I think it’s easy to overlook accomplishments that we make, things that we have overcome, and the gifts we receive. 2019 was a difficult year, but it was also a year of huge success for me. It was year of building relationships (old and new) and taking all of those leaps of faith. Going into 2020, I want to highlight those things.
1. On January the 2nd, after midnight in a cold barren national park, I asked my partner to marry me. She said yes, and we’ve been planning our backyard wedding for August of 2020. Not only have I gained a wonderful human being to spend my life with, but I’ve also overcome a once very crippling fear of commitment; a fear of being vulnerable.
2. I went to university full-time for the winter term, studying anthropology, sociology, and psychology. I surpassed my own expectations by receiving great grades in all 3 courses, something I was never able to do in high school. I discovered that I am actually really good in school, that there was just a lot in the way when I was a kid. I ALSO discovered that despite all of that, academia is not really for me. My heart wasn’t in it.
3. I recorded my very first album, a five-song EP called “I Feel Like I Just Woke Up” and released it on all streaming platforms on September 26th 2019. I played my CD release party to a sold out crowd in my hometown. I heard my songs played on the radio for the first time and watched my album hit the charts of local radio.
4. I played all of my first out of town gigs, in Calgary, Vancouver, and at Canmore Folkfest. It was in Canmore that I realized I wanted to do this music thing as a full-time career. I’ve been doing music full-time since the beginning of November. It’s been VERY trying at times, but I know that this is what I was meant to do.
5. I got a tattoo cover-up for my botched top surgery from 3 years ago. A tattoo cover-up that I LOVE. I never thought that I would be comfortable taking my shirt off in public, the way I had dreamt of one day being able to do. I thought that top surgery would fix that for me, but it didn’t heal the way it was supposed to, and it left my body with large scars where my nipples should’ve been. After much contemplation, I settled on the idea of a moth to cover it up, the same way I chose a moth as a logo for my music. A moth represents a transformation from old to new. My chest was totally transformed, the same way I had transformed so much as a person. From female to male. From addiction to recovery. From hating myself to loving myself.
6. I focused my time and efforts in getting to know people in a more deep and meaningful way. My partner and I hosted dinners with friends and family, I went for long drives with people well into the night, and I started to get honest with people in my life about what was really going on. I discovered that I am actually an extrovert, that I just needed a little bit of prodding to get there. I learned that I am passionate about connecting with others; whether it be by playing my music for people, engaging in conversation at a dinner party, or just a short and simple exchange of meaningful words between strangers.
Like I said, I went through a lot of really painful stuff this year, but overall I’ve learned a lot about myself and others as a result. So many wonderful things have happened in just the short span of 2019, I cannot wait to see what 2020 has in store. Thank you to everyone who has shown me their love and support this year. I could not have done this without you.