For the past year, or two, or three really, I have been attempting to break away from the traditional look I had. In high school, I was a jeans and a tee-shirt sort of kid. I did the popular Joey-style hair cut from the show Friends, and usually got by with my “cute gay boy” smile.
But I didn’t feel like myself. Never. Not once in my own skin did I feel completely natural, completely myself. A ton of things, I think went into that.
First, I was a fat teen. So, that had to come off. I proudly lost more than 100 pounds, helped with a bad economy and poor choices. Once I started making the right choices and figured out how to spend less on food by cooking than eating out and actually started buying food instead of drugs, I now stand around 75-85 pounds lighter than I did my freshman year in college. And frankly, I am proud of that. A friend of mine, we’ll call her Porney (only because it was a fun inside joke nickname we had, not because of any of perverse reasons…sorry readers, I study the statistics of what’s read and not read on iREADray, and frankly, y’all are nasty), really inspired me to loose weight, since she had done so and talked about how it changed her life… she simply felt sexier. I knew I wanted to feel sexier too.
So I decided to walk. And do, to this day, attempt to walk just for the health benefit. Porney, who once worked at the gym in addition to the library I worked at, told me once, you can run a mile or walk a mile, but in the end, you burn the same number of calories. So, certainly, I can run a mile, but walking doesn’t hurt my bones, back, legs and most importantly knee nearly as much. Thin or not though, I still didn’t feel like myself, but I did certainly feel sexy.
Once I started loosing weight, I started buying new clothes. I stepped away from the jeans and tee-shirt look (though I can and do like to pull it off every once in awhile, and in my new, lighter form, feel sexier than hell in doing so) and entered the slacks and button-up tee-shirt phase of my life. Where I would roll up the sleeves to a pair of slacks, was never too fancy, my clothes never too pressed, and always a little casual. I didn’t know how to iron, didn’t own an iron and didn’t give a shit if I wore white socks with black shoes and black pants.
That slowly changed. And my look became somewhat more professional, as I grew up.
Recently, however, I have made the biggest change. I shaved my entire head. I realized that throughout my entire life I have been afraid, yes, you read that, afraid of shaving my head. When I was little I went sledding with my sister and though she won’t admit it, I think she was trying to kill me and had us go flying into a pile of rocks. She was hurt. But I was head. And she left me to sit on the sled trying to recover while her and our neighbor continued to play. Oh, Prescott, the memories.
Since then, I have odd lumps on my head. My high school chemistry teacher said they were probably tumors. Either way I have never really though they were flattering and have always been afraid of people seeing them. But frankly, after the hell I have been through, I have bruises and scars, I am not only not afraid of people seeing, I want people to see, that I am human.
Throughout my second semester, I listened to the “Suddenly I See” somewhat obsessively. As in, everyday, before class, while getting my Starbucks drink, KT Tunstall and I had our own secret love affair going on. The song comes from the movie, the Devil Wears Prada, where a girl has to basically decide between her values and her job.
And man or man, have I not been there a lot. Each and every time, however, I have always chosen my morals and always getting the sort end of the stick. Then feeling down about it.
Well, very recently a friend of mine, we’ll call him the One (because seriously, he is the one… not sure what it is but my whatever faith I have in love, life and God continue to bring me back to him, and he him and I have only ever been friends, which I think says something because when gays get together, they usually get slutty, but him and I haven’t, believe it or not) and I were texting back and fourth. I was feeling down that day, and he said, very clearly, that one of these days I am going to have to figure out that I am bipolar.
And that being bipolar means I get to be manic/euphoric, calm, and depressed. And two out of three of those doesn’t sound so bad. And you know what, the One was right. That piece of shit was right. He said I needed to figure out how to enjoy the calm, control the mania and get through the depression.
So I shaved my head. Pierced my libret. And got an unpaid job at this huge national, online social media platform. Because that’s who I am. When I come back, I don’t just make a come back, I make a statement.
There is no way I can say I won’t feel depressed again, in the future. I know I will. There is no way, I won’t be manic again (I am up at 5:15 AM, so there has to be some mania going on in there) but there is: I know who I am now. Flaws. Perfections. All of it. It might have taken awhile, but frankly, thankfully, suddenly, I see. And loosing sight of who I am, well, that’s just not possible, not again.