Oct 28, 2010

Day 9: Someone I wish I could meet

There are so many people I wish I could meet, like Obama, George W., Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage, Tom Hanks, my aunt Kathy, the Queen of England, my old penpal from Egypt, countless scholars and authors whose work I admire and minds I wish to probe. Instead, I want to act like a thirteen year old girl and write to the person who I feel has had most influence over my life in the last two years.

Dear Sara Quin (and, yes, you are sort of included in here as well, Tegan),

There are so many things I want to ask you, tell you. I wouldn't say I am a crazy, I wouldn't say I am obsessed or think we are soul mates, and in full disclosure, despite all of the shows I have gone to, I have never tried to meet you for fear I won't like you and it will screw up my love for your music. Your music is the only thing that got me through my first real heartbreak, through the first stages of exploring my sexuality, through the perilous waters of flirting and first dates. I can't thank you enough for writing from your soul in such a way that it feels as if you were taking words from my own and giving them life.

You never leave anything in the dark. As a fan of yours, I know the basics of who you have dated and who you haven't, how you feel about yourself, your family, being single, being 30. Your self depricating humor is endearing, your accent charming, the way you get pissed off with Tegan onstage is amusing and all too reminiscent of my relationships with my siblings. It feels as if every move you make is real, and for that I admire you much more than all these other fake artists with autotuners and stylists.

You are well educated, always thinking, reading, writing. Your taste in books is incredible, your arguments about political issues well thought out. But most of all, you feel. You feel so deeply, are so sensitive, that a look, a phrase can cut you to the core. I have a thick skin; I have dragon scales protecting my heart, and those scales have numbed me. Listening to your music helps me feel all the things I have blocked out. Maybe it makes happy, sad, sick, heartbroken, or miserable, but I am feeling. For a moment I am no longer numb, but a breathing, feeling human being.

For all the times I can't cry when I am supposed to, I know I can listen to your words, your fingers, and experience what it is like to have life inside of me.

Thanks, Sara,


Oct 27, 2010

Day 8: Favorite Internet Friend

This letter is supposed to be to my favorite Internet friend.

Dear @S,

We have had so many good conversations over the last year, and I feel as if we connect on so many levels. You and I live very different lives. You are raising a son, living in a big city, and are falling in love. I have no kids, live in a small town, and am getting past a recent breakup (recent, as in a week ago).

Still, despite all of the differences, our core values are the same. We still care about the issues gay people are facing in our country, both wish to end prejudice against bisexuals within the gay community, and both hold kids near and dear to our hearts.

I look to you when I need help, or someone to bounce things off of. I am so glad that you and I became friends, and I hope we can keep actively talking and listening to each other as time moves forward.

Day 7- My Ex

Day Seven is the day that I am supposed to write to my ex, but that is not something I am sure I want to do here and now. Several times I have started to write a post about first:girl, but have always held off in the interest of giving you the full story from the beginning.

I think it is important that you see her, know her, love her the way I did. I don't want to give you any predispositions, any judgements based on my pain at being scorned. Therefore, I am going to write this letter tonight, and post it after I post my series on my relationship with first:girl, which is actually coming along quite well. I have four parts written and am trying to keep it under ten.


Oct 25, 2010

Day 6: Stranger

This 30 day letter challenge is getting harder and harder every entry. Today's challenge is to write a letter to a stranger.

Dear Stranger,

Young or old, gay or straight, hermit or social butterfly, there are a few things that I would like to tell you.

You are loved by someone. Maybe it is your neighbor, your child, your mother, your pet, or the person who smiles as they pour your coffee every morning, but someone does love you.

You were the catalyst for a major change in someone's life. Some little action, that you never thought would have consequences, has completely changed at least one person in the world.

The planet is full of Oxygen. Use it. Take deep breaths, smell the fresh air, take a walk and stop to smell the ozone after the rain, or the flowers basking in the warmth of the sun. Never forget where we live, because it is all so beautiful, and it all sprouted from one tiny little organism.

