Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rogue One

Here's what I love about Star Wars, particularly in its most recent iteration.

In Star Wars, there's no internet.

In Star Wars, one can lose one's mind, and get it back again, and be someone who matters and makes a difference.

In Star Wars, it's okay to be a woman.

In Star Wars, nobody uses translators--have you noticed? Everyone speaks his or her or its own language, and everyone else understands. And if you don't understand, then that's your problem.

In Star Wars, people fighting for Good work together, and they give everything they have, knowing that they may never find out whether it all worked out, or whether other people would hold up their end. People do 'what they can with what they have, where they are.' They do their little piece as best as they can. As Jyn put it: "If we make it to the ground, we'll take the next chance, and the next--on and on until we win, or the chances are spent."

Rebellions are built on hope.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Predicting the future

Badly, as usual. I've realized that one reason I tend to fall so easily into despair is that I expect the rest of my life to be all downhill from here. I can't imagine taking on a new responsibility because i feel certain that in the future I'll only be more tired, more anxious, more achy, less physically able and thus less mentally or emotionally capable.

I don't want any of my problems to have anything to do with my father, but I think maybe they do. I have two wonderful parents, but growing up with a parent that has a debilitating degenerative disease will do things to your head.

Monday, November 28, 2016

This has been a really hard year.

I am a blood balloon made of eggshells and masking tape.

Monday, October 24, 2016

What matters to us?

I still remember the first time I heard a person speak about me--he was on a phone call--and refer to me as "a girl" from young life.

A what? What did he call me?

Now, let me take a step back and note that I knew I was female. I'd noticed. I'd done everything I could to prevent the onset of puberty, and I had hated puberty every step of the way. I had checked out a Star Wars comic and resolutely read it all through every health class at school. I answered every health class test question as vaguely as I could, and whenever my mother forced me to accompany her into the bra and underwear section of a department store I did everything I could to simultaneously disappear and avoid eye contact with anything that was on display.  Once when I was very young, one of my uncles told me that if I licked my elbow I would turn into a boy. I was smart enough to know that one cannot lick one's own elbow, but still, in secret, I tried. I told members of my family that when I grew up I was going to have myself "fixed," like a dog or cat, so I wouldn't have to menstruate. I was devastated when all of that bloody mess started. I lasted as long as I could without resorting to a bra. (Sweatshirts work wonders.) I heard that sleeping in a bra could stunt your breast growth, so I always slept in one. Maybe it was different when I was a toddler, but as far back as I can remember I hated skirts, I hated tights, I hated frilly frou frou anything. I never understood why or how all the other girls were so excited to grow up and be women--the idea of doing so disgusted me.

I'm not transgender. I'm not a lesbian. (Bicurious at best.) I don't self-identify as a man. But did I ever really feel comfortable as a girl? Do I feel like a woman now?

No. In fact, as an adult I still avoid referring to myself by any kind of gendered label. When I do inadvertently put myself in a corner where I must, I still always stumble over the word "woman."

In fact, as a young child, I declared war on girlhood. I took everything I could find that a person might associate with girls and I shoved it all in a box labeled "fuck that shit" and locked it, and I left it there for years. I spent somewhere between five and ten of my most formative childhood and adolescent years engaging in the highly damaging practice of defining myself only as NOT THAT. Goddamn it, you motherfuckers, I AM NOT THAT. I first started wanting to kill myself soon after I hit puberty--or rather, soon after puberty hit me. I used to have fistfights with my best friend from school, because it didn't make me feel girly. In the gym locker rooms, I always changed under my shirt. I remember the day my dad sat me down and told me that it was time I started wearing more skirts to school, and if looks could kill, I'd have become an orphan that day. Seventh grade was, I think, the year I developed my rage.

So I guess this is me telling you, whomever, that all this mess I thought I'd left in my childhood is still here inside me.

I can tell, because I've been shaking uncontrollably since the third sentence. And it's not cold in here.

What do you even call a person who just didn't want to be anything?

It doesn't matter. I don't want a label. I guess that's the whole point. I just want to be a human person.

