Hi. It's Zara. Your Lesbian Big Sister who has been pouring her heart out to you via the written word (with a peppering of ~audio~ here and there) —for how long now? A decade? Damn. You know what? I think it's time that you and I finally elevate our relationship. What I'm trying to say here is this: I want to take you on a brand ~new~ adventure with me. One that unearths an even *deeper* level of connection between us. Welcome to THE LOCKED DIARY, kittens:
The Locked Diary is my new column (available in both written and audio formats) that explores what it's *actually* like to walk away from everything: Your city. Your person. Your social circle. Your career. Your identity. Your life. Because you decided to honor that little voice inside of you that kept on whispering (despite the influx of sleeping pills and other sedatives): I don't know if any of this is for you. Now. Is this journey of choosing yourself over the life you worked so hard to build actually *worth* it?
I don't know, babe. I'm writing this column in real-time—and the story isn't even close to being over (it's actually just beginning)—so how am I to know the final takeaway? I can't know—there is no way to know. Which is precisely why I felt called to create this column! To document and honor this wildly uncertain season of life, of epic change, of acute discomfort, of gorgeous, unabashed, disruptive MESSY *truthfulness.*So often we writers only share our tales of risk-taking once we've come out the other side. Once we've ~healed~ from the subsequent grief and have crawled through the muddy rivers of change. And from hindsight, it's so very easy for us to confidently claim: OH HONEY! THE RISK WAS SO WORTH IT! That's easy to say once we've already suffered through the excruciating pain of growth
and are in this pretty place where you know: everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.
But what about those moments when nothing appears to be beautiful and bones you didn't know you had are wrought with hurt?
Are you still so certain it's worth it, sweetheart?
As someone who wasn't and isn't sure about anything at all, I found myself hungry for content that *honestly* documents what it feels like be to in the *actual* thick of transformation. So I started writing from the grotesque, still-bleeding wound, instead of the nicely-heald scar. And let me tell you—writing like this has been uncomfortable, vulnerable crazy unfamiliar, and like coming back home after a long trip all at once. For the path of starting anew is rife, babe—rife with *~unexpected~* plot twists and heartbreaks I never saw coming and wholly embarrassing mishaps (that are also quite funny). The path can be dark, too. So dark I lost things I vowed never to lose! (That part has been HARD). But sometimes the path is flooded with light and in those moments I see things—beautiful things—that I was blind to before.
I guess the only constant in this expedition has been its brazen unpredictability. I liken it to Iiving in a tropical environment. As in sometimes it thunders so aggressively my bones vibrate and the dogs shake their limbs and burrow their bodies beneath the bed. And then within seconds the sky is the brightest shade of electric blue and the sun is sparkling and its paradise.
You know, I talk to a lot of you—my readers, my "kittens," so to speak. You come from all walks of life. But do you want to know the throughline I've noticed among all of us, regardless of where we live, what we do, or *who* we do? We are unified in that we all seem to be on the brink of a massive life change. Some of you have already taken the plunge, and are suspended in mid-air not sure when (or if) you're going to land on solid ground (like moi). Some of you are perched over the edge of the cliff staring shakily into the dark dangerous waters of ~the unknown~ wanting so so so badly to JUMP—but are wrought with paralyzing fear because like what if everything gets destroyed on the long scary tumble to the bottom?Some of you haven't driven to the cliff yet. You're like: What cliff are you even talking about, Z? There are no cliffs here. But you just can't sleep. Because you're haunted by this inner whispering, this subtle alarm you can only hear when it gets really quiet. A little humming sound that you can't quite make out the meaning of—
can't quite ignore.
Most of you tell me you just feel restless. Like you know somethings' got to give, you can't keep numbly floating through the halls like a ghost. I mean this is supposed to be your "one and only precious life, right?" You feel in your words, "bleh." I get it. "Bleh" was my baseline for years.
But here's the truth: It doesn't matter where you are on the path. It just matters that you're here. And guess what? You are many things. But alone is not one of them. In fact, I created this project precisely to remind you all (and myself) that none of us are alone! Because THE LOCKED DIARY is so much more than just a column. It's a community. And if there's one thing I'm certain of? Community is the life raft that steers us back to shore, no matter how violent the storm. And the storm *will* get violent, storms always do. But together we're safe enough to sail through these stunning seas.
So. Here's how it works: In tier one ($7 a month, the price of a cup of coffee in New York) you get access to my unlocked diary. Meaning every single week you get a brand new chapter that details the gritty and glittery ride of starting the f over in your mid-thirties. You can read it. Or you can listen to it, 'cause see, your girl records it on very fancy equipment so your little ears can consume it via audio—if that's your preferred consumption style.
In tier two ($11 a month, the price of a coffee with a small tip) you get access to the unlocked diary—and you get a monthly twenty-minute one-on-one big sister session with me via ZOOM. Which is a safe confidential and sacred time where we can talk about everything and anything. And together we'll clear the cobwebs and attain the most coveted drug of all: CLARITY, babe. After all, clarity is what connects us to our deepest desires! And I think our deepest desires are the vehicles that chauffeur us to our most fabulous lives.
I *also* provide you with a monthly pep talk custom-designed and recorded exclusively for you. This way you can listen to it every single morning so you never ever lose sight of who you are, how far you've come and reminds you to always protect that f*cking sparkle of yours.
In tier three ($22 a month) you get all of this except our big sis sessions are forty minutes *twice* a month pep-talks are weekly and let me tell you. My tier three-ers and I are making radical ~CHANGES~ in our lives. In fact, I've loved these big sister sessions so ferociously that I'm in the process of becoming a board-certified life coach, studying under the one + only Martha Beck (Oprah's life coach, no big deal, darling!). So join me. And we'll hold hands through the beatific highs and the demoralizing lows. And together we'll unearth the most gorgeous strands of GOLD to ever exist. Because the rock bottom is cold and unforgiving but it's also where the most beautiful gems of all are buried! And maybe one day we can start like, I *don't* know, a JEWELRY line made up of all the glimmery jewels we found when we thought we were so so lost.
Let's clutch each other like the war has finally ended, and swan-dive into the unknown, together. And whatever you do and wherever you are and whoever you are—just remember I love you and I'll hold your hand through this fucking nightmare.