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Happy winter festivities!

December 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m not a terribly big holiday person, perhaps because there was always a lot of pressure and expectation in our household to have a happy cookie-cutter, Hallmark American Christmas. So there are no lights and there is no tree at our apartment this year.  But I am baking cookies and making chicken curry for a potluck later on today, and I’m looking forward to having some nice company with which to pass the time.

So whether you are celebrating the festivities or just enjoying the winter, I hope you are warm and happy, and that there is hot food on the stove.  I could certainly use a warm body to get cozy with tonight.

Categories: life, photos

Brother’s keeper

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

This past Thanksgiving, I made it a priority to spend more quality time with my younger brother.  We had a pretty confusing sibling relationship when we were both much younger, and I really want to build a better connection with him.  He is a good, kind person, and in a lot of ways I always felt he was a lot better person than I was (which I resented when I was younger).  And while I think he is doing really well, he lives solely with my mother right now, and I can’t help but want to provide another outlet for him, especially with regards to certain topics.

One of the goals of my trip home for the holiday was to create the opportunity to talk about sex with him.  This opportunity was actually facilitated by my mother, who worried about not being able to talk to her son so frankly.  She approached me and asked if I would be willing to send him some resources or talk with him, and I quickly agreed.  I could not be happier that she felt comfortable asking me to talk to my brother about sex!

I bought him S.E.X., by Heather Corinna, and we spent a little time just skimming through the book together.  I also showed him the It Gets Better Project and talked to him a little about bullying.  My strongest memories of high school are of being miserable and having suicidal ideation, and while I don’t know at all if my brother feels similarly, he doesn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about school, and he’s getting a lot of pressure, both from teachers and from my mother, to perform better academically.  I know this created a lot of stress and tension for me.

It has been a difficult balancing act, not wanting to project onto him my own history and my feelings about my mother, while at the same time wanting him to know that the world is a much bigger place than the small rural town he’s in.  He knows some of this already, having traveled quite a bit now and having spent a summer taking classes at a university in a major city.  And God knows he’s probably already been influenced by me through all the mischief I got into, which my mother has undoubtedly vented about to him (much as she used to vent about my father to me).

The other topic my mother stressed that I needed to address with my brother was the SATs.  She has continuously prodded me to help my brother better prepare for the SATs, to give him tips, help him with practice problems, and encourage him to study the many prep books she’s bought.

And I was loathe to do any of this, waiting until the night before I left to grudgingly take a look at a book with him.  I felt badly about being so reluctant, but that reluctance was not because I was lazy or didn’t want my brother to do well.  I have a very strong opinion of the standardized testing, and while I’ve done SAT tutoring, I absolutely hate the test and think it’s an unfortunate standard to have in our education system.  All that said, I did pretty well on the test myself, and I actually tend to do well on tests like this.  But I also tried to make the point to my mother that I never even studied before I took the test the first time, and that was only the end of my sophomore year.  My brother is currently a sophomore.  I personally think he has plenty of time to prepare.

So when we sat down together with the 2-inch thick prep book, I instead spent the entire time explaining how to study the test itself – its format, the way points are tallied, how to guess and eliminate choices.  I told him he has plenty of time to study the actual content of the test.

And when my mother asked how our study session went, I assured her that he would be fine.  She seemed unconvinced and still worried about him.  The conversation we had around this has left me feeling frustrated ever since.  She explained all the ways my brother wasn’t prepared for college, from his lack of awards from competitions to his lack of leadership roles in any organizations.  She lamented about him not being competitive or aggressive enough in seeking these things out.

And then she told me I needed to help him.  She related a story of a friend’s daughter, who was very self-motivated and got into MIT without needing outside help.  But her younger brother was the complete opposite, with his parents assigning him private tutors and consultants to prep him for college, and still he wasn’t accepted to MIT.  His sister intervened, using her legacy status and asking the admissions office what he needed to get in.  They told her, and he was able to get in.

So, my mother concluded, it behooved me to help my brother reach his goals, because he simply wasn’t like me, self-motivated and a self-starter.  I’m not quite sure where my mother got this opinion of me, because I don’t remember ever being called that before.  Regardless, I left for San Francisco the next day, feeling guilty for not being more supportive (what a horrible sister am I?) while simultaneously still believing that he is the only person who can decide how to form his life, and that I should not be so involved as to direct the path he should take.

