|Posted by Alyssa.fenix on July 8, 2014 at 9:15 AM|
As I now approach deadlines of all shapes and sizes I have a better idea of what really matters. I wish I could've told you all of these things sooner, but I honestly didn't know. If I knew then what I know now, I would've told you not to hide under the stairwell during lunch throughout your junior and senior years of high school. I would've told you to stay on the basketball team - because you loved it and it loved you back - and to ignore the words and cruelties of people that never knew you, and never will. They didn't matter then, and they certainly don't matter now. I would've told you to let yourself have fun, and to let yourself sing and dance like Maude in what is still your favorite movie all of these years later. If I knew then what I know now I would've told you it's okay to be shy, but that sometimes it makes it harder; but never impossible. I would've give you a bit of heads up in terms of what type of strength you would need, and for this I am terribly sorry, because I know how much of a toll that all took on you. I am not here to say that it gets better or it does this or that, but it does become different; and that difference is the change that is vital to your survival. I would've told you that everyone doubts themselves, some more than others, but life is for living not dying. I know things didn't change quickly. Leaving high school and the nightmare that encompassed didn't translate into freedom for you. If I knew then what I know now I would tell you there are so many other queer people thinking, living, and experiencing similar things. The struggle is not yours alone entirely, but it is one that will make you a lot better off in the long run. Sure your hair has been graying since you were 16 - but some women find it hot so just roll with it! As I continue to move forward and develop personally, professionally, and emotionally I can tell you with confidence that you are doing damn good. The ebb and flow of self hatred has been a very, very real ocean for you; but with that comes self-knowing on a level some people will never experience. As I move to complete my doctorate and put myself out there for competitive jobs I have to remember that I am worthy of the same things everyone else is, despite how I identify. That this is just one piece of who I am, it does not define all that I am irrespective of everything else.
If I knew then what I know now I would tell you to try as hard as you possibly can to recognize your sadness for what it is, and learn from it.
If I knew then what I know now I would tell you life is so very short and the time I spent questioning myself could've been spent enjoying myself; round the corner, and live your life.