A month from now, I will be twenty years old, unemployed, unenrolled, and residing in Chicagoland, where I haven't lived since I was ten years old. I am so afraid. I don't know what I am doing with my life, or why. I am terrified I'll never get a degree, that I'll lose my way and never have a home, but I have nothing to lose. I have no choice.
It's going to be a long, cold winter in Chicago, with mounds of snow that I'll make into a slide like I did when I was a child. There will be clouds in the sky each day, and I know I'll be sad, I know I'll cry a lot, I know I'll be alone and lonely, but I'll make it through the winter alive.
There's a genderqueer support group in the Chicagoland area that I'll visit. I'll try to get involved with Food not Bombs, find some friends to dumpster dive with, so I can free myself from the confines of store shelves, and maybe I'll find my way at last. I'll get involved with activism in the city, learn how to do activism outside a college campus, perhaps make some change in the world, perhaps I'll find a community, reach out, hold hands, perhaps, at last, I will be brave. Perhaps I'll transition, and maybe my stepdad will support me, because he's the only hope I have. I can't wait to get to know him again. I'll learn how to cook, how to sew, how to live. It'll all work out.
I'll find a job, save up some money, maybe I'll travel in non-standard ways, and I dream of the places I'll go someday, but I know there are places I cannot stay today. I will find a place I belong, someday. Today, I have a month to find the courage I need to grow up at last.
Yesterday, I went on Omegle just so I could ask a friend if they were afraid. They were seventeen, graduating highschool in June, and they told me they weren't afraid. I said they were very brave. They were probably telling the truth, but I think they were lying.
The day before, I sent a text to a stranger just to tell them I love them. It took me six tries not to get a landline. They said their name was Mat, and they said it was their birthday. They were probably lying, but I think they were telling the truth.