On Unshared Histories

Last year, on October 30th around 12am, I drove to the Delaware Memorial Bridge with the intention of not driving back. I had researched it for a few days, had the vague plan for weeks, the idea for years.
I’ve had more than a few setbacks in my life and as I meet new people I’m constantly reminded that my different-ness is glaring if I speak up, no matter the context. Intimidating or alienating or confusing or all of these. But as October 30th approaches – the first anniversary of my most recent fully intended but somehow indifferent attempt on my life – I am confronted with the flimsiness of mortality, the fact that at times I wasn’t sure it would be my hands that chose when I end, and times I was certain it would be.
I’ve given speeches and presentations, presented art, written articles about my experiences and illness in the hopes that I can positively impact a life before I watch a chip on my shoulder become armlessness. And this is consumed and consuming and for that I am grateful but realize things like this are for the similar and the gawkers alike. Every Fall I attempt to spout my life into spaces but feel a lot like a checklist of yeah-that-too and examples rather than a complex thing of hardships alongside successes. I feel, maybe like many others that put their ‘examples’ out into the world, as though I serve solely to impact and to be a part of another person’s life and learning. That I do not belong to myself. Then the attempt to create ownership of your life and body lead to self-isolation or continuing the cycle of giving yourself to other people. And when I was either, I was still distant and irretrievably severed.
Clawing to things that I knew wouldn’t want me.
I am trans and transcontinental. My own community and empowered island. My own history and my own singular point. Lessons from the newly above-ground: do not go looking where you’ve looked before. You will not find it there. That goes for everything. And maybe stop looking for yourself. You are what’s happening and what you do and feel about it. Even if you feel stagnant you are not staying still.
And I. I am never the same thing.

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