It’s taken a long time to get here, but I’ve started to like who I am more and more. Growing up I greatly struggled to find myself and my place in the world. I think this seems like something we all go through, and maybe it is. However, I really felt that a lot of my years were an uphill battle. I grew up in a family that put some pressure on me to conform to gender norms. They weren’t as bad as they could have been, but it was bad enough that I was actively turned away from things I enjoyed. There was also a lot of pressure on me to find a way to like things I didn’t. It made me stumble enough that I tired to force myself to enjoy certain things and could never understand why I was so unsatisfied with my life.
I tried to pursue the goals and interests in school that people expected me too, and turned from the things I truly enjoyed. It made me unhappy, uncomfortable, and just generally unsatisfied. I was doing well in the way I thought I should be so why was I so unhappy? I eventually reached a “fuck it” point that I feel most of us do when we are teenagers. I started going after things I liked but, I still felt on the fringe. I couldn’t totally let go of who I had been expected to be for so long and wanted to rebel in the oddest ways.
I also struggled with wondering who exactly I was because I always felt I kept changing. I still held on to some things from my past that didn’t seem to fit with who I was becoming. There were clashes in my personality, interests, and hobbies. I kept fighting against it thinking I had to be just one version of myself. This is again something that I think most people face at one point or another in their lives, but I held onto that insecurity and confusion for so long.
It took many years of me going from one extreme to another to finally figure out that people are not able to really fit into certain boxes. I jump from extremes and enjoy different things obsessively for times then they fade while other things take the forefront. Some things remain consistent, and few things I love every truly disappear. It’s just a matter of what is on the back burner and what’s not.
Some days I love to be feminine, some I embrace my more “tom boy” side. I will spend weeks doing little else but reading in my free time, only to have video games take over the next few weeks. I sometimes get very passionate about researching a certain subject (science, history, true crime) and other times throw myself into escapism.
For the longest time I thought I just had to like certain things and embrace only those. That I wasn’t allowed to bounce between my various extremes the way that comes naturally to me. A few years ago it just became to bothersome for me to fight it, and I just started leaning into it, learning to enjoy things the way I preferred. Many of you are probably thinking I am too old to come to the stage and you are probably right. But my journey is my own, and I will celebrate the changes that are positive for me. I hope it might also help others to realize that they can take pressure off themselves and just enjoy what they enjoy and be who they are. Fitting into a mold will never work, and hopefully you are able to get to a happier you.