A little writer with a long way to go

Dancing for the Core

Clearing the floor, I turned on my favorite music. I took the center spot and ensuring my door was closed, I spun around in my room letting my new dress twirl around me. My movements were sporadic and haphazard along with the rock violin sounds of Lindsey Stirling.

Despite the fact that I committed to dance lessons for ten years, I never really thought of myself as a dancer. Maybe because I never really practiced it. For me, dancing was more like an expression of one’s mood in the moment. Not something you practiced to make perfect.

But my sister came from the other school of thought. And I very much enjoyed watching what came from her practices. She was angelic and graceful unlike how I saw myself. I wonder now if I didn’t stick with dance for so long just to try to impress her. But I couldn’t commit to it like she did.

As with any master of craft, watching them made you feel small. Like you’d never be where they are. And it’s true. There’s no way I would ever learn to dance like my sister. In order to do that, I would have to be her. And that was not my place.

And so instead I just watched. I watched her perform and let her inspire me. Not to dance, but to do what only I could do. I don’t think she’ll ever really know how much watching her inspired me. And not just watching her dance. I watched her simply live.

To this day, I think of her often. We live miles apart and live very different lives. But when I dance around the house or clear a spot in my room to dedicate to the freedom of movement, I think back to those years we danced.

Not many people know that I danced. That I took classes and performed on stage. I hid my dancing days because I was trying very hard to not be so feminine. I wanted to be accepted as one of the guys and become more masculine in my everyday life. But masculinity didn’t really work out for me. There’s a lot on that side of the coin that I don’t ascribe too. I couldn’t give a care about sports, cars, or how much I work out. And I’ve struggled a great deal trying to find my place along the gender spectrum.

But my dancing days were great days. Moving around the floor in synchronized movements with the rest of class was a fun challenge. Not to mention an energy burst that I could scarcely find elsewhere.

I haven’t thought about dancing for some time. But I do find myself moving along to my music as I walk around campus, changing my pace to keep the beat of the song playing. And moving around in the kitchen as I cook with some background noise. Or even just swaying along as I sit in front of my computer, my fingers finding the beat as I type. Dancing is quite innate to me. And dancing doesn’t have a gender.

For me, dancing is the expression of a soul. Yesterday, I cleared my floor by setting my mattress upright against the wall to give myself the space to dance. It’s quite hard to move a king size mattress by yourself. And yet I did that simply so I could give myself the space to do something I hadn’t even thought about for years. And I’ll now be looking to replace my bed for something more manageable for this rekindled love of dancing. Because after I danced, I felt peaceful again. I felt more like myself and I’ve kinda been losing that lately.

Dancing there in my room with some of my favorite music. It was just bliss.

My Five Year Old Mind

From the outside looking at my facts, I’m a young twenty-something, college student. Society claims that my priority should be school. Getting a degree will help me in the future to secure a job, add to the system, and benefit my fellow humans. They expect me to stay on top of all my assignments, work when I’m not in class to earn a means of paying for school while gaining experience to add to a resume. Everything I do should be working towards my future where I’m working a steady job and settling down in one place with a family.

Oh but while I’m at it, I should enjoy the college experience because I only get to experience this once. Plug into clubs and join groups with a cause. These will also look good on a resume, they tell me.

All the while, I’m staring back at them with the eyes, heart, and mind of a five year old.

Do you remember being five? Coloring and nap time. The most difficult thing you had to worry about was getting a swing on the playground and having someone push you so you could feel like you were flying.

But as I aged, people were quick to remind me that humans couldn’t fly. As if that was going to stop me. They insisted that I get my head out of the clouds and focus on the important things. The things that would get me somewhere in life. Things that would make sure I didn’t starve. Things that would keep me alive just to keep doing the things that kept me alive.

You see, I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately. Get a job to pay for a roof over your head and a place to sleep so you can be rested for the job that gives you a place to sleep. How many of us actually enjoy all the aspects of the things we have? Or are we all so busy that it all becomes just stuff? Sure, it once had meaning. We had hopes of those craft projects in the corner. But most of us probably come home too tired to really enjoy any of it and just sit our butts on the couch to watch shows we may have even already seen because we’re even too tired for something new.

I don’t want that.

I have the beauty of extra time on my hands because I’m between jobs right now. I also have that mind of a five year old who still questions everything. That annoying kid who just keeps asking why? Yeah, I’m still that kid. And do you want to know why? Because I still don’t get it. Why do we just keep up with a cycle where we don’t have time for the things we actually want to do?

The biggest question I like to ask people is one that challenged me to keep seeking out things in my life. What would you do if money were no object? If you didn’t have to worry about anything financial, what would you be doing? No rent money needed, no bills, no cost for food. No money getting in your way anywhere. Where would you be? What would you be doing?

I ask myself these questions a lot and it keeps me in that five year old mindset. Five year olds haven’t learned yet that money runs the world. Five year olds don’t have anything standing between them and their wildest dreams. Do you remember yours? Your wildest dream? What is it? And why didn’t you go after it?

