July 24th, 2009

(no subject)

A while back I recollected a decent list of the bizarre accomplishments I'd made in my short life. The list was hefty and even incomplete, referencing the pirate radio shows, the artistic opportunities, the runaway perks of mountain living, and a bunch of other things that came to mind when people expressed interest in the things I'd done up until the tender age of 23. When I'm bored with my life, I think back on those times and wonder why I left those intriguing moments I could carry like conversation starters in my pocket and wonder why I left them and what I could possibly do to get back to them, usually ending at nothing and painfully accepting them as gone. I become bored with my life and long for the list to grow, yet feel stuck, unable to produce anything worthy, and doomed to be bored until a bizarre opportunity falls into my lap. What I fail to realize is that the accomplishments I've made weren't made because they "fell into my lap," but because I did in turn seek them out and make them my own, and usually because of my ever growing fear of boredom in the first place.

I have a hard time giving myself any credit because these things that people envy in me come naturally, and I often can't understand why people are so fascinated by them. While unclothed and on top of me last night, he stopped kissing me long enough to say "You are the most exciting person I think I've ever met," and all I could think to say was that he should have known me a year ago when my life actually contained some excitement. What I wish I'd done was thank him for saying such a nice thing and acknowledge it as something that could very well be true, because moments later I realized that my boredom had led me into the hands of another bizarre time in my life to add to my list: My summer at a fucking frat house.

At first I was scared shitless of the scene. I showed up day in and day out with someone who I trusted, but could feel the stares of the brothers around me and felt judged for having crazy hair, tattoos, piercings, a weird bike, torn fingerless gloves, big shoes; you know, your overall antithesis of a sorority girl. Sometimes they talked to me, sometimes they ignored me, sometimes I'm sure they had no idea what to say at all. I started attending their parties with said trustworthy companion, playing beirut for the first time in probably six years, swapping out their horrible gangster rap and pop radio sensations with legitimate music that confused all of them, giving the overzealous drunk blondes weird looks when they tried to touch my arms, ignoring people when they asked about my tattoos or giving them asinine responses, and drinking beer that wasn't mine until eventually they all started calling me by my first name. Every night another beer-drinking escapade into the residential back streets of Burlington trying to find "the party" only to be lead into another house with a panel of wood placed haphazardly over a couple of chairs, and ten red cups placed strategically at each end. Soon I was invited to fish on the weekends and attend potluck steak dinners on weeknights, various frat boys asking questions of my romantic status with my aforementioned trustworthy companion. Each day I ride up to the Alpha Gamma Rho house and partake in the exact pastimes that intrigued me in my youth because they were unattainable; I never fit in, and I probably still don't, but I've learned a helpful phrase since those awkward days. "Fuck it."

My trustworthy companion comforted me at my initial reluctance to open my mouth at all in such company; fear of judgement and the fact that these people had never experienced someone like me kept me quiet for a couple of weeks. We'd go to a party and I'd cling to his side like a fucking koala, scared of falling from my branch and being surrounded by strangers with whom I was convinced I had nothing in common. He said to me, "These people don't think you're weird. They think you're exotic and different and exciting." Another thing out of the mouth of someone trustworthy that cannot compute too easily because that exoticism, difference, and excitement are nothing more to me than my nature. I can't see myself for my qualities and the things that fascinate so many of the people I meet; those who fall hard for me when I simply can't understand why. Instead I focus on my imperfections and get down on myself for small subtleties that have never mattered to anyone but me; holes in the crotch of my pants that let my inner thigh stick out, days when my hair gets wet from the rain and becomes wavy and flat, the fact that I snore and fart in my sleep and the fact that I get panic attacks and become overly emotional. I shutter and cover my head with my hand when I think about nights years back when I got too drunk and did or said something stupid, the handful of times I tried to kiss someone and got turned down or smacked my face with theirs by accident, or times my wit was criticized because of a bad joke that I wish five years later I never told. I can't figure out why I focus so hard on the negative that it makes the positive practically invisible to me, especially when it's apparently the other way around to everyone else I meet. I'm trying to reach perfection all the time and slamming my face against the floor when I lose balance on my tippy-toes and come crashing down. I wish I could realize that even if I needed to get there, which I don't, if I was such a let-down to begin with, then nobody would hold out their hand when I fell and offer to help me up again. They always do, because they see the good in me; they see that I'm not half that bad, and not even a quarter as bad as I seem to think I am.