Ready for another round, everyone?
Date: July 2, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 135
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: This is a tricky one… And I feel like I just have to do it… because not every person in your life makes a positive impact on your life.
I went to Kenyon in the Fall of 1997. That was 16 years ago. In the time that has passed, not only have I changed, but I think the world is a completely different place.
We can debate whether it’s a better place or not, but I choose to think the Now We’re In is the time we’re meant to be in. Simple as that.
I had come out in high school, between my sophomore and junior years. When I went to Kenyon, I (foolishly) didn’t want my sexuality to be the first thing people learned about me. It was rural Ohio! Yes, it was a small town filled with academics and intelligent students from all over the country and world, but… who knew what the on-campus attitude towards homosexuality was? (This was the late 90s again. I was also young.)
But there were gay students at Kenyon. And my sexuality wasn’t going to be unknown for very long (Just meet me… it’s fairly obvious).
I attracted the attention of an older student. At first, the attention was flattering and nice. I hadn’t dated much (at all) at that point in my 18 year existence, and feeling attractive to someone was exciting.
I should mention all this “flirting” and “attraction” happened over the rudimentary email service the campus used. A student, a year or two older than me, was choosing to send “anonymous” (again, we thought it was a different world then, right?) emails to me, complimenting me and telling me how much he liked me.
I met him once. Like the one other date I had had at that point in my life, it was a blind one. It didn’t go well, like all the blind dates in my life since. I thought nothing of it, and went about my way.
It’s a funny thing when the other party doesn’t pick up on that, refusing to register the non-interest, and becomes more ardent and severe in their (electronic) attempts to woo you.
I was 18, newly in college, and I had a stalker, of sorts. Stalker Boy, by way of his escalatingly intense emails forced my coming out to all my friends, my hall-mates, my classmates. I should thank him for making learn to be upfront about who I am, not to be ashamed of it, and just accept it as a part of me.
I should also thank him for introducing me to campus security… and the subsequent awkward conversations I had about “stalking” between two gay students. Like I said, different world…
Music I listened to while sewing: House music! I’ve got a little dance party going on in my apartment this morning… The Dog isn’t amused.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I would just like to take a moment and acknowledge how different people are at 20 than people in their mid-30s.
I’m working with three interns, all college juniors, on this current production. I know I’m being a little simplistic here, because I’m not being incredibly specific, but the world is just different when you’re 20.
You just do things. And you say things. And you act and re-act. And everything seems new. And it’s all exciting. And there’s so much living to do!
Not to make myself sound older than I actually am (again, remember I’m only 34), but I’m amazed how they have plans every single night, have people coming to visit every weekend, and manage to be so perky on so little sleep.
One of my interns, upon learning that I quilt, remarked that I’m a “grandmother” in a gay man’s body… and that my quilting habit would surely bring all the boys “to the yard…”
I’m also learning that they have a lot to learn. Like a proper cross-stitch. Like a slip-stitch. Like the importance of delicacy when sewing. Like the importance of taking the time to do something nicely, not just to get it done. Like the importance of taking initiative. Like looking at a list of things to do, and offering to do something.
Okay, Grandma here needs to get ready and start sewing these corsets again. So much progress yesterday! Still more to do!
Keep moving. Do your best. Take your time.