I Am Who I Am.

Day One of Thirty Days of Writing

“Destruction is the price of any contradiction.” — Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

It is my own fear of saying, “I am who I am,” that makes me appreciate anyone with the courage to be honest with themselves. I long for any contact with someone who is able to utter those words in a frequency that could unlock any door. We live in a time when we are constantly reminded that we are not to be proud of who we are. We are here on earth, struggling to answer questions posed to us by other people, and spending too little time providing our own questions. We spend too little time demanding real answers from ourselves.

When I had my first car, I loved driving around with the windows down and the AC on in the summer time. I saw St. Louis as the great peaceful middle of nowhere. I wanted out. I’ve always been restless, moving too fast, getting ahead of myself. With the cold and warm air shifting my hair over my shoulders, I would pound on the steering wheel, singing as loudly as I could, screaming sometimes, trying to fend off the numbness that would creep over me like quicksand. Sometimes I would feel it when it hit my toes, sometimes I wouldn’t catch it until it was already at my neck. It was a strange superstition I clung to — that something banal was waiting always to swallow me whole if I stopped paying attention for long enough. Sometimes I would yell at myself, “Wake up! Wake up! Hurry!”

For the last year and a half, I have been in a state of self-imposed hibernation. I took a hiatus from writing, and a hiatus from being myself. I was trying to avoid telling this story, the story of the last few years of my life, because I barley lived through it, and because I am still not sure how to collapse the contradiction that has opened a gaping hole inside my mind. For the past year and five months, I let myself sink into the quicksand. For the next 30 days, I will see if I can grab the rope and pull myself out. It’s time again to wake up.

My life is just another life, another story. But I think it’s time each of us could tell our stories, not out of pride, or some sense of finding redemption, but for the simple reason that our stories, however grotesque and strange, are ours. We are here, I am here, and I would like to speak while I still can. If I have learned anything, it is how to make each day count.

“She discovered what others know only too well in a cynical way, that people prefer to believe in and worship a god who is remote rather than live out the godlike nature which is their inherent being.”
— Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, Henry Miller

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