One year ago, as I walked the brick path around its first bend on my way to class, I saw the trees in crystal clarity. Every leaf was outlined in high-resolution detail. I felt excited. Thankful that I was alive. That I was negative.
But just as quickly all that happiness turned to hatred.
What had I done? How could I have been so stupid? So reckless?
One year ago I got tested. I waited outside at maybe ten in the morning until Adam showed up. As we rode to the public health offices, he kept me talking. We didn’t say much about what we were going for, other things like classes or music or I don’t really remember.
When we got there, we parked a short distance away and walked quietly through the parking lot toward a towering brick building with none of the sleek, soothing architecture of the Student Health Center. We walked through three doorways until we made into a longer hall, opened on one side, that took us to one of the clinics.
One year ago I woke up early to stop by the Counseling Center before class. I walked to the second floor of the Student Health Center. The building is industrial, white, modern. The brightness made me feel better, if “feeling better” meant anything.
I walked up to the counter and asked to make an appointment. They sent me to a computer to go through a mandatory screening that lasted maybe twenty minutes, and then I got to schedule an appointment. The soonest time for the counselor I wanted to meet with was a couple weeks, but I took it anyways. It was a start.
One year ago I was in the study room around the corner from my apartment working math problems at the white board after midnight. It was a month into the semester and I was three weeks behind. After talking with a graduate TA who put it simply–“If you’re not passionate about doing the homework, is this the right major for you?”–I turned my organization on its head and had spent the entire weekend getting myself caught up.
And I was almost there. I felt great.
I wiped the board free of my algebra, sprawled letters about groups and how they commute and associate, and I stacked my notebooks and my markers and went back to my room. But the night was nowhere near over.
If you scroll to the bottom of this page and look at my archives, you’ll notice I published 16 posts in December, 2012; 13 posts in January, 2013; and nothing in February. In March I posted twice. “Life is a dance and I misstepped,” I wrote in the first. “The good thing about any dance is that, so long as the song keeps playing, it doesn’t matter how many steps you miss, you can still jump back in and pick up where you left off.”
Except I never said what that misstep was.
I’ve made a few allusions here and there, I’ve told a very select few people in person, and a select fewer in my communities online. But I’ve never shared it here. Of all the places on the internet, it has been nearly impossible for me to be most honest in the one place fueled by and founded upon my honesty.
So this week that changes. This week I share everything.
I feel frustrated and slightly overwhelmed. Tomorrow I return to Raleigh to start my second semester, and in all honesty, I’m not sure if I’m more anxious or excited. I haven’t accomplished all the goals I wanted to make before going back to campus, but those I haven’t reached I’ve planned to do elsewise. And although today is Saturday and there are only four more lessons in the third book of the Pirkei Avot, I just haven’t felt in sound mind to write about that today (and when I read what it said, I felt it even less).
I need focus. But focus is hard to find in a world full of Facebook.
D is for a lot of things. In part that’s why I’ve taken so long to write this next installment in the ABCs of GLBT: There’s too many options. I might as well go through a few them along the way. It’ll all make my point in the end. I promise.
D is for Diligence. Since, in life, that’s what you need: You need to be diligent to get anything done. The fight for equal rights has been long and arduous so far, and it’s likely to stay long and arduous until it’s over. Without diligence, we–the GLBT community and the oft underappreciated armies of our straight allies–wouldn’t be where we are today. Without diligence, we won’t get where we want to be, either.
Yesterday sucked. Like an emotional train wreck. No survivors. One of those news stories that sticks with you, like Virginia Tech. I followed that story so much I had to stop following the news at all, I started to get so depressed. I really haven’t recovered: I’d like to follow the news again, but I’ve not been able to since then. And like then, whirling from yesterday’s distress, today doesn’t seem much better.