As is often the case, there were plenty of subtle yet recognizable signs that today’s meltdown was coming. I think I knew for sure when I wondered what it would be like to drive off the bridge and into the Mississippi River on my way to Dubuque last Wednesday. If not, Saturday’s epic sadness and anger fest should have been a dead giveaway–depression was driving even though I took the bus. I was defensive, on edge… there had been some tension between Kat and I since I started feeling weird on Wednesday, and I was feeling like she’d be 100% done with me any second. After all, putting up with my shit for 11 years isn’t easy.
But no. It wasn’t about anyone being done but me. And done I was, halfway through my sixth period, in front of 19 students who have been making my life Hell for almost 11 weeks now (before that it wasn’t unbearable). Someone asked if I was going home for the summer and it suddenly struck me that, due to messy reasons that are not mine to disclose, I won’t really have a home to fly to. Sure, the island is always there… but our house will be empty, remote–and with my grandma in NJ for the foreseeable future, her house will feel empty no matter how many people are now living in it. It’s barely half-full with her there, the absence of my grandfather’s loud and large personality sucking out the air of the empty corners.
While it’s true that my family’s house hasn’t been home to me in quite some time… there is something to be said for having a place to go back to. It was comforting to know I had somewhere to go if everything else failed… and now I feel adrift, more so than usual. And Chicago… Chicago hasn’t felt like home in over a year, really. Not since Tante and Oncle left. I didn’t see them very often when they still lived here, but knowing they were so close made the city feel less big and scary. Now it all feels cold… being here by myself, without any family, is harder than I ever imagined. And so now that I am so far away from everyone and partially excluded from my family’s events due to my conversion, I feel un-tethered. Will Eliava have to leave Leiram behind in order to soar?
The question is now much harder than I ever expected it to be. for a long, long time I have been unhappy with myself, wishing I was someone else. And then I met that someone else; I found Eliava shining somewhere in the center of my being and I resolved to let her out. But Eliava is wearing a gown made of possibilities that read to Leiram as uncertainty and indecision, and I have never been good at dealing with change, the uncertain, the unknown. I need to make sense of things, of myself; I need things to fit into boxes and labels no matter how oddly shaped the boxes are or how many labels are needed at once. Floating in this uncertainty has terrified me to the point of slamming on the brakes and coming to a standstill–and it has made me wish I was 17 again.
Yes, you read that right–17. And don’t get me wrong, 17 was a hard year. I haven’t forgotten that. I lost a lot of people that year, including my grandfather. But 17 was the only year in history that I spent being 100% happy in a relationship but also in my own skin, where I stopped being so concerned about what other people thought and wanted for me, brief as that phase was. At 17 I knew who I was, I knew whom I loved, and I knew where I was going. And somehow, six days away from 15, I have lost all that and have NO idea what I am doing. None. Nope. Nada. Zilch.
It’s not just that I feel like I’m failing at things, or that I am confused about my current situation, although that is also true. The real problem is that I have discovered I don’t know where to go from here because I have no idea what I want. Well, that’s not entirely true–I think I want too many things and I’m very scared to make any sort of decisions for fear of making the wrong one. But maybe not choosing is the wrong answer!
Looking over this post, I don’t even now what my point was, except that I feel like I am entirely losing my shit with everything that is going on, and I have no idea where to go from here. Seems legit.