I begin to think something, an inkling of something. Possibility. My potential capacity to actualize aspiration. I feel the edges of my unlived life and quiver at its magnitude. I begin to think I am capable of incredible feats. A life of health, wholeness, joy, and deep commitment. So what stands in my way?
I can feel myself growing with each day.
New opportunities are presenting themselves.
I am leaving behind what distracts me.
And working hard to face what is in front of me.
Breaking out on my own.
Finding a space that is entirely mine.
Setting boundaries with people.
Finding myself within my own field.
Cultivating peace and inner security.
It is my inner strength that is bringing all this to pass.
Taking refuge in the jewel of my own heart
And thriving there.
This is a new world I’m treading in.
A new world of possibilities and satisfaction.
Of needs met and passions pursued.
What starts from within will inevitably make its way out.
And so I am beginning with the blank canvas of my soul,
Forging ahead with a new life.
One grounded in love and care and strength and resilience and fluidity.
And I am excited for the day when finally my dreams come to pass
Somewhere there is a layer of skin I no longer need,
A shell going back to the earth
While I rise
Little by little
Into the heavens.
I remember standing there
With the Giant Sea
And the Watercolor Sun.
My heart rattled like a broken maraca
That fateful day when the sky looked
Like something Van Gogh would’ve painted
And two deer, a buck and a doe,
Nuzzled each other in front of me,
A squeeze of my hand
Reminded me of Michigan
Of beach grass jungles
And the sound of you
Nearly inaudible inside of me.
God was a soap bubble that popped
In my brain
While the waist-high lake
Gargled and said,
The anemone of my anemone is my friend.
You were a fast fall down a steep dune,
I might have fallen on my butt
If you hadn’t been there,
But you were the distant water gleaming
In the sun.
You were the pillows of warm sand beneath my feet;
The sail boat
That looked like a snaggle tooth
On the horizon;
The crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jelly
In my sandwich;
The acid in my lunchbox;
The twinkle of forests I once camped in.
You were the vivid image in my head
Of some electric eccentric paradise
Some desert mirage on a hot beach;
Some kid’s laughter,
And another kid’s sand castle.
You were the wind in my curls
And the song in my step.
And you are still with me.
The warmth in my sleeping bag,
The giggle on a river,
The silly groan of old stinky pups,
The crunch of dying leaves
Beneath my flat feet,
The yoo-hoo of six forest sprites
Whose purple wings
Glow green in all my photos.
You are, if my hunch is correct,
The chip on my shoulder,
The biscuit in my tea,
The cow sniffing my shoes.
And you are the waterfall,
And you are the campfire,
And you are the pinecone,
And you are the air.
And most of the time,
I forget you’re even there.
But I remember now.
I remember you.
I dug up my totem pole yesterday.
It had been sitting in the middle
Of my ex girlfriend’s living room
Looking shriveled and neglected.
No one was home so I went in
With a variety of shovels and sheers
And dug and dug
Until the carpet was uprooted
And the bedrock foundation had been cracked
And dirt was seeping through the newly formed fissures.
After considerable push and pull
I unearthed it completely
Then carried it out over my shoulder
Without looking back.
There is a glade behind my house
With craggy trees, bramble
And a thin little creek trickling
Off toward somewhere.
I found a flat spot of earth
And placed the totem there
Carving a hole into the soil
Planting it firmly until it neither
Swayed nor rattled in the wind.
When finally I completed my task
When finally it stood strong and motionless
I tied a rope around it
Fastening the other end to my waist
Laughing all the while.
And I danced
And I ran
And swung like a tether ball
Around and around the totem.
I did so until the moon
Was bobbing among the woods
Like a Chinese lantern,
And the squirrels had retired to their dens
And darkness enveloped the neighborhood.
In the morning I awoke
To the sounds of birds chirping and pecking
At its wood-carved faces.
With my coffee and my book of poetry,
I sat at its feet
The white blue Sun draped over my back,
Knock, knock, knocking
At its solid walnut bole
Breathing in and out
To the satisfying rhythm
Then, when my knuckles tuckered,
And my wrist grew tired,
I plopped against it,
Tipped my cap over my eyes
And napped until it seemed that
My spine had fused with the totem itself,
Until there was no arguing
No quibbling or questioning
That I was anything but centered,
Anything but happy,
Anything but home.
Harboring a twitch
And the jangle of a charm
The wind chimed in
With a long, hearty sigh
A sigh that swept over the river bank
Where I hid something for you
The spire of a pink jute
Its pretty aperture
Of creekbed purple
And the gay flap of petrified mycelia
The shake, rattle, and roll
Of some crooked sycamore
Hanging over the water
And the haw-haws
Of three wise crows
Wings black as umbra
Their flights, graceful and delicate
A rising and a falling.
