In ten days it will be 8 years since I started this blog.
And what a ride and…wow, I am glad it’s been so filled with change.
Within six months of the start of this blog I had trekked Annapurna circuit in Nepal with a man I was in a relationship with. I came back and decided enough was enough, I left and began the process of coming out of the closet (enby, asexual with a big dash of lesbian – my first girl crush was 13).
I’ve grappled with a formal autism diagnosis in my 40’s after nearly 15 years of informal diagnosis and speculation. During that time I realised why anti-depressants made me suicidal, because I wasn’t depressed. I was autistic and not acknowledging the impact or sensory overload and the social anxiety I experienced. I do continue to have to work hard to manage PTSD, but that is easier since I made the changes I have in my life.
I’ve launched a comedy career, quit it for a PhD, then made the PhD about both comedy, anthropology and political science and the power of laughter and I’m about to make my career about all of it – Dr Jacci and the politics of laughter.
During lockdown I conquered my fears of singing on stage and got basic piano skills. With each song I write, I heal. Somewhere in there I appeared on Melbourne tram stops and buses in my underwear having a big belly laugh as a fat queer person in my 40’s.
I made peace with my Mum just before she passed away. There is so much in that alone, that I just put into words here. But I will say this, forgiving your abuser, doesn’t mean you can forget (PTSD is a physical reminder of that), and there is always work to be done.
My vegemite offspring is back in my life (who is now 25) and we are as thick as thieves again. Until two years ago, we were estranged, mainly because of the painful history of family violence that we shared and a need for each of us to work our own stuff out. But this has been made possible also, by really choosing to ground myself in acceptance.
I have literally turned my life inside out and finally accepted who I am and am living the most authentic version of myself I can currently live. And by the way, I’m not a fan of the word ‘authentic’ but it’s the best word I’ve got for this feeling.
I got fat too and that’s okay as well, I’ve never been a fatphobe and I’m not about to start now. I love that I can still hold a stage with all my fatness in my 50’s.
Some people who knew Jacci as Jacqui or Jacqueline or even Jackie (up until I was ten) – might sigh and say “they’ve changed” – I haven’t.
I’ve not changed. I just committed to being who I always knew I was, but was too afraid to be – and life just keeps on getting better.