Eventually there’s no more to squeeze. No more drops to wring out. There’s no reason to get upset anymore. Cause it’s only hurting you. There was never a reason honestly. It’s just now you see that for yourself. To love is to let go and to be okay. To love is to be free. To love is to make the final move, the final transmutation of the psychic essence.
It’s not necessarily a third thing. I’m not sure what the second or first thing would be in this context, but here it is, the proverbial and apparently third thing:
I want to reach up. Use my hands to grab a star out of the sky. I want to use clichés without everyone’s panties getting all bunched and wadded. I want to take that star and rub it against a cheese grater. Then I want to sprinkle the gratings over a salad made of asteroid debris. Preferably the radioactive kind. Then I want to take that salad and eat it with a pair of diamond chopsticks–the kind that might chip my tooth. And if it chips my tooth, I’ll put that tooth under my pillow and wait until the tooth fairy comes to ridicule me in my sleep for how I’m too old to believe in her anymore. At which point I’ll spring out of bed, sandbag her with my tempurpedic pillow, and take off with her bag of teeth and any remaining coinage in her fat fairy purse. In the morning my mother will wonder why a small winged woman is unconscious on the floor. But I will not be able to solve that riddle. I will be half way to a remote village in Guatemala that trades teeth in bulk for a variety of banana that’s been technically extinct for sixty years. Then, bananas in hand, I’ll dig my way to China, or maybe somewhere in Africa where I might use the bananas to curry favor with a traveling band of nomad orangutans. And I shall become their Queen. And when I die, my hand clasped in the sweaty hair of an elder orangutan, I’ll wonder why the hell I wanted to grab a star from the sky in the first place. I mean, how foolish? I should’ve just stayed home and watched a movie.
There was a point to all this, wasn’t there? Maybe something about the proper digestion of salads… No no no that wasn’t it. Ah yes…
I want to grow. I want to grow so badly. But here’s the rub (and maybe this is the third thing): growing involves changing. Did you know that? Cause I sure as heck didn’t.
I’m quite sorry to spoil the fun; the illusion that one can grow without changing, without letting go of habits, practices, behaviors, and beliefs that no longer serve one’s highest good; that one can grow simply by changing their hair style, their manner of dress and isolating themselves in a foreign country, although that is certainly one way to grow; terribly sorry I am to spoil the illusion that one can grow in the presence of comfort (where is the excitement in that)? The uncertainty? The tension? The release?
I’m sorry to spoil the illusion that one can grow without taking a magnifying glass to one’s shadow and holding it so the nose disappears and the mouth gets all big like a rowboat transporting a pair of googly eyes, and one, at the very least, let’s out a silly little giggle. No, without that one cannot hope to grow at all.
Do you get it?
Transmutation of one’s darkness necessitates the pragmatic recognition of absurdity.
Still not getting it?
We’ve got to look at the ugly and see the funny.
For example, here’s a picture of me that’s not necessarily flattering, a picture that’s by no means traditionally pleasing to the eye:
Yes, yes. There you have it. A visual representation of absurdity. Of the great tragicomedy that is life. Please feel free to Photoshop the snot clotting in my nose for use in the Spring issue of Vanity Fair. How’s that for a gender revolution?
I’m not your guru. Not that I think you think I might be. You’ve got Deepak Chopra and Dr. Phil for that.
I’m just a girl who got mistaken for a boy for twenty one years because I had a penis, two testicles, short hair, somewhat broad shoulders, a reasonably deep voice (like maybe a low alto), an insatiable attraction to women, and a sense of style that indicated to any and all passersby that I had just emerged from a sinkhole in a dusty couch.
Our ideas of how things should be matter as much as fresh apples matter to an anthropomorphic sheet of sandpaper.
Life is like a box of chocolates that somehow transforms into a stretch limousine with a jacuzzi, a torture chamber, and a dress code that mandates you must wear, at the most, a bowtie and toeless socks. You’ve either got to get on board, or miss out on all the weird fun. And sure, you might lose a pinky in the process. You might cry and wish you could be riding in a nice sterile Ford Pinto. You might pee in the jacuzzi and draw the ire of all six lizard penguins bathing beside you.
