A seemingly innocuous day.
Friday, January 16th, 2015.
But for me, it was looming large well before it arrived.
That was the day I’d chosen, in the autumn of 2014, as the day I was going to leave this existence.
It was far enough from birthdays, anniversary’s and holidays so as not to impact the future celebration of such events.
As it came closer, I started to sweat. My life had changed, irrevocably, unquestionably. So what was I going to do? Was I still going to make my exit? A quiet, graceful thing, with as little fuss as I could manage? Would those letters I’d written get sent after all? Would it disappoint those in my life who knew I’d reached that point, if I didn’t do it? Would it mean they’d suffered through my illness for nothing, if I stuck around?
Or, would I choose instead to move forward? Would I allow the day to come and go? Would I choose possibility, a future, love, instead of the darkness that has threatened to take me to its abscessed bosom for so long?
The weekend before, I admitted that it was weighing heavy on me. That I was struggling. And I was held, and cried with. I was understood, and I wasn’t alone. I was shown love and gentleness. When the day came, I was taken away, out of town, to a hotel. A place I hadn’t been, to shop, and relax, and think of other things. At one point in the day, I was asked if, at that moment, had things been different, I would already have been gone.
Yes. I would have.
It was strange to consider. Had I made a different choice, had I kept my plans and thoughts to myself, I wouldn’t have been there, about to have coffee and play arcade games. Someone would be home, wondering, waiting, for a phone call. In a parallel universe, was I already gone?
The following morning, with the critical choice day behind me, it felt…new. Like I’d passed some kind of test, some kind of marker that said, “right. Now that you’re here, now, you get to start again.”
It’s not that easy, obviously. And, of course, there’s no reason I can’t still decide another time. And yet, it’s like that one moment you have to declare your undying love in a romantic movie–miss it, and it’s gone. Like that, I had the option, and I didn’t take it. Now I get to head down roads less traveled, and decide on the future I want.. Not the one dictated by my past, or by guilt, or by survival, but because it’s something I want.
It’s difficult to swallow, that I was so very, very close. One different decision, and I’d no longer be here. I doubt it’s an anniversary I’ll forget for a long time.
So, now I have some decisions to make. Who do I want to be now? What do I want to be when I grow up? Where do I want to take my business? How do I learn to think I’m worthy? What is the meaning of life (my life)?
Thank you for reading. Thanks for sticking around, and thanks for all the support. At some point, these blogs will once again become blogs about writing, about philosophical questions, about the nature of gender and existence. Bear with me, and always…
be gentle with yourselves.