After a long, grueling class on gender and risk-taking and adolescent criminal justice, I found myself reflecting on my walk to my car and subsequent drive home. What I realized was that I somehow managed to leave myself in NY when I moved out here to PA. All because a white van passed by underneath the overpass from the hospital to the parking lot. What I said to myself (out loud, because I have no internal dialogue when I’m alone and can verbalize my thoughts for clarity) was that I see any ol’ white van and automatically think it might be Matty, despite it’s location in Philly and Jersey plates. Shaking my head, I had a true moment of nostalgia, albeit for something I had never experienced to begin with.
What I miss, of course, is family. Partially a result of the broken ties between my father/stepmother/brother, I realize that part of my life was immediately replaced with a whole new group of people–the difference being that these new people aren’t mean or spiteful or make me uncomfortable with something as simple as a facial expression. They would never have been the type of people to destroy someone’s childhood or make them untrusting of others. Okay, so I don’t particularly know how Gabrielle might handle “parenting: you’re doing it wrong,” but I also think I’d be able to offer personal/professional advice without a second thought and have it well-received (regardless of if it’s followed). They’re a family that sticks together, that’s supportive of one another, that’s accepting, in spite of opinions (both their own as well as others’). Sure, this isn’t my family, but to be honest, they’re as close as I have to family (save for my mother), and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
I obviously also miss having a boyfriend that’s 5 minutes away. Three hours isn’t so bad, but I can’t just show up and offer a hug and a cigarette when the clutch goes on the Miata and Stefan’s (or I’m) just having a “bad day.” I can’t go pick him up from work, but instead have to stare at the clock, figuring out the best plan of action to get phone numbers for family members (turns out whitepages.com works just fine, by the way), hoping he makes it home alive and doesn’t forget to text me that he’s home. I also can’t stand that I found the best thing that’s ever happened to me three months before moving to another state. As I’ve said entirely too many times before, being in a healthy relationship is an amazing feeling, something I guess I’ve never truly experienced, and I just want the full effect, always. That’s difficult from 120 miles away. Plus, Breakfast Tuesdays are impossible across states.
But what I miss most is me. I’m in a cohort of 25 people that are smart, have a ton more experience than myself, and are completely comfortable being themselves. As it turns out, I’m not exactly a politically correct person. I said a nonsense word today while practicing my WIAT testing that sounded very similar to “fag,” and Kajal jumped on me (no worries, Kajal; I’m just using it as an example), wanting to assure that I hadn’t, in fact, said that word. But truth be told, I would have. Not necessarily in that context, or in any that would insult someone that couldn’t take it, but in general it’s come out of my mouth before and will again. What did I write on Facebook?…something about someone else supporting something I hate. BGM (which stands for Big Gay Mike, btw) joked that I meant freedom. Stefan joked that I meant Jews. I joked that I meant black people. Do I think for one second I would have had that exchange with anyone I surround myself with now? No. I’m too afraid to say things like that, because I’m certain to offend someone. I say derogatory things to my friends. I play with guns and knives. I don’t watch Glee or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I judge people and have somehow found myself feeling condescending at times. Where do I find common ground with people that have incredibly different interests and personalities? I’m sick of talking about school and class-and-work-related things. I want to sit on a park bench, drinking beer from a bag (open container laws in Philly too?), and making up stories about people based solely on observation from afar and snippets of overheard conversation that are probably untrue, but fun to imagine.
Maybe I need to re-define myself. Maybe I need to find pleasure in more things that are common among the population, so that I have somewhere to begin. It’s just…I’ve been spending so much time accepting the weirdo that I am, that I don’t want to be any different. So here I go again on my own. Holing myself up in this tiny little studio (but much easier to clean, mind you), waiting until the next time I can really speak without thinking.