Sunday, January 15, 2017

Three Sentence Stories

These are TRUE stories from my life I have reduced to three lines. Names have not been mentioned to protect...those in need of protection. No ill will is meant, just a fun peek into some random experiences in my life. I was inspired by the infamous two-lined horror stories my co-workers and I read on break. Nothing but love.

1. As I was walking to work one morning, a woman called to me from her porch and asked if I could give her some money. I called back, "Sorry! I'm poor, too, that's why I'm walking to work." The woman answered, "Damn. Good point. Have a good day."

2. I pulled up to a car wash one night to get quarters from the change machine to do laundry. A woman approached my car and proceeded to tell me what she described as a "very sad story" about her and her children being hungry and did I have any money to spare? When I said I spent my last $10 on quarters for laundry and had nothing to spare, she then asked if I had (or if I knew anyone who had) Percocets...I drove away.



3. After having lost 10 lbs on my new anti-anxiety medication, I decided to walk downtown and treat myself to ice cream. It was a beautiful summer day as I walked, enjoying my ice cream, with my headphones on yet no music playing because my iPod had died. A man at a bus stop shouted to me (probably thinking I couldn't hear), "Hey! Better watch those pounds eating that ice cream!" to which EVERYONE at the bus stop laughed...I was 20 lbs. lighter than I am now.

4. I once fell in and out of love in one evening when a friend of mine and I decided to go clubbing and he brought his absolutely beautiful best friend with him. Our bodies immediately connected on the dance floor, both of us instinctively moving to the music in perfect harmony, as Rihanna's "Please Don't Stop The Music" played-a song that flawlessly described our meeting. We ended the evening with an intense kiss and I never saw him again. (This happened on the same day as #3)

(Source)

5. I once offered to give back some of my Christmas gifts to a significant other to make up for the fact that she didn't get everything on her Christmas list from me. My gifts from her were paid for with my credit card. She did not hesitant to take back some of my gifts.

6. In one night, I consumed 15 (I'm not exaggerating, this might actually be a conservative estimate) white Russians after being inspired by The Big Lebowski. The parts I remember after the drinking include participating in a human pyramid in a bar, getting kicked out of said bar, cartwheeling (unsuccessfully) down the street and landing on my ass SEVERAL times. The last thing I remember is a friend finding me blacked out next to the toilet, him undressing me and putting me in the shower while slapping my face and screaming not to fall back to sleep...the next morning he told me never to do that again.



7. One night, one of my best friends and I went to New York City to see OneRepublic play at Bowery Ballroom right before their hit single "Stop and Stare" went mainstream. We got extremely drunk and decided to hang out with the opening band, who wanted to eat Chinese food in Chinatown. After ordering a shit ton of food and leaving the band with the bill, we drunkenly attempted to find our way back to Grand Central by foot and subway (literally the beginning of a Law & Order episode), but made it back to New Haven by 5am when I had an all day Saturday graduate class at 8am.

8. One day, another best friend and I decided to spend the day in New York City-she meeting a guy friend she had become interested in, I there for moral support and to keep the guy friend's male bestie company. The four of us had such an amazing day together we didn't want it to end, so the guys paid for us to get hotel rooms-my friend and her love interest in one room, male bestie and I in another. We went out to dinner and ended the night as the only white people in a reggae bar, afterwards we took a cab back to the hotel where I have a clear memory of me singing every word to "Dick in a Box." (The male bestie did not take advantage of me, even though I awoke with regret that we hadn't hooked up...see #9)



9. A few weeks later, the previously mentioned male bestie was passing through town and needed a place to crash. Without hesitation, I offered him my humble New Haven apartment and he showed up a little past midnight. I chattered nervously for an hour straight until he grabbed me and kissed me...and that was the first time I had sex with a man.

10. In 2007, I wanted to participate in the New York City Gay Pride Parade and when I couldn't find anyone to go with me, I decided at the last minute to go by myself. I spent my last $30 on a round trip train ticket to NYC and assumed I could show up the morning of and march in the parade, but found out I had to be registered with an organization. I, then, found a group of people not dressed in uniforms and stood with them until someone handed me a sign and I had been marching with the organization for 10 minutes before I realized I was with the New York City Council and Mayor Bloomberg was an arm's reach away from me. (I got to ride the subway for free all day because of my participation in the parade.)