Love with all your heart; believe in love at first sight. What would life be without the ecstasy of infatuation, and the misery of heartbreak? Without one we would never have the other, and they are both the most you will ever feel in your whole life.

Try to accept and love others, even when they do not accept you. As those who have been hurt in the past, we must work toward preventing others from being hurt the way we were.

Love yourself. If you can't look yourself in the eye, you will never look anyone else in the eye either. And trust me, there are some gorgeous eyes out there in the world.

Oct 24, 2010

Day 5: Dreams

This letter is supposed to be to my dreams. What dreams? The dreams that plague me every night? The dreams of who I wish to become?

Dear D,

Sometimes you eff up my day. Sometimes I wake to find myself alone and uncomforted in the darkness. Sometimes you show me things I can't unsee: gory, bloody images of distruction. Some nights you taunt me with something worse- with images and touches, traces of warm fingertips across my skin. I am not sure which is worse.

As I lay here in my sleeping bag, I can help but to wonder where these dreams live when I am awake. Do they linger just outside my vision, waiting for a moment of weakness to position themselves in full view when I am least expecting them?

As for you: my dreams, ambitions, aspirations, where did you go? Didn't I ever want to be something? I have always known I want to have money, want to take care of my family, but didn't I have a passion? When I was 7 I wanted to be a paleontologist, but my love for digging up dinosaur bones faded. I cycled through career paths: author, cartoon animator, tap dancer, marine biologist, but when I got to high school, you left me. I resigned myself to being a wife and mother. To popping out a new baby every year while my husband brought home enough money for us to survive.

I took an acting class. Acting became my therapy, my catharsis. My acting teacher believed I had potential. He gave me a way of of the life I had settled for. He set up an audition for a prestigious college for the performing arts. I got in and spent two years there, enjoying myself but detached from the lessons. I graduated with no plans to pursue a career in any of the performing arts. I decided to become a journalist, but hated taking the classes. I went back to writing plays, books, songs, but have no way to build a career out of that.

I feel lost and abandoned by you, Dreams.

Oct 15, 2010

Day 4:Sibling

Today is day 4 of my 30 day letter challenge, and the recipient is supposed to be my sibling or closest relative, but as I have so many, I want to pick one and really write instead of short messages to each one.

Dear K,

You have been such an important person over the last several years of my ore, and I am not sure what I would have done without you by my side as a pillar of support. Even though we are not blood related, I feel that you are such a firm part of my family that I know if something were to ever happen to my brother, we would take you in and care for you as if you were our own.

At a time when our parents failed me, when my blood brothers and sisters let me down, you were there to accept me, to comfort me, to talk about all the things that seemed so taboo with everyone else in our family.

I regret now that so many in our family gave you a hard time when you first married my brother. So many thought you were concerned with money, that you were taking without giving back. As a child I was not fond of you. I grew up in a house with no rules, with unlimited freedom and a lack of supervision. You made me come in at night for a steady bedtime, made me help with the dishes or babysit your daughter. As a seven year old, I hated having an authoritative figure, and took it out on you. Now, as an adult, I can understand that you were one of the few people who cared enough about me to want to give me a stable home. You tried to fill in where my father failed, and I wish I could thank you enough for that.

Somewhere as I grew into an adult, you became one of my best friends, and I love you deeply. Thank you for being my sister.

Oct 14, 2010

Day 3

Today is day 3 of the 30 day letter challenge. Because of my relationship with my parents, I can't write 80 pages worth of letter for one day.

Dear Mom,
I love you dearly.

Dear Dad,
I wish you had never met my mother.

In other news, I spent the day with an old friend, and we got onto the subject of Glee. "Wasn't that risqué? With Arnie losing his virginity and the kisses between Brittany and Santana?" She sounded scandalized.

"I loved how Brittany picked him up and carried him to the bed! She is so buff!" I responded, but I was being polite. 'They didn't show anything with Brittany and Arnie, and Brittany and Santana didn't even kiss! If that seen was between a man and a woman, no one would think twice!' I wanted to scream. But I didn't. Because I can't change the world by shouting at someone.

It's just difficult to know how much my relationships are not accepted by mainstream society. Sometimes I feel defeated before the fight even begins.