This all started out, I started writing tonight with the intent of explaining that even though I'm...whatever I am, it doesn't matter. It isn't the most important thing about me.

And that's true, I think. But maybe it's more important than I've been telling myself.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Oh.

Yesterday I was taking care of some cats for a friend of mine who has cancer, and I got a call from Ian. Turns out his mom--effectively my mother in law--has cancer. We thought at first that she might have had a stroke, but in fact she has an inoperable brain tumor. Naturally one of the first people I told was my good friend who recently had cancer. Got on facebook before writing this and at the top of my news feed was a post from a cousin who is fighting a long battle with cancer.

Guys, I'm getting real sick of cancer.

Thanks to aspirin in her system they can't biopsy until late next week, so for right now we're basically all trying and failing really hard to pretend that everything is still normal. We're all going forward with our original weekend plans, desperately gripping the illusion that we held so easily on Wednesday morning, and watching with rising panic as it dissolves into nothing.

I cried a lot yesterday.

Everyone is trying not to think about the radiation and chemo that will start next month, right after we come back from a week of pretend vacation at the beach. I am trying really hard not to think about how she might never hold the grandchildren that she wants so desperately to meet and love. There's talk of moving our wedding forward. She wants us to make sure we visit before her biopsy next week--the unspoken reason being that she fears she may never wake from it. This is the same cancer that killed her mother.


I don't know how to act. I'm not sure any of us do.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This is problematic.

I'm not really in a good place. I'm not very interested in looking forward, and I don't want anything that seems to be coming. I'm having a hard time deciding whether I'm afraid

or just walking in a very wrong direction.

I'm spending a whole lot of time wistfully looking back, and a whole lot of time wishing I were someplace else.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Where have I gone?

I'm reading my old blog posts because I'm supposed to be doing other things, and I'm feeling too mopey. Specifically I should be applying for healthcare, which I apparently don't have. I am told (via text) that there's a message in my inbox (which I can't access without calling the Healthcare Marketplace) explaining why I don't.

Can't face it right now, so...unless I find time and space to face it tomorrow, it looks like I might just not have health coverage until I get a real fucking job. Note to self: don't get sick. (PS, I'm feeling like I might be getting sick.)

In other news, Ian and I finally retrieved my ring today from the jewelers, it having been resized. (Did I mention that we're engaged? This is a relatively new thing.)


In reading old blogs I am noticing that I used to write much nicer things. I used to spend much more time alone, watching the sky; I used to spend much more time alone, thinking and writing about the sky, and about the trees, and about my heart. Where is all that now? Though I have no desire to own my own pet, I am beginning to think that I ought to have a dog--because evidently that is the only damn way I get myself outside for walks every day. And it seems that not walking means not breathing, in an expansive metaphorical sense.

It doesn't help much that I've been living in the city, and people discourage me from walking alone at night. This doesn't mean that I don't ever do it, but when I do, I feel like I need to look purposeful. Looking purposeful cuts down significantly on meandering, and walking with my face up to the stars, and occasionally sinking to my knees in prayer, or joy, or grief. There has been none of that here, and I am missing it.



Perhaps the issue is in part that I'm never alone. I haven't particularly been feeling that "get the fuck away from me" feeling (which is probably a good sign, in some ways), but nevertheless I haven't really spent any time alone since I moved in with Ian and Sara. And yet, even when I took my mostly-solo August road trip this past fall, I still moved too fast to stop and reflect in any meaningful way. I filled almost every moment with driving, rushing, researching, audio books, and exhaustion. I spent weeks alone, and weeks distracted. I can't say I didn't spend any time in quiet reflection, but I did spend far too little.

It seems that the lesson here is that I do not only need to learn to take time alone for myself--I need to learn to utilize it for myself. Not for rushing from one destination to another, but for simply being, and watching, and appreciating the world and the blessings around me. I need to feed and soothe and caress the quiet, expansive thing in me that is my spirit--the quiet presence that will so easily shrink and defer to the frantic, purposeless demands of whatever stupid whim happens to be yelling at any given moment. I've been spending all my time rushing around in vain attempts to quiet those endless whims, and forgetting that attention only makes them louder. That the only peace I'll ever find is inward.