Monday, November 14, 2005


To Be Revealed

I was reading a blog today about what the author termed "gender dysmorphic pansexual[ity]."  Biologically, she was female, but she never felt female.  She identified with the stereotypical male persona in many ways, but it didn't feel exactly right.  She could label herself as bisexual, but hated the black and white extreme issue it made out of her feelings and preferences.  She read, she did research, she reflected.... and she came up with an expression that she was comfortable with, that fit who she felt she was and always had been.  Also important to her, it gave her a way to tell her friends and family how she viewed herself.  It's so hard trying to dissect one's own feelings, much less try to get others to understand them.  With this, she felt stronger and more honest with herself and those around her.  The funny thing was that, in spite of this revelation, this "coming out," it didn't change anything.  It didn't change any of her behaviors.  It didn't change her relationship with her husband.  People didn't get it.  Why make this revelation at all?  They didn't realize her proclamation was more for her than for them. 

I had a conversation or two (a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away) about how there was no way anyone but you could ever know the real you.  There is no other person in the world who not only went through all the same experiences you did, but also interpreted them and reacted to them in the exact same way.  So many different aspects are at work as we shape our personalities: genetics, environment, learned behaviors, those around us.. even down to the music we like or the food we crave. 

But if we are all so wonderfully unique from one another, why does society and the world in general try to put us all into our "proper" niches?  If we are so diversified, why do there have to be names like Gay, Straight, Bi, Geek, Dork, Jock, Diva, Alpha, Submissive, Black, White, Yellow, Punk, Goth, Mod, Redneck...  So many different labels in this world.  How do I know if I'm being classified correctly?  How does a general consensus know enough of my intimate details to tell me where I belong and what type of personality I have?  I can't just stroll on over to Blogthings and take a quiz that will put me in the right category.  As much as we like to identify  with them and say they are "spot on", they're just for fun. 

There was no one in my head the first time I kissed a girl, taking notes about how I felt about the whole thing.  Hell, I didn't even know how I felt about it. 

There was no one around the first time I had an alcoholic drink or smoked my first whatever to survey me afterward about what I thought.

There was no one there but me when I decided I couldn't be in my marriage any longer.

And mostly, there is no one in this world who has read all of my journal entries, past and present, to even begin to understand what I've gone through in my life to get to this point.  There are a million of these experiences we all have gone through, putting a pet to sleep, having a child fall asleep in your arms, eating a favorite dish, throwing up after drinking too much, falling in love, regretting a moment, a conversation, a month...  the common thread here is that we've all gone through something similar, but after that.. whoa nelly!  The way I've reacted to these things, what I've taken away from them and what I've learned is so different from everybody else.

I don't know what I mean by all this...  Sometimes it's so important for me to be known.  To be loved for myself.  To not come home at the end of the night and be completely exhausted beause I felt compelled to be "on" all night.  Maybe it was just that woman's account of letting other's know of her refusing to be defined by pre-existing labels, that touched me somehow. 

Alright, time to get off my soapbox.  I'll save the rest of the camping stories for another day...

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Today I was listening to a cd, one I picked up at Starbucks called the "XM Sessions" or something like that. On it is a song by Tracy Chapman that I have heard before (the cd is on repeat) but never really paid attention to the lyrics. It was always a part of my mandatory background music. But, for whatever reason, the volume must have been jostled or something as I moved some things around on my desk, I was able to pick up on the chorus and then the rest of the words.

The song expressed a sentiment I've felt hundreds of times before when thinking about a certain person from my past...

Baby Can I Hold You –
Tracy Chapman

Is all that you can’t say
Years gone by and still
Words don’t come easily
Like sorry like sorry

Forgive me
Is all that you can’t say
Years gone by and still
Words don’t come easily
Like forgive me forgive me

But you can say baby
Baby can I hold you tonight
Maybe if I told you the right words
At the right time you’d be mine

I love you
Is all that you can’t say
Years gone by and still
Words don’t come easily
Like I love you I love you

I've always been able to express myself better through my writing - Lord knows sometimes I don't talk so good - but when I think about this person, even my brain gets tongue-tied. It's always seemed to me that if I could just say what I needed to say, to be able to use all the perfect words, everything would be seen in a different light. Voila! We would have a breakthrough! But, for whatever reason(s) - mostly mine - it's never happened. Once I fucked it all up, there were no "do-overs".. no matter how much I regretted it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Camptown Races

Silhouetted Sunrise

Went camping this past weekend... hence all the new outdoors-y pictures.

It was fun. Headed out to Culp Valley (outside of Santa Ysabel) around 7:30 or so. Very dark. Makes it hard to see a turn-off to a campsite. Yes, indeed it does. After going 20 minutes out of our way, we finally found the road that leads into the desert - the windy road that would pummel my little Jetta on our way to our camping destiny.

