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11:57 p.m. - 2012-01-08
Not asking for trouble, but it'll come.

Okay, here's the thing, I'm in a really selfish place right now. Good selfish, I think. No, I know it's a good thing. The peace that's eluded me, well, I've found it. Finally.

I've been a churning mess since birth. No big shock to anyone who's been here for a while. Messy, messy LA with the good words and the fucked up life. Never normal, never average. My life fitted me like a bad suit. Sure as hell my teenaged parents had no clue what to do with this unexpected and completely unwanted baby. And far from being a comfortable-to-deal-with docile girlchild who was lying around being cute and gurgly, sweetly dribbing on the expensive layette from Lord & Taylor's my Chanel grandmother insisted upon buying I've been charting my own path and making trouble since ever. I've been determined to be from the moment of my accidental conception in the back of a Nash Rambler during the opening weekend of the Orangeburg Drive-In in the early spring of 1962.

Be and be heard.

Why else start speaking in complete sentences at 10 months old?

Why else did I insist on riding a pink plastic horse with red wheels instead of walking? I rode that thing until I was too tall to make it go anymore. Knees knocking into the handles jutting out on either side of the horse's head, legs too long and feet dragging, I finally let the horse go and walked. Not because they made me, but because it suited me to. I needed to get places faster than my poor outgrown pink plastic horse could get me.

Reading at 2, writing at 2. I wasn't so much a prodigy as I was a person in charge of myself and I had a lot to say. And nobody was listening. Writing it was. Had to be. Honestly? I remember getting better at writing and expanding my written vocabulary in ferocious whacking hunks by reading everything I could lay hands on, but the first time I put pencil to paper? It was about the same time I was potty trained.

That fierce LA, the one who was so very determined to make a place for herself, the one with so much to say? I found out I needed love too. Wanted it. Craved it. And love would only be given if I recanted. If I stopped scaring them. If I wasn't fierce. If I backtracked, gave in, made myself less. God help me, I spent the next 45 years giving up who I was so I could seal the deal. I had to deny being the authentic me and pretend to be the one they claimed wanted instead of who I truly was if I was to be allowed.

Because I wasn't, you know. I wasn't allowed. People like me simply shouldn't be. Weird LA. Too Big LA. Too Smart. Too LOUD. LA feels too much. Talks too much. Thinks too much. Knows too much. It's fucking unnatural.

Am I good at everything? Oh hell no. I've never won a chess game. Press me for a fast answer whether it's a left or right turn and I freeze. I'm a shitty baker. I don't understand competition, never have. If someone is better than I am at a skill or a game, or a profession, or whatever, I'm supposed to bend all my energy and attention toward besting that guy? Why? Isn't it good that everybody has some place of excellence? Doesn't that add to the common good?

Thus I am a weirdo. My feelings about myself never change because someone else can do something I can't. I've always been, "Well...good! YAY! There's someone who grows delicious broccoli. Designs software. Knits a hat. Writes a sonnet. Drives a race car. Kicks a soccer ball better than I can. Good deal. Lets me off the hook for having to be fabulous at those things too".

Because that's the major thing about me and my unnatural way of going on, I don't resent anyone else's talent. More than that, I'm thrilled by what others bring me with their work, their viewpoints, their skills. How cool is it that there's folks who make cheese? Guard our crosswalks? Suture our wounds? Deliver our newspapers? It's fantastic there's people who think about physics, morality, gardening, moviemaking, and find new ways to go about those pursuits! For instance- I've made earrings. I've made pretty earrings from semi-precious stones and sterling silver findings, doesn't stop me from appreciating and buying the earrings others have made. I'm a great cook, yet I still enjoy going out to eat. I lose nothing by the excellence of others.

All I've ever wanted was to be offered the same affection and acceptance I give everybody else. And I so rarely find that. But go me. And go Mick! Because he sees me as this wonderful thing- a boon and an amazing friend- I've finally been able to take it in and believe in myself.

We had Little Christmas at SIL's yesterday. Her husband's mother had a bad, bad stroke on Christmas Eve. Down to Florida they went to wait for the inevitable. BIL's mother hung on for a week. From what I understand she was one of the fierce ones too. She died on New Year's Day. The family had a service and a burial and then they came home. To find out their elderly Labrador had died and SIL had been laid off from her job. Such a sad season at their house. Yesterday's Christmas do-over was absolutely necessary. The tree was still up and lit. SIL programmed a whole bunch of carols and and holiday music on the stereo. We all exchanged gifts. Raised glasses and made toasts. Laughed a lot. Hugged a lot.

Me? Every single person there found a quiet moment to tell me how much they liked/loved me and how glad they were I was there. SIL. MIL. FIL. BIL. His grown children. Alana's partner. Visiting friends from the club. My own guys. Heck, even the stand-offish cat came and sat in my lap and let me scritch behind her ears. And I realized I was where I was supposed to be.

I can be still now. At peace, at last. The churning messy years are over. I can be exactly who I am. A mushy, talky, loudly emotional, knows too much about others' private selves, good hug giving, wordy, oversized, dopey misfit LA. They love me. And finally I love me. And am at peace with who I am, what I am, and what purpose I serve.

The weirdo, the unacceptable one, the too-much-to-be-forgiven-for-being-born one has come into herself and is finally allowed to be her real self.

Snark away, trolls, you can't hurt me anymore. ~LA

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