I sat down there
On the deck
I could have sworn I heard you
Whisper my name
Behind some thin rusted veil
Like mice in the wall
A chasm between us.
A restless clamoring
Of heart beat,
And the trembling steam of peppermint tea,
I spent my day like this
Down at the farm
Where I hid something for you
Somewhere between the rocks and the reeds
But to be honest with you
The river may have swallowed it whole.
I wake up! See the Sun over my bed! And leaves fluttering on a thin branch. They’re saying, “Heyyyy Oh! It’s another Regular Day, Zo!” And I can’t help but giggle. For they are right. It is another Regular Day. A special day. A day to celebrate being me. Being alive. Today will be good day because the leaves say so. You know that?
Let love be a river and not a puddle.
Let yourself splash and play in its tide.
There’s a stick down by the bank. Fetch it for the dogue (that’s dog with a long O to be exact). But chew on it yourself.
There’s reason to smile if you let yourself wiggle a toe or two. It won’t kill you. It will make you strong as an ox, and squishy as a fish (a goldfish or a clown fish or, if you’re so inclined, an angler fish).
Find your smiles, and love your frowns.
Turn that confusion upside down.
Turn your eyes toward the horizon and see the mountaintop. Feel your power running through your body. Drink a Capri Sun and then blow into it until it’s full of air.
Then jump on it for the heck of it.
See? Wasn’t that fun?
Go out and have more of it. More fun. It’s there, hiding behind elm trees and tooting in the woods.
She was a tender angel with a pouty lip. A little cutie baby with a name she didn’t know yet. And that name was Zoey….
Something feels different today. A shift has occurred.
I feel lighter. I feel intent on my purpose.
I feel beautiful. And cute. And kind. And open to growing and learning from my mistakes.
I feel love from within and without.
I ran through the woods with the doggies, dodging from tree to tree as fast as I could.
I felt like a child. Like a beautiful, whimsical child. Something beautiful is happening to me.
I can feel this little girl inside of me blossoming into a young, self-assured woman. And I just can’t begin to describe how that feels.
Tonight, the sky was a purple ribbon. I pulled it down and tied a neat bow in my curls. I am one with the Moon. I am one with the Sea. I am one with all things.
I am really happy. And maybe it’s because I have reached a new level of depth and beauty in my personality. Maybe it’s because I sense that I’m growing, becoming whole.
I was on a walk today and I felt something creep in: a touch of magic, a taste of the divine, the world grew larger in my eyes and I felt my skin expand to new lengths; lengths that engulf all things around me: dogs, shrubs, oaks, moss, lichen, birds. Everything.
There are books in my future; financial security; and good good love. And boy am I excited to leave the past behind; always honoring the wounded girl from whom I have evolved.
She deserves so much love. So much care and celebration. What an incredible girl she is. So creative. So cute. So caring and kind. Such a big heart. My mother’s heart. She has my mother’s heart. And my father’s bravery. She is as big as the Moon, and bright as the Sun. She is the well from which I drink. The spring from which I spring. The source from which I leap into the cosmos, into my place in the Tapestry of Life.
I’m not going to cry because it honestly feels so good. But listen you guys. I have strived so hard to get to this place. I have sacrificed so much. Let go of so much. Allowed so much psychic pain to flood through me. And now here I am. Alive. Beautiful. Confident.
On the precipice of my great girlish dreams; the ones that filled my heart and imagination as a child, as a young girl who didn’t even know she was a girl; a girl who had accepted all that the world placed upon her small shoulders. But what a cutie. What a big lover. What a poet and a dreamer. What a whimsical little lady. What eyes she has for this world.
And I am her, and she is me. And the Child and the Adult have, after so long, become one.
Tonight I danced in the wind. I laughed to myself. And told the doggies I loved them. I am growing into a strong young woman of trans and queer experience.
And here’s another kicker: I HAVE THE GREATEST COMMUNITY AROUND ME.
My friends are all lovers. Lovers all friends. It manifests differently in each relationship. But the consistent force is an undying love that refuses to remain static, a love that grows from itself, that remains open and flowing. A love capable of smashing all barriers and engulfing all the shadows. A love that extends outward in all directions. From me to you.
