Life can change quickly, can’t it? A lot has happened since last I posted, but sometimes all you can do is live in the moment and take each lesson for what it is. But with 2020 launching in a few days, I figured this would be a good time to catch you all up.
My 2019 managed to be one of the most wide-ranging emotional selection of months – unexpected success, devastating loss, and a lot of self-worth work to try and navigate everything in between. The sad thing is it’s taken me five months to find words to discuss both extremes on that spectrum.
So let’s dive in!
I’m getting published! I was accepted into a short story anthology slated for release Halloween 2021. The anthology features stories from aromantic and aro-spec authors. Each story takes place in a magical university for creatures – so expect some cameos from your favorite critters from horror, fantasy, and mythology.
The anthology is through NineStar Press, a publishing house centered around serving the LGBTQ+ community. This opportunity means so much to me for so many reasons. First off, my fiction will be published for the first time, which is beyond exhilarating. Second, and possibly more importantly, this opportunity was available because I was able to own my sexual/romantic identity publicly without reservations. It was kind of surreal because so much of where I live currently has revolved around me not being worthy of love (or success) because of my orientation. The acceptance into this anthology was a swift kick to the self-deprecating depression demons. *VICTORY!*
Speaking of the glory that is the LGBTQ+ community, Orange City Pride was sweet enough to invite me to sing again this year. Being able to share my voice in a forum of resilience and self-love will always be one of life’s greatest blessings. I sang six songs in total during a storytelling event that provided a platform to feel cradled while recounting some of life’s harshest lessons. The stories shared sparked a conversation with my dad that I didn’t know I needed. Somewhere in my soul, I thought that if my dad knew who I was, he wouldn’t love me anymore. We spoke about LGBTQ+ youth being abandoned by their family and my dad replied, “We would never do that. Ever.”
They were words that I desperately needed but couldn’t fathom receiving, which leads me to the devastating part of 2019. My grandmother passed suddenly and we’re all still reeling from that loss.
Nanna was our strength, wisdom, compassion and love… and the occasional much-needed swift kick in the logic pants. She was the first family member I came out to who didn’t try to make an excuse for why I was bi. I was her grandkid and that was all she needed.
Even now, writing this, I want to cry because I miss her so much. There are so many things I wish I could tell her, so many things I crave her guidance for, so many experiences I’d hoped to share with her.
She had the best sense of humor and was possibly the strongest person I know. I keep a picture of her on a sideboard inside my front door. She’s dancing with my grandfather, smiling up at him, blissfully unaware of the photographer. She reminds me to be resilient and kind and not take things so seriously. I had a wooden jewelry box made with the inscription, “Love you to the moon and back.” written on the inside of the lid. It was what she told all of us. So every morning as I’m walking out the door, I grab a necklace from the box, read the inscription, and smile at her photo. I’m blessed to have gotten to call her Nanna.
But she’d be pissed if she saw me wallowing, so I’m going to close out this post here. My 2020 goals will be posted soon, and who knows, maybe I’ll even post more regular content on writing and my projects. After all, we’re beginning a whole new decade.