Tomorrow is my one-year anniversary of my engagement to Jeremy – it's also my 38th birthday.
Usually I try to do a year-in-review the day before my birthday as a sort of list of my victories. I'm having a hard time with it this year.
- I have been with Jeremy for over a year and a half, which is a victory in itself considering how many people tried to pull us apart
- I moved out (again)
- I sold over $450 worth of art
- I survived being homeless for several months (even though I always had a roof over my head, it was still a traumatic experience)
- Jeremy became my official, paid caregiver
There should be more.
If I actually wait until the end of the year, I can add “going to Boston for Christmas.”
I bought my Greyhound tickets a couple weeks ago. It's a nine hour trip, with a transfer in New York City. Jeremy and I are going to spend the holiday with my best friend Elle, and her sweetie P.
Elle and I have been friends since I was right out of high school. The details are fuzzy now because it's been 20 years since I've been out of high school and to be honest, I have tried to block most of that part of my life out of my memory. It's not that I had a terrible high school experience. I just didn't really have any kind of high school experience and I regret that. I was raised to believe that I had nothing to offer people, that to be someone's friend forced a burden of care upon that person, and that I should just keep to myself and not make any waves. So I did.
Thing is, I look back at pictures of me and I realize I was pretty. I had/have a great personality and people did actually like me, but I was trained not to trust that. I could have been popular and dated. I could have been more average, if I hadn't realized that my family’s' feelings about my wheelchair were not the whole worlds' opinion about my wheelchair. It took me forever to come to that conclusion.
But because I didn't have any friends who actually came over to my house, and I could never get a ride to go to someone else's house (or there was the whole 'how will you use the bathroom if you go there?' debate) I was one of the first people anyone knew who was online.
I met Elle in an AOL chatroom. I met a lot of weird teenaged people in that chatroom, but Elle is the only one who held on. I've known her since she was like... 14-years-old. I knew her when she got married TO A MAN when she was not even in her twenties. We've seen each other through some shit.
And it's about time we met.
Since neither Jeremy nor I have any sort of family obligations this year (to put it nicely), we were tying to figure out some new tradition for us. I think that traveling somewhere new will be our Christmas tradition. While I have been to Boston and other places in MA (I've seen the Mayflower, but wasn't allowed to go on it with my sisters because, well, you know... cripples aren't allowed to participate in family explorations. We sit outside, out of the way), Jeremy has never been that far north. And the Greyhound tickets weren't too expensive. I do worry about having to store my wheelchair under the bus, with the luggage, but with it being holiday travel week I doubt there will be room on the bus.
But I am thrilled that I won't spend my holiday here, wishing that I was having one of those commercialized holiday meals with friends and family (though even in the past, when I was having a family holiday, I would be making that same wish in my heart). I will actually be having a big holiday meal with friends who won't yell and make me cry at the dinner table.
THAT will be the highlight of my year.