Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shut Up, Shut Up, Shut Up

So, I'm going to talk about perfectionism, because I'm too pissed and hurt to talk about the "is the Bible true" conversation that I had with my mom earlier. Suffice to say it was civil but patronizing, and I am once again my parents' pet project.

I've been writing, slowly but surely getting back into the world of stories. It's a good feeling, even if I can only get a few sentences out a day. I'm still terrified of doing something wrong, of my writing being trite, unimpressive, or boring. Maybe it is, but I'm trying to cultivate an attitude that doesn't give a damn, because if I'm perpetually worrying about whether or not I'm writing a masterpiece, I won't write anything at all. Not to mention, any sort of debut is bound to suck. Might as well do it with style.

Shut up, perfectionism. Shut up, shut up, shut up.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I Think I Crashed my Writing Bike

Do I win an award for most inane title? No? Well, fine! I didn't want an award anyways...

Anyways, when I was a kid (eight or so) I took a pretty bad spill on my bike. I took a corner too sharp on the track at the school next to my house and slipped in a patch of moss (we have dangers like that in the northwest). Somehow I ended up with my hand stuck in a chain link fence. I'm really not sure how it happened, I mean, how did I manage to jam my hand through a chain link fence while crashing a bike?

That's not the point though, the point is that for weeks after the crash every time I got on my bike I could only ride a few feet before getting so shaky and scared that I had to stop. Even when I got riding again, it took months for me to get my courage back. I walked my bike around that corner for quite some time, even though I knew it looked dumb.

Right now, I sort of feel like I crashed my writing. I'm scared of it, really scared. I haven't written in over a month. I don't know what has caused this bizarre phenomena, but I'm pretty sure it has to do with getting dumped. I used to share all my writing with my ex, it was what first brought us together. So, writing is a painful reminder that I don't have her love or her friendship anymore.

The solution? To hell with fear. I'm going to write an amazing book, because my words are mine, and they're important, and I want the rest of the world to see them.

Take that rejection. I'm going to turn you into a masterpiece.

Monday, April 15, 2013


My dad asked me how I was doing tonight. Gently, he asked me how I was doing. He asked me how I felt, since he knows my girlfriend left me. He used her name, kindly and asked me with genuine compassion if I was okay. No ulterior motive. No judgement. He just asked me, because he wants to know if I'm alright. I hope he knows how much it meant to me, how much that glimmer of acceptance means. Life has been hard lately, but I think it's getting better.
Today, when tragedy reminds me that my little troubles are only a thread in the tapestry of mankind, my dad hugged me and asked me if I was okay, and I was a person again.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Kids Aren't Alright (But They're Still Breathing)

Been a while, yeah? I went through a period of interphobia, but I'm over it and blowing most of my life on tumblr once more (wingargent.tumblr.com, if you're curious-which I'm certain you aren't).

So, because it's raining and all I've been listening to is Emilie Autumn, here it is: the kids aren't alright. They're not even close to alright. And some of them aren't even breathing anymore.

And here's the funny part, the thing that makes me laugh until I cry, because this, my friends, is honest to God fucking hilarious--the kids came from perfect families. I'm talking about myself, and the kids I grew up with. We were the lights on the hill, the salt of the earth. We were the ones from two parent families, that went to church every Sunday, that courted, that never looked at a lady's bosom if we were male, and never wore anything that could cause a brother to stumble if we were female. We were the homeschooled, the conservatives, those above and outside the influence of this filthy world, and we knew it. We knew we were the best of the best, the marines in the Lord's army, wrapped in the armor of God, illuminated by the light of our celibacy, in all ways perfect, beautiful, joyful and above all, righteous.

And we weren't close to alright.

Last November I lay on my back on the top bunk of a dorm room bed, reading Terry Prachett to keep myself out of my own head. I was a twenty-one year old closeted lesbian, two months into her first semester at a conservative Baptist college. She had been to three schools in three years, descended into severe depression, recovered enough to attempt to finish her degree, fallen in love with her best friend and been loved in return. She had been put on her RA's watch list after admitting with no remorse "Sometimes I'm not sure what I think of God" and "the church wasn't there for me when I needed them". 

The stage was set for something, a revolution? A realization? Fate? Whatever. I got a phone call from my mother. We chatted, I didn't mention that I had been too depressed to get out of bed and go to class several times in the last few weeks, and hadn't attended a chapel service since the beginning of the semester. I'm a perfect kid from a good family, remember?

Throughout the course of the conversation it was revealed that a young woman I had grown up with (we'd been friends on and off throughout the homeschool co-op days) had been cutting herself for a horrific six years. In silence. Completely alone, and too ashamed to ask for help. Salt and light. City on a hill.

That's what changed me. Not the fact that I like girls. Not the fact that the Christian counselor I went to (a grand total of once) told me my depression stemmed from an inadequate appreciation of God's grace and my worth as a redeemed sinner. Not the multiple admonishments of "you just need to pray more" and "try reading the Bible when you're down". Not the shaming, or the guiltmongering. It was the thought of that frightened little girl, bleeding alone.

These days I call myself (mostly in the privacy of my own head) a post-Christian. Yeah, I don't even know what that means most of the time. Mostly it means I don't really care about theology. I try to live like Jesus did--that is, to love with every fiber of my being. Sometimes I think that God is kind. Sometimes I think that God is a woman. Sometimes I think God is energy. Sometimes I think that God is petty and cruel and I understand why the devil did it. If that's not heresy, I don't know what is. But if it's the case, I'll tell Satan hi when I see him.

The strange thing is I'm happier and healthier than I've ever been. When my girlfriend left me, I made it through. When my parents judge me, I'm okay. When I see a homeless guy on the street, I stop and wave and say hello if I have the chance. I cry when I hear about gay kids committing suicide, I grin at snarky feminist comments, I get angry when bigoted conservatives act like compassion is weakness, and I love.

Maybe the kids are fucked not because secular culture is corrupting them, but because Christian culture is destroying them. After all, this bipolar sodomite came from a "perfect" two parent, conservative, homeschool family. She's not alright, but she's getting there, and she's still breathing.