a trying year

2013 was, by all accounts, a trying year. A year filled with uncertainty, betrayal and cruelty. A year that pushed me to dance with depression.

A year without words.

I stopped reading. Lost artistic and professional motivation. Questioned how I’ve interacted with everybody I’ve ever met over the course of the last 15 years.

A year of sleeping and bad T.V. A year of complacency. A year where the only thing I could fight for was myself.

I’m no longer able to attend protests. Like many, I’ve witnessed the brutal crackdown on protestors at the hands of corrupt politicians and sadistic keepers of the peace. But it’s not the sound of matraques or the smell of tear gas or the site of black and blue uniforms that kept me home. It was the fear of seeing those who sought to destroy me. Those who I laboured so tirelessly next to. Those for whom I would have, and more than likely still would, help if ever in any form of trouble at or after a demonstration.

I miss the fight. I miss the resistance. I miss the collective.

Despite these personal and personal barriers, I can acknowledge that my privileges have made my struggles infinitely easier. That it gave me access to resources and spaces to heal and seek redemption. That it allowed me to keep a roof over my head. That it allowed me to thrive through my survival.

2013 was also the year of support, empathy and friendship. A year where so many people rallied by my side to keep me as well as I could be. A year where people convinced me that I’m not the monster others seek to make of me. A year where beds and couches and comfort were offered to me as I tried to negotiate living between two cities. A year of being carried.

My struggle is not over. Nor will it likely be for quite some time. But for all the love and patience and healing that has been shown to me, I owe thanks to a number of people: Audrey, Morgan, Kayla, Constance, Anna, Amanda, Noah, Mike F., Alyssa, Paige, Andrea, SJK, Alanna, Rox, Graham, Laura., Noodle, Liz, Caitlin, Nikki, Samantha, Jessica, Ajà, Ben, Amalia, Amy, Mariane, Dominique, Alice, Craig, Chanelle, Rebecca, Jaimie, and my families in Québec & Kansas.

I thank all of you for your presence. For helping me heal while never prying for more details than I could provide. For giving me reason to love and hope and laugh.

And to Jaclyn. For being the strongest of rocks. For the long months holding each other as we stared into bleak uncertainty. For bringing Jack & Éclair into our lives and giving us a taste of another form of unwavering unconditional love. For placing your hand on my chest and never letting go. For guiding me through my rage and sadness and thoughts. For you.

May 2014 be better for all. May our bonds grow stronger. Our fights louder. Our times brighter.

In love and solidarity, always,