Ever since I can remember, I’ve been acutely aware of the opposite sex. Exciting and forbidden, boys were always on my mind. At just twelve years old, I snagged my first boyfriend. We held hands under the Bible while the preacher taught us about purity and kissed in darkened Sunday school rooms. It was everything I ever dreamed it would be. As quickly as it began, our charmingly sinful love ended. I was surprised to discover I wasn’t heartbroken. I just moved on to the next one. The Skater, the Band Geek, the Cool Guy, the Black Sheep. Names began to blur. Breakups became more frequent. I began to care less and less about having a boy to tote along behind me. After a while, I stopped noticing completely. I had seen all there was to see of the male image around me. There was one figure, however, I had failed to notice before.
She sat in front of me in Biology II. Her long, dark hair sat unassumingly atop my desk. I sat in awe, of her and of the horizon broadening ever so swiftly in front of me. Everything about her was richly dark, especially the thoughts she ignited in my mind. Appalled and frustrated with myself, I began to act differently around her. I was fifteen and confused. I knew no one would understand. I would be mocked, labeled, and mislabeled. Lesbians were fetishized in the minds of boys. The word “bisexual” elicited a cringe followed by a grimace from girls. I felt dirty. I felt like less of a person. I did what any self loathing teen would do; I hid my true feelings away from others and myself. I kept this secret for over three years.
Finally, on one drunken night, I word vomited onto my best friend. She said, “Really? Well alright, cool!” A guy gave me a high five and their conversation trudged on without missing a beat. People knew. I was out. My life didn’t change and no one treated me any differently. The only one that ever hated me for being me was myself.
My mind is a crate full of bees. At peace, they hum quietly while they work. Coming and going as they please, every thought is recognized and stored away in an easy manner. I go about my day without resistance, until the hive is disturbed. A passing comment, a bad attitude, a funny look, a feeling of incompetence. I don’t have any control over these happenings, so why should they bother me? Immediately, thoughts slam around violently, aching to escape. Scenarios flash before my eyes. I’m forced to live out every outcome, over and over again. Unable to move, I remain fixated on the problem I’ve just created in my mind. Withdrawn from the outside world, I seem merely drowsy, like a bee on a hot summer’s day.
Hot tears streamed down my pouty, cherub face as I tried to decipher a picture book in my first grade classroom. The story of the spotted dog is still a mystery to this day, although its face materializes clearly in my memory bank. I remember having a hard time learning to read as a child. My mother, most likely noticing this, took me to the library often and encouraged me wholeheartedly to enjoy any book I desired. She instilled in me a love and appreciation for the written word. The child that secretly tore books apart in frustration presently reads constantly as a young adult.
Reading is my hobby, but writing will always be my passion. Diaries with loose spines and dog eared pages are hidden here and there all over my room. A diary exists from every chapter of my life. The good, the bad, and the depressingly ugly are categorized into countless daily records; I’ve logged my entire evolution onto lined paper.
In short, this is my answer to all those that ask “Why did you start a blog?” It isn’t for recognition or attention. It isn’t for comments or likes. This is my diary. It’s 2016 and about damn time to go paperless.
An ironic mustache outlined in beer foam took most of my attention away from the surly art student’s musings, but one idea hit me harder than the sugared down vodka entering my bloodstream. “I have no expectations. I am only ever pleasantly surprised, if something goes right, or contently unconcerned, if something goes wrong.” My stomach turned. My body was rejecting his philosophy almost as quickly as the alcohol. Apathy has never been present in my wheel of emotions. My glass is always half full, no matter how much I’ve drank. My mind is full to the brim with expectations for life. To say that I could wake up one day and just not care? Impossible. I can only speculate that this ideology came from one too many failed conquests. Even if I am defeated, I want to feel and treasure the defeat. It makes success that much sweeter. To feel deeply is the gift and curse of life.
Every morning, my roommate and I roll out of bed forty minutes before our first class. Foundation is blended, cheeks are blushed, and eyelashes are curled. We take turns looking for a suitable outfit in the closet where we can barely fit our massive combined wardrobe. She nestles bobby pins patiently in her hair; curly hair requires a forgiving hand. I spritz perfume along my neck while absentmindedly pawing through my collection of earrings. We’re often asked “Why do you look so cute today?” Why? We do it for ourselves. Spending time with myself every morning while I get ready is my personal form of meditation. I’m readying myself for the challenges of the day that lies before me. It doesn’t matter where I’m going or what I’m doing. I’m gonna look good and look good doing it.
If I were an artist, the idea of a creating a self portrait wouldn’t be so daunting. I’ve had a long love affair with my particular set of features. Vanity courses through my veins. But I’m not an artist. I’m a writer. A tangible portrayal would be simple. My hypothetically dextrous hand would be kinder while duplicating the peaks and valleys of my dearly self-obsessed image. This representation would be lovely due to the fact that it’s purely physical. It wouldn’t have any of the truth my inner monologue would whisper sheepishly from a written page.
I’ve always written for an audience. Even now, I’m writing for an unknown, solitary figure sitting comfortably in the back of my mind. The constant need for approval and the unending desire to please will always accompany the letters that fall onto the page in front of me. I still haven’t decided where it stems from, and I almost don’t want to know. That’s a darkness I can’t handle.
I have yearned for the ability to write freely and with abandon. I want to be the author of words that make goosebumps rise on your forearms. I want to be the author that makes you say, “I didn’t know anyone else felt that way”. I want to be great. I want to inspire greatness. But how can I do that with such a critical inner judge? I can’t rise to the top if I’m unwilling to take the first step.