I bought a new book, which is one of my favorite things to do. As I was reading the other day, one of the passages really caught my attention, so I thought I'd share it here. As a bit of background, the character is in the midst of some serious family conflicts, and is here thinking of a memory.
"She was tired of crying and tired of being strong and tired of research and just plain tired. She was trying to be more like those palmetto trees after Hugo ripped through. Everything on the island had been indelibly scarred, but the palmetto trees stood tall, their ability to adapt and bend in all circumstances making them less vulnerable than their brittle, inflexible counterparts. Accept the new normal. That was the message."
So lately I've been caught up in a lot of emotions, mostly negative emotions about myself and my feelings. It seems like a hurricane sometimes and I admit that I don't know how to handle it.
I think I've been brittle and inflexible. I know that I get frustrated with myself for the feelings I have, the attraction that I feel for other women. The emotional part of me just happens, and then the reasoning part of me reacts based on what I've been taught, things I've observed and learned, experiences, memories, all that. The emotion just is what it is, and that's all it wants to be. Seems simple. But the reasoning part can't just let it be. The reasoning part of me is a fighter. It likes to work in a complex way, bringing in bits and pieces from the media and my parents and my junior high memories. I think I've been fighting still, trying to talk myself out of being gay, trying to shift my feelings to something more "normal."
And there's part of the problem. What is normal? It's different for everyone, and it can change. I think part of my misery is really because I've been trying to live a "normal" life by someone else's definition. I'm now thinking that if I'm going to be happy, if I'm going to be at peace with myself no matter where I am, if I'm going to be Amy, I should know what is "normal" for me. If I don't want to break, I have to know what is normal for me.
More importantly, I want to know. Someone else's definition isn't sufficient for me anymore.