Today is April 23, and my 23rd birthday.
I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this year, 23 has always been a number that stuck out to me.
And this song, “23” by Jimmy Eat World
, continues to be one of those songs I turn to when I feel lost.
Today is my birthday, and I want to come clean about a lot of things.
I drew this picture as a follow up to this one, if you guys remember:
“Fall Down” was drawn during a really hard time for me— when my parents found out about Bee and threatened to throw me out and disown me. It ended up not happening due to a lie I told through my teeth… but a part of me broke that day.
I drew it because I felt like my sky had fallen.
I was raised with a pretty old-school mindset, to honor thy parents and such, and in many ways I felt mentally inferior and subjugated to them.
Their rejection was something I always feared in the back of my mind (especially when it came to my sexuality and gender expression), but to feel unwanted by these miniature gods of my household was still a shock to me.
Though maybe it was less of a shock than it was the crashing of a disaster I prayed would not come.
I know this is a really depressing story to post on my birthday, but I drew this new piece as a way to mark my growth and my healing.
A part of me may have died that day, but Bee has always called me a phoenix.
I came to terms with my parents’ love. Understanding that it wasn’t 100% like people lead you to believe.. I had to divorce myself from their love and make my own, and that love came from deep within myself.
23 is a song about picking yourself up, a time to change.
And if I could go back in time to talk to my younger self, that scared, hurt, and broken me, I would tell her it’d be okay someday.
That healing is possible.
It's amazing what 3 years can do.
Happy birthday, Naf.