Now Playing: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman (you've got to make a decision, leave tonight or live and die this way)
All my life, I've been different. Weird. Unique. Talented. Pariah. Extraordinary. Freak.
I've never had much by way of normal. I have a weird body and a weird brain and I'm always compelled to do weird things. Doctors stare at me in amazement, and I've been 'the clever one' for as long as I can remember. I am very, very obviously Asian, but not typically Asian. I've never sat comfortably with ordinary things. I've always had things people can't have, or don't want to have, and I always find it impossible to procure what everyone else seems to have.
I thought I had made peace with my oddities; to the point where I no longer feel comfortable blending in. But the call of the ordinary has been...an extraordinarily difficult thing to wrestle with.
When I was younger I wanted what all little girls wanted. I wanted to be admired and adored and suffocated with love. I've been reading A Song of Ice and Fire and I'm an avid Game of Thrones fan and as much as little Sansa Stark is an insufferably annoying character, I see so much of myself in her. I had crazy dreams because I had given up on the ordinary ones. But I never stopped wanting.
Being a late bloomer is weird. Just when everyone else is getting tired of it, you're just getting started. When life is calling you to difficult, complicated, adult things, you're that little woman with the wonderful boyfriend with a fast car, only you're not such a little woman anymore. They don't give prizes for how long you can stay in bed with someone. Sweet nothings are not diplomas or job offers or career opportunities. But they are so sweet, and wrenching myself out of that reverie has left scars that don't seem to be healing anytime soon.
I don't think anyone has really appreciated how lonely I have been, my whole life. I remember being thirteen, sitting at the back of my new classroom, trying to inhale all the set texts everyone else had already read. I remember sitting alone, reading alone, doing everything alone. I remember admiring, loving, lusting, craving from a distance, not even daring to put words to the abstract ache. I remember how easily a younger and more vulnerable self fell into the most obvious traps, of pretty words and pretty smiles, desperate for attention. I remember using my loneliness as armour, finding such solace in fleeting blue hour romances, never daring to get too close, always wanting to end up alone, because being alone meant being safe. I look back at all the times I have succumbed to the call of the mundane and been burned.
I've wanted to be extraordinary my whole life. It was the only thing that kept me going. I wanted to become so big and tall that nobody would ever touch me, nobody would ever hurt me, I wanted to look down on everyone and spit on them all. Admitting to myself that I really just want to be happy, that maybe becoming extraordinary and becoming happy aren't the same thing, that maybe a lot of the reason why I am so unhappy is because I am so isolated...it's not an easy thing to wrap your head around, when you've formed your whole identity around being different.
I've always rejected being ordinary. It was easy for me to sneer at the mundane, because I never had it. The white middle class life was never something I could aspire to; I grew up always being reminded that I am not one of them. I took it in stride, during my lonely, angry childhood; if I couldn't be one of them, I'd be a whole other thing entirely. But now as I get older, as the challenges ahead are harder and the rewards I reap are not always wonderful in a wonderfully uncomplicated way...I do feel old, childish insecurities creep in. I keep telling myself that armour is not the answer, that turning myself into a block of ice, whilst I probably have every right to do so, will only hurt myself. But people take being warm and sweet as weakness, and there seems to be no shortage of people willing to exploit perceived vulnerability.
Girls my age are not meant to worry about dying alone, and I don't. I really don't. I know how my life is today is not how it's going to be forever, for better or for worse. But loneliness is a real, present, thing, right now, and I'm sick of it being constantly invalidated. I have started on a long, lonely path, and I don't know if I'll make it. And I don't know if I'll like where I end up.