27 things I learned at 27

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greenwich villiage, new york city, my birthday, january 2017

1 – eat; after years of self-deprecating behaviors, it’s best to eat

2 – take pictures. take pictures of everything. take pictures of your friends, of all of your loved ones, of your cats, of yourself, of the earth, of your music, of your art, of art, of art, of art. keep taking pictures until you swallow the void that is meant to suck you dry.

3 – you’re going to break things. you don’t always have to put them back together, sometimes you have to sweep the pieces to the gutters and hope the rain washes away any memories you may be holding onto.

4 – lay out in the sun – and sweat – remind yourself that crying isn’t the only way to cleanse your body.

5 – support your sweeties in their art. show them that you love and appreciate them in all their glory. hang their creations around your home. foster living memorials in the crevasses of the most intimate places in your life.

6 – you will read more books. you will find solace in the confines of printed pages, you will be five years old again, you will be ten years old again, you will be 13 and you will remember the peace reading brought to you. you will read more books.

7 – family is forever being created.

8 – wake yourself up early at least once a month to watch a sunrise – stay up throughout the night to see the sky shift from purple black to blue and grey to the colors of the sunrise. remind yourself there is rebirth in new days.

9 – braid your friends hair. there are deep connections rooted in locks, there are stories to be told and you’ll read every single one when your fingers weave through their histories.

10 – you’re a brat. you’re getting better, you’re learning still, but this is something you will never grow out of. accept it.

11 – as a child, travel never came easy. it was rare you made it out of the confines of your hometown, sometimes a few miles down the hill, you even crossed the california border two or three times, but your desire to travel became greater with age. travel. when you can save up enough money (cuz god knows shit ain’t cheap) travel. meet new people. experience a new world. and forgive your ten year old self for not knowing what you know now.

12 – when your loved ones are threatened in bathroom stalls, when they are targeted thru anti-trans violence, show up with molotov cocktails and never let them down.

13 – your blankets are underrated. bring them with you. the weight they offer is unconditional. use them every day.

14 – “if we carry intergenerational trauma, then we also carry intergenerational wisdom.” -kazu haga

15 – rest. lay in bed for as long as you want. lay in hammocks in your backyard or across the world. receive body work and physical touch. be kind to yourself and to your body, write with lipstick on your mirror that you are more than your ability to produce. rest.

16 – never underestimate the power of a homemade cake or a loaf of bread. gift these to your friends. nurture them with your genius. feed them.

17 – touch yourself. be intimate with your body. seduce yourself. do research in and of yourself, leave no part of your body, mind, or spirit untouched.

18 – white anarchism is out of my sphere. the common narrative focuses around white voices in anarchist circles (especially here in our tiny town of bullshit) and i have no desire to be part of it. there is a spiritual connection i have with governmental reform and abolition, but the mainstream narrative is not it. here’s to learning and creating more sustainable and browner histories.

19 – ain’t no president in the history of colonial america claimed “mine.”

20 – surviving abuse has come in many forms: from a full eight hours of sleep uninterrupted, to being choked during sex without any triggers. from holding down a meal, to paying my bills on time. every day is different, and you have to forgive yourself for the days you fall back into old tricks; be patient, be strong, be vulnerable.

21 – we live in a working society where black & brown queer & trans femmes have to be twice as better than everyone else to succeed monetarily. the amount of microagressions we endure on a daily basis would blow the minds of the privileged if they could experience what we do. the amount of abuse we take is unacceptable. the amount of income we lose through unfair boundaries and advantages of the privileged is unethical. we are the best because we have to be. i see you. i see you. i see you.

22 – love hard, love like white hot light, love until you are free, love until you can promise yourself you are free.

23 – like the great prophet aaliyah once said, “if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.”

24 – stonewall was a riot. never stop reminding people.

25 – dance until your bones ache, do what you can with the motion you still have, carve your space into the homes and clubs in which you move. if it doesn’t sound like missy elliot put the party on, don’t waste your time.

26 – you don’t need alcohol to feel something. you don’t need alcohol to refuse to feel something. stop disassociating. it’s time to feel, it’s time to relearn how to do everything in your life sober again. it’s time for you to really live.

27 – take your own advice sometimes. you were living then, you are living now. everything you’ve done consciously or unconsciously has gotten you to this point. be more vocal with yourself and take to heart your true intentions. don’t be afraid to teach yourself, don’t be afraid to learn from others. you are living, revel in yourself. happy birthday to you, you’re still here.

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