Chris M.

If you were an avid reader of Dear Diary from 2012 to 2014, you might remember that I wrote about being very depressed, and being a weirdo in a new school, and seeing the Pixies. You might remember that commenters called me Rubes and it was sweet. I wrote about my mom’s death hours after I found out, and it was my entry for that week. I wrote about making friends for the first time ever, and losing them to the tribulations of being 15 and sad and angry. A lot of entries were my discussions of pain, calling school a dementor among other things, and finally declaring full-on hatred of myself in my final entry, after months of sparse contribution.

It has been about two years since that final entry, which opened with, “This is goodbye.” Obviously, everything has changed. That always happens. Things always change more than you notice, even if you feel stagnant. I am 18, and I am spending an average of zero hours per week sitting in the graveyard down the street. I’m heavier and my skin is better and I’ve been punched a couple of times and gone to some good concerts. I have learned the important skill of spending a very long time alone and not letting it be a wasted day. I got rid of that fucking ukulele.

In terms of more noticable and/or concrete changes: I look different. I look, well, more masculine—waiters call me “he.” Other people call me Chris, since I began my coming-out process as transgender about a year and a half ago, not too long after I left my position as a Rookie diarist. I would summarize that whole thing as “going well so far.” I feel better being at peace with who I am; confusion and anger about my identity in general were enough to make me feel hopeless enough to announce to the world that I hated myself. It felt like nothing I did could ever matter—I would always be unhappy with my place in the world, and with myself.

I won’t tell you that I’m all better now. I would not describe myself as a consistently happy person, but I don’t think that darkness is no longer a part of who I am, and sadness doesn’t hang over my head.

I write all the time. I write about people because I think they’re cooler than the things they do. I drink a lot of coffee and I’ve become attached to a brown jacket I picked up from Savers. I love Star Wars and I don’t mind traffic. Driving is amazing. I have a car that rattles and can’t accelerate very quickly. It’s the best and I would love to be on the highway for hours each day.

I have two rats, and they’re good pets. Also, I drink Vitamin Water Zero, because my dad buys it in bulk and it tastes just like a cup of water that used to hold juice and wasn’t rinsed in between.

Guys, I’m just so much happier, and I am happy that the veteran readers out there can know. This closure is really nice. You guys really helped me get through the worst weeks.

This is all over the place and I’m OK with that because that’s what thoughts are like. Man, having short hair is nice, regardless of how you present or identify yourself. I think that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned. I haven’t used a hairbrush in so long.

Another thing I’ve learned since we last spoke: People are great and I actually love them. That’s a revelation in itself, but more important: No matter how great they are, you have to be able to emotionally survive in a situation where there aren’t any shoulders to cry on at all. Once you can stop relying on your friends to remind you that you’re worth keeping around, everyone will have a more honest and kind time. Also: It’s way better to have one or two top-tier friends than to hang out with the same big group of cool-but-not-really-nice buddies all the time.

I thought I’d get a tattoo when I turned 18. Nope. Don’t feel like it. Maybe someday. Maybe not.

I can’t stop writing. This feels good. I’m glad I got to open up this virtual diary again.

To some of you: Nice to meet you, enjoy your day! To others: Thanks for sticking around here; it’s a great place. Everything changes. Even the things you felt before feel different when you’ve had more years to think.

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That’s a picture of The Reverend. ♦