Oct 13, 2010

Day 2: The Crush

Today's letter challenge is to write a letter to my crush. Well, I don't really have a crush at the moment, so I am going to take this time to write to my celebrity crush whom I have never met and obviously have no chance with.

Dear Sonya,

I admired you from the moment I saw your work. You inspire others to dance the music that lives within your heart. I can see your emotions, your blood running through their veins for a few precious minutes.

You seem so tough, are so tough. You have a backbone that allows you to kick down doors and stand up for yourself and others. But when you speak, Sonya, that's when I see through the bad ass exterior to the more vulnerable state within. When you cry, it is because you are so moved that it is the only way you can express yourself.

You move your body like no one else I have ever seen. You care about the world, about our kids, and genuinely want to make life better for others. You pour your heart and soul into your dance, and when I watch it, it is like seeing through to your very core.

And your hair, I mean, my God, could you be more amazing/gorgeous/awesome/badass/insert adjective here?

I respect you, I admire you, and I think you are totally hot.

Oct 12, 2010

Day 1- My Best Friend

Courtesy of notjustafemme I learned about the 30 Day Letter Challenge about ten minutes ago, and decided to jump right on it. As I can't afford therapy right now, I think maybe this will be a nice substitute. I'm never going to send these letters, but I'm going to post them here and get out everything I need to say, and hopefully discover something new about myself as I do so.

Day 1

Dear D,

You and I haven't known each other for very long, four years, and most of that just as acquaintances. It has only been the last two years that we have really gotten close begun to love each other. We are so alike: low maintenance, funny, a little geeky, a history with Wicca, and a love for Disney.

I don't think I have ever thanked you for being the one friend who was there with me when first:girl turned my world upside down and was totally okay with it. I never had to tell you I was gay, and you never tried to talk me out of it. You just asked, "You love her? Okay, then." You were there all of the times that I was selfish and wanted someone to listen to me bitch. Just in the last few months, I have gotten the chance to be there for you, and I hope I have been a good listener.

I love that you called this morning because you needed someone to talk to, and I was that person. But I have a secret. I think that you need to dump your boyfriend. I would never actually tell you that because I know you love him so much. I have never encouraged you to dump him, or said anything bad about him, to you or anyone else. It is entirely your business. But ever since that night that he got drunk in a public place and made you bawl your eyes out for three hours by being a belligerent asshole, I just feel like you deserve so much more.

I love that you have an innocence about you, that you believe you can do anything, make any dream come true, no matter how unrealistic. That quality is infectious. Ever since we started talking about forming a band, I've been struck with the inspiration that, even though we are starting late in the game, maybe we could do it. Maybe we could make it. Not big, not famous, but enough to make it a full time job. You inspire that hope in me. In everyone you touch.

You don't realize how beautiful you are, or how everyone wants to be your friend. You still think of yourself as the geeky girl from high school who plays computer games and isn't cool. But you are, D. You are so wonderful, and part of me wishes you could see it, but the other (smaller) part worries that if you did, you wouldn't be friends with me.

You are the most unselfish, most accepting, least shallow person I know. I don't know what I would do without you and I don't want to find out. Even though we now live hundreds of miles apart, I know we can go a month without speaking and still be each others' lifeline. You're my best friend and I love you dearly for that.

Oct 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day

While I don't know anyone who has come out on National Coming Out Day, I think it is an important time to reflect on what it was like to be an individual confused, disoriented, pained, or upset by the struggles with their sexual identity. While my own discovery and coming out was relatively pain free (until first:girl broke my heart), I have taken this day to listen to others and imagine what life is like for those past and present who have come out in awful situations. I think this is also a time to reflect on those we have lost because of their sexuality, whether death was self inflicted or not.

This morning, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to come out in a world where everyone hates you for being gay, where you feel isolated and abandoned by friends and family. I couldn't imagine what it would be liked to be pushed around, bullied, threatened, beaten up, mentally and physically abused.

