and working through it, by tapping into their own courage and abilities, crafted by them alone from their own perspectives. So maybe others can realize, as I have, that they’re not as alone as they may think.
You are not alone….
But also know this: I don’t believe in sugar-coating anymore. Because I now trust you to handle the truth, so long as you have support and coping skills along the way.