Functionally Alive

Okay, here’s the thing. To everyone on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list – bra-fucking-vo. You are the gifted and talented and frankly, I am in awe. Look at you, you wild sons of bitches.

To everyone else already in their 30’s feeling like they blew it and are now stuck in whatever hellscape being a millenial in the US *is* – I’ve got good news. You are not in your 30’s. I mean sure, your body has been chugging along for 30+ years now. But can you really call life before say – 15 – living? You have almost no agency, no critical thinking skills, and due to us living before the internet – very limited access to information outside of your adults. I realize libraries existed but if you have ever visited a rural library in the late 90’s – then you know about how white bias can affect libraries. That and funding. Anyway. Was what we did before that really forging our path through life? No. Not here, anyway. I had been to a few different states. I had been force fed a whole lot of toxic Christianity. I regurgitated beliefs like facts on a test, both of which I did exceedingly well. I had kind of exerted a little influence over my sense of style but much of that was due to being unable to get many new clothes, but the other part was again, living in rural Iowa where I was not bombarded with advertisements all day.

What I’m saying is this: I have been doing this living thing with the choices and the agency and the relationships and the responsibilities for, at most, around 17 years. And that is giving myself a solid 14 years of adolescent cushion because it has been about 3 years now that I have been actively addressing my mental and emotional health, finding information at the source for myself, unlearning toxic spirituality, and pursuing the life I want instead of the one that was wanted for me.

So I’m not 32 and late to the game – I’m 17 and right on time. Or, even better, I’m 3 and precocious as hell. Either way.

It’s not that I’m 32 and will probably die between 80 and 90 and thusly have 2/3 of my life in front of me. It’s that my life, my ability to make my own choices, the ability to heal myself from what happened as I was forming, etc just started. I’m just getting the hang of this. Literally everything is in front of me and I’m barely past the tutorial.

Let’s make our lives what we want them to be. Starting now. Let’s build a foundation on which to stack the next 50+ years and not assume the shitty one that was given to us is our only option. Or our best option. Or the most secure. I refuse to say that because I have not had wild success at 32 that I am not going to get it.

I know we cannot just will our circumstances away. I know that we are millenials mostly and that we are trying to claw our way out of wells we never wanted to be in while the older generation remembers, loudly, how wells were only 2ft deep in their time and they could just step right out and how lazy we must be to not do the same. And then continue to be extremely bad at math and write and pass legislature that keeps us buried. I know. I also know how my only two options are to marvel at the injustice of it all or to keep clawing.

But I can always change me. I can always get better at something that brings me joy. I can always continue to heal. I can always reach out to others and tell them they are not alone. I can always remind myself that we are more than what we are dealt – or even the first couple of hands if we’re being honest.

I want to be very clear as I wrap this up that this post was never intended to be a ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ and ‘hustle harder’ etc. Fuck that shit. Medicare for all. Housing is a right. Tax the rich. Defund the police. Free college. We all deserve to rest. Living wages. Freedom from high interest debt. What I am trying to say is never listen to the voices that tell you it’s too late to change yourself. That you can’t learn that new skill. That it’s too late to be the person you want to be. That you can’t try again. That you’re too old to get in shape. Too old to learn to code. Too old to try that tiktok dance. Too old to tell off your racist relative. Too old to change your political party. Too old to heal. Too old to change your mind. Too old to change your religion. Too old to say sorry. Too old to say “I was wrong”.

We are only just beginning. Every moment, every choice left is always in front of us and it is NEVER too late.

2020 You Fickle Bitch

I have so many reasons to genuinely dislike this year. Obviously. It’s been a dumpster fire of a year globally. And it’s not even half over.

But I don’t feel the need to list the ways everything has gone off the rails. We’re all acutely aware, and have been hit hardest in many different ways.

Thing is, I’ve learned that going off the rails isn’t always a bad thing. Like, metaphorically, it is, obviously. Trains belong on rails. Life doesn’t.

So when the stay at home order hit, rather than be apart, my metamour moved in. Best. Plot Twist. Ever. I went from 100% mono to 100% not trying to be labeled because I’m living that spectrum life. I went from 100% heterosexual to 100% exploring romantic, not necessarily sexual love. And my life is so much richer for it.

I’m 100% over the competition. She is beautiful. She is graceful. I feel as if I live every morning just to make her laugh. She is not a foil to my glaringly less desireable traits, nor is she a compliment to my many admirable qualities. She exists wholly outside of me. Her own being. Her own life. Her own sphere of creation. And I love her. And he loves her. And he loves me. And she loves me.

Competition was taught to us in order to make us feel as if someone has to lose. As if there are no win win solutions for what plagues us. And I’m here to call bullshit.

As I continue my education of who I am, relearning history from the perspective of the ‘losers’, and questioning everything that is taken for granted in this fucked up culture, I am realizing just how much we have lost.

And how much there is to take back. Families are not supposed to look one way. Love is not supposed to be an unchangeable, inflexible chain around us. Love is as big and beautiful and ever changing as we are.

I’m not saying commitment is a bad thing, quite the opposite. I’m saying refusing to leave room for growth is detrimental. Forcing love to look a certain way for the sake of fitting in, ignoring your personal needs in favor of what society has convinced you is ‘right’, will hurt you and everyone you care about.

I’m saying I’m done giving even the slightest consideration to what I have been told is ‘right’. And have become deeply skeptical of anything that I have ever or will ever be told is ‘God’s will’. Because it’s almost always the will of greedy, old, white men.

There are win/win solutions for almost every problem we face, so long as your definition of winning isn’t domination/control/hoarding wealth/needing others to tell you how correct you are. There is enough food for all of us (if we stop throwing the extra away). There are more than enough homes for all of us. More than enough resources. More than enough love.

Things I do find there to be a shortage of: therapists with non traditional hours. Someone work on that.

And what I will not accept anymore are the lies. The lies we have been fed a steady diet of for as long as we can remember. Capitalism is the best way. You can pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Family is blood relatives. America is the best. America is a Christian nation. The Bible is unchanging. Black on black crime. Soldiers give their lives for our freedom. We are free. We are the free-est. The most important life is the unborn life. Police are the good guys. Binary gender. Binary sexuality. Beauracrisy is an unavoidable part of life. You are worth what you do/provide/make/work. Wisdom of white elders. Politeness is more important than truth. Compliance is more important than truth. We need to be saved.

The goal for the rest of my time here on this earth is to one by one dismantle the hold those lies have on us, reveal them for the corrupt and controlling evils that they are, and burn it all down.

And honestly? I kinda feel like that’s the whole energy of 2020. It’s brutal. It’s brutal because of what we have done up to this point. It’s killing us because of racial and wealth inequality that white people have refused to make reparataions for over centuries. Because caring for your neighbors has become political. Because we have been convinced that freedom means doing whatever we want whenever we want instead of getting what we need when we need it. Because spending money on war is always acceptable but spending it on keeping people alive is somehow absurd. Because we have been killing the planet carelessly for more than a century to line the pockets of a handful. Because there are individual members of our planet who could end poverty and choose not to.

You know what, 2020? I’m here for you. I might die. I hope to heaven I lose my white priviledge. I have listened to the sounds of others crying for us to burn it all down and the flames have changed me. Let’s do this.