(this was a first draft of the year’s-end post, but i realized i couldn’t actually center my experience of the whole year around it and say something useful because the first half of the year was so different)
I got up from the couch in our lounge and headed back to my room to retrieve a large bag of sour candy I had purchased earlier in anticipation of the night to come. On my way back out of the room, candy in hand, I glanced at the mirror to see if my hair was frizzy, as had become habit. HARK: A GIRL! Not different, but different enough. Just a few years older than me, though looking perhaps a bit younger. (HRT will do that to you) She had a tight-lipped seriousness expressing experience where I have a tired half-frown expressing exhaustion, and her hair was beautiful. I saw her face, unmistakably mine but more mature and stubbly no more. She had learned to take care of herself! I knew what she wanted for me: to see past the same-old, same-old depression and anxiety and nights spent up desperately wondering if the world was still young enough to sustain her newborn confidence.
2017 was the first time I wore a dress since I was three or four years old.