I always downplay my own educational background to my brother, where my mother likes to ask him if he wants to get into my alma mater.  I tell him it doesn’t matter, there are so many great schools – and great programs – and that he shouldn’t focus on the Ivy brand name.  My mother used to tell me I’d never get into anything better than the local state university when I got a less than stellar grade.

So there is this constant back and forth, with my brother unfortunately caught in the middle.  I’m not sure what step to take – if I should take any at all.  We don’t speak often when I’m in San Francisco – partially my own aversion to phone calls, partially because he almost never has his cellphone on him anyway.  I do think I should be more intentional in being a part of his life; I’m just not sure what role I should play.

Of course, while I am sorting all this out in my head (and agonizing over it in conversations with Max), my brother’s life continues to play out.  He’s already grown up so quickly without me there a lot of the time.  I feel an almost maternal guilt for not being around more.

Categories: hope, life, love

Life update

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s funny how it’s when my life is joyful and fairly content that makes for the most boring and sparse blog posts.  I wrote a lot more when I was more morose, unhappy, or lonely, it seems.  Added to the general feeling of contentedness is the fact that I’ve just been consumed with other life happenings, and so I don’t often find the time or space to write here.

Because busy I have certainly been.  There was the week of family Thanksgiving back on the East Coast, the flight back to San Francisco, and the flight up to Seattle two days after that.  I spent the extended weekend with Max, and there is plenty to talk about there, except I came home and was immediately thrown into host-mode as a college friend was visiting San Francisco for a few days.  I spent a couple wonderful days with her and the friends she was with, exploring parts of the city I’ve long neglected.

Still, it’s nice to carve out some time for myself this week, and I have been catching up on all the mundanities of life that constantly need attention, boring as they are to mention.  I’m trying to become more organized – in the space I take up, the physical objects I own, and the way I generally go through life.  I’ve coasted well enough so far, but that will only carry me so far before I start floundering.

Foremost on my mind is wondering where I will be, this time next year.  I have, for the past five or so months, been making moves to apply to a certificate program in Seattle.  That portfolio is still underway, and I’ve just discovered that I in fact can’t apply for their Fall 2011 enrollment until the spring.  This leaves me a lot of time to think over what, exactly, my life will look like for the next couple of years.

I recently read this journal entry of one Neil Gaiman, and once you get past the funny (and cute) photos of Neil in a ridiculous number of layers of clothes, he answers letters he gets from his readers.  The two letters on being creative writing majors had me drawing a lot of parallels to my own experience in the arts department.  I found a similar discouragement to draw anything fantastical – though I admit some of that was self-censoring, because the curricula were fine arts oriented, which often holds a very strong bias against graphic design, illustration, and cartoon art.  I struggled with conceptual art and art theory because I was more interested in creating characters and caricatures, and seriously had no illusions of creating any deeper meaning to my work.

I have been interested in this particular Seattle program because it is for natural science illustration, and I think it would help any kind of illustration I choose to do in the future.  I also believe I currently have the ability to draw from life and draw to anatomical standards, and could do this without shelling out tuition money and uprooting the life I am building for myself in San Francisco.

On the other hand, I have pretty compelling reasons to want to be in Seattle as well…

Bah. It’s late, I’m rambling.  I think it’s time to go to bed…

Categories: life, sundry

Bah, humbug

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again – when lit, decorated trees come up way too early and the radio plays an endless stream of Christmas songs.  The Holiday Season starts earlier and earlier every year; I saw Christmas decorations replacing Halloween candy in stores the first week of November. Bah!

Maybe I wouldn’t be feeling so grumpy if I weren’t spending a full eight days back on the East Coast, with no car and no friends around to get me out of the house when I need it.  It also snowed on Thanksgiving day, which only made me stoke the fire in our fireplace that much more vigorously.  It’s been a chilly week.

My holiday grouchiness may also be due to only making it to the tail end of my favorite season.  It’s too cold now, and all the leaves have fallen from the trees.  Rather than the rich colors of changing maple and oak leaves, it is all dim and grey and black branches out there.  And being constantly cold is a personal recipe for sullenness anyway.

