"The man who alleges that he is not yet ready for philosophy or that the time for it has passed him by, is like the man who says that he is either too young or too old for happiness."
- Epicurus, "Letter to Menoeceus", O'Connor TranslationI don't normally write like this, free(ish) flowing, train-of-thought, personal narrative things. Partly because I'm guarded. Partly because it quickly becomes an uninteresting subject to almost all but the author. However, I think this is a good exercise.
I've, rather, we've (my little family and I) cut our roots and floated out West. After some rambling we washed up in Portland. We're living in a van, but it's ok. There are plenty of rivers.
We fled conservative christian intolerance and steady, deadening economic depression to find a place we belong. (Oklahoma can suck a whole bag of dicks.) Secondary colors as hair colors, bisexuality, and many, many other things were plainly dangerous, powerfully incompatable. We were also leaving behind a dearth of mental healthcare access.
Though I may be clever, sometimes charming, sometimes erudite in casual conversation, I am probably exploding inside as you sell me gasoline or wait behind me at the pharmacy. I have Social Anxiety Disorder and Depression.
I've come to the conclusion that I've always had these issues. Even in the midst of my loud, high-school bravado, I was always wracked with fear, outside my few safe places. Alcohol was always a safe space. I self-medicated heavily from 13 to 30.
I feel like I'm currently encased in a chrysalis. My hair is pink and purple. My leggings are skin tight. I sashay a bit as I walk, in faux-patent-leather pink-soled rain boots. I smile at strangers and feel more myself than I have in ages. (Medication is a part of this, but only a piece of my puzzle. Fuck... I hope I manage to step down from xanax soon, but van living is a bit high on the stressful side.)
When I was in college, a friend gave me some clothes. I didn't ask for them, but she gave them to me, I wore them, these women's things, but almost only in secret. (Just twice otherwise: once a party turned into a make over the guys party, the other was plainly sexual with somebody I trusted.) I hid them away, just as I hid so much of myself away.
Guarded, wasting away, dying inside, piece by piece, day by day, dead end work-week by dead end day.
I gave up so much of myself in exchange for comforts I did not need (and couldn't properly afford, anyway). You can be a starving writer almost anywhere. I'm going to do it here, in the rain; I can bloom into fabulousness.
I can mix my love of My Little Pony and the Misfits. I can become and discover exactly who I want to be. I will learn how to live in the world as it is rather than as I wish it to be.
I will discover how to be a human being.