Last year, because I was extremely bored in class, someone suggested that I write/journal in order to distract myself. It has been so fun, because there are days where I don’t give a fuck about what anyone is saying. And it’s not that I think they all suck, sometimes I think they’re amazing people. But there is nothing for me to gain by sitting and listening to foolishness, so I decide not to.
I’m in a class, listening to people talk about nothing, and even though I am pretending to smile so that people think I care, I’m actually messaging one of my best friends on her birthday telling her to get that birthday sex.
One of my other best friends was telling me about how confused she was that people in this country talk about nothing. She says that back home, even when people are trying to pass the time, they at least talk about something of substance. I tried to assure her that it was an Oberlin issue, and not an American issue. I can’t really claim that though. I think about all the conversations I’ve been in where I end up talking about nothing.
Part of me finds talking about nothing to be almost sinful. Life is so short, there is so much to do, and we’re all talking about nothing? But to be fair, a lot of times, I end up talking about nothing as well. Maybe because I’m nervous, or because I’d rather not talk about actual things and be vulnerable in front of people. But then I check myself and make sure to actually be present and talk about something that’s actually substantive.
It might be the curse I bear for being a dramatic, imaginative person who has been through a lot of tragic shit. I don’t feel so many qualms about being out there. But sometimes I just need to let people be themselves.
That’s the biggest problem I’ve faced all of my life. I’ve always had to let people “be themselves,” but who was gonna let me be myself? It was like almost everyone I know was someone I would divorce for “irreconcilable differences,” but we were still stuck in this marriage. Because how exactly would I leave these people and what would it look like to leave them? When I came out at 17, and I asked my dad what he would do if I left home, he said that he would call the police on me.
I wonder sometimes what my life would be like if I was a simple statistic. If I was like all the queer people of color who get kicked out of their houses, who end up homeless, who end up in jail or in prison. I truly believe that people like me don’t end up at elite colleges like Oberlin. If anything, if they can go to college, they go to state schools, community college, city colleges, etc. They are the reason why I want to work at those types of schools in my future.