"Who will survive in America?" From the song Lost in the World by Kanye West
Holy crap it just occured to me I've quoted Kanye West twice in a row on this blog. Now that is kinda scary. Being that I believe in the power of pop (it's why I nick named myself Pop Smear on facebook) I have to give props when something has inspired me regardless of the diamond toothed source. So why am I quoting Kanye & inspired. It was the ending to his first film Runaway. Is the film itself a masterpiece worthy of comparison to Fellini & Kurbick? No but it has some beautiful touches that make it worth viewing. However the end had this lovely scene of Kanye running so fast trying to prevent his mythical lover from leaving him alone. As he runs his song Lost in the World plays and really fuels a sense of loneliness in his life that we have been invited to see in this film.
Before I knew it my face was in my hands & I remembered my worst dream. I was five years old when I fell asleep listening to music on the radio. I dreamed of walking down Minnehaha avenue where I used to live. I crossed Lake street and realized in the dream there was no one anywhere on the road or sidewalks or stores or anything. There was nothing. No thing. I was completely alone. And I was lost. I recognized my location but couldn't seem to figure our where I lived. Now here is the crazy part. The Air Supply song I'm All Out of Love became background music in my dream and slowly people started coming from no where walking around silently. I tried to talk to them but they couldn't see or hear me. I started crying and screaming for someone but no one even knew I was there. I felt so lost. The world was this wide open street full of people who couldn't help me find my way home. All this while I'm hearing the woeful chorus in that Air Supply song.
Just as I finally crumple to the ground sobbing and feeling so alone in my dream my mother & father wake me. On the actual radio was that damn sad song & I had tears running down my soft cheeks. I remember my mom and dad comforting me.
That is my only memory of them together showing me love and affection.
For most of my life I've been somewhat of a loner. This doesn't mean I didn't get lonely. Quite the contrary. I yearned for connection but being an only kid raised by a single mom, I was often alone. In grade school I made friends but felt like I had to watch how others behaved so I could follow their social cues. In junior high I was blessed to meet my dear friend Heather. Before high school my mom & I moved a block from her and her family & we got to see each other a lot. It was because of Heather and her family I learned how to interact casually and regularly. Today she is still a best friend & I am so damn grateful for her family becoming my other family.
Still I was terribly lonely at moments in high school and after. I used to think I was the loneliest girl in the world. Now I know that wasn't the case but in my late teens and early twenties I still felt apart, different and just plumb weird.
Take a girl who comes from abuse and dysfunction as a kid, then make her mixed race and bisexual and a funky dresser and you get someone who just doesn't know how play any reindeer games. Then add addiction and you get a swirling lonely misanthrope. I never felt like I fit in, even among the misfits.
It seemed I was always too white or too black or too loud or too quiet. Straight people made sour faces at my queerness while the lesbians said my bisexuality made me a traitor. One girlfriend told me I looked unbalanced because I only had one nipple pierced while a high school boyfriend said my breasts were too large. I was an alcoholic, that, according to some recovering elders, was too young to be the real deal, while other friends talked to me stoned and wanted me to join them. Some folks said I was too touchy while others told me I was too big for my britches. On and on and on. It was rare to ever be told "hey you are great just the way you are."
After I turned thirty that sad little five year old in me stared to feel less lost, less lonely. My sobriety date changed but so did my self esteem. I stopped dating the same kinds of people and began to accept things about myself I had always tried to hide. My weirdness, my skin color, my gifts, my sadness I embraced in a way I never had before. I stopped wondering what others thought of me or if I was okay in their eyes.
Then Mycal and I got together and here was someone who said "be even weirder" and celebrated all the things that made me feel like an outsider. From my body to my mind to my heart, Mycal genuinely loved me for me without taking any shit. We were (and are) equals. Finally I could be true to myself and be a star in my own life while also being her biggest fan. Finally I wasn't alone. And the best part is that if for some reason we were not together, I'll still be me and be alright (though I'm not interested in testing that).
This year has had non-stop challenges. As I've gotten closer to stepping off that precipice to live my life in a truer way I've had to glimpse at that part of me who still feels so lost in this world. Everything I want to do with my life has to do with helping those, who like me, have had to struggle to live in this place we call earth. This wild west of America. People out there are dying. Not because they are crazy but because we live in a world and time where we walk around not really seeing or hearing. We're so busy believing in compassion we forget to actually show it. We're so busy fighting for justice we forget to sit with those who need peace the most. We spend money and time trying to get more money and time and for what? That is not the world I want to live in. All the people who try to say that a designer handbag, a luxury car, a mortgage and maxed out credit cards is what living is all about can have that existence.
I'm not interested anymore in fitting into that American dream. For me it's a nightmare. For years now I've lived in fear of losing my health care, my 401K and my ability to pay the bills. So I've stayed tied to things that don't fully speak to who I am, and how I want to live. For how much longer can I cling to that fear before giving myself and possibly others a very rough time?
I know how it feels to be lost in the world. Luckily though, I'm on my way to finding home.