But listen, you dag gum human being you, one cannot hope to grow without change. You can’t grow without first sitting quietly in the mess of your life; without sitting on a floor covered in all your old clothes you thought you’d thrown away, without sitting on a floor smeared in crusty wads of Monday’s over salted lasagna leftovers, a floor stained in the jizm of an elephant god that never really cared for your taste in music, without holding hands with the ones you love, singing kumbaya, and letting everyone see just how snotty your nose gets when you begin to cry over how ugly everything seems. You just can’t hope to grow.
So you best get used to it. You best make friends with the ugly so that nothing ever seems ugly again. That’s the only way, my non-cetacean friend. And I believe in you. I believe in me. I believe also in dragons, and fairies, and alien beings from the Taurus constellation who’ve knowingly incarnated as humans to help raise the collective vibration. So maybe you should go read a book by Freud. Or sit in a sweat lodge chanting your name over and over again until it finally makes sense. Either way, make sure you’re at least a little bit uncomfortable. Or you’ll miss out on all the weird fun.
And that, I think, is the third thing.
Yes, that’s definitely it.
Signed, weirdly and queerly,
Your friendly neighborhood Zo
You make a choice to treat each relationship with care, commitment, and intention. Or you die alone with no one at your side. Which way would you rather have it?
You cannot solve the modern problem of differentiation without loving yourself first. Without believing you are capable of being yourself no matter what. Without believing you are capable of showing up for yourself and others. Without believing in your capacity to love. Without admitting how little you actually know about loving yourself and others.
You cannot solve the modern problem of differentiation by running away. You cannot solve it with fear. You cannot solve it with isolation.
If life were a puzzle, you could not solve it by throwing all the pieces on the ground and storming out of the house.
If life were an egg salad sandwich, you could not eat it by shoving it up your car’s exhaust pipe.
If life were a baseball, you could not solve it by hitting it. You have to coddle the baseball. Put a bib on it. Spoon feed it mashed peas and carrots. Hold it tight to your chest as you fall asleep, all the while whispering sweet nothings in its baseball ear.
If life were a bathtub, you could not take a bath by eating ten tons of spaghetti.
If life were a toilet, pooping on the seat would not solve your problems.
If life were a candle, melting the wax and eating it for lunch would not make your gas smell like lavender.
If life were a bagel, spreading jelly on it would not suffice. You must toast it. You must cut it into cubes. And blend it in a smoothie. And you must not drink the smoothie. You must let it grow stale on the counter, until it smells. Then you must throw it away. Good thing life is not a bagel.
Good thing indeed.
I’m not like you. But maybe I needn’t be to exist right beside you, in blessed momentary connection.
So what does that look like?
Give me a philosophical question to answer in a twelve page essay and I’ll give you fifteen pages.
Give me a bagel to butter, and I’ll give you the knife.
If you read this, you are consenting to exposure to my deepest, often ugliest thoughts. You are acknowledging that everything that lies herein reflects deeper struggles within my own psyche. If it causes you anxiety, it’s because it causes ME anxiety. If it causes you fear, sadness, and anger, it’s because it causes ME fear, sadness, and anger. If you begin to see the darkness in me, IT’S BECAUSE IT’S REAL. IT’S THERE. And I am constantly trying to come to grips with it. If this leaves a bad taste in your mouth, then just eat a fucking breath mint and get over it.
Don’t read this. It will only hurt you. It will only make you uncomfortable. Don’t read this.
Okay wow I know you’re still reading… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
If you read this, you are consenting to exposure to my deepest, often ugliest thoughts. You are acknowledging that everything that lies herein reflects deeper struggles within my own psyche. If it causes you anxiety, it’s because it causes ME anxiety. If it causes you fear, sadness, and anger, it’s because it causes ME fear, sadness, and anger. If you begin to see the darkness in me, IT’S BECAUSE IT’S REAL. IT’S THERE. And I am constantly trying to come to grips with it. If this leaves a bad taste in your mouth, then just eat a fucking breath mint and move on.
Guilt me. Please. Treat me like shit because I’m a solitary person. Tell me I’m selfish and self-centered and self-absorbed. (Because on some deep level, I am. I am a shitty friend. A shitty sister. A shitty daughter. A shitty niece. A shitty granddaughter. A shitty cousin. A shitty community member. I am no good at this connection thing. NO GOOD AT ALL.)
