Nine things about me

I posted this meme a while back in another venue, and I liked a few of my writings well enough that I’m going to repost them here.

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

*

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

1) I was born with no direction sense whatsoever. Before the advent of GPS, I relied on mnemonic devices to figure out places I’d gone dozens of times. My lack of spatial intelligence has been kind of a bummer because I love fine art and dabbled with sculpture and abstract art back in the day. A few years ago, I started to sketch from photographs, newspaper clippings, lingerie catalogs using the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain method. Although I’m a long way from being technically proficient as an artist, the process is unspeakably rewarding. Drawing forces me to see the world in a completely new way. The experience really does escape description and leaves me in awe. As well, dating Skyspook has also gradually made me a bit more visual as he is very oriented that way, always pointing my attention to beautiful sunsets, the night sky, etc. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve blocked out my visual sense as a defense mechanism. It’s been a way to cope with unpleasant things, a filter to not let certain things seep in, bullying, negative body image, etc. Rather than rose-colored glasses, I may have been wearing dark ones all of these years, and now suddenly, I feel like I’m viewing the world bathed in moonlight, and it’s so beautiful.

2) I pick up foreign languages easily and have held conversations, read texts, and written poetry in and or translated writing from a ludicrous number of different ones. I’ve oriented myself with the basics of a language as a hobby out of boredom, to ease befriending and/or seducing exchange students, to read philosophical works in the original wording, to experience the prosody and shades of meaning of literature/poetry, and for travel. I know with confidence that I could quickly come up to speed on much what I’ve learned with just a bit of immersion. At one point, I seriously considered a career as an interpreter, though I had a bit of trouble deciding which language(s) to focus on as there’s such a variety, and so many are beautiful and fascinating in their own right.

3) I only started wearing heels in the fall of 2009 when I’d lost my first 80 pounds or so. I was excited about my weight loss and wanted to celebrate by buying some new clothes, but Ex-Husband dissuaded me, reminding me I’d only shrink out of them. He recommended fancy shoes instead as I’d always been a sneakers and Keds kind of person, and he loved heels, thought they were very sexy. The first few months that I wore heels were comical. I endured incredible amounts of pain struggling with barely suitable shoes that I’d worn on days when I’d end up walking far more than I’d anticipate. I took one memorable spill in the parking lot of my apartment complex that resulted in a broken 4-pack of energy drinks and the loss of most of the skin on my right knee and my promise to myself, “No more wedges.” Despite looking like one of the more comfy and stable kind of shoes, all of my falls occurred wearing wedges. They are death traps for me, which is really a bummer since so many are so cute – and having a wide toe box, most strappy styles aren’t really doable for me, making spring/summer more problematic shoe seasons for me than fall and winter. One time, having gotten totally stranded trying to cut across a snowy field in a pair of sky-high pumps, what escaped my mouth was, “Fuck my balls with Jesus!”

These days I can jog in what Skyspook’s mom adorably refers to as my “fuck me heels.” But it’s been a relatively recent development in my life, and the process was fraught with all manner of indignity.

4) I’d rather not have children. Ever. I actually like children well enough and would love to do some mentoring or teaching, but parenting’s not my dream, and it’s so pervasive in a person’s life that if it’s not my dream, I think I’ll pass because it would only end in my misery and emotional martyrdom. I’m such a sensitive person, too. Sometimes it seems like having a child is like having a second heart outside of your body that people can stomp on and that there’s very little you can do about it, when everything’s said and done.

5) I used to cry every day, many times a day. Something about the way I’m physiologically wired makes it extremely easy for me to shed tears. Getting prescribed Lexapro was life changing for me, as one of the most dramatic effects for many people is that it makes it much harder to cry. This predisposition of mine made life even more miserable as my father used to punish us for crying, saying we were trying to emotionally manipulate him (because his mother did that to him), and in my former marriage, tears would incense my ex-husband, who said that seeing a crying person caused him to feel emotional pain and that his pain would turn to rage and disgust, so I’d have to learn to hold in tears and to cry when I could be alone so as to not make my life more stressful than it already was. Knowing this about me, Skyspook set a rule early on in our relationship, a carryover from paradigms already established in our friendship, “It is totally acceptable to cry at any time for any reason.” Even with this explicit understanding and knowing that I myself am honored when a person cries around me, that to me it signals that they trust me enough to be vulnerable around me, I still battle feelings of shame when I tear up and find myself reflexively apologizing. I’m mortified as though I’ve lost bladder control. A work in progress, I suppose.

6) At 18, I gave up a great scholarship to one of the best jazz studies programs in country to attend college at a public university 10 minutes from my high school with my high school boyfriend, who dumped me the summer before college started. He went on to date and marry a friend of mine who lived 4 doors down from me at the dorm. I tried to participate in the jazz scene at my school, but it was pitiful to say the least, geared towards general music education majors rather than jazz performers, theorists, composers, you know, elitist asshole purists like I was. The program was not at all what I was used to. I was talented enough to be a bit of a snob and was totally devastated, as what had been my identity and passion for years was suddenly gone, and it all amounted to an existential crisis. I still have very strong feelings for music, technical skill (I am primarily a [mostly alto and soprano] saxophonist, flutist, and pianist, but you know how musicians are; we can be rather varied in what we do), and theoretical knowledge, but I seriously doubt I will go back to 20 hours a week of practicing/composing or supporting myself with gig money. There are too many other things I long to do with my life. As a composer, I suppose my biggest “kinks” would be half diminished chords, layering different minor tonalities, and blending different world musics into new forms. I like things that are elegant and sexy – while still being intellectually challenging and cerebral.

7) When the university music program turned out to be lame, I broke into the theatre scene, as the one at the school was actually pretty cool. As a total unknown, I started writing and putting on plays, made a bunch of money, won campus awards, and became a bit of a celebrity, known as an eccentric personality. I learned as I went and met a lot of interesting people through my work as a playwright, including some beautiful actresses who mysteriously let me get it on with them. Strangely, no such luck with actors. For some reason, I feel like women have always found me more attractive than men do, especially when I’m overweight (as I was then). I got to act in a few plays and did well but really was only afforded the opportunity when a director friend was in trouble and needed someone to fill in quickly, as I memorized lines fast. My acting opportunities were quite limited by my weight, something I resigned myself to pretty fast. I did have a good experience performing “I Was There in the Room” in the 2010 Vagina Monologues at the university, many years after I’d left the school, urged by younger college friends to try out.

8) I’m a closet Buddhist. I have sutras and personal practices that mean a lot to me. I don’t like to tell people though because I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with reactions when I do. Many times, they’re confused by the fact that I’m not a vegetarian, and I end up getting into a tedious conversation about Siddartha Gautama Buddha’s dietary habits.

9) I was the first girl in my class to develop. It really sucked. Lots of people, girls and boys both, used to secretly grope me in the coat room, starting in about third or fourth grade. My mom started dressing me in clothes 2 or 3 sizes too big in an effort to camouflage my breasts, causing other children to think I was obese and to call me both a “slut” (because of my boobs, I was obviously a slut, obviously) and a “fat ass.” My mother pressured me for years to get breast reduction (my oldest sister bound her breasts, the next eldest actually got the surgery). Most of my former partners have been negative about my large breasts with just a few notable exceptions. My breasts have really brought me nothing but emotional pain, but I’ve kept them out of spite, as a way to say “fuck you” to a world that would try to shame me for them. I can be kind of stubborn sometimes.

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