When we finally got there (there being the spot that was almost level, wasn't pockmarked with small critter burrows, and was far enough away from the other campers to not hear them snoring) we unloaded the car. Since this was going to be a star-gazing trip, we didn't have much to unpack - just the stuff to make a comfy bed and a cooler with the wine and glasses (gotta have the necessities). I also had my camera and tripod, but once I got it all set up, I realized I had no idea how to program my digital camera for a 1/2 hour exposure time. Drats!

I figured I would forgo the picture thing until the following day and just enjoy my evening. We sat, sipping our wine, trying to stay warm, while pointing out different constellations and planets. Mars was bright and huge in the sky. When I see all those stars out there, away from the pollution of the ever present streetlamps that illuminate the sidewalks at night, I am amazed at how overwhelmed I become. The fact that in the scheme of things, I am a teeny, tiny speck. What a way for Mother Nature to put me back in my place.

Anyway, finally crawled into bed and was surprisingly warm. It was fairly easy to drift off to sleep, lulled by the desert sounds of birds and crickets doing their night-noise thing. A couple hours of peaceful slumber go by when suddenly I am awakened by scampering of little, but surprisingly sturdy feet, ACROSS MY FACE. I sit up with a shriek, clawing at my face and my hair, hoping that whomever it was that galloped across my personage was now gone. Egads! I don't wish that feeling on anyone.

Fortunately, I was able to get back to sleep and nothing else disturbed me for the rest of the night, with the exception of 3 small mosquitoes. But I'm counting those as minor casualties.

Next morning we got up early. I took pictures of the sunrise over the mountain and then took a hike and documented our trek through the desert flora. It was beautiful in the morning... all yellows and golds. It warmed up fast and before too long, I was ready to leave the sultry heat of the morning for cooler climates.

We stopped in Santa Ysabel and had breakfast at a local apple-themed restaurant before stopping at the Pie Shop and then heading home.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Running Wild

By: Rolnitzky

I've started a running program.

No, really. You can stop laughing now.

I've been running, albeit sporadically, for a couple months now. I'd A) go for a jog, then B) do nothing for a couple weeks. C) Repeat. It was just enough to keep my body remembering how torturous running can be and how sore I get in the following two days. It would always take me a couple weeks to talk myself into doing it again. And there you have it, folks. A step by step guide to creating a vicious cycle.

I have a friend who is preparing to run the New York Marathon in the next week or two. He's been so disciplined in his running, his training, and being able to say no to more than one beer. Recently, I snagged an old copy of Runner's World magazine off his desk and proceeded to flip through it, catching an article here or a tagline there. One thing that caught my eye was an article about the rise of women marathoners. Women - Girls - my age are training for marathons after injuries, kids, or just a plain ol' change of heart. Women who have never run before are suddenly deciding that running a marathon is a goal they want to achieve. And here I am, thinking I would be satisfied with getting through a whole 5K without stopping. I found it really inspirational. (I know, quell the gag reflex.) The other thing I found noteworthy in the magazine was a small article discussing motivation. Instead of trying to get yourself excited about your run, it's easier for some people to just not allow themselves any excuses. Sometimes when you're sore or tired or just not in the general mood to get your butt in gear, it's easy to say, "I'm out of time," or "I'll workout tomorrow." Whatever. Just don't allow yourself the excuse. "I'm gonna 'git'r'done' and when I'm done it will be over and I will feel good about myself, so shut up with the whining." Yeah, I talk to myself. So shoot me.

Anyway, the last thing that has gotten me going on my kick (and yes, I believe sticking to my schedule for 1 1/2 weeks qualifies as a 'kick') is Mike's dog. Normally, we take him for a 20 minute walk around the block and as we meander, he sniffs and pees on pretty much everything in sight and when we got home, he would be just as energetic as before. The nice thing about taking him out while I'm running is that A) I feel safer - it's dark in the evenings now and B) He's too tired to jump around and get in my face when we're done. A tired dog is a happy dog.

I've only been running 2 or 3 times a week, trying to work up to 4 or 5. On the days that I don't run, I walk with a friend at work on my lunchbreak. Then there's the whole parking off-campus and walking to class because I'm too cheap to get a parking permit. That's got to count for something. And I went shopping for myself last week - granola and yogurt and raw almonds and spinach and oranges. All those things that you are supposed to eat but usually don't.

The result of all this? I feel good. I feel more energetic, more confident and more proud (prouder?) of myself. I envision a metamorphosis of sorts with the me on the inside matching the me of my outside. Who knows if my 'kick' will turn out to be habit forming... All's I know is I'm wearing heels and a pencil skirt today and I feel good.