Hiraeth

I don’t think I realized just how “broken” I was until recently. Or rather, I don’t think I understood the origins of the many fragments that make me up.

I suspect my JW upbringing has a lot to do with it. A recent exercise in self-discovery allowed me to re-examine certain aspects of my life. You see, I was taught that I was not part of this world. That everything not strictly adhering to their interpretation of the bible was sinful and worldly. That’s a big part of the JW belief system, that’s why birthdays, national holidays, and any political involvement are prohibited. It’s also why I’ve missed out on a lot of popular culture and in some ways I’m stunted; anything before 2000 is hit-or-miss as to whether or not I’ve seen it. Confounding all that is growing up as a minority and being gay. It’s like the Russian nesting doll of compartmentalized psychosis. Did it lead to my introvert tendencies? :: shrug :: mayhaps… mayhaps.

It takes me a bit to warm up to people, in groups, to new places in general. I’ve written about the new gym before and how I’ve come to enjoy the vibe there. It took a few visits, and a few weeks of people-watching to understand the culture, the general flow of things, and figure out the dynamic personalities and how they work. I’m sure this is the same for everyone, especially when you’re the new person. It just takes me a bit longer.

Still, I can’t help but feel broken each time. I can’t help but always feel like the outsider looking in. It’s not always a terrible thing, and I like to think it helps develop perspective. It’s sometimes more comforting to be the third person in the room, the person in the audience rather than on the stage. Heck, it’s this dynamic that eventually gave me enough FOMO to step onto the stage; I got tired of always watching. It’s an odd duality, a balancing act. I try not to feel broken all the time.

Seattle feels like home. The PNW is home for sure. I’ve written many times before how much I longed for this place since I was twelve. It’s no wonder then that my arm tattoo is of the PNW. I finally got it finished, after having to wait for my Accutane treatment to end.

Minutes after finishing

I think it says a lot about my personality; my love of the PNW, my love of Seattle, my love of sci-fi, being part of the LGTB community, and my general disconnect from society.

“Why the abduction?” people ask. “Is that you being abducted?”

“I dunno,” I admit. “Maybe. Maybe it’s showing that I’m home, that I’m either going to die here or get abducted. My chances are 50/50, right? Or…” I think. “…that I’m just visiting. A sort of homage to humanity’s transience.”

“For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I’m suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I’m not leaving… maybe I’m going home.”

Vincent (Gattaca, film)
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