i’m feeling a little nervous about going back home on Thursday. Not for any particular reason — my family and i are fine, everyone is healthy, and nothing major is going on. But because i’m heading down there for five days to (re)connect to my story — as in, the story i’m trying to tell in this book i’ve been trying to write since i was 16.
i leave Thursday morning at 10am, but i am already antsy here and now today, Tuesday.
Ansty to collect stories and photographs; antsy to connect with the places that still hold the shape of who i was; antsy to talk and record the stories of my grandmother and wishing i was smart enough to capture the ones from my dad’s side . . .
Antsy about getting back into this book FOR REAL THIS TIME. And antsy about the book itself.
Because i’ve never written a book about me before — at least not in this amount of detail, intricacy, and intimacy. And i’m doing a lot of revealing not of my skin (so many have already witnessed that) but of the muscle and meat of who i am. My bones. My organs. My arteries. My heart. And i have always been afraid of showing the world this side of myself because . . . well, because it means that i make myself vulnerable to critics, to haters, to those who would use my own words and wounds against me, to potential dis/connection, to people i don’t know, to you.
And it’s fucking scary to put yourself out there in a way that you’ve never done before.
i was scared the first time i walked onstage and proclaimed to the world “YES, I’M A CIS-WOMAN AND YES, I’M A DRAG QUEEN.” But i did it anyway because i knew that if i didn’t, i’d fracture a disc in my vertebrae forever.
And i don’t want to live a spineless life.
And so i go back to where it all began. To Corpus Christi. To the girl whose ghost still haunts this woman i’ve become.
And i write — in spite of my fear of showing you what i look like without my skin on, my protective armor.
Because the reality is, even this was hard for me to write.
Correction, not write. The writing came easily. The push of the send button did not.
But here’s what i want you to know about all this::
Whatever it is that you are fearing today is the exact direction you need to travel in. Your fear is a door — one covered so well that unless you look closely you cannot see the handle.
Today, i am turning that handle and saying yes to whatever experience, work, creativity is on the other side — even if it means i will be exposed to danger.
Today, i hope you turn the doorknob of your fear as well.