Tuesday. I need to keep myself occupied today; I’ve been having some low thoughts already.
Date: June 4, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 107
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Elizabeth H.
And Elizabeth completes the group of people who actually transformed my life in high school.
With them (Vicky, Adam, and Elizabeth), I felt like I belonged to a group. That I had a place to go in the morning before classes started. That I was social. That I was cool, or- at the very least- interesting. That I had honest to God friends that were invested in who I was. That I had people who “got” me. That I was connected. That I had connected.
Elizabeth introduced me to the joys of REM. And mixed tapes. And Target. And used CD stores.
I came out for the first time (it’s a process that gets repeated over and over again for years sometimes) to Elizabeth and Vicki. We were eating donuts sitting outside a China Coast restaurant on 38th Street after having bought tickets to see an REM concert months later. They were silent. I understood it as shock; it rightfully was shock, they were surprised I actually said what everyone seemed to be thinking at school.
Elizabeth had a brother who lived in Chicago. Elizabeth and Adam and I went there in June of 1995 to visit him- and see him perform in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade. It was amazing, not only to get a sense of someone’s life truly outside of high school, but to see how large and awaiting the world was.
Again, it’s crazy how so much of my time in high school was shaped by these three people. Without them, I’m sure I would have enjoyed myself just as well as I had been. But, WITH them, I get the sense that I started to live my life in a way that I hadn’t before.
I was a teenager. The world was opening up around me, and these were the people that were chosen to walk into it with me. And I am so incredibly grateful that I had the good fortune to have them with me.
Music I listened to while sewing: Again, I’ve turned to my “Chill Out” list on Spotify. I’m hoping to discover some new artists; so far, I’ve only perked up when my favorites have played…
I need some new music.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: So, I’ve been having a mini dilemma over this project recently.
I’m only at Crane 107. What if I run out of people to dedicate these Cranes to? What if I really can’t think of that many people who’ve contributed to my life?
I was at a staged reading of a new play yesterday. In the minutes before the show started, I ran into a former student of mine who I hadn’t seen in 7 years. Being Facebook friends, he asked about the Cranes. I didn’t really explain the truth of the project to him, but two men next to me joined the conversation soon after.
“Why are you doing this?” “How big will it be?” “What will it be?” “Will you show it off?”
And I couldn’t answer those questions. Still, even after 107 Cranes, I don’t know what my end plan is. Do I want to try to display it somewhere? Do I want it to be a banner or timeline or wall-hanging? What’s my actual goal? Where will I put it when it’s done…
And I have to remind myself that this is an exercise in taking each day as it comes. It’s not about trying to weighing myself down with my anxieties about long term plans. By allowing myself the time, hopefully I will continue to live my life and meet new people and also remember people from the past who’ve helped me.
This project should not depress me that I can’t easily think of 1000 people who’ve made a difference in your life. This project should not make me feel antisocial or like a loner. It should help me realize that I haven’t been alone in my life and I won’t be alone in my life.
I will somehow manage to find people to share my life with, whatever that means. I will manage to remember as many people as I can who have shared their lives with me.
Again, one day at a time!
It really doesn’t help that I still feel incredibly emotionally adrift after the past few weeks. I’m still dealing with anger towards certain people and fears that I’m not good at what I do and sadness that maybe I’m wasting my life.
I just need to focus on the things that make me feel like I’m contributing something: this project, the piece I want to write/develop with a friend, The Tempest this summer, a teaching gig in July, another show in October. I need to embrace the possibility that can happen in life, as opposed to dwelling on what’s recently brought me down.
Okay, time to walk the dog.