But otherwise, yes, it is good to see the family, even if it’s in a slightly larger dose than would be ideal, and they haven’t even asked about my collar! Perhaps they are finally just letting things be and have accepted my quirks.  Or perhaps my plan to wear another necklace along with it and make it look like a San Francisco Thing is convincing enough.  Either way, no particular comments have been made about my adornments.  Though one positive side effect of the cold weather is that I don’t have to worry about wearing more revealing clothing and accidentally showing off a stray singletail mark – yes, they are still there from my scene with Max a month ago.

I really have only myself to blame, since I set the dates for my flights, but I figured staying a little longer for Thanksgiving would be an acceptable price for not going home for Christmas.  I also do have some tasks to accomplish before going back West; some heart to heart conversations that I want to have with my little brother, and photographing my artwork from school.  It’s about damn time I organized all of that stuff and got rid of the junk.

And in between all of that, I get to fantasize about what awaits for me in less than a week, when I switch gears to get ready for Seattle and for Max.  I can’t wait!

Categories: life, links, travelog

Education Revolution

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Education has been on my mind a lot lately. Specifically, the state of most education systems in the world.  A pretty hefty subject, but it seems to have continually cropped up within my social networking sphere the past couple months.

I ran across two of William Deresiewicz’s essays, one titled “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education,” and the second, “What are You Going to Do with That?”  Both gave me a lot to think about, in terms of my own educational history, the paths I’ve chosen to take along the way, as well as the outward factors that influenced those decisions.

The two essays reminded me of another I’d read years ago when I was seeing M, who was very education-focused, as he was the co-owner of an ESL school.  I learned a lot through M, and he pointed me to the essayist, VC, and entrepreneur Paul Graham.  The essay I remember is the one entitled “How to Do What You Love.”

At the same time that I was discovering these articles, I also came across the wonderful RSA Animate series.  I saw the video on changing Education Paradigms:

 

And immediately went in search of more information on Sir Ken Robinson.  That was how I came across his two TEDTalks on radically changing the education system:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

And finally, another TEDTalk, this time by Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs:

Random thoughts:

I agree, quite emphatically, with all of them.  I have only my personal history and observations to draw on, but I believe the education system is irreparably flawed and in need of radical change.  While I was trained and cultivated throughout my childhood precisely to succeed in the linear model of the current system, it was rarely a satisfying experience except when I took those classes that completely deviated from the norm.

From William Deresiewicz’s essays I find a lot that strikes a chord in me, along with a bit of residual bitterness and dissatisfaction with my college experience.  But it is equally true that I’m grateful for opportunity to go to college without incurring nearly the level of debt that many of my peers faced after graduation (before disowning me for the second time, my mother almost completely covered my academic fees).

Although it was an unpleasant experience at the time, I now see that event – being disowned and the withdrawal of financial support – as probably the most useful in helping me break free of my mother’s influence over my future and my decisions.  I saw clearly her overwhelming desire to simultaneously see me as an adult and keep me continually semi-dependent on her, in the often distorted way that parents define and express their love.

I was also able to feel less guilty about breaking off the path she’d so carefully cultivated for me ever since I was born.  I have since made a lot of pretty crazy decisions, like driving across the country without knowing where I’d end up.  I’ve made my share of mistakes, of course, but in the long run I’ve been incalculably happier than I think I ever would have been with the options that were laid out for me by familial precedence.  I am constantly amazed that things seem to be working out, and this is, I believe, because of the narrow model of success I’d been taught.

Now, whenever I see my family, my mother often remarks that I will likely be the one with the lowest degree in our household.  I never have a response to that, but I sincerely cannot believe that the pursuit of an advanced degree is the right choice for me right now.  Still, it’s hard to take her sometimes scathing comments, even though I understand her motivation is to shame me into “making more of myself.”

I came to another realization while reading and listening to all of these thoughts: I have, since entering college, felt a kind of self-loathing and sense of being a fake or fraud for enrolling at such a prestigious school.  Although my primary interests lay in the arts, especially in graphic arts and design, and despite the fact that I endeavored to take an art class almost every term, I never put much weight on the talents I had in visual media; it wasn’t a real or useful life skill.  Yet I also never felt compelled to pursue more lucrative options.  I defaulted to biology, because at least I was also interested in ecology, and because Jane Goodall had been my childhood idol.  It was also a safe choice that my family could accept – biology could mean a path to a medical field.  But I never felt truly immersed in the material except during labs or outdoor excursions.

