Here’s something I learned in the last year.
Asking for help is crucial. There’s a lot of that all around saying, ask for help. Ask others. But to me what i reallt anchored in was, ask yourself. I sometimes would be so helpless for so long that I would forget that I still could help myself at all, in small ways.
Somewhere around my mid 20’s I decided I wanted to go live back to France, but couldn’t . I did with my parents help, years later. No matter how hard things got, I told myself living in France was my dream and had been for so long that the hardships were worth it. And it has been. Each autumn has been a dream. Living in the country side of Bordeaux with a beautiful man that loved me, spending my afternoons painting, was the highlight of my life, and the epitome of joy, despite the fact that it had also been cast over with the dark cloud of depression. My life in France was what I wanted.
Then my dream began to change. It no longer was where I was living but How, and with who.
In that, I began to reach out everywhere across the world to people who Saw me, Loved me, Valued me. It was in the value that we placed on each other in our lives that I shaped the value of mine.
Community, something I had never truly known, was an essential element for my well-being. So despite the lack of practice in establishing community, I tried anyway, learning how to give, how to be generous, how to value myself to be able to generously offer what I had to offer as well.
In my quest for Valuable People, I made groups and tried to put together like- yet challenging-minded individuals so that I would never stagnate and always hold myself accountable.
My trip to Minesotta was beyond anything I could’ve imagined while simultaneously being enveloppingly familiar. Like coming home, despite the unfamiliar nuances. The old laced with the new laced with the old.
There’s also another aspect of community here, for me. A sense of “my country needs me” and by that, refering to America in its Entirety. Feeling like I can be put to use here. Whereas in France, there is a sense of displacement that never left, and an ever costant deep longing for the sun that latinxs bring, and the warm personalities of the western continent. Despite the promised harsh winter and impending gloom of sunless days on Minneapolis, the warmth, generosity, and kindness that I have always found to be a familiar trait of American people made the Twin Cities a cozy, welcoming snowglobe for me.
I am now heading back to france with my heart overflowing, and with all the impending tasks of losing the roof over my head and no prospects, anxiety is preparing for over drive.
But I have always gotten my dreams accomplished not only because I didn’t give up on myself and continued to live in my authenticity no matter how difficult or uncomfortable, but also because of the fiercely loving and intensely generous people with the bravest of hearts that I have had the utmost privilege to call my friends, lovers, and family.
October had been about healing. November has been about regaining strength. December is going to be about not forgetting that I am not alone, while fighting ferociously.
I don’t know if I’m ready. lots of times I haven’t been. But after these magical 10 days, I owe it to myself and my community, to go at it, and give it all I got.
Ready or not, here I go anyway.