Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It’s officially winter break now, which means long, slow days with nothing to do, days in which I get to look around and weigh the fullness/emptiness of my life. The weight of my life—most of the most substantial weight—is the writing. There is little else. Friends, family and people in general weigh very little. I am not an unfriendly person, but it takes an immense effort to want to be around other people. That is why, this break, I am only spending one week with family and three week by myself. Usually, I spend all four weeks with family, but while my physical presence is there, my emotional/mental being has already escaped during the first week, because being close to the ones I love for too long makes me unhappy. I am too aware of them. I cannot concentrate. I mourn my decision—while also acknowledging its rightness, because I have always been afraid to think on one particular question—If I cannot stand to be around my family, if I find it unbearable to be among those I love most in the world, then who can I bear to be around? If my biological family is not my true home, then where is my true home--where do I belong if not among people? Well, I am asking this question now, and I’m not afraid to look for the answer.

All these years, I’ve been disappointed that I withdraw when I am in the midst of even the most-longed-for company—while sitting next to an attractive woman, while having a conversation with an attractive woman, etc. My personal timidity, fear, and anguish makes even pondering a relationship impossible. I long for it. I obsess over the thought of finally, someday, having a romantic relationship, then—when I’m with an attractive woman, I freeze up or I realize how different I am. Different. Sometimes—how vaguely sometimes expresses such an oppressive emotion—I am so tired and worn out of being different.

How can I achieve personal romantic satisfaction? I do not want these unhealthy emotions clawing at me during lonely, cold, restless, bored winter months—because it is always the winter that brings about the melancholy. What I usually do to stave away loneliness is think on any attractive woman I vaguely know—and she is usually a writer, and google her endlessly for perhaps thirty minutes. I look for any tiny clue of her cyber existence. I don’t usually find much information, but tiny clues here and there lets me build my imagination of this woman. I build her life, her relationships, her daily routine. I build and build her based mostly on mystery and a few lines here and there, a published essay here and there, a news story here and there. This habit of mine is one of the reasons I do not have Facebook. It feels wrong to cyber-stalk these women to their personal cyber lair. I feel more comfortable googling and finding professional information on them. Reading their Facebook information is a boundary I am unwilling to cross. I am probably making too big a deal of it, but it’s something I feel strongly about. I will not spy on them without their permission. I will obsess, but only so much. So, yes, if someone were to ask me if I had a romantic life, I could say—Yes, yes, I have a one-sided romantic life which consists of me googling people I like and looking for tiny clues of them here and there. I fall for them usually based on my endless re-readings of their essays. I fall for their literary selves. I romance them by googling them in my free time, in my restless time, in any time when I feel I need a look. These are our dates, our getting to know each other dinners, our waltzes. And these women, of course, end up existing mainly in my head—in a world where their lives intersect mine and where, most importantly, I am comfortable enough to be fully myself.

Friday, December 18, 2009


As I was typing, looking into the distance of the computer screen, my eyes began to slowly focus on a strange critter right in front of my eyes—like, two inches right in front of my eyes. It was a tiny golden red spider, who had weaved and weaved and lowered itself five feet from the ceiling. The web is so thin it is invisible to me, but I know that delicate strand exists because I blew and blew gently on the spider and it spun and spun gently further from my face, and I blew softly, directing, until the spider happened onto the cup of pens on my desk, and the spider’s legs danced and danced until it grasped the side of the purple cup, and it lowered itself away from my sight.


After I realized I was gender-queer (back in September 2009), I decided that I finally knew what kind of haircut I wanted—short. I went to a barbershop, where a grandfatherly man called me son, sat me down in a comfy, swirling chair, set a tent-like old-blood colored cover over me, and commenced to give me the best hair-cutting experience of my life. And when he was done, he turned to my friend and said, Isn’t he handsome? A very nice experience.

I felt dissatisfied with myself yesterday, so I went to get another haircut. I was dissatisfied with the haircut I got, and the front was too long. So when I got home, I combed the fringe forward, took the kitchen scissors, leaned forward over the stinky, overfilled kitchen trash bin, and cut across my forehead, close to my forehead, so close that I could feel the cold metal of the scissors moving across my forehead. I then looked in the mirror, and discovered that leaning forward and cutting across my forehead was a bad idea, because now I look like I am balding in the front.

However, my new look has lifted my mood, because I like looking like I am balding in the front.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One more final exam to go, and I’ll have a month off! Then, one more semester of science classes and no more science classes ever again. Unless I decide to pick up a masters in science someday, which right now I can’t imagine is necessary. I’ll be thrilled to be a graduate student in English in the next year or two. I have fame and glory and honor to seek!

It’s freezy chilly today, which means that my fingers have stiffened. I’m typing with gloves on, and it’s working so far. Except that the pressure of the gloves around my fingers is sometimes difficult to bear. I’m seriously considering moving south someday. I don’t want to have to tolerate many more of these Midwestern winters. My knees and legs have started hurting again.