It’s only now, two years out of the academic sphere, that I can finally admit to myself how much more I’m actually interested in things that fall under the often-stigmatized heading of “skilled labor” – things like woodworking, metalcraft, and leathercraft.

There are also other views to take on the people I’ve linked to and what they have to say; a look at the comments sections of Mr. Deresiewicz’s articles is telling of the scorn people feel for an academic scholar criticizing the system that helped shape his career.  And I could argue that most of the people I knew personally fell outside the kind of privileged students he describes.  But I also have to admit to having a circle of friends who were more the exception than the rule at our school.

Regardless, I can personally attest to being the recipient of all the stereotypical comments one hears made to smart people who don’t pursue the well-trodden path: I’m not applying myself, I’m wasting my talents, my degree, and my future, I could succeed if only I were more motivated, I’m making a huge mistake.

I believed all of that, and I was weighed down by the belief that I was being intentionally self-destructive and the belief that I was a failure not only to my family and friends but also to my own intrinsic potential.

 

Reading these essays and watching the TEDTalks, as well as hearing stories every now and then about others who’ve also taken unconventional paths and were successful – using a much broader rubric for defining success – continues to encourage me and help me believe that I am, in fact, capable of a successful, happy life, even if the path in front of me is only vaguely defined and involves a lot of bushwhacking.

 

Categories: art, geekpost, hope, life, links, school, video

Clocked out

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

I haven’t had much time or frame of mind to be at the computer the past few days.  First, I spent Wednesday through Friday last week finishing my first kangaroo hide whip. Saturday, Max arrived in San Francisco, and I gifted him the finished whip that day.  And now my weekend and week is all about Max, which means I am barely connected to my phone or computer.  It’s a glorious feeling.

With that, we are getting ready to head out for an evening of leather hoods, sushi, and rope.  Yum.

Categories: life, submission, sundry

stopping to think…

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Consciousness itself does not hinder living in the present…. Self-consciousness, however, does hinder the experience of the present.  It is the one instrument that unplugs all the rest.  So long as I lose myself in a tree, say, I can scent its leafy breath or estimate its board feet of lumber, I can draw its fruits or boil tea on its branches, and the tree stays tree.  But the second I become aware of myself at any of these activities – looking over my own shoulder, as it were – the tree vanishes, uprooted from the spot and flung out of sight as if it had never grown.  And time, which had flowed down into the tree bearing new revelations like floating leaves at every moment, ceases.  It dams, stills, stagnates.

Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies.  It is the glimpse of oneself in the storefront window, the unbidden awareness of reactions on the faces of other people – the novelist’s world, not the poet’s.  I’ve lived there.  I remember what the city has to offer: human companionship, major-league baseball, and a clatter of quickening stimulus like a rush from strong drugs that leaves you drained.  I remember how you bide your time in the city, and think, if you stop to think, “next year… I’ll start living; next year… I’ll start my life.”

– Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Excerpt from the book I am currently reading.  I’ve loved Dillard’s writing ever since reading “Living Like Weasels,” so it’s really a travesty that I didn’t pick up Pilgrim at Tinker Creek sooner.

And I have to admit to a bittersweet nostalgia for the granite mountains and soft autumn colors of New England that this book amplifies.  I miss the woodlot that I grew up with, filled with its vernal pools, leaf-clogged streams, and constant neighborhood chatter from crows, blue jays, robins, nuthatches, and chickadees.  The hidden messages tapped out by downy woodpeckers by day, and the soul-filling chorus of spring peepers by night.

The solitude that filled me while immersed in those woods is what I miss most, so different from the loneliness I feel trying to navigate the unpredictable, buzzing activity of the city.  The final sentence in this passage struck a deep, deep chord.

The restlessness persists.

Categories: life, links, reflection

family trip

August 13, 2010 2 comments

So I have been putting off packing for a flight out of town tomorrow to meet up with my family.  I’m not flying home, though – as scattered around the globe as we all are right now, we chose a destination that’s sort of not-quite midway between all of us, and which promises lots of sun and beach time, so it’ll be a good vacation spot as well.

I have not been shy in admitting to my friends how decidedly un-eager I am to travel this weekend, despite how nice the destination should be.  In any other situation, it would be idyllic and relaxing, but I am just not optimistic about my time with the family remaining drama-free.  Perhaps my attitude itself doesn’t help.  I am at least looking forward to seeing my brother again and am plotting to take him sightseeing or something on our own for a day.