~Melissa

Saturday, January 7, 2017

I Need Noise...

I am an "aholic". An addict. A Junkie. I have often mused (as un-funny as it is) if I ever tried heroin, I would be dead in a week. My compulsions are epic and beautiful and amazing. Also terrible and frightening and isolating. I've abused and over-used alcohol, food, sex, people, TV, love, sleep, and exercise. But I'm MOST addicted to beginnings and endings. I love starting over-the fresh, new page of a new day, month, year, job, move, relationship. I love the promise of tomorrow and the adrenaline rush list making, goal setting, and vision boards trigger. But, I also love endings.



I love cleaning house and cutting ties. I love trimming the fat from my emotional diet and creating a minimalist state for me to exist in. I love deleting old contacts from my phone and ripping old pages out of my journals. I love to feel cleansed, purged. This obsession has created in me a binge-purge cycle in my emotional life. I get really into something (or someONE) and I'm all about it. I proselytize and attempt to convert any and everyone I meet to agree with me on this amazing new find. I distract myself with this binge for as long as it takes before reality sets in and the purge compulsion surfaces.



Some striking examples in my life are my 7 month stint in a cult when I was 18, many of my relationships, some friendships, diet and exercise fads, songs, TV shows, and most recently the search for a place to call home.

The common thread is the need to be doing, evolving, achieving, and progressing at all times. Which is not, in its purest form, a bad thing. But, I fear, I often get involved in these projects to distract me from the thing that most needs purging: the obsessive, overthinking, highly sensitive thought patterns I have called normal my entire life.

The static that is buzzing at all hours of the day, despite exhaustion and need for mental rest. The humming in the back of my brain akin to an electronic device left on all night. I believe that is why I am shamelessly obsessed with the song "Blood in the Cut" by K. Flay, because the lyrics "take my car and paint it black/take my arm, break it in half/say something, do it soon/it's too quiet in this room/I need noise" speak to a deep and (let's call a spade a spade) troubling part of my psyche.



As I recently texted a friend, I have beginnings and endings down pat, it's the middle-the maintenance-that is difficult. Her response was apt: "Maintenance is boring." And it is. That is probably why I have been spectacular at beginning and ending relationships-maintaining a fun, exciting, sincere, and serious relationship with one person seems daunting and unattainable. Especially with all the distractions we have now. TV, movies, texting, every form of social media known to personkind, including dating apps where a dissatisfied partner could potentially spend less than 15 minutes creating an online profile and start talking to a newer and (hopefully) better person. There is even a fellow blogger devoted to revealing what cheating partners are up to on Cheating Husband Apps

As a married friend and I have discussed, our generation (1981 babies) and younger seem enamored with the illusion and appearance of happy relationships via social media, movies, TV, etc. I can relate-I am often STILL moved to major life decisions based on movies and songs. It's not an easy thing to admit, but being a 90's kid where cable TV was available and romantic comedies ran on a loop every weekend, it makes sense that is how I established my core values in relationships.

My go-to movies are divided into two categories: teen romances and the "damsel in distress." I'm still a sucker for both. As much as it pains me, as a feminist, to admit this: I love and loved the classic story of a woman being swept off her feet by some beautiful, charming, and (of course) sensitive man and "rescued." My body is recoiling at me even writing these words, but truth is truth. I'm less gullible now, but in my formative years? Holy fucking shit. 💖





I thought that's how life and love worked. You suffered, you met some incredible human being, they fixed every problem in your life (down to wardrobe), and you lived happily ever after. No discussion on what happens in the absence of conflict, how one maintains a relationship through the everyday monotony of life. So, in my naive mind, conflict that tested love was essential in relationships. Therefore, in the absence of said conflict, I felt the need to create some to prove to myself and my partner just how much we could overcome. And boy did I!


