I’ve been working on a secret project, and it partly accounts for why my head and heart have been going to some strange places recently. As part of the secret project, I’ve been telling tales from my past that I have never told before, and examining the situations and circumstances that have led me to where I am today. The age of thirteen, and a period of my life leading up to and trailing that age were extremely pivotal for me, and now that I am twenty-six, those days are now the very middle of my life. I remember my sister writing about her quarter-life crisis a while back, and I didn’t feel like I was going through the same thing at all, because most of my life up until that point felt like a series of minor and major crises, and it was around that time that I felt like I might actually be getting my shit together and doing useful things with my life.
But now I feel it. Not a quarter-life crisis, but something similar, something like having these moments where my past is catching up with me, and I’m trying to figure out what that means, trying to figure out what to do with it all. Getting stuck asking myself unanswerable questions, like, “Am I a good person?” “What do all these things I’ve done actually mean?” My thoughts are spinning off in branches and vines and veins and roots, and it’s hard to follow it all, but I want to. I want to trace each tiny piece and see where it leads me.
I want to create something(s) that embraces, encourages, and sustains the freaks, weirdos, loners, and misfits, because I’ve always been all of those things and I don’t want to run away from it or try to hide it, and I don’t want anyone else to either; I want to be the freak-weirdo-misfit-loner forever, and have the most wonderful days because of it. I dream of creating communities and projects and events that facilitate the radical awesomeness of all us weirdos, where we can have more control over our own worlds, and not be scared to love and talk and write and dream.
Sometimes I wonder how my thirteen year old self would feel about the person I am today. When I see people who remind me of myself at that age, I want to befriend them, I want to hear their stories. I wonder about where they’re gonna end up. I think my thirteen year old self would be at least a little bit surprised that I am not dead, or that I am not in prison for murder. I think they’d be impressed at everything I’ve written over the years, they’d be impressed that I have my own apartment, and that I’ve found some truly magical ways to survive through all the craziness. I think they’d be really happy that I am still a total weirdo. I think they’d be proud of me?
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of my writing from my past. Sometimes I can laugh about it, but sometimes it’s actually really hard to get through. It seems like I’ve been talking myself in circles regarding mental health, and like I’ve been complaining about the same things since I was a teenager, and still not finding solutions, still not being able to change. So I’m working on figuring out how to change some of those things for real, and accept the things that I can’t change. I’ve been complaining for years that I write better than I speak, that I can’t take good care of myself consistently, that I am sick of being so damn shy… And I guess I kind of feel like I know what to do now. I know what I want to change and what I want to accept, and I’m working on those changes each day, slowly.
If I tell everyone my stories, will this keep me healthy and well?
– Tanya Davis, Art
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