The beginning of the new year always holds promise for me. In preparation for it (translate: on New Year’s Eve), I promise myself the same things; I will become more organized, healthy, better at listening, better at, well, everything. My list of promises at the beginning of each new year is so daunting, by the second week of January, instead of narrowing my list of promises, I have given up on keeping any of them!
As 2018 ends, instead of making promises to change who I am for 2019, I am going to do something different. I am going to love myself just as I am. I know what you’re thinking. Duh, what an obvious thing to do! While it may appear to be an obvious thing to do, I can’t recall a moment, in all my adult years, when I allowed myself to do it!
If the past year or so has taught me anything, it is that I have the most incredible friends. While I do have an incredible family, there is an expectation that they will love me, my husband, and our children. Friends are “the family you make for yourself,” or so they say. If this truly is the case, we have surrounded ourselves with a darn good family.
When I think back to the end of 2017, my greatest fear in sharing our family’s journey was that we, collectively, would lose friends. I know what you’re thinking. That’s crazy! However, as I read blogs and participated in online forums with other families on the same journey, I knew from their testimony, that losing friends once we announced our family’s journey was a real possibility. This. Never. Happened. Well, at least, not to my knowledge. And, if it did, it was no one in my tribe close enough for me to notice. Instead, we have been blessed with acceptance, in addition to more than a few new friends, and some unlikely allies.
As we begin the new year, I want to thank you, my friend. Thank you for loving me, and my family, for who we are. Thank you for showing me that it’s okay for me to do the same. Thank you for calling me. Thank you for meeting me for coffee. Thank you for texting me. Thank you for drinking wine (and equal amounts of Fireball) with me. Thank you for having lunch with me. Thank you for Facebook messaging me. Thank you for staying on the phone, or at the same table, when I was snivelling and my words were inaudible. Thank you for calling Heather by her new name and using the correct pronouns instantaneously, as though the deadname and other pronouns never existed. Thank you for the care and concern you showed for Abby. Thank you for sharing articles and stories about transgender people and the LGBT community that you found interesting with me. Thank you for not being afraid to ask me questions. Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for becoming an LGBT ally (if you weren’t one already). Thank you for everything.
Aside from loving myself just as I am in the year ahead, I do have one other promise I have made to myself. I promise to be as good a friend to you, as you have been to me. I wish you peace, love, and most importantly, enduring friendship in the year ahead.