Luckily, I have outgrown creating drama, but the craving for it still pervades. The absence of it suggesting there is *something missing* when really it's just life being life. Most of it is uneventful bullshit we have to muck through to get to the fun stuff, which (hopefully) does not get thwarted by someone else's drama addiction.

So, instead of longing for a person or relationship to fix this merry-go-round I have been on for 20+ years, I am creating my own happiness, fun, and excitement and hoping to find someone who thinks outside the box enough to want to jump on, instead of expecting me to jump off.

~Melissa

*Title credit song "Blood In The Cut" by K. Flay in 2016 (Because I'm STILL obsessed with it!)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Guess I'm Contagious It'd Be Safest If You Ran

Relationships. Fuck me. I can't, in good conscience, go into 2017 without addressing them. I am an unlikely (and not at all proud) heart breaker. I have collected quite a few hearts over the years and I hate myself for it. There's not much else that haunts me the way my relationship history does. I oscillate between deep, unrelenting shame and indifference-the latter I'm certain is only there as a reprieve from the former. But, like an abuser is often a victim of abuse, this heart breaker is a highly sensitive empath whose heart was broken one too many times and has resigned to her fate.

At least that was my thought in 2016 and now I'm like FUCK THAT. Maybe my relationship style is unique, but I want to fall in love and I plan to. As many times as it takes. I want to find someone I connect with on every level and know them intimately, beyond bed sheets and candles. A kind of harmony I have yet to experience fully. I've come awful close and then one (or both) of us feels rejected or hurt (life) and builds walls. I'm usually so aggressive I end up banging on said walls, only making them harder to perforate. I'm like a goddamn Miley Cyrus.


Then, I graduate to passive aggression, sometimes within the course of the relationship, sometimes it's just my MO out of the gate. Passive aggression is bad. It's one step up from giving up. At least, that's been my experience. If you catch me being passive aggressive...

   (Source)

No good. I'm starting to mentally shut down when that happens. I'm now just appeasing you and quietly planning the inevitable: leaving. Because I seem to be addicted to changing myself, relationships become unfortunate collateral damage. Some relationships, unbeknownst to me, are only transitory and those are the hardest on me. Because I have usually been "working on myself" and feel healthy in ways I hadn't before, I feel confident in starting a relationship. But, very soon in I find myself restless, dissatisfied, and itching to leave-through zero fault of my counterpart. In fact, this person may be "perfect" and have done everything right. It's just timing. And it fucking sucks. These break-ups are the most inexplicable. Leaving both (definitely me) reeling and confused. I thought I was better than this. I thought I was a grown up now. I thought this is what I wanted! my mind would scream. That may be true, but it doesn't mean it was right.



I am a master self-saboteur because I have been gutted and demolished by relationships-romantic and otherwise. My high sensitivity makes it hard to bear the thought of that happening again. Therefore, at the smallest sign of a problem I freak out. Inwardly and quietly...at first. It doesn't take long for my inner world to seep out of my mouth and alert friends and partners of my insecurities. And NOTHING is hotter or sexier than insecurity...


Once I start to feel insecure, it's hard to reign it in and the very things I fear (my partner falling out of love with me, finding someone else, and cheating on me) happen. And it's happened enough to where I almost expect it...eventually. Which is why I have considered (and still do from time to time) polyamory. But another blog for another time...

So, to avoid the unsexy insecurities and seemingly inevitable broken heart, I jump ship. I find a reason to leave and I do. And, truth be told, at first it's empowering. Probably because I have felt so disempowered in relationships, either from my loads of baggage I'm bringing in, the way I'm treated in the relationship, or a beautiful disaster called all the above. As time wears on, I feel regret, disgust, loss, grief; sometimes months or years after the fact, since I have become a ninja at suppressing my feelings.


Alas, this is my record, my history, my narrative. It's ugly and beautiful, all at once. Same goes for relationships and, for that matter, life. I've seen the ugly, caused a lot of it myself, but I've seen the beautiful as well. And fuck if the beautiful isn't worth all the ugly.





~Melissa

*Title credit song "Blood In The Cut" by K. Flay in 2016 (Because I'm obsessed with it!)


