I’ve started this question half a dozen times since I could comprehend the depth of it. Here I sit, nearly 32, not old enough to be running a media company but not young enough to be in its demographic. Hell, I only remember when the son-of-a-bitch first started, but what do I know. The question is “Who am I?”
When I was younger and all my grievances in life had my parent’s to blame, I was Divide Community. You see Divide Community is one of those double meaning words. You know the words that would be hard to learn the meaning of in another language. As a writer, we hope to be able to bridge the language barrier gap to create a universal language. As a civilian, it’s just a book; my first book.
My journey begins in 1998 when I wanted to really answer this question; “Who Am I?” I was working at a storage unit place, for minimum wage in the late ’90s, and had a lot of time to reflect. Though time was plenty, my knowledge was less so. Escape, relaxation, don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow, repressing, yeah, that was me. I was angry and I didn’t know why, so I thought I’d just start writing. Forrest Gump of the word processor, I typed until my ailment burst open key-by-key. Eventually, I had a semblance of an idea for a memoir. You see memoir’s really weren’t as big of a market back then s0 I just thought it was a book of true life. Nearly 300 pages of unformed and stoned thoughts about who I was. The book sat in a box for three years.
In college, the one I went to after I dropped out and fled to New York with a band of hippes and then went back, I met two kids that I immediately felt a kinship for and managed their immature band, The All-American Rejects. I was a small fish in a small pond and I had Madonna as a role model, so I whipped their prepubescent asses in shape and got them a record deal. They went on to sell millions, and I was screwed out of millions. Not to mention that disorder I got called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that pretty much goes from Psychiatric code to Psychiatric code without being insane and having a clear traumatic trigger. I got this after my brother, the only person I had as a witness to my childhood, became a missing person. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Missing Person, Platinum-Selling The All-American Rejects, Retarded Love, NYC, and a lot of crazy stories from an alcoholic. Who really had time to ask, “Who am I?”
Once my Oklahoma savior personality kicked in, I crawled out of that abyss and decided to think about who I was. There was a lot I’d experienced at a young age, there were experiences that are unimaginable for the majority, and there were parts of me I just started to realize, so I wrote. I finished Divide Community, and it was who I thought I was.
Something peculiar happened, I became happy. You see by this time I was going into my Thirties and several therapists later, I realized that maybe I could never sustain happiness (as a therapist once told me) but at least I could realize when I was happy. This was a breakthrough, so I set out to edit who I was in a final book format.
My childhood seemed less emotional and more like a great story. The themes of suffering that were sprinkled within the text just showed me how strong I was, and it occurred to me that there is not a concrete answer to the lifelong question of, “Who Am I?”
I’m my likes and dislikes, my pain and my happiness, and the love I took and the love I made. I’m several labels like a sister, daughter, wife, analyst, Buddhist, Lesbian writer, teacher, student, female, entrepreneur and overall pain-in-the-ass. I’m adjectives like moody, beautiful, snarky, sweet, insane, neurotic, spiritual, impatient and judgmental. I’m my experiences both negative and positive. I’m the karma I reap, and after all this time I have realized I am not the alpha and the omega (though in high school I may have argued differently). I’m everything around me and never did I appreciate it more.
Within my writing you can discover chapters of my life that struck a story in the world, but it’s what is between the lines that reveals the most.