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It’s been kind of a blurry couple of days. I just moved a lot of people are moving right now, tis the season. Whenever my stuff’s not in its place I feel unsettled, which I wish I weren’t so materialistic, but, you know, emotional attachments to that. So I’m feeling a little wobbly, but things are steadying down.

I mean, I grew up as a fat kid. And then in a mostly white community, as a not quite white, not quite brown person. So usually, that’s what I imagined people noticing. And then transplanting from that original place to Chicago, where that’s not so much of a huge, like, freak show. It’s, it’s different. I feel like there’s room for people to notice other things about me now.

I feel like I’ve also seen people get thrown off by how I look versus how I sound like from about 10 feet away. I’m like, Oh, that’s just an average dude. Like, just on the train today, I was getting on the train, and I heard a guy yell like, Hey, man, I like your tattoo. And I went, Oh, thank you. And as soon as he heard my voice, he was like, Oh my god, you’re a chick. It’s interesting. I’m learning to enjoy the question mark that I add to people’s day. There’s some pleasure in that. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, it’s always weird trying to figure out how I’m going to be seen that day. Because if I sometimes I think I look really like, a straight dude. And then I’ll get on the bus and they’re like, welcome, ma’am. Or sometimes I’m like, the opposite. And people, I’ll get sir’d at the store. And it’s, it’s just interesting game to play. And I’m excited about the idea of putting the onus back onto the people looking and not worrying about it so much myself and learning to have fun with it instead of try to control it. Yeah.

Sometimes I feel like I walk around with a sign on my back that’s like, yell at this guy. But I think mostly it’s like trying, just trying in general, like really putting my shoulder into something, whether it’s like perfectionism with the things I make or just trying to be gentle with the people around me. Just always kind of having that self reflection playing back over and over again, which at its best is a good way to find clarity. But at its worst, it can be really distracting and take me out of what I’m actually experiencing.

I feel like everyone has a lot of like little lines that intersect to make them up. Lesbian is a big one. Even if I don’t really consider myself a woman, I’m still like, like, I still had a girlhood. Even though I’m not a girl, I still grew up experiencing that and that’s often how I’m looked at. So it definitely still aligned with what makes a woman but even if that’s not necessarily me. I like the word fat, because it scares people. I don’t really want them to be scared. But someday I just want to like spend a whole day saying the word fat over and over again until it just becomes a noise. Because it’s just such a sharp word, and it causes so much pain even though it can just be a descriptor. So I like trying to repossess that one.

I used to really use mental illness as an identifier for myself. Because I grew up where mental illness you weren’t really supposed to talk about it at all, like what you had or what you didn’t have. And I feel like I swung too far into it of like, really identifying with my mental illness. And now I’m trying to step back and be like, okay, but even if this is something that has happened to me, or something that I deal with, doesn’t necessarily mean I have to keep choosing that. I don’t know if that’s quite right. But like, I don’t have to be my sadness or my fear. Even if it’s something that’s part of my everyday. So it is something that I still consider about myself, but I try not to make it my identity anymore.