*raw, unedited post. may edit later. may be better raw. DECISION: these are basically diary entries. This is a crazy what is happening right now, and it needs to be accurately documented and un-doctored. So I’m gonna give minimal editing. This needs to be as vulnerable as possible while still safe for me.
There’s a guy who works at the gas station down the road. I walked in two days ago, all dressed up (because that’s what I do now, I get dressed up for myself, and it’s really fun cause I’ve really been able to play with my style), and went in to grab a Press for a quite night of decompression after a long rewarding day at work. I had EARNED that Press!
I walk in, and he immediately checks me out and says “Hi.” And oh boy did my teenage heart do a backflip. I feel like I just haven’t been hit on by someone I found attractive, in the wild, in a really long time! And it felt really nice! He then told me this animated story about the giant tree that got blown over in Liberty Park in the Hurricane winds this week, and I couldn’t help but grin. Like he really lifted me up. He was trying so hard to impress me with this entertainer shtick, and he was doing such a good job! Like this guy belongs on stage. It’s real talent being wasted behind the counter in a 7/11.
High school Elise was flattered and crushing on this guy. But after this last friendship break up… I’ve finally felt safe enough with myself to turned inward, and do some house cleaning.
It’s been a few months of self prescribed isolation, a detox of sorts. Fueled brightly as a need to rest and recover and heal from a lifetime of blows that was earned on a runaway train of self sabotage. And fueled darkly by a fear of sustaining more injuries from more of “the wrong people, for me.”
But now, now I’m ready to try to get back on the social horse. Ready to practice setting boundaries, practice being there for myself, and being on my side first, before empathizing with others, ready to practice finding “the right people, for me.” But I can only do that if I go. out. side. And THAT my friends, is a terrifying prospect.
There’s disease, and pollution, and murderers, and rapists, and people who act like your friend to your face, but then when you’re at your most vulnerable, aren’t. The world is scary, and there are monsters lurking behind every smile.
But this guy, I find him really interesting. So I take a walk, after a long long week, down to the 7/11 in yet ANOTHER absolutely fly as fuck outfit — not for him, I legit was like, “I wanna dress like a human person, but I don’t have any clean clothes.” Total accident, but now when I start building an outfit, I give a shit that it flows. That shit needs to be done RIGHT! Same with the meals I’ve been cooking lately. I’ve been feeling legit proud of how I take care of myself even while I’ve been in an anxiety fog, I think I wanna get tested for low serotonin or something. Anyway, the outfit had an underground british punk look, tweed pants from that thrift store in London, my cross sleeve 90’s black crop tank top thing (that shows off my tats just right), and a newsboy hat over a messy sliver pixie cut, with classic warn vans. I had killed it.
Ok, so I got into the store and do my thing where I remember people’s names, and chat them up, and let them know they’re important too. And the guy starts shamelessly flirting with me and tells me how pretty my eyes are. And I froze. I was terrified. All the sudden my heart was beating outside my chest, my whole body became electric and tense, and I could feel my eyes widen in fear. Like I showed it. I showed the fear. I couldn’t hold it back. And I saw him see it. He awkwardly said, “I’ll bet you’re smiling under that mask,” a million confident, witty, and flirtatious answers froze on my tongue. And I looked down, and focused on the card scanner, my finger shaking. His energy immediately came way down, and I felt it. I tried to recover… tried to make diverted conversation… and basically ran out the door. He was answering me as I was bolting out the door. I gave him one last forced flirtatious “it’s not you it’s me” laugh, as the door closed behind me.
Then I hyperventilated all the way home. I mean what the FUCK was THAT?! It seems like everything is more intense now. Every thing I usually feel under the surface is right in my face. Probably why I’m writing now. Gotta process somehow. I’m excited for my new therapist. I love therapy. It puts everything into clear perspective. And helps me realize that I’m not crazy for experiencing stuff like that. That the human brain is programmed to react a certain way given certain conditions. It helps me not to judge myself for not being perfect all the time. Helps me love, appreciate, and even harness my imperfections.
All those big epiphanies, life, lessons I’ve been turning into tattoo ideas. Each of my tattoos have been, and will continue to be, a reflection of triumphs from my inner world. On my birthday I’m getting my Medusa and Cicada tattoo.
My 30th birthday. The age that, in my head, has always held this promise of self actualization, independence, and wholeness. The age that I’ve always felt like an arrival milestone. Seems like subconsciously I made that come true. These last two years have felt like cramming for finals in life steps, lessons, purging, and additions.
I feel like I spent my 20’s desperately trying to get my shit together. Early 20s were discovering my independence. My mid 20’s were full of hard slogs to keep that independence, while being repeatedly dowsed by a cold buckets of the unfair realities of life. Now my late 20’s have been finally gaining stability in that independence. Learning to trust that if everything falls apart again, I’ll be able to handle it. Then settling into that trust to feel safe enough to begin to accept, understand, and let go of abusive patterns, toxic situations, and all the other chains that were binding me. Things that acted as an armor, as protection from the threats around me. Now I’m safe. I can begin to take off the armor and look at the wounds underneath. I can begin to hurt, love, cry, laugh, and heal with myself.
What a beautiful thing, this solitude. A given excuse why I cant’ go out. Why I don’t have to be with people. Be on guard. Be dancing to please, to impress. Don’t have to worry about social standing, don’t have to worry about the wants, needs, or intentions of others. To be able to just take care of myself for once in my fucking life. It feels amazing.
I did sign up for a boxing class tho. It got cancelled, cause their power went out, cause our valley go hit with devastating winds. The power has been out at The Front for 3 days. It’s still out. I called cause my canceled membership still got charged (it was my fault), and the guy I was talking to told some customer that the electricity is out, so the lights are all out in the bathroom. And I was like, “Holy shit?! is your power out?!” and the guy was like “Yeah, for the past 3 days, we’ve just been rolling with the punches during 2020.” And really, he’s not kidding small business have just been on the front lines of this shit. But the community around The Front is so great. We love our gym. I love my gym. I need a break from climbing, need to explore some other stuff. But it’s still MY gym. And we kept paying even while it was closed because we needed it to stay open. And my budget was the same. My job is safe. All I have to worry about are the monsters in my mind.
I feel like this world is going to be a better place after this. And I hope those of us who were able to be stable, and were forced to sort out our shit, can turn around and help those who barely survived this pandemic. and everyone else. Basically I hope the whole world trauma bonds after 2020 is over. A 2020 Kumbaya.