And here is the simple answer to the modern problem of differentiation, resolved after so long spent searching: love yourself so deeply you are willing to go far into discomfort, into the darkness, into all the places inside of you that go bump in the night, all the places you have refused to explore. Love yourself so deeply that you are willing to be completely transformed by the sheer force, the sheer breadth, the sheer magic, and the sheer terror of the world. Allow yourself to learn and grow and change. Give yourself the gift of taking things slow. Of not rushing. See your beauty as it exists beyond the realm of productivity and finance. Be willing to speak your truth. AND EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, BE WILLING TO QUIET DOWN AND RECEIVE OTHERS’. This will transform your life. This will bridge the gaps of difference. This will enable you to see the Divine in all beings and to evolve your state of mind until it is pregnant with as much understanding as one brain can possibly handle.
Self-love is not easy. For it begins in the realm of uncertainty. It begins with acknowledging that you’re not quite sure how to do it. You’re not quite sure what it means. And if you are, oh my GOD I am SO proud of and happy for you, because there is no greater blessing than to know you are capable of growing, of humbling yourself, and feeling real, visceral love inside your own body.
I am a woman. I am trans. I am queer. I am non-binary. I am androgynous. I am spiritual. I am revolutionary. I am ME.
And oh my gosh, my loves, it feels so effing good. Like, what the heck! WHAT. THE. HECK!
I would not be here now saying this without so many (too many to count) people inspiring me, informing me, impressing me, influencing me, giving of themselves and their genius to me, showing me the way forward simply by the virtue of being fearlessly their own people. WOW. WOWIE. WOWIE. WOW.
I am so blessed. So fortunate. And I am privileged (I do not so much celebrate this privilege as I do seek to understand it as it relates to the world, as it relates to those who do not have the same privileges. And insofar as I see my privileges and am willing to use them to help others, I believe it is important to recognize what I have received in this life; and there is no shortage of them, I recognize that. And I also recognize that every day those without these same privileges struggle to reach the same clarity because they literally don’t have time or space or social resources; they have families, and bills, and so many forces bearing down upon them and it is for them that I write; that I seek to become better). I am privileged in my skin color. I am privileged in my physical attractiveness. I am privileged in my ability to pass as cisgender. I am privileged for having been raised in the third wealthiest county in America. I am privileged for receiving a high-quality, top-notch private education. I am privileged for graduating high school and being able to afford University [and for the financial support I received from my family]. I am privileged for my intellect. And my ability to communicate. I am privileged in my strength. I am privileged in my familial support (BOY AM I PRIVILEGED THERE! Thank you so much to my family for supporting me. You may not understand me. You may look at my life and think, gosh do I not have the slightest clue what she’s doing but I know she is pursuing her happiness and evolution and that makes me happy. I cannot ask you to understand what you have never experienced, but I can thank you for a. trying and b. for accepting me regardless.) I am privileged in too many ways to count. But I will try to count them. And I will try to use each of my privileges in ways that build the bright world I have dreamt of since my earliest youth. I will use every bit of what I have been given to help manifest that utopia. I believe it is possible. Sure, Earth is a big place. But I believe that every human being, given the right circumstances, can find happiness and community. Sure, sure. Maybe there are exceptions (psychopaths, people with Antisocial Personality Disorder, i.e. people who are literally incapable of knowing their pure baby hearts.) But with the right circumstances, anyone can find their way to the path of love. It is only a matter of creating those circumstances (assuming you have the space to do so, and if you don’t, fight nonetheless; KNOW YOU ARE WORTHY OF IT); it is a matter of extending your platform to those whose voices need to be raised higher than yours. It is a matter of knowing you are just one small part in a much larger machine, a beautiful, beautiful, and slightly terrifying machine.
Now. This is a revelation. I feel beautiful. I feel creative. I feel held. I feel celebrated. I feel loved. I feel anxious to meet my future. But! There is a turning point in my life that involves the acceptance and dissolution of self-doubt; a turning point that involves me trusting what it is that I am capable of, what it is that I am connected to. And guess what?
There is a whole world waiting on the other side of that. There is a whole world of learning, and listening, and growing, and growing, and growing, and helping. This is all I want for the world. And for myself.
Something feels different today. Something has shifted. Something new is creeping in, enlarging my heart (not literally thank god, but spiritually, emotionally.) Something powerful, something I have been seeking tenaciously for so so long, is crystallizing inside of me, emerging from the murky muck and the cold depths, rearing its gorgeous head, shouting into the void:
I AM WHOLE. I AM WHOLE. BY FUCKING GOD, BY FUCKING GODDESS, I AM WHOLE.
And insofar as I am whole, I am healthy, I am hallowed, I am holy, I am home. Thank the Beautiful Divine.
I am Home.