Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the tornado that touched down in Edmonton, I was in Edmonton at the time, barely over a year old and I have no memory of that day. However, listening to the radio as the choppy news story from 30 years ago played back and first responders now close to retirement re-tell stories from the past it got me thinking what May 3, 2046 will look like.
That will be 30 years from the Fort McMurray fire.
I assume some hologram version of the news will be replayed as I enter into retirement on the moon (I have major hopes for technology in the next three decades). I assume people will recount their stories, pull out old pictures, but I wondered today as I listened to the voices on the radio how a person might feel.
The fire was a major turning point in my life, I am thankful for it. I am not thankful for the harm it caused, for the hurt I caused and the trauma that was inflicted but I am thankful that it was a crucible in my life, leading me to honesty.
I don’t know if I would've come out of the closet, I definitely would've continued the lying and deceit that I had built into my life, I would have continued the pattern of pretending and living in a fantasy world. I would've betrayed and hurt more people, I may have done irreparable harm to my family and perhaps I would've pretended my way into other dishonest relationships or a dishonest marriage.
The only thing I know for sure from this entire experience is the future is uncertain. As much as I want to control the narrative of my life, as much as I want to be able to see into the future the reality is that I don’t have control and even when I thought I did I definitely did not. Ultimately 30 years from now will look like whatever it looks like, if anyone had asked me last year at this time where I would be in a year I would not had predicted this.
Right now I am learning to live with mental illness, I am working to build new relationships and I am learning what it means to be a lesbian in a honest and open way. The reality is that I need to be who I am, not who I want to be in 30 years and not who I wanted to be in my 20’s. For me, being who I am means choosing to change the way I interact with life and it’s making those small choices in an honest way with honest feelings.
It is easy for me to slip into old habits, to ask myself how I should feel rather than look at how I am actually feeling. Reality is that hard times come and go, but the good times also come and go and somewhere in those experiences is my life. So, 30 years from now I will have feelings about the fire just like when I drive to work today I will have feelings about the fire and I need to remember that feelings are not only okay but important.