Okay, 2017. I’m Listening.

Things happen for a reason. People don’t cross your path for nothing. Your past doesn’t come back around the corner to blindside you. Everything is a learning experience. Things always happen for a reason. And people always come into your life one way or another. It can be to learn and to grow. It can be to heal. It can be to start anew.

But even if it hurts, don’t forget:

Everything. Happens for a reason. It’s just up to you to find that reason and grow.

That being said, last night was the most bizarre , this-only-happens-in-the-movies cosmic event I have ever come across in a single day.

I attended a drag show , one of many I usually go to with my circle of friends, people I call my family and whom I love very much. My boyfriend is visiting upstate with me for the first time and came along with me. It was his first show and I was very excited to show him around the cafe venue and meet everyone.

The night overall, was fantastic. The performers were amazing, we were surrounded by friends, food, fun, and good laughs. It was amazing and what made it even more so was the big, giant door 2017 seemed to have given me on this night. To which, I walked through and saw myself better and a little shaken up on the other side. But not to say for bad reasons.

Two halves of my past met up with me last night. At the time time, in the same place, with distance in years apart. Together, with people I have met in under a year that have changed my life for the better, and with my boyfriend of 4 years present with me for the first time in my home state. It was like a cosmic blast had gone off and my head was spinning by the end of the night. I’m still brimming about it.

The first half of my past was only last year. Around the same exact time, as well as I came to realize. It’s January 2017, and the first half of all this was in February of 2016. At first, I was shaken. I was a little more than terrified.

But let me tell you something. I’m glad it happened. I’m glad that I was able to just let go. Be free, be me, have fun, and pay no mind to anything. Remembered where I was, who I was with, and who I came to support. Am I still a little on the edge over it? Sometimes. But literally in the inches and feet apart . . . I didn’t feel so unnerved anymore. I felt moved on. I felt okay. I felt free and I felt strangely at peace. 2016 was then. This was today, tonight, and now. I’ve grown over it. I’ve bettered myself because of it. And now? Now I have this amazing support group and this family of wonderful people. I have my boyfriend. I have life back. I don’t have to worry and I shouldn’t have to worry.

The second half of my past I hadn’t seen in nearly five years, easily. A family member I always remembered and talked fondly of. Someone I truly missed because we both rowed the same boat, being members of the LGBT community. Someone who shared my pain of the rest of the relatives. Someone I knew I could talk to and hoped to one day see again.

It was quick at first, seeing him in the crowd as a performance was going on. Shortly after sets, though, I ran over to see him after he’d caught my eye finally. I was vibrating with shock and elation. It’d really been too long. We both moved away around the same time, same year. Me to live with my boyfriend, he to Florida. Both for around the same reasons for leaving, too. I didn’t know he was in state, much less in the same building as me. He met my boyfriend briefly as the show was ending and people were filing out. We talked, and exchanged mutual understanding and feeling, and facebook contact. I’m still in disbelief and amazement over it.

The chances of those two people and situations coming together in the same room, the same place at the same time . . . with people in my present who I love and cherish as my family. With my boyfriend visiting for the first time, even. It’s astronomical. It’s as if the forces of the universe came together to bring these two totally different situations together with my present to tell me something. I’ve spent some time thinking about what that something is. I couldn’t make sense of any of it last night, but I’ve had time to really dig into it.

It’s a lesson, really. Lessons to let go. Lessons to reconnect. Lessons to grow. Lessons to move forward. Lessons to live. Lessons to love. Lessons to be.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who is around you. What they think, what they say. People are always going to be just that. People. They’re always going to talk, always going to think. You can’t run from your past forever. It’s cliche as fuck to say, I know but listen. I see that as full blown truth now. I may not have engaged in the first past, but I didn’t need to. It wouldn’t have been wise to. It was wiser to just not even give a glance and walk away. It was smarter to just be. It was growth to just live.

Don’t let things pass you by. It’s smart to leave some things unturned, but if you have the chance to reconnect again, do it. If it’s in your cards, let them play out. I never in a billion lifetimes thought I would see and reconnect with my cousin again so suddenly and freely. Without the aid of other hands. In a LGBT friendly public space. Surrounded by everything and everyone I love. It was more than I could have honestly hoped for.

2017 is starting out rough for a lot of reasons around the world. But listen. 2016 beat people down enough. Believe me, I know. There’s this air about 2017 that’s just fresh. It’s strong. It’s powerful and it’s beautiful.

Clearly, last night happened for more than one reason for me. Two halfs of my past life came together in the same distance and the same time span. My present was loud and ambitious, full of laughter and love. The three combined in such an overwhelming way that . . . at first I was shaken up and unsure. I didn’t know what to make of any of it. But like I said: it’s lessons. It’s learning. It’s growing. 2017 is talking and she’s talking louder than anyone or anything. It’s as if the universe is helping along the lines of boldness and growth for so many people, myself included. It’s giving chances, and making things happen. It’s letting yourself see things in a different light. It’s learning how to take the things you have been dealt with before and saying ‘I came from that stronger’.

In the oddest, most twisted way, I have to thank my first half of the past. Without that situation and without the events, I would not be here today. I would have never met all of these wonderful people I have connected with. I would have never lived through all that happened last year. I would have never found my voice. I would have never gotten this huge sense of support and community I have today. So I do have to say thank you, wholeheartedly. No matter how bad the situation turned out, to everything that has happened since then. I say thank you.

So here’s to 2017. It’s only the end of January and she’s got my attention in more ways than I was prepared for.

And let me tell you. I’m listening.



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