Dear True Love,
We have just met and I already feel connected to you. As though from a past life that has followed me to this one. Ensuring that we meet again. Was it like this in our last life together, where you had to save my life?
To those who think they are not worthy, incapable or not right for the love of another. I want to convince you of True love’s power. As true love convinced me that I was worthy of you. I watched you show me what you represent by giving it to those closest to me. The type of bonding everyone, no matter how solitary, wants to embrace as an achievement on their quest for living life.
I was mapping my way to living life – the right way. I tried to embrace the career, the social merry go round and an active member of my family. Yet I excluded you from it. For I had felt that I could not obtain you in such a way. True love, you have put things between us that made it hard for me at first to see. What you were trying to get me to see for myself.
I had reached a point where I did not want to embrace life nor you. I did not want to be here. I did not consider my mind broken or ill. I considered it different, for it has always looked at things differently to those around me no matter how similar. It was still, just, different.
Life, I did not want it. The family that comes with the partner, the career, the place in society. I thought it must be some sort of cruel joke, forcing someone to live who does not want to. Who cries with the pain of needles to their chest of how guilty they feel to have life. Take it for granted when there are others, people I have known, who have died that I considered more worthy. They had lives left behind. Children who needed them, strong identities they fought to represent and a place in the human race. Then there was me. The one wishing to disappear. Unable to understand this happiness they speak of. The happiness your mother prays about for you. The happiness she tells you is reachable once you pray. I would take it in and believe it for a while. Until it came around again. This feeling which wished hard to disappear. I once described it to my best friend as; see that cloud? Think of me as that cloud. It’s light and fluffy. As it passes around the world it is going to collect moisture. Just filling up until it turns into a heavy rain cloud. Until it burst one day pouring out its sadness.
I tried to listen to the words of; God helps those who help themselves. To see the gleam in your silver lining True Love; mind, body and heart have to work in sync to embrace life.
Once I decided I did not want to feel numb -coasting I was living. I had to face myself, not run on autopilot. Not live to not hurt those around me. To live because I wanted to. It had to start with facing the one thing I feared; my mind and how dark it can go. When someone would ask where I go as I stared aloud for a moment. To protect them I would laugh it off with the words, “I was just staring into the dark pit that is my insides.” Followed by odd laughter from them, considering me just being dramatic, “this is how you can tell you’re a writer,” self I can be. Missing, I did not blame them, my cry for help. The independent nature was wired into me from young, upon the repeated words of my mother, “In this life, you can’t depend on anyone but yourself.” There was nothing I could do with the help from others if I could not help myself. Yes, True love, you will obtuse your head at how nonsensical that is while as you smile when you see my words to you and shake your head at me.
You knew it was not a matter of could she? It was your assured nature watching over me that knew. I would walk through the thorny bush path to you. A heads up would have been nice. To know what you are going through right now will not last for you will find your shining light that the darkness does not understand. Accepting myself as worthy of self-love, helped me to not fear being open to you, True love. How patient you are. You watched and waited for me to notice you. To look a little closer to home to see that you had been placing clues along the way to draw me to you.
For I had once cursed your name. Misunderstanding the need for different kinds of love. I could only see the suffering in our world done out of hate and not the good those of love do to right the wrongs. It led me to think that True love must be dead. I once hated how they used your name to remind me of something unobtainable enough to be a myth. I held hope that you could be real, not a commodity. As one thing or another around me would remind me of the happiness you possess. Without offering a means of how to cross from my thorn bush to the shore and through the treacherous waters to be with you. It was like you were this ultimate bitch in the night, teasing me with your offer. Testing to see if I would fall back into self doubt and forget the things I surrounded myself with to obtain the first of you; accepting self love.
The thing that is easier to say you have yet hard to believe you have within yourself. A moment must be taken to remember all the young lives that release themselves from the ignorant hate of our world. Who are in a safer place, surrounded by the love you offer and acceptance they could not find here on this warring earth.
I am one guilty of having the fierce presence of Violette Valen, the name I would appoint myself if I was to vogue my way down the walk at a ball, as though I had taken lessons from Bob the drag queen, while for a moment not embracing my turbulent inside. One that hides when it can, for wallpaper and I have much in common. Able to protect that vulnerability in a cloak of fierce.
