Orlando (Pt. 1)

When I moved to Orlando, there were no preconceived notions about who I was or who I was supposed to be. In the city of Magic, there was no box waiting for me. Only…

…freedom.

On August 7th, it will be a year since I have been living in Orlando, Florida. This past year has been one of the hardest years of my life. I have been pushed by life’s circumstances to endure things I never thought I could endure. Everything I thought I was so sure of was called into question. All the masks fell off. All the acts stopped. And all I was left with was…

…me.

The real me. The me I had never really met before. Or maybe I have…I just tried to ignore her. All the unanswered questions about the mysteries of life. All of the doubt when asked to have faith. All of the anger. All of the sadness. All of the depression. The mental health I thought was getting better. The ignorance on important topics. The addictions. The lusts.

All of my wounds finally had the time and space to get fresh air. I can finally see them. At first, it was overwhelming to see the brokenness in myself. Now, I see the possibilities. Now, I see the importance of facing uncomfortable topics and scars in oder to bring about healing.

But not only that…

I saw who I wasn’t. I have been able to recognize what habits were mirrors of the people around me, and what was really me. Turns out, I don’t like to sound excited in my texts all of the time. Excessive exclamation marks just seem kind of fake to me. Turns out, I don’t want to be nice to every guy who gives me attention I did not ask for. Turns out, I don’t like sports, but I love live bands.

In a year’s time, the robot that was created by southern and religious cultural norms was dismantled. Now, I stare at the pieces of what was and throw away what wasn’t really me in the first place.

I am still in the middle of this journey, but in a year’s time, I began to find Juaquina. But it’s only because God led me to this city…where I knew no one…where I had no safety net…where it was just Him and I.

Orlando is the city I experienced both great loss and great gain.

I lost everything in order to find the most important thing in my world:

Me. 

Untitled-2/6/2018

I have lived a short 25 years, and life has been anything but easy. It feels like so many things have been thrown at me to try to break me. But this is the first time I have felt truly broken. My heart is shattered in a million pieces, and, if I am honest, I am terrified it will never heal again.

Everything I do reminds me of you. Every song I hear with live instruments makes me want to text you about it. Every new art project makes me want to tell you about it. Everytime I see a cool new gadget I think about how you would love to read about it.

To my almost step father, in you I found a home. A place I could feel safe. You showed me it’s okay to be myself and have long talks about stuff that matter. You taught me this by listening when I spoke and giving meaningful responses. You talked to me, not as an adult speaking to a child, but a wise mind speaking to an old soul.

I understand why people wear black when they mourn, because it’s the only color I feel comfortable in these days.

I don’t want to compose poetry anymore, write stories anymore, shoot films anymore. I don’t create anymore. Truthfully, I don’t want to do anything, but I know you wouldn’t want me to stop living. That is the complete opposite of what you stood for. So, as a small step towards doing things again, I will write you letters while God heals my broken soul.

Love,

Your almost step daughter