For a long time, I believed that my story and his story were one; That my story really only began when I met him, but really my story started with a seeking, a searching for my place - my story starts with me.
I recall the sensation, as an elementary school aged child, of feeling alone and unfulfilled. I didn't feel understood by my peers - I, in fact, felt rejected by them - like something was wrong with me - like I didn't fit. I wanted to learn, to read, to dream, to have real connections with others. I wanted something more than I could find. When I found what I had always been looking for, I didn't realize the magnitude by which it would change and redirect my life over the years.
This boy/man loved me with his whole entire heart.
His love and acceptance of me has changed my life forever. His death, of cystic fibrosis, at the age of 28 in 2013, has changed my life forever.
For a long time, since his death and until very recently, I had a nagging feeling of being lost again. I have avoided acknowledging what his loss means to me - I have made the seeking of connections, of dreams, of fulfillment a priority to avoid one thing: Finding Myself.
I think I have been afraid that the 'me' that is left behind...the 'me' that I always considered half of the 'us', would be somehow incomplete - broken - weak. That I needed someone, something, many things, to fill the space that Juan left behind.
What I have been unable to understand, is that I am here - and I am whole. I am not damaged or broken, but I do know loss, just as I have known great love.
The space of Juan, is my compass now. It is not something to be feared, but instead, guides me when I feel rudderless, directionless, scared, lonely and lost. It is a reminder of all of the ways that I can still find beauty in this life.
Juan made up the word Busual. He decided that there should be a single word to describe something when it is so much better than usual. This has been my inspiration for practicing the Manifesting of a Busual life and of recognizing all of the perfectly imperfect ways, that I too, intend to leave a Busual mark on this world.