I wake gently at precisely 5:51 am, the rain pounding on the windows as I slowly allow my eyes to flutter open. It’s a cold and dreary day in Los Angeles, as it has been for several weeks now, and my cats are sleeping soundly by my side whilst the storm rages on. Quietly sitting up, I swing my legs over the side of the bed to sit, my hands resting on my legs, my brain finally coming to attention.
It is January 20, 2017. In just a little over 3 hours, Donald Trump will be ascending to the highest position available within our government. His ideas and promises are extreme and frightening to most and as I rise to begin my day, I am forced to reflect on everything from the last year of both my personal journey and the journey of the nation and world as a whole.
The last year has been…odd, to say the least. I started a new job in Los Angeles that I love and appreciate and respect beyond anything I had thought possible. I got engaged to a man that I knew from the depths of the online world who I only actually got to meet in person because of a blizzard 9 years ago. I lost my grandfather who had inspired me to write and dream and think and act and speak, who had helped me become me.
And above it all I was struggling to find my footing again as I fought to regain control of my body, as I fought desperately to make it back to the one year mark of remission.
I was discharged from Hialeah Hospital on February 3, 2016 at around 12pm; I caught a flight back to Los Angeles 5 hours later, my body begging to get as far away from there as possible. I returned to work wearing sweatpants and pajamas as a shirt, more thankful than ever to be in a position to have that option. I began my routine of going to bed by 9pm, falling asleep each night exhausted as if I’d run a marathon. I drank Ensures to get my weight back to normalcy and when I suddenly had and then some, began to spiral into a bout of self-doubt and dejection that I didn’t understand.
As all this was occurring within my personal sphere of reality, a man who I had never given much thought to began to rise within the political ranks. Never mind that he hadn’t any experience in public service (unless you count his television show) or that everything he said was doused with fear, fried with bigotry and served with a side of homophobia. He was, and still is, a confirmed sexual predator who believes women are the lesser sex, a confirmed xenophobe who miserably fails in his attempts to disguise his proposed refugee ban as “safeguarding the borders”, a confirmed racist hellbent on dividing the country and keeping it concealed from all others outside of it.
In the end, he turns out to be what the government wants and there really wasn’t going to be much in terms of an argument about it.
Except there has been an argument about it. There have been dozens of arguments about it, especially when he was handed the job over a far more qualified candidate. The arguments were presented as marches and rallies and protests because for some odd reason, it was the only way to get anyone to listen (the United States not listening to its women, minorities or LGBTQ+ community? Blasphemy!). We sure didn’t want it this way.
I’ll be frank here – I’m a self proclaimed modest liberal and I know this. I believe in equal rights for all races and genders, I believe in a womans right to choose what they do to their own bodies and I believe that those in love should be able to marry whomever their heart tells them to. I also know that my views are my own and I acknowledge that completely.
So what does any of this have to do with my supposed recovery from a medical crisis? Everything.
We’ve elected a man who has forced me to face things that have happened within my life I never thought I would have to because I have never wanted to. My weight, my looks, my miscarriages, my abortion, my sexual assault, my domestic abuse, my goddamn self esteem.
My struggle to make it through a Monday without collapsing at 3 pm from fatigue after spending a weekend doing nothing because of a medical condition I will never fully have control of.
My inner voice telling me I will never be a writer, that every word I ever put into a sentence will never make it to print,that I will never see my name on the front of a book I poured my ideas and heart into.
My unspoken fear that, when the time is right and my partner and I decide we want children, I may not be able to provide that for him, and what that could mean for us as a couple.
To the United States president, all of these mean I’m just a whiny female with a bad attitude, a worthless liberal who knows nothing, another speck in California who means nothing to his agenda and administration.
Except that’s bullshit and I am finally, FINALLY seeing that. I am finally overcoming my conflicts and battles and with that, I am understanding my place within this world.
So as I woke on that morning just over 2 weeks ago, I began to accept the reality of the world I am now in, as well as accept the terms of this life I have been chosen to live. A two-fer, shall we say, a sudden realization that I’m worth the fight. I battled really hard to regain my mind and health, a quest that included a few extra pounds which have taken me quite a while to adjust to, a quest that required a reset of body and spirit to accept and challenge everything happening within my personal bubble as well as the world as a whole.
In the end, it’s been a quest that helped me realize I was ready to make nice with myself as a human being and embrace the future as it unfolds. I am perfect as is because this is how I am meant to be, how we ALL are meant to be. My condition does not define me, nor does my age or religion or sexual orientation or past.
The man sitting in the White House sure as fuck does not define me either. And goddamn if you think I’m ready to make nice with him.