I still can't imagine most of that. No one has ever beat me up because of my sexuality. But as of this afternoon, on this celebratory day for the LGBT community, I felt fear, despair, because someone didn't like that I was gay.

I was in the parking lot of the local supermarket when an old classmate recognized me. He was three years older than me, but he knew me well enough. He asked me if it was true, if I was a lesbian. "Yes, I am gay. Funny how things work out, isn't it?" was my witty Chatty Kathy reply. Instead of laughing, his whole face darkened, and he moved in so close I thought he might kiss me.

If you had seen the look in his eyes as he grabbed my arm, you would have felt that cold knot of fear slide into your throat too. He whispered that he couldn't do anything here and now, wouldn't get arrested over someone like me. "You better watch your step," he said. "I know you think you are winning now, but there are a lot of us who don't like what queers are doing to our country. Quit now, or you'll all end up in camps, and there won't be any homosexuals."

"Yeah, like the government will ever let that fly. Good luck with that." I should really shut my mouth in situations like this, but when I am backed into a for er, logic goes out the window. I am one of those people who spends too much money and then keeps spending because, fuck it, I've already used the credit card today.

Well obviously he didn't like that and I've got a nice abrasion on my arm to prove it. I can't remember his exact words, but the gist of it was that the government didn't need to know "officially" and there are many politians who would turn a blind eye if it was kept quiet enough.

He then told me that even though it's a small town, I shouldn't go out at night, because even though we all know each other, there are many who wouldn't try to save me if I were, say, raped in an alley.

He didn't hit me, didn't really hurt me, didn't even solidly threaten my life. But he shook me to my core. I think that is exactly what he wanted. He knows where I live, work, shop. Worst of all, he liked me in high school. We were friendly to each other, and he always called me funny and sweet. How can you like who I am, and then hate me for who I love? I think that scares me the most.

Update: December, one year ago, I wrote "Can fear actually make you a more confident person? Can you be so afraid that you put on a brave face, and through that facade become a more courageous person?"

Maybe this encounter has nothing to do with what I'm going through now, but maybe it does. Today, I am writing about first:girl, something I have never talked or written about with anyone. The secret is coming out, and my heartache is finally lessening with every paragraph.

Oct 4, 2010

More Ugly/ Truth

I have a confession. I may have mentioned it before, or maybe I left it in a dark corner of my mind to deal with at some other point in time. I have dealt with an eating disorder for the last seven years of my life. For the first three years I was in denial. I was still eating, so obviously I didn't have anorexia.

I never got down to 80 pounds, I never looked like a skeleton, but I was depriving my body of the nutrition it deserved. After I dropped to a size one, and mind you, I'm built like a Viking, so a size one was pretty spectacular, I realized something was wrong. I wasn't eating the foods I liked, wasn't eating hardly anything at all. I forced myself to eat, slowly, gradually, stretching my stomach so I wouldn't throw up if I ate normal sized portions.

After three and half years of depriving myself, everything tasted so good. I went on a two year binge. I gained weight without realizing. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw a size one girl when I clearly wasn't. I still see that girl in the mirror, and don't understand why I can't see what I look like now.

Last year was a turning point. I ran out of money, and eating out less often helped me drop a few pounds, temporarily. I came home to take care of my family, and could afford to eat like I had been. I gained back the fifteen-twenty pounds I had lost.

Last week was another turning point. I had to have a minor surgery, and it effected my ability to eat. I've been eating next to nothing for a little over a week and already lost five pounds. I feel better than I have in a long time. I feel more energetic, feel the urge to exercise and take care of myself. The way I felt when I was anorexic.

I can feel where this road is headed. I look ahead and see where I will be walking in a few weeks, a few months. I understand, intellectually, why anorexia is wrong and unhealthy, but it always feels so right, so comfortable. I feel happier when I choose not to eat.

I see where this is going and will do nothing to stop myself. Anorexia has best my best friend for so long, been my coping mechanism, been the only rock I have to lean upon, and even though it is unhealthy, it makes me feel good. Right now, after so much rejection, so much pain and stress, I need to feel good. I need to feel this. I wish I could be stronger, but the reality is, I am not.