Making Spaces

  • Reading time:3 mins read

Today was my final voice class of the semester. The two hours went by as usual, with no special event until the very end when the usual compelled gratitude session was swapped for an open-air discussion of what has and has not been constructive over the course, particularly under these conditions. There was a lot of silence, and as I will do I waited until I was sure I wasn’t about to speak over anyone else or eat up other people’s time before chiming in. I wound up getting weird and emotional, and giving a five-minute speech on human contact and safe spaces. With that, the instructor was like, okay, right. guess that’s it, then. Bye, everyone.

I may not be able to continue with the class in the spring, as they are reintroducing a fee. For someone with a steady income I guess it might be nominal. The older lawyer brushed it off as nothing. But if I had that kind of money, I’d be spending it on other necessities way before an online class. Still if that’s it, if we’ve reached the end, I think I got a good pile of basic principles and developed a feel for where I want to go. I can keep working on it from here, in a way I didn’t have the tools to do before.

I don’t exactly make friends easily, but it was helpful to have a regular group every week—to check in, be myself, be affirmed, be supported the whole time. It i think helped slightly to unpick this basic terror of talking to people or opening up. It only hit me as it was ending, that was my main point of face-to-face connection—and now it’s over.

Between the classes and the HRT, this year has really shifted a lot of things. I never used to want human contact. It was dangerous, and it reflected back to me so much that I hated about myself, I couldn’t deal with it. But since the summer, I’m learning it doesn’t have to be like that. This regular connection will be weird to lose, and it may not fully click for a while. By that point, maybe it will be safe to go outside?

I’ve begun to notice that there are few scenarios in life where there is a right way of doing things. Mostly, there are ways that people have done things, that have worked for them. The way to proceed generally is not to replicate those results absent of their original context, but to study and adapt the things one likes. To play until one has worked out one’s own borders, techniques, ideas, and preferences—then to be curious and incorporate anything one comes across that feels like it fits. In most matters, that’s all you can do: be interested, have your own ideas, and be open to others’. That’s life.

There’s a confidence here that is new to me. I didn’t even see its growth until the training wheels came off. Now I’m not quite sure where to go. But, I do have options.