Sunday, January 1, 2017

It's Too Quiet In This Room...

So, I spent today just as planned. I bought and prepared all my healthy food for the week (even though the lying liars at Whole Foods were NOT open at 9:00!). I put my laptop away and set my timer when playing online games. I went for a walk in the rain. I started reading a new book. Even though 2017 started as planned and I am in good spirits, there is a sadness. A sadness at another year ending. It makes me think about mortality, endings, regrets. It's inevitable to go down that road, the difference is instead of fighting it I am embracing these feelings and labeling them as appropriate. Rarely in my life have I allowed myself to believe my feelings are appropriate. Nice job, Melissa.


2016 was far better, for me, than 2015. I achieved what I set out to: regroup, build my self-confidence, and gain a better understanding of my self-worth. I met some amazing people many of whom I suspect will be lifelong friends. I've also unintentionally hurt some people and those are some of the regrets I woefully carry with me into 2017. Because that's how life works. You leave as much of the past as you can, but baggage is what it is. You can't realistically leave everything behind, unless you want to forfeit the beautiful memories, too. I want all of them-even the painful ones.


I'm also ready to take 2017 by the balls and tell him to follow my lead. I'm on fire-the Alicia Keys way not red, hot, burning ouchies way. I am motivated, focused, determined, and downright fucking zen, man. I don't know where this pizzazz is coming from but I'm not arguing. I'm not going to do what I have done in the past in a New Year's post and bullet point all the things I learned in 2016 and all the things I plan to do in 2017. You'll find out soon enough and there aren't enough surprises left in this world. I'm holding onto this for a bit. But suffice it to say, it's epic. This year will be no different than any other year unless I (or you) make it different. That is a fact. Wtf, my new Fitbit talks to me?! Gives me directives?? I love this! It just "told" me to walk 244 steps in the next 10 min. Amazing...


But I digress...

I am embracing my weird and letting my freak flag fly. Some of you must be thinking how much more "freak" do I have to wave, but I hold back more than people think. I feel myself becoming hyper and I quiet myself. I feel myself become emotional and I bite the inside of my mouth to keep from crying. I feel myself start to worry and outwardly portray someone who is cool, calm, and collected. I have pride in those moments when I am genuinely cool, calm, and collected; sensitive; or spazzy, but I don't want to fabricate these feelings any longer and, more importantly, I don't want to dull them either. I have felt the light in my eyes go out and it's a horrifying feeling. To feel yourself becoming numb, succumbing to the dissatisfaction as a normal part of living is the antithesis of living. So, to that light in my eye that wavers and considers going out completely, I say:

I'm intrigued and hopeful as 2017 commences. We shall see what this sexy beast has in store for us. I, for one, am ready. Are you?

~Melissa

*Title credit song: "Blood In The Cut" by K. Flay in 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

NYC Pride Flashback circa 2007

Happy Pride Weekend!

I know June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month for most of the country, but being a Northeasterner at heart, the last weekend in June has always been reserved for "The Pride Event": New York City Pride Parade.



Being out since 2004, I had always imagined myself walking in the NYC Pride Parade. My fantasy revolved around images I had accumulated from movies, books, and music videos. You know the ones-stereotypical depictions of butch lesbians on motorcycles and scantily clad gay men waving rainbow flags-I wanted to be in the thick of it!





Unfortunately, I could not manage to scoop up any willing participants on this excursion, so come Sunday morning I headed to the New Haven train station by my lonesome. Destination: Grand Central. I am definitely someone who can "pass" and my attire reflected that as well. En route to NYC, I looked like a typical college student heading to The City for the day. I was equipped with a bagel and coffee, very little money (in fact JUST enough for my round trip train ticket and a $5 meal in New York), and a spunky attitude!

Being cognizant of the mayhem that would soon ensue, I arrived VERY early. So early, in fact, the volunteers were still setting up the event. That is when I first noticed the traffic barricades blocking off the sidewalk...and when it dawned on me that most people don't assume they can just show up to one of the largest pride events in the world and expect to just simply MARCH with the parade. But, then again, I'm not most people. 

