Friday, December 20, 2013

2013: Zebra Stripes

What a strange year!

It's like looking at zebra stripes. White, Black, Good, Bad, Sweet, Sour -- almost too much for a girl like me to process, much less write about. This post has been in the making for the past eight months. I'm not sure if I'm ready for the inevitable shit-storm this will no doubt inspire, but also for the wrenching emotions to come to me upon reflection. This year is bound to be known as The Year of Broken Hearts.

Not only did my heart get shattered, but many of my friends' hearts were broken too. Many people I know, love, and care about saw at least temporary breakups, if not divorce this year. Many long-term relationships ended. And amongst all this, even
I -- shudder to think -- broke a heart or two.

And yet, this year has been filled with so much love, so much passion, so much kindness, it's very difficult to believe this is the same year. Acts of kindness, some solicited, some not, seem to flow between my friends. Every need was met, every question answered, every joyous hug joyfully returned. Somehow, it makes sense that these opposing elements both ripple this year like zebra stripes.

Originally I intended to document events of this year - changing dates, names, etc. But I simply can't. I don't know where or how to begin. All I can really say is that when someone says "Hey… don't take it so hard… it's just Twitter…" they are quite simply, spraying bullshit.

The people I've connected with this year on Twitter have been the most incredible people I have ever met. Kind, loving, generous souls who sit behind their keyboards and make others actually feel emotions, feel connected to one another. A few have even pulled themselves physically into my life.

That's when things went awry, I suppose: The day someone pulled themselves out of my computer and into flesh and blood life. It was the beginning of a very blissful Spring, followed by a very turbulent Summer. Plans were made.
Life-changing plans. Then it all went to hell, and I attempted suicide.

That wasn't the low point of the year, however. It was only the mouth of the pit I was about to spiral into. I did just enough to keep myself alive, not because I actually wanted to live, but because I promised my friends I would not try to kill myself again. I didn't want to be remembered as someone who could not keep her word.

I even created a Twitter account for when I needed to express my darkness, which I call "The Nemesis". From there, I sent out my hatred. I attacked myself. I attacked my friends. The darkness took hold and Summer was Winter for me. Predictably, my friends weren't ready to let me go. The Nemesis said (and did) some very spiteful, very hurtful things, all designed to drive a blade between me and the ones keeping me alive. The Nemesis existed for only one purpose: To cut ties. So I (and It) could finally die.

I know my friends well. I knew how they would respond to certain things I did and said. The Nemesis was like a master chess player, thinking hundreds of moves, and thousands of possibilities ahead of everyone. I'd been dwelling on my loss, letting the Nemesis have its way with me when the most unlikely event occurred.

A friend of mine, another transwoman, started chatting on-line with me. The Nemesis was having no effect on her. She knew exactly what to say, exactly how to say it, at exactly the right moment. She found her way to the center of the deadly maze I'd conjured to protect my very debilitated, terribly exhausted heart. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was so desperately praying that someone would find that path.

Even then, I wouldn't believe it. I kept my guard up. I was not going to fall for this person. Period. This led, naturally, to a point where I could actually be surprised. This is an extremely rare event for me, I assure you. Being psychic, I tend to prepare myself for all possibilities. And that's when the impossible happened.

She told me that she loves me.

Not in the friend kind of love I'd expect. But the deep, intimate kind. I was scared because I felt it for her too. I wasn't going to say it first to anyone, ever again. That's how I'd always gotten my heart put trough a Veg-O-Matic®.

No one has ever professed that they are in love with me, without me saying it first… coaxing it from them… making them fall for me because I was in love with them.

But she did. On October 16th, 2013 at 9:45 pm Pacific Standard Time, time stopped for both of us.

She surprised me. She defeated all the traps, snares, pits, poison, knives, and razors… and then she surprised me by declaring her love for me. All the things she did for me proved that she meant it. And it fulfilled one more secret desire… one I had kept tightly to my breast: I wanted to be the one chased after. I had always been the chaser. Checkmate.

I heard my heart cry out: "Surprise, girl! It might be real!" That's when she tried to change the subject.

I could only say "Wait… is this real?" and I pasted her words her words back into the chat and asked again, "Is this real?"

She replied "Yes… I love you."

This was amazing for more reasons than I'm capable of expressing. She had always been the one chased after. She was always the one replying to those three little words which can mean everything, or nothing at all… words that can change someone's very existence. And in this moment, everything was inverted. (Of course, I didn't know that when I was living that moment.)

I could only confess my love for her. The feelings for her had been growing inside me for some time - the more she disabled the Nemesis, the more my love for her grew. And she had loved me all along. Within a month, she pulled herself out of the internet and into my world. My entire life had been building to that moment when we held each other for the first time. Two transwomen clinging to each other, wrapped up in the best hug of their lives, standing in the middle of Spokane International Airport, telling each other "It's real." That's when things righted themselves.

So I can't claim that 2013 was the "Year of Broken Hearts". I'm aware of many people coupling up that Autumn. So it's the "Year of the Zebra", where black meets white with perfect harmony and purpose.

Always follow your heart.