Before I wrote this, I had a panic attack that lasted four hours.
Not the type that had me breathing all hard and ugly crying while I covered me ears. I’m talking about the type that involved me pacing around my apartment, eating entire half sandwiches when I’m not hungry, ignoring a cat-son that attempted to come between me and the completion of an article that may—or may not—catch the attention of the general public. Comparing myself to the more prominent voices in the writing industry caused me the most anxiety. Not because I lack confidence in my talent but because my reach isn’t stretching far enough—at least not yet.
This behavior started back in 2016, when I made the determination to become a freelance writer. Aside from working on my first novel, The One Taken from the Sea of Stars, I’ve constructed various blogs, wrote articles about everything from depression to sexual abuse to the toxic political/spiritual ideologies among hoteps. My writing usually showed up on a platform I’ve created because rejection from publishing houses and online journals wasn’t an option. When bravery did lead my soul, I’d submit an article or two to prominent publications, only to be told that, though I was talented, what I handed in wasn’t being accepted at that moment. Until then, I’d posted my work on my Facebook and Twitter pages.
Though I’m now starting to recognize the fruits of my labor (I’ve since been interviewed about my work, currently participating in book expos, and so forth), I still believe that my innovative perspectives barely scratch the surface. I ruminate over the missteps, wondering how I can move past the five claps to sprint towards 1.5 million on Medium.com. Or my website. Or wherever I publish work. Then I wonder if the people are even listening. If they are not, is it because the topics I chose are unrelatable? But as I type these words, I ask myself:
What am I doing it for?
I ponder this question because, after getting my hysterectomy on August 2017, I’ve experienced of an emotional, spiritual, and even political reset. Though I’ve always considered myself a political activist, using my various platforms to speak out against injustice and advocate for those who bear the brunt end of it, I found that the internal rage that fueled me politically simply dissipated. When I came out as a trans masculine person in October of that year, the reset became more pronounced as I completely separated myself from the emotional trauma Meeka endured. It was as if I, Louis J. Mason, was a totally different person compared to the woman who protected me all this time—a phenomenon I’ll discuss at another time.
These changes also affected my writing. While living as Meeka, a trauma survivor with mental illness, I fell into many categories regarding discrimination and felt compelled—if not obligated—to put pen to paper to write article after article about what Black folks go through. What women go through. What the impoverished go through and so on. I thought that that was what I was supposed to do. But now I find myself struggling to write about those very topics. Aside from the fact that the writing market is overly saturated with Black content creators penning thinkpieces about discrimination towards Black folks, I’ve shifted spiritually and began questioning the tactics often utilized by the Leftist community—be it Radical or otherwise. Even my definition of revolution has changed! Granted, I still consider myself political and will use my writing to highlight gender variants doing work within the community. But I also continued writing content that no longer resonated with me as I just wanted to publish something.
But Spirit said “No.”
In fact, I received a message soon after coming out that I am to write a novel about my life before my transition. However, I was working on the sequel to The One Taken from the Sea of Stars at the time and was right in the middle of creating character outlines. I pushed the messages aside because don’t like leaving projects unfinished in the mist of construction. Doing so will only be reminiscent of the periods during which my Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) remain untreated; that alone triggered low key anxiety episodes. So I kept trudging away at my character outlines, then the book itself with the determination to meet my early 2019 deadline.
Then one morning, I turned on my computer and found that it failed to load as usual. After wasting the entire day trying to fix the issue (even with the intervention of the landlord’s partner/techhead, Amy), I was forced to reinstall Windows—losing my files in the aftermath. The chapters I worked for months on were either erased or unedited. The version saved on my flash drive was even more of a disappointment. But Windows wasn’t the only reset I’ve experienced. I literally couldn’t look at my laptop screen without feeling everything from numbness to a face-burning rage to grief. I knew that Spirit was behind the glitch and why it happened.
Spirit wants me vulnerable.
And by ‘vulnerable,’ I am referring to the abuse, the sexual assaults, and even the victories. I’m supposed to talk about the false promises, the gaslighting, and the pain I’ve inflicted upon others when I didn’t know better. I’m also obligated to disclose my struggles of living as a trans person: about the misgendering, the acceptance of waiting to undergo top surgery, the difficulty of finding love as a Black fat trans person in a community dominated by White thin cis gay men. How even the trans community tends to commemorate those who pass almost to the point of self-appointed gatekeepers determining (or even attempting to redefine) what being trans truly is. At the same time, I am to highlight the support I received the moment I’ve begun living my truth as Javi.
Long story short, I am not to write about radical politics, author thinkpieces about magick empowering the Black community, or extraterrestrials sold through the black market (Spirit actually told me that I will still write science fiction, but it will be centered around the trauma I’ve experienced). I am to write about my existence prior to transitioning. Before she understood that I, Javi, was ready to emerge. Spirit appointed this assignment to me despite how afraid I am. A part of me doesn’t trust you, the Reader, with the truth; the kid inside me (and the adult “woman” I once was) has been through enough. At the same time, Spirit told me time and again that my “adventures” will help people. Using my words to empower those who’ve had trials and tribulations similar to mine while incorporating spirituality is one of my main reasons for writing in the first place.
I seriously don’t know what is going to come from this or how far it’s going to go. I just recognize that my vulnerability will conjure healing for me and someone else. And, to be honest, that’s all that matters.