dani(el)

(This is the last time for a minute, I promise. I think we’re all ready for a bit of a break.)

I don’t know what happens next, but I sure thought about it a lot today. I let myself dream big and loud and happy. I swung for the fucking fences:

And now it’s time for Weekend Update with your host Daniel Herd!

(For example.)

Part of this second adolescence, I think, is the capacity for those big dreams again. Waiting around for a potential acceptance from grad school truly feels like the start of something new and exciting. I feel like I’m giving myself another chance to do this the way I really, really want to.

I had a great time in undergrad, don’t get me wrong. But I was so very sad. I have been so very sad.

And now maybe I’ve discovered part of the source of this low thrum of pain that’s been here for a really long time and now I can do something about it. I don’t know what that means for me yet, but I am learning and pondering and considering and it is really exciting.

Honestly, I still feel like I was a big screw up today, but here, tonight, sitting on the couch, surrounded by three little Christmas trees, I see this version of myself that is possible. I will be handsome and funny and kind and I will be good enough for the things I want. I will write plays, I will tell jokes, I will speak Shakespeare.

For this brief Christmas tree-lit moment, I am on my own side. I can do it. I can fucking do it. I am going to get into all the schools and I am going to get really good at what I do and then I am going to write for a living.

And, yeah, I’m gonna host fucking Weekend Update. I would be really good at that.

For a long time, I felt like I needed to apologize for my dreams. That I had to keep them little and neat and manageable. But my dreams are big and loud and messy and weird and I want them so very powerfully.

Someone in my trans support group said, “It’s enough that you want it.”

I want this. I want a body that matches my heart. I want the freedom to navigate the world without holding my breath. I want to fucking believe in myself. I want to be brave and good.

I want I want I want.

Dani is still cool, by the way. Dani is me. Dani is the first name, all the way back in 4th grade, that felt like it fit. Dani is the first name I chose. But it isn’t short for Danielle, not anymore. It isn’t spelled “the girl way.” It’s spelled the me way. You can still call me Dani. I probably still will!

But looking down at “Daniel” on the page…

It’s enough that I wanted it.

I don’t know what happens next. But I’m here for you, always. Whether I get to go to grad school far away or not. We’re not getting anywhere without each other.

Thank you for the gentle strength of your love and acceptance this year. I used to be too afraid to entertain something like grad school, because, if I left, you’d forget me, right? But that isn’t how friendship works. This bullshit fucking year has challenged me to cherish and nurture friendships near and far, new and old. I have had the opportunity to laugh and cry and share and create and nerd the fuck out as all my selves, as Dani, as Daniel, as Way.

I’m challenging myself to take a blog break after this. My heart needs the space. I need to step back and rediscover what this soft, nerdy spot of the Internet is. Thank you for reading this year. I have needed this outlet more than I can possibly say. But it’s been a year and I made it. I am stronger than I ever thought I was.

To quote the best angel, “We can’t give up now.”

Happy Holidays, dear reader. May the Force Be With You Always.

Published by Dani

I like breakfast, marine mammals, Star Wars, comedy, the song "Dead Man's Party," and Halloween musical revues at theme parks. Let's be friends!

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