I just spent two hours reading Janet Mock’s old blog, MusingsOnLove, mostly from start to finish. It was was a sort of beautiful teaser of her upcoming book Redefining Realness, which comes out in a few days. The blog chronicles her day to day life from 2009 to 2010 (before the release of her seminal Marie Claire article), where she talks not only about her romances but also her creative life as a writer. Janet is such an inspiration to me because in many ways her life and career represent so much that I want for myself: to be (or rather feel) beautiful, to be a writer (and make money doing it!!), to be in love, and to stand for and by a cause that I really believe in, affecting change in the world that goes beyond just stroking my own ego.
And reading Janet’s journey at a time when she was just 26 years old (an age I’m not far from) was so encouraging, because in reading each post it was amazing to read her talking about her dreams and goals, knowing that in just four years she would actually be exceeding those goals, walking in her truth as a twoc/activist, and as a result inspiring so many trans women and women of color. It made me hopeful and soothed my soul to read her words, because I really needed them. I needed that example of the possibilities that are open to us when we choose the life we want for ourselves rather than accepting what we think our lives should be, and ultimately decided to be happy not in the future but in the now.
Because I’ve been depressed since I was eleven years old. Meaning to say, as unbelievable as it sounds (even to myself), I can’t remember a time other than early childhood (which itself is murky at best) when I was never not in a constant state of debilitating anxiety, self-loathing, and despair. As a teenager, before I was formally diagnosed, I would revel in my sadness. I mistook it for teenage angst. I mistook it for something almost romantic, being perpetually sad, perpetually unable to walk the halls of my high school without the feeling as if I would dissolve any minute from panic…
Zeba, I am in awe of your vulnerability + power.
Thank you for sharing your truth with us.
Write on, my dear sister.
One of the ways that authors and their books get into circulation in libraries, classrooms, on the desks of book critics at the New York Times, and other useful places, is via the complex, often shrouded, world of professional arts. Part of the reason you go to a residency at…