I've been a big fan of writing down my thoughts for many, many years. I started writing stuff that (eventually) wound up becoming this blog nearly two and a half years ago.
Life doesn't stop, and neither has the discovery, the growth, and the change. It seems like every time I pause to catch my breath, I look up and realize I know myself better than I did the last time I took stock.
I'm honestly kind of surprised that I haven't burned out, after all this. After just over two years of hormone therapy, after an incalculable number of harrowing, lonely hours struggling with grief and trauma and three decades' worth of unresolved pain, and after losing track of the number of times I've caught myself saying stuff like, "wow, I had no idea something that good was even possible."
During the time I've started thinking of as the "prelude" to my life, I would have found this concept daunting. I would have expected the idea to be exhausting, demoralizing, scary to the point of wanting desperately to avoid it.
But now, somehow, as I've gotten my footing as my actual self, as my real life has begun, I find it peaceful - calming, reassuring, and hopeful.
I've learned how to move forward when I can, to dig deep and explore and stretch while I'm able, and when to rest. When to sit still, just listen to the tiny signals coming from my brain and my body, and tend to my own heart.
And from that nascent skill of pacing and self-perpetuation, I've learned so much more.
There doesn't seem to be much point in expecting permanence in my answers. Sometimes I learn things that help me formulate better understandings; and sometimes I simply change out from under whatever I thought I understood.
For now, I have a few answers that are working nicely: I'm non-binary, specifically girlflux, and spend most of my time really close to basically just binary-female, but not quite. My attractions are undeniably Sapphic in nature. I'm autistic. I'm emphatically - perhaps even radically - non-monogamous.
A few other answers have come and gone. What once felt like gray-asexuality, or maybe some flavor of demisexuality, has come into more focus; as I continue the marathon of discovering and processing the myriad forms of trauma I've survived, it seems increasingly obvious that I'm emerging from a deep, gnarled, wounded shell - a desperate armor forged by a combination of repression due to religious "purity" culture, plus the memories and scars from enduring some of the worst instances of child abuse around situations where I'd made the appalling mistake of admitting to have sexual curiosity, and ruthlessly tempered by the adult experience of spending four years being emotionally and sexually abused by a domestic partner.
Come to think of it, a lot of answers I've clung to over the years - some for longer than others - sort of melt away under the lens of understanding and healing from all of that trauma.
I don't know what's going to happen next. I have no idea who I will be another year from now.
And that's OK.
I wouldn't have it any other way, honestly. I get to live, now. To be, to change, to experience, to enjoy, to feel, to exist.
I come back, over and over again, to a wry comment that originally popped into my head about two years ago, thinking about the challenges of attaining a measure of self-actualization in a world that often would rather not have me.
The old cliche expression of "marathon not sprint" seemed woefully inadequate, at the time; this isn't like running one marathon, it's like running dozens at the same time, shifting between so many different races and struggles and challenges, constantly feeling like the tiny bits of progress are never going to add up. Finish one race, only to realize that it was just a segment of a larger, harder process. It's not a marathon, it's a fractal marathon. A fractathlon.
Somewhere along the way, though, that process smoothed out somehow, and gave way to a more natural, sustainable rhythm - a life with moments of change, of activity, of discovery, and then time to rest, to pause, and to prepare for more. Days end in calm evenings, nights give way to sleep, and in a pattern that still stuns me in its reliability, I wake up again and feel like I can do another day.
So maybe the moment does suck - this one, right now, writing this blog entry. Maybe I am exhausted, in pain, scared for the future on any number of fronts. Maybe I am aching... for touch, for closeness, for the embrace of someone I may not see again in person for what seems like an unbearably long time, with what feels like a hopeless absence of options and possibilities for connecting with anyone closer.
Interesting, perhaps... but so what?
It's all fractal anyways. Some of life's patterns may repeat themselves, but as everything goes along, the fractal gets bigger - grander, brighter, lovelier. I have survived worse. I have found the luck, the fortune, and the companionship of others that I always wanted, the ingredients I need to truly get what I've always sought from life. In time, the ripples of hurt and unease in the now will fade away in the exhilaration and splendor of more life, and life well lived.
So for tonight, I set my course for Sleepies-Space, the plane of existence without consciousness, to revel in the company of my as-yet-uncharted dreams.
I hope our paths may cross, someday, but if not - may this be a signpost to you, traveler. There's life out there. Don't lose hope.