There’s a new craze sweeping around with people leaving their day jobs, leaving the system, and going out on adventures. They choose a simple life with a lot less excess stuff and hit the road. They travel to lands they used to just see pictures of. They decided that life was just too short to settle into a system. Because for them, the system didn’t work. It didn’t bring them the joy of life. It simply kept them alive to work. And they weren’t okay with that.

They got tired of complaining about Mondays and instead did something crazy where they could rejoice no matter what day it was. They stopped restricting themselves by society’s plans for them. They brought back daydreaming but even more than that, they set out to achieve those dreams.

I’m not yet in a place to get out there and do what I want to do – because unfortunately, money is an object. But I’m working towards it. And I will forever have my sights set on those dreams. And when I achieve those, I’ll set higher ones and keep going.

But when people ridicule me for keeping my mind in that five year old wonder of the world, or getting excited over little things and bouncing around showing everyone, I’m just going to shake my head at them. I refuse to give into anyone else’s idea of what they think my life needs to look like.

I’m a faerie and we don’t give up on our dreams.

The-Milky-Way-over-Mt-Rainier-by-Michael-Matti

There are days and memories that will stick with you forever. And there are people who you will never forget.

When the dates grew ever closer to March 11, I warned my group of friends to be prepared and to watch out for me. I knew it was going to be a rough day. Because on March 11, 2011, my grandfather lost his battle to cancer. I remember the day all too clearly. Sitting around his bed at hospice all awake before the sun. He called out and my grandmother came to hold him. They embraced how they could, held hands, and he took his final breaths.

My view was from the couch across the room but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t there in my body. To be honest, I didn’t want to be there. The family was there plus those we adopted into the family over time. But I wanted to be elsewhere.

As if me not being there could have stopped it from happening.

My grandma stood back up, looked to the rest of us, and said “He’s gone” with a voice that was also pretty much gone.

I’ve gone back to that moment way more than is probably healthy to consider what actually happened there. There was no poof with smoke and a magic trick to take him away. No bright light flashing him away to some higher realm. To everyone looking on, his body was still laying right there as it had been for most of the week. But he was gone. We all knew that much.

To this days, I have pondered where he went. And many times, I’ve wanted to go there as well. It’s an interesting feeling to want to go somewhere you’ve never been but even more so to want to go somewhere you don’t even know exists. Many people will call this place Heaven, others will tell me this place doesn’t exist. I don’t think we’ll ever know until it happens to us.

We may catch glimpses. From meditation, or prayer. In dreams, or through a poem that touches us. I think it will feel and be very different for each of us. And I think that’s okay.

Some say that in the end, all we have is ourselves. It’ll be lonely. But that’s not how it was for my grandfather. Looking back on it four years later, I think he knew he was going away. And I think that’s why he called out. He knew he wasn’t alone. I can’t imagine how it must have felt for my grandma to be holding him like she was and then for him to go on or whatever you want to call it.

I know she has felt lonely many times since then. I have too. But I know that wherever it is my grandpa went to, that he’s still connected to her and when it’s her time to go as well, he’ll be right there with her. Just as she was for him.

Some people think it’s okay to argue over what love is. Or to claim that something isn’t love. But in its simplest form, love is simply a willingness to be there for someone when they need you most, no matter what you are feeling in that moment. No matter how hard it is for you to be there, you are there simply because they need you and they matter to you. I want a love like that. Not to take advantage of and abuse the privilege. But to know that through the hardest times of life, someone will be there when you call for them. And more than just having it, I want to give that to others.

Classic love stories have nothing on my grandparents. Forget Romeo and Juliet who got caught up on looks and suffered from miscommunication, I want a love like Grandma and Grandpa. Silly and whimsical, but always there.

I thought March 11 was going to be a hard day. But actually it wasn’t. I cried a bit and felt quite sad throughout the day. But I looked around me and I saw the people who were there. I saw that people were actually there. I called on my friends, and they came. I am loved. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Hermione Granger

Growing up, Harry Potter was a really important part of my life. Yes, I’m part of the Potter Generation and I’m quite proud of that, thank you very much. Those books were such a light in my life and I will always remember that special time I shared with them. Their stories brand new to me and the characters growing up beside me.

Of course, during that growing up, I hit puberty. Oh those horrible years! While all my friends were gushing over Harry naked in the bathtub or staring ate awe whenever Ron was adorable or funny, I was wondering why we weren’t talking about the brainiac girl who spent most of her time in the library. I mean come one, she’s obviously the coolest one of the infamous trio. Looking back on it now, I’m trying to figure out if that’s where it all started for me.

Initially I thought, “Surely this should have told me I liked girls.” But now I’m realizing it was much more than that. You see, I wasn’t odd because I liked girls. I was odd because I didn’t even notice any of them had genders. For me, genders don’t exist. I see people. I try to get to know people. I don’t care to figure out what “gender” they are. That doesn’t matter to me.

I’ve been asked many times whether I hang out with more guys or more girls. And quite honestly, I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t know what you mean by a person’s gender. And I have no idea how to mark those little check boxes about myself.

