At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post about my love of new beginnings and my resolutions for 2016. I was not too lofty in my goals; I attempted to make them as attainable as possible. As regular readers of this blog know, my year didn’t exactly turn out the way I had expected. My fiancée died very suddenly in January, and my life took some very interesting twists and turns in the months since. I began writing this on July first, the exact midpoint of the year. Here’s how my resolutions have held up against the scourge of real life.
- Gender Stuff. My first resolution was to figure out my gender, to choose a name, and to be more adamant about enforcing my pronouns. This is one of the resolutions that I deviated the most from in the wake of my partner’s death. I have come to terms with the fact that I have no gender and that that fact is okay. I have been using my birth name in most situations recently. I am, for the most part, okay with this. I have not been enforcing my pronouns, but taking a more laissez-faire attitude toward them. I allow people to switch between he, she, and ze pronouns as they see fit. It’s been working for me. Perhaps these things are less important to me than I once thought they were. I’m not certain yet, and the year is still fairly young. We’ll see what happens come December.
- The death of my partner also harbored the death of my ability to write full time without worry for financial stability. I have been searching for a job for the greater part of the past six months. I have not had much success. The immediate aftermath of my partner’s death was a heavy weight on my soul, and I did not feel much like writing or being creative at all. My work stymied severely. It’s starting to pick back up now, and I’m taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, and I hope that it will be something that rekindles my writing habits and makes them more consistent. I also applied, sort of on a lark, to become a writing intern for one of my favorite pop culture blogs, Film School Rejects. I got the internship and I’m flexing my writing muscles in ways that they really have not been forced to flex before. You can find my work on that front at filmschoolrejects.com.
- Health/Weight Loss The death of my fiancé has really affected me globally. For the longest time after he died, I couldn’t bring myself to eat. Food tasted like ashes and felt like rubber. I would eat one meal a day, maximum. I lost a significant amount of body fat. I started exercising because the endorphins really did help me feel better. The shape of my body has changed so much over the past few months. I have never, ever felt more confident about my body and my own attractiveness and fitness. It’s incredible.
- Sociality Grief really puts a damper on the desire to be social. I spent a lot of time by myself. I alienated most of my friends because I just didn’t have the energy to spend time with anyone. My best friend sort of nudged me toward being around more often. We became very close again, even though we’d drifted apart during my relationship with my fiancé. She’s been encouraging me to spend more time with other people. She’s encouraged me to meet new people. She encouraged me to make an OkCupid profile, just to remember how to meet people. I still feel sort of guilty about it, maintaining a profile on a dating website. I feel guilty for the fact that I’ve met someone that I enjoy being around even though it is not super serious and is very new. Sociality is something I forgot I was very good at. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about it. I never know the right time to tell people that I’m a widow/er. I’m still learning, but I’m getting better all the time.
- Spirituality I, of course, went through some intense spiritual soul-searching in the wake of my fiance’s death. I have gotten back into witchcraft on a regular basis. I spend more time praying, both to my pagan gods and in a Catholic Church, than I have in years. I wouldn’t say I’m where I want to be, but I have made progress there as well.
I’d say that despite the horrible beginning that this year brought me, things are starting to look up. I’m still making progress toward my goals. Grit and determination can heal all wounds.