During my month of vacation, I have two main things to do—biochemistry homework (easy) and write! I’ve already gotten back into the habit of writing a few hours every day. The reason these blog posts have become so boring is because I save my best material for my essays. A few essay topics I’m working on—nail shops, murals, Halloween, gender-queer stories, family stories, hands. I write about everything. I’m serious about this writing thing. I only have this life, and I feel like I’m running out of time, so I must get to it.

I exist for stories. I only go out long enough to collect stories, and then I go back home and ruminate and obsess until I have the key to the story. I write and write. And then I am content for awhile and then restlessness starts up again and I complain and feel bored and lonely. And so I go out to collect more stories. It’s a cycle I’m happy with because it makes me feel useful, alive, existing in the world.

A big issue with me is loneliness. I often ask myself (well, less frequency now because I feel stable and strong)—Are you lonely for someone? Do you feel sad about never having been with anyone? Do you feel guilty/undesirable/prudish because you’ve never been with anyone? The answer to all these questions is yes. The best thing I can do when I feel especially lonely is go to AfterEllen’s forum and seek out the threads which deal with loneliness, and then I don’t feel lonely anymore because there are so many lesbians in the world who feel the same way I do. After I read a few threads (often the same ones over and over), I feel better about myself, a bit less lonely, because I feel in the warm company of other solitary lesbians. Then I move on with my life—writing, cooking, daydreaming, reading, suffering through my stiff joints, speaking to the silence, grocery shopping—many, many things I enjoy doing alone.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My life has changed dramatically over the course of this semester. All for the better. I am now seeing doctors regularly. We still don’t know what is wrong with me, but that’s okay. The only visible sign of my illness is my hands, which are slowly becoming crippled. I can still use them, but not as much as I want. I can’t straighten my fingers. My hands hurt all the time. Like right now. But I would like to thank these hands for hurting. They have become my truth meter, my life line, my compass. With hands like these, I have had to ask myself—Something is wrong with you. You may never get better. You may be running short of the life you’ve taken for granted. What are you going to do?

The first thing that happened were words that came in the night, whispers from that secret place, and then these words became louder and louder in my mind until I looked at them, acknowledged them, and started to say them aloud—Some people look at me and they see a woman. Some people look at me and they see a man. The truth is that I am both. And after I said these words aloud for a couple of times, I broke down and cried. I cried because it hurt to finally be saying these words. I cried into my broken hands. I cried because I had spent more than a decade being ashamed of who I am—gender-queer. I cried and cried for a week, remember all the cruel words people—friends and strangers alike—saying to me because they did not know if I was a boy or a girl. I cried for all the times I was not able to cry. And when the week was done, I was better. I became happier than I remember ever having been in my whole life. I finally fit the last piece of the puzzle to my existence.

The next thing that happened was that I finally sought counseling—to help me figure out my sexuality, my gender identity, and the pain in my hands. I’ve learned so many important lessons.

1) I want to understand the past because stories help me understand why I am the way I am. I can see the happy stories after I tell the sad stories. The happy stories are not in plain view because they are my natural state. They do not create self doubt and false realities in my mind. It is often sad stories that linger because they are painful and feel wrong. By bringing out the pain and the wrongness, I can map my way towards the happy state I am seeking.
2) It is okay to pursue happiness. I don’t have to be miserable to be alive. Disappointments will not kill me. It is okay to be a writer. It is not because I am a writer than I am unhappy. I should not equate writing with depression, poverty, and hardship. Writing is also joy, expression, excitement, adventure—the best way to have an honest conversation with myself.
3) I need to find positive reflections to fight against the bad reflections I’ve harbored all these years. People who have made fun of me in the past: it was not about me, it was about them.
4) I am not a depressed person. I have always blamed my bouts of depression on genes, hormones, destiny. I have always taken depression for granted. More often, though, I go numb because I do not know what to do. I can learn ways to lead me out of numbness.

The latest thing that happened is the grandest—I’ve decided to apply to graduate writing programs. Well, apply to one program. If I don’t get accepted, I will apply again next year. My destiny is set. I’ve always wanted to pursue a full-time writing career, but I always thought I didn’t deserve it. I thought I deserved to be unhappy. I’ve been unhappy my whole life. Perhaps I should try pursue doing what makes me happy.

This semester, which ends next week, has been an amazing and glorious experience. I am not the same person who started out the semester. I’ve never been able to say this before. All these years, I’ve been the same person just trudging along—unhappy and ill at ease with myself, hateful of myself, disgusted with myself. The simple act of saying—Some people look at me and they see a woman. Some people look at me and they see a man. The truth is that I am both—this simple declaration has changed my whole future. The biggest difference in my new self is that I no longer feel lonely and needy. I actually like myself, and so I don’t mind at all being alone in my own company. That has been the best gift so far.