and then to come home to 70 degree weather and bright skies.
and then to come home to such ease and warmth.
and then to come home.
in spite of this little chest cold, i feel lucky and light. i've been to New York twice in 2 1/2 months.
i spent the first 2 hours of my day scribbling leisurely in my notebook, recounting kisses and attempting to identify my newest desires and latest dreams. life has changed so much this year. life has changed so much in the last 2 months. and something has clicked in to place as a result of returning to the scene of certain crimes. something has healed. i no longer feel quite so dire as i did before. i no longer feel like time is quickly running out. i no longer feel that i need to be wild in order to feel that i have lived. i enjoy wildness, it's true, but the past few days i've enjoyed a deep, warm sense of calm. a stillness. a readiness for something a bit more serious.
after ending a long term relationship at the beginning of this year, i think i needed to take advantage of a very high level of freedom. i needed to stay out late and dance and drink and have fun. i needed to be stupid and i needed to be dangerous. i needed to stop caring about the clock for awhile; expectations and responsibilities and all the things i had allowed to take root in me that choked my ability to blossom and change. i needed to cut away so many things. i needed to turn my back on so many things i was taught. those horrible falsities and all the beautiful lies we are sometimes so eager to believe. for years i listened to my instincts screaming at me to leave but i was just so fucking afraid of so many things to know how to do it. i had come to believe that being myself was a selfish thing. i had been made to believe that every desire of mine was self-serving and, therefore, shameful. i am finally taking a clean, deep breath. all these months and years later am i finally able to look at what i tolerated and ask myself why?
when you've been taught from childhood to believe that everything you are is bad and wrong, you become unable to trust your own instincts. you become unable to act in your own best interest. you put other people's happiness well before your own because "that's what a good person does". you tuck your tail and you smile. you save your tears for the shower. you become a master of silent crying. you become a master of self-denial and self-deception. you stay put because you've been taught so thoroughly to believe that you are somehow deficient.
and it is only when you are doing what you're told that maybe a bit of affection is thrown your way. a crumb. a scrap. a pat on the head.
as my mother crept ever closer to her death, i began to see so glaringly that i had been chasing scraps of approval my entire life. so had she. she was strong in so many beautiful ways but also suffered from such tremendous guilt. she too believed that everything about her was bad and wrong: the legacy that is handed down.
shortly after she died i was able to say fuck it. if i'm bad, i'm bad. so be it. if i'm selfish, so be it. shit can't get any goddamn worse. i feel like dying too. if this is what being Good gets me, let me test drive Bad. my life depends on it.
i used to cry almost every day. in the last 9 months maybe i've cried 9 times. and i'm being generous in my estimate. deciding to stop caring about whether or not other people will label me as selfish is the best decision i could have ever made. my worst fear is hurting other people and that has led quickly to my own undoing, my own site of deep, atrocious pain. i am so afraid of being a disappointment that i silence myself, i tie myself in knots, i wake up in a panic in the middle of the night afraid that i am the worst person alive and wondering how i can gain forgiveness for the fact of my horrible birth. i have let other people do horrible things to me. friends, family members, lovers. i have tolerated extreme neglect. i have tolerated viciousness and cruelty. i have allowed myself to be convinced that i deserved these things. this is the self-hatred that was instilled in me at the very beginning of my life.
a friend of mine recently passed on a saying to me: we recieve the love we think we deserve.
i've been turning it over and over inside my head. i've aimed it right at my heart like a gun and i've rolled around in it like a child in tall grass. i obviously thought i deserved very little; that love was something i could only aspire to give but not necessarily receive. during the last few months of my life, i've loved myself in a way i lacked for a very long time. i decided to attend to my own needs and not leave it up to chance or benevolence. i've had more fun that i can describe and i've written some of the best prose of my life as a result. i've met so many interesting people and have had my faith in humanity restored by such seemingly simple things as dancing with strangers in dark clubs and watching the sunrise in a different time-zone.
i walked down market street in san francisco last night to meet a friend for drinks and as i crossed the street, i thought i stand entirely on my own... god, this feels fantastic.