I casually usurped the barricades and starting walking up 7th Ave, in the street. It took approximately 27 seconds before a very militant lesbian approached me with a clipboard and asked if I needed help. In my youthful arrogance I simply responded I was there to march in the parade. She scoffed and asked if I was registered with a group. I slowly took a sip of coffee and explained I was not registered with a group. She all but laughed at me and said I could not march if I was not registered, before marching away herself. I smiled and affirmed: I am marching in this parade.
  
I peered across 7th Ave and saw a group of 20-somethings in a vibrant and excited huddle. Unlike most of the other groups that were forming, these individuals were not dressed alike and, therefore, made it easier for me to sneak in and pretend I was with them. In a matter of minutes, a woman shouted, "Who wants to carry a sign?!" 
I thought, Here's my chance! If I'm carrying a sign, I can't be told I can't march!
"I do!" I exclaimed and hurried over. I cannot for the life of me remember what my sign said and unfortunately it did not survive the many moves I've had since 2007. But, that sign was my ticket to my very gay fantasy, so I held on for dear life. 

At precisely noon, we kicked off from 36th and 7th towards The Village and the excitement pulsed immediately. I had no idea who I was marching with, but I was overwhelmed by the proud energy pounding from the onlookers and marchers alike. 

We hadn't walked very far, when we stopped and I heard a man speak from one row ahead of me. In a dizzying moment of realization, the pieces start to connect and I realized who, exactly, I was marching with. I was marching with the New York City Council and quite literally one person separated me and Mayor Bloomberg!



These are pictures from NYC Pride 2007. I was one of the many people holding signs announcing important political and legal dates in gay history. 
 
My head was spinning. It was surreal to know I was actually participating in this event and I had done it with nearly no preparation. As the march continued, my casual attire became more "Gay-a-fied" as I collected rainbow Mardi Gras beads, buttons, stickers, and flags. By the time we ended at Christopher Street, I was covered in rainbow goodness from head to toe-never mind my sign. Having spent hours marching in the heat, I was in need of a subway pronto. I stopped and asked a cop where I could find the nearest subway station and was informed that all participants of the parade got to ride for free!


 
I lived off that Pride high for weeks after, telling anyone who would listen about my adventure! The train ride back to CT was entertaining to say the least as I garnered looks from everyone from elderly couples to children to other queer 20-somethings who smiled with solidarity.

So while I was not able to participate in today's Pride events, my flashback holds special significance for not only the queer in me, but the activist in me.




 ~Melissa

Friday, January 1, 2016

An Open Letter to 2015

As the new year begins, I find myself caught up in the typical end-of-the-year reflections, mostly thanking the fuck out of the Universe that 2015 is over. Please trust I am everyday grateful that I am alive and able to live each day to it's fullest, that I have an abundance of family and friends who know me better than I know myself, and that I am (finally) employed at a job I do not vehemently hate every second of. That being said, this past year certainly gave 2014 a run for its money.

 http://cdn.meme.am/instances/60793105.jpg
It's natural, then, to look back and bid adieu to all the fucked up shit that happened in 2015. Taking this reflection a step further, I have decided to address the main source of my discontent in 2015: my bad attitude. Because, basically, it all comes down to that. After 2014 proved to be misstep after misstep, I expected the Universe to grant me a break, without even considering my role in the equation. I assumed 32 essentially good (at worst decent) years + 1 tough year = I deserve all the things. But that, my darlings, is not how Life works. Life just is-it gives and it takes in a cycle that most of us pay little attention to. And when Life takes, the outcome depends almost entirely on our reaction to it. Pissing and moaning, blaming others, exclaiming "I'm cursed!" (something I am ashamed to admit I have said more than once in 2015), and throwing hissy fits is not going to force Life to give back, it's just going to make the situation that much harder to accept. 

