A life of intention
How to begin? Or rather, how to begin again?
Lately I have been thinking a lot about how to create a life of intention. How to step away from the grinding pace of a world that seeks only results at the expense of the process, and how to honor each moment as it is. A choice.
I haven’t spoken much publicly about my life and my past. About all of the ugly things that have made me who I am today. I’ve talked in obtuse terms and wry smiles about my struggles with depression, self harm, and mental health, and the fact that I am now living on my own for the first time in my life. I've let others draw what conclusions they will from that. But silence and avoidance isn’t what the world needs, and it isn’t what I need to become the person I want to be.
For thirty five years I have lived a life without choice. None of us have a choice in where or to whom we are born, and having no choice as a child isn’t inherently traumatic. But for me, that is where my trauma started. I was raised in a cult, literally born into it, and I have struggled every day since to escape the grasp of its claws in my mind. The thing that people who’ve never experienced this cannot understand is that deprogramming isn’t something that ever ends. It is constant. And as a queer person, the fight against a pattern of thought that inherently hates everything I am is exhausting. Taking the easiest road of care in other parts of our lives is sometimes the only way we can have the energy to continue to fight our own minds.
I escaped the physical constraints of that community at eighteen. But I didn’t escape the abuse. Like so many others before me, and after me as well, I took the best option I had to get out quickly, and like so many others found myself merely in a different version of the same situation. I don’t fault myself for that, and I don’t fault others either. We do what we must to survive, until we are have enough support to truly escape. Some of us never do. I am lucky.
While the abuse I have survived may not have been as glaringly obvious as what we see portrayed in movies or books, it was still abuse. And being able to admit that is hard. Incredibly hard. Choosing to leave was the first time I made a choice that put myself first; the first time I felt I even had a choice in my own life.
I am no longer simply bobbing along the current of someone else’s plans, and that alone has been more difficult than I find I can put into words. When you have lived a life without choice, it becomes overwhelming to suddenly be free to choose.
And so I am learning to choose with intention. To take time in each moment to decide for myself what I want and who I want to be. To allow myself to want at all.
As artists, we cannot separate our work from our selves; our experiences, our emotions, influence everything we make. Black Omen is the start of a journey. One in which I learn to embrace all of my demons, to stare directly into the face of my trauma and tell it that we are safe now. That the world is hard, but we will be okay. That being okay is a process that is going to take time, and that alone is okay. That everything that has led to this point was against my will, but that I get to choose how it defines me.
I get to build a life of intention. And so do you.