Suffice to say, I won’t be in front of the computer much – that alone is a welcome vacation, now that most of my current projects involve staring at my laptop screen for hours.  And I hope to come back refreshed from hours in the sun and exploring the local scenery.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for some spectacular reading, I recently stumbled upon this blog by way of my Twitterfeed (again – thanks @mister_borogove!).  The specific post that was linked is called “Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective.”  The author takes you through the database logic of restructuring however marriage data is currently handled to accomodate not only gay marriage, but with room to allow for multiple-partner marriages as well.  As if you need any further proof of the geekery of this post, but here is a fantastic quote that just about overloaded my geekgasm quota: “…marriage is not just an irreflexive binary relation; it’s a transitive, irreflexive, binary relation.”

I was pretty surprised at how much I was able to follow after just a mere couple months of learning MySQL for work, but there is one thing that I made a complete guess on.  Here is the excerpt, speculating on the legal difficulties of introducing polygamy:

Here, “legally” is actually the biggest stumbling block. I think it would be accurate to say that much more of the existing global “legislatosaurus” is implicitly or explicitly geared towards binary marriages than is geared towards heterosexual marriages. This is not a case of changing a few words in the laws. It would be a case of radically modifying a very large chunk of law. The possibility for legal loopholes and general lack of airtightness would be major. And all of this would be in order to accommodate the legal needs of an admittedly tiny minority of people. I think it should happen (in the places where it hasn’t), and the arguments against it are no better than the arguments against gay marriage, but the obstacles are larger.

But anyway. IANAL. IAADBE.

Those abbreviations in the last sentence look pretty obscure.  My first guess? “I am not a lawyer. I am a database engineer.”  I did get momentarily distract by the first being immediately translated in my mind to “I anal,” but my mind doesn’t leave the gutter much these days anyway.

The other post of his that was memorable elaborates upon the impossibility of equal height columns in CSS (something that seriously aggravates me).  What’s notable is the fact that he later finds and adds a link to someone who shows it is possible, despite it still, technically, being a hack.  Glorious!

A final thought fragment before I’m gone.  I’ve felt stretched particularly thin and energy-deprived lately, and while some of the symptoms I recognize as the start of a depressive cycle, I find that I’m also feeling a little inundated by the immensity of the world issues that are happening right now.  There are many issues I’m passionate about, and too little energy to devote to them all, it seems.  There is the oil spill, the political environment of this country (heavily biased, I admit, from watching The Rachel Maddow Show almost exclusively), immigration, and the continual fight for sexual freedom and education, just to name the top few.  There are so many actions and words said that fill me with helpless anger these days.  And it seems fruitless to rail against people who are so completely set in their ways, so committed to passing blame to others, and with enough influence and power to get away with both.

Makes a girl want to tear her hair out.  Except I now have a cease and desist order on any further shortening of hair.

And with that, it is time for me to start packing.

Categories: life, links, travelog

and the time, it flies

July 31, 2010 Leave a comment

My silence here has been due to a slew of activity that’s taken over a lot of my mental capacity these past few days.  There was Max’s visit, which I am even now in the process of journaling about in private (journal can be a verb, right?).  And in the wake of his departure, I am fighting the “drop” from four days of intensity and trying to return to normalcy and be productive, even though all I want to do at times is trace the fast-fading marks criss-crossing my chest and stare at the jar of needle wrappers and casings sitting on my desk.  It’s a wonder I can get any work done at all with the tangible reminder of my second needle scene so near.  (Has it already been five days since he left?)

But work I must, and I’ve now got a couple of freelance gigs going on that I’m pretty excited about.  Just a couple days ago, I had my first column published on Carnalnation.com.  I will be writing for them fairly regularly, and I’m also doing contract Flash animations for another company.

It is rather stressful to be depending on contract work to pay the bills, and I am still struggling with developing strategies to schedule work effectively throughout each day.  It doesn’t help that it’s all on my computer, which is the greatest source of distraction for me.  Not that I wouldn’t find an equal amount of distraction working outside, but the internet really makes it too easy to waste incredible amounts of time and destroy productivity.

Speaking of which, my break was over half an hour ago.  Time to get back to work!

