Welcome to Wellness Weekly coming to you every Wednesday. This will be a weekly series, sort of like a Letter from the Editors that will rotate between Morgan, Lara, and Luigi with the occasional guest. We’ll hold space on the Dirt to check in on our Sixth Sense: the term we use to refer to our spirit, our intuition, our inner power. And because while we exist in the world alongside our other Five Senses, we’ll do a check-in of those, too.
About a month ago, on the night of my birthday, I came out as non-binary to a small group of friends on our group text. Here’s what I wrote:
“Hi, my friends! I am so incredibly grateful for the amount of love you’ve shown me, not just today, but throughout this past year that was filled with some of the highest highs and lowest lows.
Whether or not you know it, every one of you has been so crucial to me this year. You’ve been there for me as I explore who I am without judgment or pretense. When I’m around you, I always felt encouraged, celebrated, challenged, loved, and adored… sometimes worshipped, even! And today, you’re a safe place. A place where I can share that I identify as non-binary — a part of my identity that I’ve been thinking about a lot and never really said out loud until now.
Anywho, that’s a long way of saying THANK YOU. I LOVE YOU. 2022 IS THE YEAR OF FREEDOM.
xx Luigx (jk luigi*, I’m not changing my name!).”
That was it. Short, sweet, and to the point. 1. Because I didn’t want to make a big to-do about it and 2. because there wasn’t much more to say beyond “thank you.” To borrow a phrase from Lara’s 10-year-old, I had already had many “conversations with my brain” in the months leading up to that text. The bulk of which were centered around figuring out the perfect timing, the perfect way of telling people, and gathering the irrefutable proof points I needed to make such a bold statement. I never felt “ready” for it. Until on the morning of my birthday, after doing this meditation, something in me broke open.
In truth, I’ve been feeling like I was on the verge of sending that text since I was little. When, after hours of applying my mother’s makeup to my visage, I’d look up and feel truly and honestly whole. I remember that little Luigi, who wanted so badly to be anything and everything but felt hopelessly limited to one section of clothing, one aisle of toys, one bathroom, one identity. Oh, if that little Luigi could have grown up in gen z, or at least been supported and loved by the chosen family in that group text. What if that little Luigi was armed with the language or gender fluidity and real-life examples of it? I sometimes wonder how different life would have been. But alas, they weren’t. I wasn’t. And so, I continued through life with this ever-present feeling like I couldn’t say what I had known for so long. Deep down I knew the truth but didn’t know how to verbalize it — sort of like when you have the urge to sneeze but can’t until you look up at the sun. All I know is that day, when I finally said what I had been feeling deep in my body and my bones, I could finally breathe. That day, when I finally stared into the light of truth, allowing it to flood my pupils, I felt free.
I’m not sure what’s next in this journey of gender identity and self-discovery. I suppose I’m not really aiming to be “sure” because “sure-ness,” in its very nature, is binary. What I want is to be able to exist in everything between certainty and uncertainty. To be ok with wading in waters of life, knowing that water sometimes fluctuates between clarity and murkiness. I plan to do a lot of that this year and I invite you to do the same.
Now let’s check in on our other five senses…
Lara gave me a signed book of poetry by writer/artist/activist, Alok Menon. There are some wonderful poems in there that capture a lot of what I’m feeling right now. I try to begin each day by reading one.
Bonus: Their outfits are on point.
I’ve been non-stop listening to the new album from The Weeknd. No skips. It’s a masterpiece. My favorite songs include but are not limited to: Here We Go Again, Sacrifice, Starry Eyes, Don’t Break My Heart.
I finally got to eat at Good Culture Club. The vibe was impeccable, drinks colorful and delicious, and the food *insert drooling emoji*. So much of the menu had nods to Filipino dishes I grew up eating. My favorite had to be the dessert Bibingka, which which brought back childhood memz of post-midnight mass Christmas eve traditions.
Trevor has been searching for a new spring scent, and when he wasn’t having the best week, I got him this one by OUAI as a little pick me up. I’ve obviously co-opted it as my own and have been wearing it every other day. I love how fresh and clean it smells.
Perhaps it’s the change in weather, or maybe my journey of self-discovery cont’d, but lots of skirts and dresses have been in the rotation. I can’t wait for spring and a full wardrobe refresh.