I have even gone so far as to declare: "In the past two years, I can't seem to have more than 2 or 3 days of peace without the rug being pulled out from under me." Now, as extreme as that may seem, it's actually fairly accurate situation-wise, BUT it didn't have to accurately describe my attitude. Instead, I let each situation puncture me, seep into my veins, and (worse of all) define me. I'm going to say that again: I let those bad days, awful situations, and heartbreaking moments DEFINE me. For two fucking years. Me! The person who always thought of herself as spiritual, positive, affirming, compassionate, understanding, open, "silver lining" adjacent.

I had become cynical, sardonic, skeptical, smug, bitter, jaded. All these alarming adjectives I never could have imagined associated with myself. And not because I've never felt these feelings in my life, of course I have, but never for so long, unrelenting to the point of attempting to forge itself into my core, my very soul. And I was afraid there was no way back. As scary and dark as these feelings were, I experienced a sense of superiority. Equivalent to the moment I asked my mother (at age 9) if there was really a Santa Claus and she confirmed there wasn't. The magic was gone, but I felt eerily superior, enlightened, "better." That is precisely the feeling I have held onto for two years, each day growing stronger: The magic was gone, but I felt eerily superior. Like I knew the "real" meaning of Life and everyone who was positive and happy was being duped. Trust, I recognize how absolutely miserable that sounds.


The magic I am referring to is the wonder of Life. The fascination of connecting with people, sharing common goals, allowing your heart to love, being open to hurt, putting yourself "out there." Everything I had come to love about Life, I was now belittling and demeaning. And it has affected my psyche, my heart, my well-being, and, most tragically, my soul.

Sure, I could blame dysfunctional relationships (I've had my fair share!), a crazy family (check!), unsupportive partners (yep!), career burn-out (yes, ma'am!), or a strong case of wanderlust (Lord, yes!) OR I could look at the preceding reasons and conclude my poor attitude likely played a large part in each of those areas, as well. Had I been more confident, comfortable in my skin, and trusting I wouldn't have sought out partners, careers, and locations that would eventually disappoint, most through no fault of their own. (Especially since I am not the only human on this planet who has ever experienced the previous.)


So, 2015, you have given me many opportunities to face who I really am, even when it hurt. You have given me reasons to cry and scream and shut down from the people closest to me. You have given me grief and struggle, but also resilience and hope. In truth, last year was never about you and Life conspiring against me, it has always been about you giving me reasons to trust Life loves me and gives me exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. I can't promise my attitude will magically alter today, I can't even promise to go back to the wide-eyed optimist I was in my 20's, but I can promise not to give up, not to succumb to the bitterness, not to expect the worst from people. I can promise to try harder, laugh more, take Life (and everything!) less seriously while I am blessed enough to be here on this planet. In closing, 2015, you gave much more than you took, because you gave me a purpose, you pushed me to my breaking point and trusted I would find my way back. And I am beginning to. Thank you.


~Melissa



Sunday, November 8, 2015

I Get Into All The Don'ts

It always seems like we're just "getting through" things. You get through school to get through college to get through work to get through to the weekend, vacation, retirement. As an anxious person, this has colored my entire world and my perspective on most things, unfortunately leaving me with a general sense of misery I typically cannot pinpoint. I am in a constant state of anticipation (good or bad) and it wreaks havoc on the here and now.

I've tried changing my attitude and outlook to "be present" in the moment-employing mindfulness techniques while at work or suffering through a long line at the DMV. This has been about 50% effective, which is not a bad statistic overall, but for someone who feels "born anxious", maintaining mindfulness for extended periods can feel time consuming, exhausting, and (in the end) more anxiety-producing.


I've tried making the most of my "free time" to the point of estimating I have approximately 64 "free" hours a week I'm not at work, sleeping, or getting ready for work. This, of course, does not count errands, phone calls, paying bills, and the myriad other "adult" things we are required to accomplish everyday to be considered "grown up." (It also carries on the aforementioned "getting through" dilemma.)


I've tried militant list making and planning-an escape route of sorts-to give me meaning and purpose in current stressful situations. That works more often than mindfulness, but perpetuates the anticipatory anxiety I am trying to avoid altogether. Never mind all of these avenues typically have the shelf-life of a gallon of milk.




