We’ll be heading back to the Boston area in a couple of months and I have to admit I’m completely terrified. I’m so scared I’ll fall back into old patterns and somehow by going back to the same geographical place, go back to the same miserable mental and emotional place, too. So I’ve written a provisional list of the things I want out of / in my life when I’m back in the US. Maybe posting it here will help me remember it once I’m there. They’re all things I intend to do or have, but I also need to remind myself that I have the right to them.
Friends around whom I can be myself, no playacting, no tailoring my gender to fit what I think they will find acceptable. I want to be able to as boyish, as butch, as gentle and provocative and gallant as I feel. (Extant candidates: just a few. Interestingly, nearly all are fellow grad students.)
A safe place to live. Safe landlords, safe building, safe street. I don’t want to waste my time worrying about roaches or fire escapes or drugdealers.
Access to activities nearby, ideally by foot or subway. Readings, shows, cafes, bars.
Enough money budgeted to look good and do things. (This has been a major issue for me—having enough money in fact, but feeling compelled to be frugal and save it while hating my clothes and my life.)
A hairdresser I trust. (Major trauma around this one. I’ve actually been told I have too much hair.)
To be a part of organizations, to do something productive, to have interests that pull me outside of myself and my home. (Extant candidates: two different book clubs, one with a queer focus, the other with a professional focus. Need something besides book clubs. Politics? I really want to start acting on my convictions and working for a change. How do to that? Also, something outdoors related? Walking/hiking?)
To have regular, loving, hot sex.
To do yoga, eat decently, sleep decently.
To be able to say no to family interactions/gatherings when I need to, and to be myself there when I say yes.
To be busy, to get tired, to have to hurry to accomplish something because my life is so full, rather than doing every damn little thing with the perfectionism that comes from sheer boredom and loneliness.
To have a lesbian context in which to exist, to stretch myself and test myself and be myself.
To be able to buy sex toys without fear.
To have –no, to make time for genuinely creative endeavors apart from The Career. Personal/creative writing. Maybe picking up the guitar again. Maybe a creative writing group?
A space dedicated to my professional work—at home or not—so that I can focus on it there and leave it there.
To be able to seek help as/when I need it—counseling, body work, whatever. Not to have to be the Lone-fucking-Ranger all the time who doesn’t need any help. (A big issue for me.)