Categories: firsts, life, links, rope

chameleon

July 18, 2010 3 comments

As a high school junior, one of the books I read in English class was The Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay.  The main character – nicknamed Peekay – is a British boy in South Africa during the apartheid, and the novel follows him through his various life struggles.  At that time, it became one of my least favorite required reading books.

However, there is one part of the story that has remained with me through the years, a paragraph of self-reflection by the protagonist:

I had become an expert at camouflage.  My precocity allowed me, chameleonlike, to be to each what they required me to be….While this posturing was so finely tuned it was no longer deliberate, it had nevertheless been born out of a compulsion to hide.  As a small child I had discovered that only two places are available to those who wish to remain concealed.  The choices are to be a nonentity or an exception.  You either disappear into a plebeian background or move forward to where most others fear to follow.

p. 472

At the time of reading, I could not have understood how meaningful these words would be, or how closely they have paralleled my own life.

“Only two places are available to those who wish to remain concealed.  The choices are to be a nonentity or an exception.”  This, this I can relate to.  For all of my life up to around 2007, I had chosen to be the nonentity.  I was never happier than when left to my own devices, free to disappear into my books or into the woods behind my house.  Painfully shy as a child, I strove to blend in.  This was in part due to my obvious status as a token minority, but even before I attained the level of self-awareness that I was Different from my peers, I rarely called attention to myself.

In high school, I was quiet, studious, kept my head down, and ignored the hormone-fueled dramas of the other teenagers around me.  If I stay quiet and just keep studying, I thought, nobody will have any reason to look my way, and I won’t get in all those fights everyone else gets into.  There were self-image issues there, certainly.  Every part of my posture and body language aided my camouflage: shrinking into myself, slouching, rarely making eye contact (and never for very long), and only wearing neutral colors and never dresses or skirts.

There are benefits to all of this.  When you become adept at blending in, it’s more difficult to be singled out for harassment – whether while walking alone on a street, or by classroom bullies, or by authority figures.  It’s easier to avoid drama – both becoming embroiled in it and creating it for others.  And when you’re in the “right” demographic, it’s even easier to become invisible while, say, going through airport security.

(At least, until there is a Chinese terrorist attack on American soil.)

It has been hard for me to break out of this shell I’ve built around myself.  This is exactly how I described it to my first partner, Tim: a hard, impenetrable shell.  It was my sophomore fall at college, and my chameleon was entirely too successful.  I made for a perfect casual friend and listening ear – I empathized easily, talked little, and never had any outward personal dramas.  But because of that shell, that mask of aloofness, I never developed any especially deep or intimate friendships.

I felt incredibly lonely.

Peekay continues, on that same page:

My camouflage, begun so many years before under the persecution of the Judge, was now threatening to become the complete man.  It was time to slough the mottled and cunningly contrived outer skin and emerge as myself, to face the risk of exposure, to regain the power of one.  I had reached the point where to find myself was essential.

I had reached the point where the misery of being trapped in my shell far outweighed any risks I might take.  It is the reason I was able to rationalize driving five hours across two states to meet Tim for the first time – and then have sex with him that night.  I felt I’d been passing through the world like a shadow, barely leaving a trace.  I had nothing to lose.

It is hard to remember that version of myself, only a few years younger, and the gratitude I felt that Tim might be the one to break that barrier down.

Well, the rest is an old, battered, and retold story on this blog now, but of course my trust in him was vastly misplaced.  I sought solace in a couple other serial relationships, each shorter than the last, and each snapping pieces of my shell back into place.

A lot can change in a very short period of time, and I’m happy to report that I am still intact and have sloughed the greater part of that contrived outer skin.  Still, twenty years’ worth of skin is difficult to shed all at once.  I still have issues with intimacy and closeness, being honest both with myself and to others when I need help, and expressing my needs.  It is terrifying every time I expose my weaknesses and vulnerability to others.

In short: I am learning to be visible.

I am still not very outgoing or social; I’ve come to accept that as a part of my introverted personality.  I still find it draining and taxing to be with people for a long period of time.  I still hate having pictures taken of my face.

And when I get close to someone – deeply, breathtakingly close – there is still a part of me that recoils, my self-preservation screaming that this will only lead to Bad Things, better to back out now before the inevitable happens.  Look what happened before.  My inner chameleon, hissing at shadows, skin rippling to pull my camouflage back into place.

Here’s to hoping I can win this battle again.  That it will be worth it, and that I can prove myself wrong.

Categories: life, reflection, writing