Each time I consider this quandary, I come out feeling more defective. It appears most people have it down. "It" being LIFE. These guys and gals seem to know who they are, what they want, and how to get it. Not only that, but they seem to know how to convert that self-awareness into financial success. On the other hand, there are just as many people who do "get through the week" at a job they don't particularly enjoy, but find satisfaction in family, friends, hobbies, and clubs.

I can't relate to either. Depression has tricked me more times than I can count into believing this universal dissatisfaction I have felt definitely in the past 2 years, probably since I graduated college, possibly since birth is me just being a lazy, bored, miserable bitch. Unhappy, unsatisfied, unappeasable.


The kicker is...I'm not miserable. I'm truly not. Sure, I have significant mood, food, and booze issues. True, I have untreated OCD (Thanks, South Carolina!). Yes, I feel lost and alone almost all the time. Those are things I have dealt with my entire life in one form or another, yet only in recent years has this growing dissatisfaction, disillusionment, and disinterest in remaining an automaton reached levels I can no longer ignore. Levels where it physically hurts to ignore them.



I'm also not lazy. I thrive on hard work, deadlines, and productivity. I was unemployed from June to the end of October and it made little difference in my mood or anxiety. I still worried about the future and had epic mood changes, trouble sleeping, and obsessive thoughts. The irony is routine works both for and against me. My mental health craves it for stability and security, but my spirit feels bound and strangled. Which has led some noteworthy revelations about myself.

In recent months three things have become evident:
  1. I am a very sensitive person, an empath who absorbs mine and others' experiences and feelings to the point of mental, physical, and spiritual unrest.   
  2. I am a gypsy soul with a serious case of wanderlust and a side of free spirit syndrome. I love new beginnings, moving, having a "fresh slate", but find myself restless soon after arriving at these new adventures.
  3. I consistently set myself up to fail. I put pressure on myself to mold to the "norm" and when I do, immediately feel stifled, robotic, and (quite possibly the most disturbing) ordinary.

I believe the restlessness lies in expecting geography to change my worldview so much so that my creative/wanderer/activist self will be satiated. The fact of the matter is Greenville is Corning is Meriden in the sense that I (like every single responsible adult on this planet) have to earn a living to support myself. Just being a living human being costs money-a lot of money. Never mind the stacks of various kinds of debt accrued when my former self was transitioning to this newest place on earth.

In terms of conformity, we have maintained a love-hate relationship since adolescence. I was fortunate enough to come of age in the grunge era. I say this not only because the music, movie, and art scenes were on point, but as a body-conscious teen, having baggy cords and oversized tee shirts in vogue was a godsend. I assert had fate decided I adolesce in the present, I would have pulled a Martha Dunnstock. I wanted to fit in as badly as any teen girl does, yet at the same time I had a non-conformity death wish of sorts, wanting to be as far from the trends as possible and uncertain how to marry the two. Twenty years later and I'm just as lost.


Lastly, feeling ordinary and normal seems so far from the person I am inside-in my mind, in my spirit. I don't say this in a superior way, far from it. Instead, I am saying it from an outcast's perspective. I feel like a fraud and have in just about every job and career I have held. Even when I write there is a sense of chicanery, however minute, I feel I have to overcome. Perhaps that is due to society's fixation with talent=money=success and because I have never been published nor achieved massive blog readership, I am, therefore, an unsuccesful/untalented writer.

I wish this post held more answers, but I fear the deeper I dive into this arena, every answer spawns several more questions. What needs to change? Will I ever feel satisfied? How can I be both authentic and a productive member of society when my authenticity so badly wants to give 9-5 jobs the middle finger?


I think the best I can hope for is connection with others who feel the same and remain optimistic that time will reveal how I can achieve my goals-personal and professional-in a way that is legitimate, satisfying, spiritual, and meaningful. To be clear, my mission is not a complete lack of disillusion in life. It is in disappointment that my creativity is born. To be without it entirely would leave me without conflict, too satisfied to rebel and speak my mind. And this gypsy soul has a rebel heart.



~Melissa

*Title credit: Song: "Moments" by Tove Lo in 2014