There was a time in my life where I thought I had to be extraordinary to find my identity – a way of “standing out”, as it were. I thought with me being an artist of a type, that I had to re-invent myself outwardly.
For a time………it seemed to help. Looking back though, I wonder if people were really accepting me for the person I was, or if it was just the novelty of the outlandish person they were hanging around with. Granted, in recent years, I have found that people did find the person inside of me unique, even after I dropped the veneers and charades.
In the days of the new wave, I thought that was my “in” – my way of making a statement. It was enjoyable enough, learning different ways of being more than just myself. I learned more about makeup, fashion, being “in your face” with my outwardly appearance – things I thought actually mattered.
I found out over the years, that not everyone you happen to meet will greet you with open arms. You will face people who don’t approve of who you are, consider you to be a freak – an outcast, and want nothing to do with you, as you are “that weird person” This happened in both my personal and work lives, and I fell a number of times, usually resulting in being moody or depressed, trying to figure out where I went wrong.
Sometimes I thought I was really a different person – not through any influences that alter perceptions or anything like that – just thinking about things on the inside. I thought perhaps I was two different people, but that turned out to be an illusion. Perhaps this “other person” was the person I was trying so hard to be! Was I trying too hard though? I tended to confuse a lot of people – the straight community thought I was gay, and ironically enough, the gay community was shocked to find out I was married! Funny thing about it though was, I was never anything but straight – I just like to dabble artistically in the fashion world of punk and drag. I ended up doing some shows in Denver with some friends and acquaintances I met while I was there, but those times were pretty far and few between. It wasn’t a sort of facade I would be able to keep up for any length of time, and I could tell that even those who did accept me found it wearing thin after a while – even when nothing was said. You could just feel it.
I told myself that if I ever had kids, I would try to encourage them to be accepting of others as they were since I went through many battles of that sort. I thought it was a good idea, but part of finding acceptance is being in a place where people can accept you, and where I am these days, that reality is pretty far removed from my world. I like to think that they did learn to acknowledge that people are different, but I found that you also have to teach them that there is a time and a place for everything too, and you can’t just be “out there” all the time just because you want to be.
Part of me is still creative, and I still have my fun in my own ways – just not anywhere near as outlandish as I used to be. Part of that is because I’m not as svelte and active as I used to be – guess that happens in life, so I just try to have fun in the ways that I can, and in the ways that people can appreciate. I know God granted me a wonderful gift of being creative, and I don’t intend on letting that go to waste anymore. I can still write, draw, make videos – the world of technology has given me many avenues to express myself, so I am making efforts in those directions. Perhaps someday I may even publish a book, which would be a cool dream to make reality!
So in the meantime, I’ll just be creative in the ways that I can, and for the people who appreciate it. I know not everyone reads what I write or draw, and that’s okay. I do it because I enjoy doing it, and if others enjoy it as well………..then that’s a plus.