Thursday, September 6, 2007

TMI: The Weight of Expectations

I'm really glad that my crisis of confidence didn't fall closer to a Thursday because otherwise this would be a lot darker and probably less thoughtful ( though I have no doubt my Suicide is Painless TMI will come soon.) (and this is actually a midnight transmission, at least for you west of the ohio and other parts of the world)
But this is what will do for tonight and, it being the first Thursday of the month and so writing to Hubby ( which was really hard today maybe because I was trying to respond to her letter philosophically about how in life things fade away and it is not only perfectly acceptable but kind of to be desired, while the whole time I was agreeing with some points but not ever wanting her to fade away from me, or vice versa)- the whole time I was writing though I was thinking about something she told me, which I of course took to heart; that I'm an amazing writer, and each of my letters so far has been perfect. And so I don't want to let her down with a subpar letter, even if I have nothing to say. Especially not for her. I personally think I'm a pretty good writer, though reading this you would probably have no idea, and I'm pretty sure that skill is the only reason I actually got a diploma but when someone you really care about, and that you actually wanna make happy and impress says that it ups the ante. Expectations always fuck me up because, I guess it's my lack of self confidence but I always feel I'm not actually that good, that people are just being nice, and that I will end up disappointing them in the end. And there have alwasy been expectations which have pretty much run my life. For example, my grandfather started a church and so my mom really expects me to become Pastor when I'm older, though I have been a vocal and avowed Non-Christian for like 6 years, or just, and it's hard to explain but when you're a black kid who goes to a school like Harvard-Westlake you have the pressure of not only working hard to prove you're not some scholarship case, but also fulfilling those expectations that people have of you, ebing a member of the Talented tenth or whatever; I can't count how many people predicted me being called Doctor, and now ,though I may go to grad school on the phd track just because I have no clue what to do with my life, I will feel I'll disappoint them all. It was kind of the same with football, when I used to play cornerback ( and if somehow you missed the blaring neon signs, I used to be a boy) the defensive coach constantly told me that I could cover the rain, and do I felt those expectations which kind of fucked me up and when I fucked up I could feel his disappointment, real or imagined.
In AmeriCorps things were kind of the same; I'm not sure but I think people didn't expect too much out of me or to be so me, but I would constantly surprise them ( so much so that I was called the Pretender after that millenial tv show on NBC) and when we were working at Bainbridge Elementary in Port Deposit, MD, I wasn't assigned a class like my teammates, maybe because the principal didn't like my look, though the kids in my first grade class ended up adoring me ( and they're all now like in at least the 6th grade.) I'm far better at surpassing low expectations, than reaching high ones, at least in my mind. Though of course for the longest time I have failed at the very doable expectation of keeping in touch with people. In college I didn;t feel any real pressure, because it is college and no one knows what to expect, except maybe just the heteronormative pressure and that expectation ( and anyway I thought at that point I had stopped caring what people thought about me.) Once I started coming out to friends another kind of expectation took root, that I would necessarily start associating with the queer kids ( and I like the word queer so much more than gay; maybe it's because I like q) though I had some issues with that whole scene.
But now is when I feel the expectations and the weight of such a burden. I really believe one of the reasons I started transitioning so late (I know I'm young but it's been a decade of constantly thinking about it) was the expectation that I'm sure my mom must have, that she will ahve grandchildren and that not both her boys would not be straight. And since I knew my brother was gay since I was 14 I felt for a long time that I was expected to hold up the mantle of normality and get married, to a girl, not as a girl and I really never want to disappoint my mom. I also never wanted to ruin all the dreams she had for me and the esteem in which I was held by her friends as an exceptional young black male with a limitless future. Anyway I always expected that when I started transitioning that I would no longer be the wretched melancholy person I was, and for the most part I have been happier, but of course there are dark days. More importantly though I feel the expectation to live up to what my friends expect of me (or at least what they expect of me in my own mind); I've been full time since about the time I started this blog but I feel that my life should be more glamourous and happening and exciting in order to meet their expectations of me ( I'm still really hung up on the fact that I have been called the bravest person someone has ever met, and an inspiration) though my life is exceedingly boring; I'm at home most days because I have no where to go and so I do this blog. But that's not exciting, I don't have a boyfriend or any amazing stories and so I fear calling my best friends and talking to them ( well that and the fact I really hate my voice right now) because if they knew how boring I actually am now (save the occasional dance party with my pets) they would be disappointed. I also expected that during my transition that people would do the whole double take/avert eyes thing, which they have but only after a very long look where they can deduce I wasn;t born a girl; I didn't expect as many girls to flirt with me (even when I'm "butched up" because of a depressive mood; during this times people also stare so I don't know.) But I'm laways pretty paranoid when I go out that everyone has to know and so I expect people to stare and when they sometimes don't it's quite upsetting. Myabe i just hate being wrong. There was a time when I expected to be the belle of the ball, but those were just dreams. More importantly to me current situation where I am seriously debating between hormones and makeup or foo is that I thought getting a degree from Duke would pretty much guarantee me a job (albeit the degrees are in religion and cutltural anthropology), especially inn the field I wanted, of human rights and social service. And so of course that doesn't happen and now I'm scared to apply for any job which I feel is a reach and will probably settle for something basic to pay the bills, all because of the pretty reasonable expectation that in the peace corps- it might not be the best place to transition, though it has been a dream since i was 16. And so I sit here depressed that I'm not living a glamorous exciting life for my friends, and that I'm not living a good christian hetero life for my mom, and pissed that any of my expectations for myself aren't happening, though of course I am an eternal optimist and I magically believe that when I move to San Francisco at the end of this month that I will be a belle and that my life will be urbane.
I think the fact that I hold myself to an incredibly high standard is to blame. When I was growing up I wanted to be Alexander the Great, and he conquered the world by the time he was 21, I wrote a screenplay when I was 13 but I thought it wasn't good enough. I have always aimed for perfection, to be perfect and when I can't attain that standard in something really important to me I feel like a failure and worthless. I have always wanted to be all things for my friends, and like when I can't solve their guy problems I take it as an indictment of myself. I hate the fact that I am not the most beautiful and natural girl (or at least tranny) ever ( and can scrutinize every slight departure from natural womanness to the point where I'm closing to chugging pills)My therapists, of course tells me that these expectations are unreasonable but I have a very high self confidence level, though I think I'm a piece of shit that is suffering through this life as karmic retribution. To paraphrase madame Nina I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, but I always end up misunderstood. Mostly by myself. And I know my friends love me as I am and not want or expect the world, but I feel they do and that feeling is what I think I need to surpass. And so I can only do and pledge what I always do; to be better. ::sigh::

( and because of google analytics and the fact that people may actually read this I'm kind of sad that this post isn't absolutlety stellar and amazing and didn't come out like I wanted it to., though I originally intended this site as just something where I could rant and get things off my mind without caring about the consequence, hence the original motto "we're just dancing like no one's watching")

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