I’ve decided I’m going to do these every once in a while, where I write about something “real,” and “illuminate the dark places” as my non fiction writing professor, Joseph Kraus would put it. (Hey Professor Kraus! Remember how you used to tell me that I needed to find my voice? I found it! 300 whole posts of it!)
This past week was crazy, filled with three job offers (2 part time, 1 full, took the full) a decision to go to a comic convention by myself or attend a concert with my family, (picked the concert) and a decision to reread Harry Potter (Yes, nearly two years later, I’ll probably finally write about Harry Potter and Potter fandom in a significant way.)
But Saturday, I was laying out on the wicker loveseat on our back porch, reading Justice League: Trinity War, and I realized that there is becoming less of a gap between who I am and who I want to be. Maybe it’s a maturity thing, but I suddenly realized that being the girl sitting reading a comic book in a sundress, listening to Evita isn’t a mess of contradictions, it’s just who I am.
Yes, I would prefer that that girl was two dress sizes smaller, didn’t still have acne in her late twenties, and could comfortably refer to herself as a woman, but generally speaking, I like who I am right now. I’ve struck a balance with my family at long last, by being (for the most part) open with them about who I am and what I want, which in the past two years has changed significantly. I’ve excised many of the more toxic relationships and patterns I’ve developed since college from my life. I’m still working on some. My propensity to get too drunk and throw up and cry still rears it’s ugly head biannually, but that used to happen monthly, so progress! I’m eating better, getting out of the house more, and going to church again.
This last one is big. One of the first things that goes for me when I start to feel disconnected is my connection to my faith. I love my religion, which, as I’ve said many times has been a haven of love for me my entire life. “Catholic Guilt” is a foreign concept to me, because I was taught my whole life that God, through his son Jesus loved me more than I could comprehend. But unlike most people, who go to religion when things are bad, I don’t. When I’m feeling out of sorts, sometimes, yeah, I can find prayer and community helpful, but usually, I get frustrated because I’m not getting what I usually do out of it. So, coming back to church again, was for me, a huge deal and a liberating one, because having that community around me always feels better.
I’ve developed strong friendships and gotten better at that thing that I’ve had trouble with for a while, which is taking the initiative. If I want to see a friend, it’s my job to get in touch with them and make plans, not theirs. Or if I want to talk to my friends who aren’t nearby, I can just pick up the phone and do it.
And yeah, I’m going to be the girl who wears a little dress and kitten heels to a dive bar and deals with the weird looks, just as I will be the girl who will be having an impassioned conversation about the death (and resurrection, I hope) of Damian Wayne (still in the dress and shoes, btw) with a guy she just met who made the mistake of commenting on her friends’s Batman tee shirt while she was there. Said friend and I were discussing Batman & Robin: Reborn, because I will literally talk about that with anyone, whether they’ve read it or care. Another thing I’ve gotten better about, telling when guys in bars are actually interested in my opinion about Dick Grayson’s tenure as Batman or if they’re just trying to hit on me. This guy was both, and it didn’t really work for him. Though I never tire of the wowed look on people’s faces when the preppy girl says, “Sorry, I only recently re read incorporated, so Damian’s death is feeling a little fresh at the moment.”
Because I’ve come to accept that this is who I am, and the world is mostly OK with it too, but they still don’t expect it. And that gets pretty great.