The last guy I dated was image obsessed, coming from a pop-punk band background, everyone around him had to either fit the image of the Agnostic//Beardo Weirdo//Pop Band Groupie. It made me think about a few groups of people I’ve crossed and how these relationships effected me.
You see, this isn’t my first ride on the insecure narcissistic creative kid carousel. When I first moved here I rode the bus with a girl named Amanda. She would later drop the ‘A’ because it was more cunning, bold and “different”. She could only surround herself with boys that were in bands and the groupie girls that wanted to date them.
Last night I was thinking about this a lot, the best friends I’ve had in my life, that I still have in my life, we have completely different lives:
- Diana, a social worker for the VA, married to a State Representative
- Chris, runs databases for IBM during the week in Missouri, lives in New York City
- Betsy, lives in Colorado Spring with a new born child, loves Lady Gaga and weed
- Christian, creates zines and loves photography, lives in Denver with his partner
- Maria, works for a company that gives out medical marijuana cards, loves strip clubs
- Jessie, married to and spends all of her free time with her soul mate, nature lover
- Bebe, teaches English in Aracaju, Brazil, the life of the party
- Juanes, the future president of Argentina, pees on embassies
A lot of people I’ve found have had a fork in the road at some point where they could either continue to follow themselves or start to follow everyone else. I realized this when my former boyfriend told me that he gave up being himself, the nerdy bookworm kid, to become what others wanted him to be. He told me he was trying to find his way back to being that person once more, himself. I thought, what a strange concept, someone forfeit themselves to be something they thought others would like, how uncomfortable to never truly love yourself, to only find yourself wanting to be exactly who you were born to be.
Everyone should be taught to “find the others”. There are more than 7 billion people on this planet, the others are not defined as those that look like you, that’s easy. No, the others are the ones who experience life in a manner that’s similar or complementary to your own. You’ll know it by the way it feels, a fire sparks inside your soul and a deep lustrous roar escapes your belly and you both can be seen laughing at writing random notes on ripped up pieces of paper to strangers at a conference where neither of you speak the native tongue. You’ll be walking side-by-side down the main drag belting out pop songs at the top of your lungs as the man on his lawn tells you to shut the hell up and you will piss yourself from laughing so hard. It’ll be both of you dancing on a party bus through the Oregon countryside screaming “Steak City” at the tops of your lungs as you high five. It’s renting a car for a weekend and driving to another city to rave. It’s running hand in hand through a field of daisies. It’s making out topless in the ocean. It’s dropping everything on a whim to travel to buy a plane ticket to see them when they’re depressed. It’s fucking up and still loving them. It’s not a friendship of material alliance, it’s expression of the soul.