This cloak of fierce. I have watched protect the self love and emitted identity of confidence in my friend Tee Bello’s music. I had asked him what self love means to him being a performer, judged on stage from the moment he is seen and not heard. His described this identity as: I don’t want to be a gay artist, a straight artist, a black artist, a male artist, a glasses wearing artist…etc. Don’t box me off with a label. To limit my musical expression. I want to be an artist who’s identity is their own. I’m not going to shy away from me. I am still going to be me and do me on stage. You are free to decode what you want from it.
It is this same cloak of fierce that I have admired from a very young age, about Drag artist. The strong black men, close friends of my mother, who stood tall in their presence. Willing you to watch. Daring you to try and judge it. It was this unashamed confident love between my friend, Connor and yourself that showed me that I was ready to embrace my own.
I watched you test him with the Rubik’s cube that is sexual orientation in identity. To prove himself worthy of earning your title of true love. It is your test to find his identity to earn acceptance and self love that assured me I was on the right path. I was unsure of how close I was, you did it on purpose to not spoil the surprise. Before penning my letter to you, I asked him what it meant for him to be loved.
He began to explain: I found myself in quite a vulnerable position. I wasn’t sure of what I wanted out of life and didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel after a while of questioning what makes me happy. As I dragged myself back on track and took better control of who I am and what I wanted to be. I found myself in the presence of true love. At the time I did not realise I was falling deeper into True love’s embrace.
His embrace of you. It helped him reach the point I was fearing of letting in. I admire his love story with you. Gave wind to my faithfulness of your existence.
I had kept that part of my chest piece of a heart closed to you. I had refused to be defined by my attraction, if I will myself, to both sides of the gender coin as being greedy. Is it greedy to breathe and be hungry? Yes, when there are people who can only afford one. No, when there are people willing to feed you.
Holding on to my difficulty in comprehending you, true love, in that way. I held in my vivid imagination of what I wanted. Feared it physically being there. For sometimes I felt that I could not inflict the hurricane that is my mine on to someone willing to look at me as their centre piece. Nor have to watch them feel inferior to my self doubt and body hang ups.
I was not going to expect that you just know. When it comes along. He made it easy to understand, “We just clicked. Like how they say, if a piece of machinery is missing from a clock then that clock wouldn’t work and it seemed as if, true love was that missing piece of my clock.”
We laughed at how cliché it was of an expression. The same can be said for your name True love. It has been tainted by that of Hollywood’s romanticism. Their eroticising the forms you come in that shakes the creature of habit that can be society’s views on how to reign you in. No matter how they have tried to suffocate your expression that wonders into the grey areas of our presumed black and white world. Thank you for inspiring those brave souls who undefined you and find the freedom you offer.
Thank you for giving them food to fight for you. To stand up for change. Look at you now, beside me with a smile upon your face that tells of your satisfaction. Adoring my scars and prepared to stand beside me.
There is one gift I ask from you, true love, because I know you can do this for me. I have to now watch my best friend fight his tired body and mind to not isolate himself. The crack in the ground between him and us has now reached Grand Canyon size. There is only so much space I can give him. I have to fight the urge to save him for my own selfish needs. The needs of wanting him to be fine when I know better, that it is not that simple. To hear him laugh out of pure joy from something silly with accidental whimsical intent, I had said. Preferably when he is about to take a sip of a drink. It would fill me with joy. To watch him spit it and recoil at his out burst. Laughing as he does, I can hear it now, with eyes on me. Telling me intuitively, “trust you to say some random shit when I’m about to take a sip, girl bye.” So I can laugh in return with a pleased smile. It is this selfish need that helps me be patient.
As he was right there when I needed him. I look forward to greeting him on the other side with a pair of tweezers for those thorns.
Remember to hug your true loves whether that be your self, another and both. To remind yourself that even though you have to map your own path. There are those you want around you walking the same distance. Keep your own chest pierce open, do not apologise for being you; beautiful, worthy of love and giving of acceptance. You are not invisible. We see you.