Treat me like shit because I don’t invest enough care into my family. Treat me like shit always and forever because you think it’s somehow justified. I honestly hate being a social creature. I hate having a family. I hate the way everyone guilts me for focusing on myself, on my own life. I fucking hate it. I hate my sister. I hate her so much. (But I also love her to absolute death). It’s just, she treats me like complete shit all the time and there is no winning with her. I honestly can’t remember the last time she treated me well. When she does, it comes as a complete surprise to me.
SO PLEASE. Guilt me. Make me feel like utter shit because I am trying to live for myself. I am not like you. I do not need constant validation and support from my family. I would be just fine on my own. Tell me I don’t care about anyone but myself and I’ll tell you that I don’t care to spend my time around people who lower my vibration–who harbor secret feelings about me–who wish I acted differently. You know what? If it bothers you, then just leave me the FUCK alone. If it bothers you then stop setting yourself up for failure and unmet expectations because I’m never ever ever going to want to invest so much into a group of people around whom I feel I must regulate myself, must change who I am, must actively and consciously act differently around so that they don’t TREAT ME LIKE SHIT.
FUCK THE FUCK OFF. FUCK THE FUCK OFF. FUCK THE FUCK OFF.
If I’m such a shitty family member then I’ll do what I was afraid my family might do so many years ago. I’ll lop off the head of this collective that fucking abandoned me in my most depressive, vulnerable, dysphoric time in my life. I’ll fucking run away and be just fine with my writing and my books. I don’t anything from anyone. And I’m sick and tired of being spat on, being abused, being told I’m such a bad sister simply because I don’t care to invest my energy in people who think it’s justifiable to treat me like shit because my main focus is my own life. DEAL WITH IT.
I’m sick of all this. I remember why I’m always restless here. I remember. It’s because I don’t want to be apart of this. I don’t want to be apart of a family that guilts me constantly and forever. I don’t want to be obligated to people, whom i might treat badly, whom I might wrong. To people who constantly reinforce the guilt I feel deep in my own gut–because somehow I’M NEVER FUCKING GOOD ENOUGH.
So please. GUILT ME. TRIGGER ME. TREAT ME LIKE SHIT. BECAUSE APPARENTLY I DESERVE IT. BUT JUST KNOW THAT I ACTIVELY HATE YOU FOR IT. AND I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU BECAUSE OF IT.
But just know as much as I hate myself, as much as I hate having to show up for other people, I love everyone deeply and just wish there was a way to do away with this paradox in me. To free myself of the burden of running.
Here’s the truth:
Everything I see in her (not my sister); everything I see in her, I see also in myself. And I hate it. I hate her self-centeredness. I hate how she uses people. How she manipulates them. I hate how little she cares for others. How much she pushes away from her deepest connections. I hate how much she relies on her appearance to get by. I hate how cruel and unfeeling she can be. And do you know why I hate it? Because I AM THE EXACT SAME WAY. We are the fucking same. AND I HATE IT.
I wish, more than anything, that I knew how to love these parts of me. Because to be totally honest. I don’t. I don’t know how to love myself.
But I want to learn. How do I learn to love these dark parts?
Sometimes I feel the best thing to do is to just isolate myself from everyone. EVERYONE. deactivate Instagram. deactivate Facebook. Break my phone. Swallow socks until my vocal cords are clogged up and air can’t get through. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Be free of the noise. Just write. Just write. Just be alone. Just be by myself. With myself. In myself. Just be. No one to bother me. No one to criticize. No one to guilt me for not being better. I’m the sad one. I’m the broken one. I need help. So I help myself. I cut cords. I burn bridges. I return to nothing. Not even ashes. Not even atoms. Nothing. Isolate. Destroy. Rebuild. Stay inside. Take a walk. Lie down. Stand up. Silence. Noise. Alone. Together. Many times I find myself a walking paradox that embodies the tales of the Gemini. To quote my apparent obsession. To quote the one who’s gone. Do I place my faith in ghosts over friends? Am I unknowingly hurting the ones who love me for someone who doesn’t? Am I lost in a sea of delusion? Maybe just maybe the best thing to do is isolate myself. Brick by brick. Sleep. Regroup. Eat. Read. Cry if I have to. Indulge the darkness. Wrap myself in it. Wrap myself in it. Wrap myself in it. Goodnight.