2022 was an amazing year for me. If I had to sum it up in one word, that word would be “active”. Unlike my former self, I have become a very active person. At one point, about halfway through the year, someone asked me if I was active or not. They were trying to decide if they wanted to allow me to join their pickleball team. That was a “this does not computer” moment in my brain. On the one hand, I knew the answer was hell yes. On the other hand, it felt so odd to say that, to refer to myself as an active person. I have spent decades classifying myself as sedentary.
But 2022 was the year of re-classification. In November of 2021, I discovered a long-dormant love of dancing. Dancing feeds my soul like nothing else does. So I started dancing at least once a week and was so loving it. But all of that abruptly ended when the bar I felt safe to express myself at suddenly closed in early January of this year.
At first, I thought I would just wait it out, but it became obvious that the issue that caused them to close was going to take months to resolve. While at the time it was devastating, the silver lining was that it forced me to find other places to dance and expand my horizons. In the months that followed I grew in so many ways and now have a number of places I am comfortable dance at.
Beyond dancing, I was hiking. I have always loved getting out in the woods and when I found a queer hiking group that was all I needed to get my hiking boots back on. That group goes out about once a month on an enjoyable hike and then a fun lunch. I have been to almost every event they have had this year. Along the way, I have met others that love to hike and have done a number of other hikes with friends.
Then there is my rekindled love of climbing. I played around a bit with this when I was in my 20s. But I didn’t really know what I was doing and almost killed myself, so it all stopped. But now they have climbing gyms and groups to join. Most weeks I go climbing at least twice. If you don’t climb I don’t know that there is any way to explain the feeling, the way it touches your soul, but it is amazing and now so a part of who I am. I learned how addicted I am when I went on a ten day vacation. I didn’t bring my climbing gear, so I just went without. When I got home and out on a climb, it was like I had been holding my breath and now could breathe.
Along the way within and between all of the dancing and hiking and climbing, life has been amazing. I have gone to a number of marches and protests. I have met some amazing people. I have been blessed with the opportunity to encourage others. But I think most of all I have grown in my understanding of who Jasmine-Arabella is. I’m sure I still have things to learn about this beautiful woman I have hidden inside of me for so long, but the pieces are coming together very nicely. I am learning how to spread my wings and fly.