I’m sitting here on a bench in Point Pleasant Park a few weeks away from the date I decided to stop hiding from my family. Sitting on a bench, in a dress and sun blocking hat to avoid sun burning my to-be-lasered-again face, sporting a choker with a rainbow tinted glass leaf gifted to me by my mom. It’s 26C with a nice breeze. I still have lots on my mind, but I have big thing less.
At this point last year I was also taking pictures and walking around, but in cargo shorts, likely a XXL t-shirt kept dark lest the pit stains get to it, thinking moments like these where I could forget myself was as good as it was gonna get. Wandering alone, between social gatherings, and completely oblivious to the turbulent month that was going to follow.
It was about one month later I would surrender and bring down the walls I had built to “protect” myself from…well…myself.
On this date last year I had no idea what I’d turn into. I assumed I was static. Teetering always on the brink of something or other. But assuming I had reached “peak Réal”, which, in a sense, I did. There was nowhere else to go but further down. My life was scripted, syndicated and running reruns. Already I was wearing out, like someone who can really only watch that same episodes of M*A*S*H so many times before grimacing at any Allan Alda vodka pun.
So where are things now? What’s the status report? The briefing so to speak.
I still have lots on my mind. Obviously. I sometimes even pine for the simplicity of my less complicated before-life. But for the first time something new is on TV. It’s like one of those serial dramas, where I can’t look away. I’d binge watch if I could, even.
I’ve learnt so many new things about myself and about life experience in general. I can even take selfies and not cringe at the picture staring back!
Not everything’s moving as fast as I’d like. But it’s moving, goddammit. For the first time in ages, I feel life moving forward, not back. Even as the Western world polarises, even as the economy plays games, boomers attack the young, Nazis are thinking they’re “hip” and fetishizing frogs for some reason, I still can finally look at this world, this life, and experience it.
As myself. For myself. I’m sitting on this bench, in a park, in a dress, alive.