leah lakshmi piepzna-samarashina is one of my feminist/queer literary heroes, for real, for real, for real, she tells so much raw truth, so many jagged edges but also this strong undercurrent of hope. she knows what it means to heal, and writes about it in a way that’s a map for other people who need it. she writes about way more than that, about family and incest and homelands and more, but i guess it’s that aforementioned theme that resonates with me the most deeply.
i bought her book of poems, “love cake”, today and i was just sitting on the couch reading it. struck by a line, so simple, yet it describes exactly how i am feeling at this point in my life:
“thirty, unbroken by my history
walking in a new city”
and when i read that line, it was practically pulsating, it was like a shining electric message from god. i am thirty. and right now, at this exact moment, i am feeling unbroken by my history. at this time last year i thought i would always be crazy, destructively so. i thought i could not love and was inherently unlovable. for realz, for realz, i did, and if this hellish year has taught me anything it’s taught me that people love me.
and that love comes from all sources. and that concentrating it all in one place is usually a bad idea.
thirty. unbroken by my history. i just never thought i would get here, get to a point where it makes sense, where it makes me strong instead of making me weak. i have so many people i wanna thank but to thank them all properly would reveal too many secrets. francesca and i were just talking, tonight, about catholicism and how it inspires one either to over-share or under-share, based on which neuroses you internalized. (obvi, i am of the over-sharing variety)
here’s to leaps of faith
here’s to breathing through the heartbreak
here’s to letting go of bitterness
here’s to dispelling the rumors that i am just a fucking asshole or what have you. i can only dispel them with my heart. loving fiercely and living as though i am not that bad person. it’s all i can do.
here’s to everyone, everyone, everyone who has shown me kindness
here’s to those of you who scribble in notebooks because it’s your only way home (OUR only way home)
here’s to everyone who thinks they aren’t going to make it
and here’s to the me, homeless & sobbing on street corners at 23, understanding i’m an alien at 9, wanting to die at 13. here’s the me that left home at 18 and was wandering the country via greyhound for months on saved drugstore wages. amazed but buckling under a great burden of sadness and feeling guilty for not having a better time. here’s to the me that wandered so many streets–hungry or exhausted or weeping or heartbroken–of so many different cities.
to paraphrase something that someone far more brilliant said: now i am walking in a new city.