We are NOT alone.
Of all the lessons I’ve learned, this Extreme Year.
The most eye-opening has been this:
Until this year.
This Extreme Year.
I had, probably assumed, without much backing or assertion from friends.
That I was crazy.
And saying them out loud to ANYONE,
And I wrote very different things.
When I was in college.
There was a day.
When I counted.
In a Communication 342 lined notebook.
The number of times, I thought about how I didn’t fit in.
Didn’t belong in my skin.
With my friends.
In this class.
At this job.
How many times didn’t I fit in?
As I stare at that worn notebook now.
Because it feels like it was a lot more.
And there are days when I feel like it’s times ten.
I felt like I didn’t belong.
And in tandem, I also felt like the world might be a better place without me in it.
Waiting to go into therapy.
And I think.
What a lonely sad place that was.
That I lived in.
More so because I spent the majority of my time making other people think I did.
I had…have? A strong personality.
I think I had. :)
Now, it’s more of me just shining my light.
Back then it was more - can I convince you with EVERYTHING I’m not, that I belong here.
This I believed would make YOU happy and paint a picture of someone I wanted so desperately to be.
But more than that.
I wanted to FEEL what it felt like to fit in.
To be a part of something.
I was House Council president.
A University Tour Guide.
A Student Admissions Representative.
A Residence Advisor for the Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program.
In good standing as a student.
Loving being a Communication Major.
I worked Free Lance for Bunim and Murray Productions casting for the Real World and Road Rules.
I was dating.
And in love.
I had friends.
And crazy roommates.
My co-ed softball team tanked, but we had a lot of fun.
I belonged in a lot of places.
The skin I was living in.
And not just the fat skin.
That’s not that point.
The actual body.
I was in.
And not me.
And when you looked at me.
It wasn’t really me.
Because I didn’t like me.
Enough to be who I really knew me to be.
I hated me.
And I’m grateful that I can write that in the past tense.
And mean it.
I remember one of the dates I went on.
Back before I started dating my OTL.
And I thought.
Throughout the entire date.
“If we dated, he would figure out how awful I was.
And how much better he could do.
Someone prettier, funnier, thinner, better.”
“I don’t really like you, like that, like you, I just like you like a friend like you.”
IN REAL LIFE.
How mean is that?
Especially since it wasn’t true.
That sentence is forever burned in my brain.
And I’m sure.
Totally forgotten in his.
I just knew he’d figure it out.
How ugly I was.
How much better he could do.
And I didn’t want him to.
So I made up the worst friend line ever.
For hating the skin I was in so much.
That I lied.
Though, I’m pretty sure he grew up into one of my many gaysbands, so we could still be friends.
The point of this post.
Is that that self hatred place.
And crazy making.
It was the beginning of Peter Pan.
When Peter is desperately trying to put his shadow back on with soap.
And it won’t stick.
And it’s totally his shadow.
Part of him.
And it won’t connect.
The part of me that hates everything I am.
And crazy hair.
And oily skin.
And man hands.
And big thighs.
And flabby arms.
The piece that doesn’t fit.
This past year.
When I realized.
I wasn’t alone.
And there were plenty of people who pretended right along side of me.
That things were fine.
And everything was wonderful.
As their lives slowly fell apart.
Or they revealed the truth.
That not everything was perfect.
That I am not alone.
In my crazy thinks.
And in my sane ones.
That YOU are there too.
Sometimes in the crazy.
And sometimes in the sane.
That make me rethink mine.
Out of the darkness of self loathing.
And into the community that has formed.
We can figure out how to reattach our shadows.