I have no idea where to start.
This year felt like I lived so many lifetimes in such a short amount of time.
For most of 2017, I got caught up completely in my burlesque life. I started travelling for gigs, reached out to local producers I hadn’t worked with before, and built several new acts that I’m so proud of. I was accepted into six different festivals, but was only able to perform for three (note: I was rejected from more than I was accepted to but still). I crossed the border and officially became “international” when I took the stage at the Ohio Burlesque Festival. My troupe became stronger, we also performed in three different festivals and I couldn’t be more proud of us. It was an exhausting year of creating and growing and practicing and learning and it’s made me a stronger performer than I ever thought I could be. There has been no better distraction in my darkest moments this year than building and working on my acts and letting everything go on stage.
My health struggled a bit this year. I started experiencing serious dizzy spells, and to this day I still don’t know why. Several tests later and I’ve been told it’s likely anxiety, though I’m still not convinced. I wore a heart rate monitor for three days, had ultrasounds, blood work, but everything came back normal. The dizzy spells aren’t as frequent anymore but they do still happen and it sucks.
My love life was a joke. After things fizzled out with a man I really liked, I made several attempts at serious and casual relationships which all ended for similar reasons. I struggled a lot with trusting men, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I haven’t online dated in over a year, focusing instead on trying to meet men “organically” but that hasn’t been any more fruitful. Oh and let’s not forget when I accidentally attended my ex-boyfriend’s wedding to my ex-best friend.
And then there was the extreme emotional trauma of 2017. Discovering that a man I considered a friend and an ally for many years had been doxing me, and several other women, was the biggest betrayal I have ever faced. I spent days in bed, and I went into a bit of shock. I couldn’t cry, I felt like I couldn’t feel anything except blind rage. For the first time in my life I went to the police and spent two hours being interviewed by a detective (who was an amazing, albeit slightly scattered woman), and ultimately decided (along with a couple other amazing and strong women) to push forward with legal action. I chose to face him in court. Though our outcome wasn’t what we had hoped for and I still don’t feel as if justice was served, I know that I tried. But the effects still linger in the form of distrust towards men, anxiety being in the part of the city I know he lives in, vivid dreams, and the occasional bout of anger that makes me want to stop what I’m doing and scream into the universe.
I received tremendous support through this though, and reconnected with people I had lost touch with. Knowing there were people on my side kept me from sinking into the dark pit that kept me in bed a lot. There are no words I can use to express my gratitude to everyone who reached out and checked in during the past few months. I continue to heal and know that this is something I will keep working through for a long time.
The doxing led me to think about the internet as an unsafe space for so many people. I wanted to fix it. I still want to fix it. In September, I decided to take a part time web development program, which has led me to being accepted full time. I’m going to leave my comfortable, full time job and take a chance on an actual career. Maybe I can’t solve all of the problems on the internet, but I’d like to make some sort of impact someday.
So I guess this brings us to the evening of December 31st, 2017. Staring into the mouth of the new year with not a clue what is to come. I’m scared. I’m excited. Let’s do this.