My gender is Ryn just like the rest of me. I have created myself to be who I am because that’s how I live to my fullest. I simply live to be me. I don’t wish to change that. I am me, and me is the only person I will change for.

I liked Hermione Granger because she was brilliant! She spent all day in the library – um, hello, that’s what I did too. And still do! She was also patient with those other two but sassy when she needed to be. She was amazing and I wanted to be just like her. I loved her mind and her personality. She was someone I just wanted to spend time with.

And really that’s all I’m looking for outside of books too. I just want to spend my time with great minds. And if I end up cuddling with that mind by the end of the night, so be it. If not, well, that’s why I still have stuffed animals.

Minds are amazing. Let’s not restrict them by forcing them into boxes.

Silence No More

For most of my life, I’ve been known as outgoing. Always surrounded by friends or family and almost always talking. But under the surface, I’ve been hiding major parts of me because they didn’t fit with what I was seeing around me. Most of middle school I spent writing in class because it was an escape. I could be anyone on the page and I could create an environment of people in there that loved and supported me despite my oddities. My characters always greeted me with open arms of love and acceptance. It didn’t matter that I had created them and they weren’t in the “real world” as so many people reminded me. These characters were very real to me and their support got me through many difficult times.

I am here today though because I have found people outside of my own head that love and support me. It has taken quite some time to voice what I’ve been hiding and it was terrifying to say it out loud. But I have been greeted with love that I could never have imagined. To be so completely free around these people has been the most amazing feeling in the world.

But it wasn’t around everyone that I could feel this way. Around some people, I was still afraid that they would disapprove or ridicule me so I stayed quiet. I bit my tongue as much as I could. But little by little, I started speaking up a bit more. Little by little, I grew more brave. I found the courage to talk to more people. I found love in some cases and unfortunately others decided they needed to leave. It’s been a hard journey so far and it won’t be over anytime soon.

I present myself to you today as myself. I do not fit into the socially constructed gender roles. I am not a lady, proper and clean with intentions of starting a family because my birth certificate says female. I am not a tomboy wishing to play sports or be active and full of testosterone. I am not confused and I do not need to make a decision of one or the other to fit the society gender binary. Some days I wake up and wear hand me down boys clothing in order to hide a frame that is built small and feminine. Other days I wake up and put on a dress that fits that form. But my favorite days are when I wake up and pull on whatever feels comfortable without worrying how people will perceive me.

Because of this in myself, I disregard gender ideas and normal perceptions when looking at everyone else. Instead of boys and girls, I see kids playing on swing sets and running around. At college, I don’t understand the check boxes that sort people into male and female. I see everyone as a person with completely unique ways that will differ from every other person on the planet because no one else is like them. I strive to always see people like this because it allows me the most open and accepting place to start getting to know a new person from.

I completely love who I am when I’m being free and honest with myself. I love being able to share that with other people. Hiding myself has never been in my nature. It makes me literally sick to my stomach when I feel like I cannot be myself around a person or group of people. I’ve had many dark days struggling with this issue. Not because I am unsure of myself but because of how I expect people to act when I say things or just present myself to them.

So here I am. I will be as honest with myself as I can be and I will do my best to always present that to others. I love myself and nothing can take that away from me. I hope you will continue in my journey with me. They say it gets better from here and I believe them. Life is beautiful and full of wonder and I never want to stop exploring it all.

Welcome to Baker Street

If you’ve talked to me in the past six months, you’ll know that I am extremely interested in the mind that is Sherlock Holmes. In any form he takes starting with the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories and going through to the popular BBC series.

I absolutely love the mind of Sherlock Holmes and strive to match and surpass his abilities. Now that I’m bored, I’ve decided to turn a corner of my blog into a Sherlock Holmes style game. Work out clues from either the Facebook page or working out a clue in a blog. Have fun with those minds and see if you can crack my codes.

Don’t forget to comment on the pages you unlock. I wanna know which ones of you are brilliant enough to match me.

Reflections

I look back on the last year as most others do around the new year. Some big changes were made in my life and they took quite a bit of adjustment to accommodate. People walked out of my life because our shared journey wasn’t compatible with their necessary path through this life. I’ve finally made peace with this fact but I would not have gotten here without some help from my friends – and a crap ton of Beatles songs.

I have shared my true self with more people this year and instead of feeling shut down and hurt, I feel more free. More people are accepting the true me simply because I took the time to show them. Some of them are still coming to understand everything and it will be learning process. But overall, I found love in 2014 and not in the traditional Hallmark movie sense but in the vast respect and joy of being myself.

My goals for the new year are quite simple. I want to remain happy. Remain in this place of happiness that I have found in myself. I will surround myself with people who love me and enjoy my company and distance myself from anything toxic which tries to take my happiness away.

And of course, as always, my goals for writing are the same: write often. I have a book in the works that I hope to get through editing this year so I’ll have to keep you updated on how that goes.

Whatever goals you set for yourself this year and whatever you go after, let it be for your own happiness. Don’t let yourself get caught up with what everyone else thinks you should be doing or what they think is right for you. Only you know exactly what you need and desire in this life. Stay true to that and everything else will follow.

Cheers to you.

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