What a weird year, huh? I don't know if you've experienced it the same way I have, but the way this year has passed just feels so odd - like the embodiment of The Doctor's 'wibbly wobbly timey wimey.'
Each day and even week feels like it's just crawling by, but when I look at the calendar, it hardly seems possible that we're at the end of October.
Fall is usually my favorite time of the year. I love the crunch and smell of leaves, the warmth of a bonfire and that amazing feeling of holding a big, hot mug of tea in your hands - feeling that warmth radiate into your fingers. There's nothing like pulling on a big, 'lumpy' sweater that's just so big you're practically swimming in it.
But this fall just feels different. Off somehow, like somehow, 2020 is a year displaced by time. It reminds me a little of how time seems to flow in C.S. Lewis' classic series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Each time the protagonists went to Narnia, there was no way of knowing how much time had passed there, even if only months had passed in their world. That's kinda how I feel this year. I look at a calendar and think 'surely just a week or so has passed,' only to see it's been a month and a half. But also the opposite, I've thought 'I'm sure I've only got a week or so more to wait for [insert particular event here] only to see it's still months away. I suddenly understand the Pevensie children so much better than I ever thought I would.
It's been that way for writing this year also. There have been days that have felt incredibly productive, days where I look at my word count for the day and it's between 8,500 and 10,000 words; followed by days where the very thought of sitting down to create is painful.
I admit that there have been days when I've wasted the whole day without writing a single word and have felt guilty afterwards- as though each day without at least trying to write is an offense to nature. And in all honestly, nothing ever feels quite as right as writing. I feel the Gloria Steinem quote "writing is the only thing I do that I don't feel I should be doing something else" in my very soul.
Writing is a painful yet incredible experience. I cannot imagine my life with out it. And yet it is one of the hardest endeavors I embark on. It is euphoria and torment. It is rapid and glacial. It is peace.
This National Coming Out Day is a little different that most, but the importance is there none-the-less.
Isn’t it amazing the difference 15 years can make. I came out in the fall of 2005, just barely 18yo. And it wasn’t an easy road to get to that point (and not always easy since.) But I can say that I cannot imagine not having come out.
For me it was a long road of self-loathing and fear that took a long time to get to self acceptance.
Along the way, I’ve had family and friends who were there every step of the way. Along the way I’ve gathered an entire community around myself and my husband of the most amazing people who love and support us.
Most LGBTQ people know that coming out is not a single event but a process that takes all our lives. We come out every time we meet new people. It’s a frightening and liberating thing that never stops.
To me, the celebration of Coming Out Day isn’t specifically a day for us to come out but a chance to remind those of us who are out that while we celebrate, not everyone is ready or in a place that they feel safe enough to come out; and a chance to remind those that aren’t out that that’s okay. It’s okay to come out in the time and place of your choosing and when you feel safe.
It’s a chance to remind those who aren’t out yet that it’s not a road that needs to be walked alone. There’s a community of people who have or are walking this path too. To tell those who aren’t out, “you are seen; you are loved; you matter.”