Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2013-12-06

Life Intentions

Last week I found out a friend of mine passed away. It was unexpected and she was only 45. A couple weeks before that I found out a beloved of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer–we were already having long conversations about mortality when I got word that Ria passed. And two night ago I found out another friend of mine unexpectedly passed away at 33.

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Me and Ria. I love this photo of her mid-laugh. Her laugh was amazing.

This is kind of bananas.

I’m leaning in a lot on my spirituality through all of this. I do know that the Goddess never gives me more than I can handle. I’m also seeing a lot of the gifts that you can get through grief and difficulty and paring my life down to the important things.

I wrote this piece in my journal the other night while reflecting on Ria’s passing and what a huge influence she was on my life personally and on her community (over 1,000 folks attended her funeral). I have more words to say about her at a later time, but I felt compelled to post these on my blog for now.

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This is my friend Michael (left)

I want to live a deliberate life and I want to be effective and have a lot of fun and great adventures. I want to be unafraid of “no” and keep asking for what I want no matter all the “nos” I get. I don’t want to doubt myself. I don’t want to be held back by self doubt that seeps in. I want to be compassionate, loving, big hearted, generous, abundant, but always put my self care first. I want to live with integrity, make a lot of art. Keep bettering myself so I can better the world. I want to see my life as full and rich and abundant just as it is and not lacking even as there are other things I’m visioning and believing for. I want to trust the Goddess’ plan and be a vessel for her work here on Earth. I want to appreciate God’s gifts and beauty and all of the splendor this Earth has to offer. I want to make meaningful connections with people and sustain the ones that continue to sustain me and let go with love those that no longer do. I want to trust the process and I want to love ferociously, honestly and gratefully. I want to work hard and feel like it’s fun.

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2012-03-15

Glitter on the Gravestone: Grief in the Age of the Internet/Remembering CallOutQueen

Last year I knew five people who passed away. A close friend of the family, friends and members of communities I was involved in. There was a lot of pain and loss for me, mitigated somewhat by a well-timed deepened spirituality that has helped me come to a place of peace from each loss much easier than my life prior to spiritual practice.

I am struggling today because someone I “knew” on the internet took their life. Mark Aguhar, who I knew as “CallOutQueen.”* How did I “know” them? I cruised their blog. I appreciated their incisive wit. I appreciated their vanity and glitter. I loved their art. The juxtaposition of “Be ugly/Know Beauty” (this is a genius meditation, if you do that sort of thing). The swish of hair back and forth. Looking dressed when wearing nothing at all. Owning a brown, fat, genderqueer, femme, fag body. Absolute Femme realness at all times. Vulnerability. Stark honesty. Cutting honesty.

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I mean, I know she died, right? Like, because everyone says so. But when it happens on Tumblr, unlike on Facebook there’s no real clarifying post that says “This is what happened.” Sometimes on Facebook there’s a news article tagged with their name that pops up on a profile. Even when my ex-lover passed away I only sorta knew what happened because her best friend was dating one of my besties, it was never clear, from Facebook. With Luscious there wasn’t a news article. Just a heart broken community of queers putting it together.

So that’s what we have here with CallOutQueen. She’s gone. I was hunting through the tumblz Tuesday panning for a gleam of what happened. PrettyQueer.com and a few other outlets indicated she took her life. I mean. Who knows? I’m not even certain of the pronouns (thinking they with a leaning toward she/her, but when you only know someone through their writing in the first person you don’t always know).

I know what I feel is real sadness. For a lot of things. But so grateful she put her art out there. Expressed herself. Told her stories. Was a presence on the internet for so long before she was no longer a presence. A lot of people depart and haven’t told their stories.

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It feels weird to have this connection to someone from the internet. In this day and age, sometimes the internet is a really important place to connect. Sometimes our friends are in the computer and our community is in the tumblr or livejournal or wherever. Some of my best friends I met on blogging platforms (hey diaryland).

It reminds me about the importance of cherishing every moment and enjoying it. It reminds me that I am a presence on the internet. I was recognized on the street on my way to work Tuesday, before I found out. That’s always both weird and awesome. It made me think. what happens when I leave? What legacy do I leave?

A lot of my friends have had illnesses, knew they were leaving, and had time to get some last words out to the world. Tell us to have compassion, as was the case with V, or to take care of our health, as was the case with Heather. Some had life partners who could say things like “This is what so and so would want.” I think a lot about mortality and how fleeting life is. Treasuring every moment. Sucking the marrow of the bones of what we have, every single moment.

And here I am. I don’t have a life partner or anything. Trust that my BFF Brian has the password to my blog and will come make an update if something (Goddess forbid) happens. I want those folks out there to know what happened. Who knew me from the internet.

Also, I want you to know, if anything happens I want you to love yourself as much as possible and remember self-love is a life-long process. Be gentle with yourself and be gentle with each other.

What does Mark want us to know? How can we know? How lucky that they left so much of themselves on the internet.

One of my spiritual beliefs is that I think we are all on this earth to do a certain amount of work and we’re done when our work is done. I also believe that we recur and keep working on our higher selves. And we have souls we come back and work with. It brings me some solace to know I was affected by Mark. The swish of pretty hair. The soulful videos of full make-up and emotion. Existing as Femme and solidly as she did in a world that told her she was wrong and ugly at every turn.

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This world is temporal and cruel. This world is beautiful and possible.

I don’t have anything more profound to say except that I’m feeling it and expressing it and those are really important to me on my journey.

Rest in Power, CallOutQueen.

Here is a link to the fund to help Mark’s family with funeral expenses.

Here is a link to an article from The Qu about Mark.

*I’m certainly not the only person who calls people by their screen names in their head, even when I know their real name. I wonder how many folks who read this blog, follow my twitter or tumblr who only think of me as QueerFatFemme not Bevin?

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