Final Project Chronicles

The time has come for me to complete this very quick time with the U of C. I am currently finishing my last class. Well I am not finishing it, I have just started, but it all feels like a finale of sorts.

So, here is my project so far… bit-by-bit.

-Abstract-

-Writing 500-009 Creative Writing Final Project –

What Comes Before Comes Again

By: Dallas Barnes

 

“It does not do to trust people too much,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

 

I took one of those nonsensical quizzes on Facebook a few weeks ago, it guaranteed to ‘measure’ your personality traits by analyzing the myriad of multiple choice answers to questions developed to gauge your disposition – sounds legit, I know. After minutes of clicking and averting Facebook ads – my most dominant trait: distrust? Fantastic. Although some caution should be adhered to when dealing with any quiz and analysis created by a person with the user name areyouserious69, I knew that this result was 100% accurate. Trust is a slippery slope and I needed to work on that shit. I need to understand why I wasn’t normal anymore.

I never expected to be here when I was normal. When I say ‘when I was normal’ I mean when I was about 5. And even than, I probably wasn’t normal. What I am now, what I have become, what came from circumstances out of my control, was never desired, not even for a possibly crazy 5-year-old. But, nevertheless it is mine to embrace and cherish like a big hairy mole protruding from the tip of your underdeveloped (in my own opinion) nose.

The thing is, I am crazy. I own it. The word is mine. I am also fat, and I own that too, but that is for another chapter. There are those people that will call me insensitive, politically incorrect, an ableist, blah, blah, blah, but I really don’t care. I earned that badge – that crazy badge of honour. Us crazy folk are a breed like none other.

I was 30 when I was first introduced to Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I was in University, working on my illustrious education as a Women Studies major which resulted in a career in the equally illustrious retail management. I digress however because my shit career is not Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s fault. In fact, she is my source of light, my constant, the butter to my bread. Charlotte Perkins Gilman gets me.

She was a crusader, a feminist, an activist, and a survivor. Abandoned by her father she was raised by her mother and aunts, Suffragette Isabella Beecher Hooker, Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriett Beecher Stowe, and children’s education activist Catharine Esther Beecher – the powerhouse of early kick-ass ardour for the ‘lesser sex’. She wrote about the role of women in society. She spoke the truth about patriarchy and the inane state of affairs in American society. She spoke to me in 2003.

It was one of my most enchanting classes – Women and Literature. I never knew I wanted to write at that point in my life, I just knew that I found a sort of magic in the understanding and the communal sense of subordination of all self-identified women. Women and Literature was simply an elective in my previously mentioned illustrious Women Studies Degree.

My professor had us read a work of her choosing as homework each week to prepare for the next classes lecture. We were bestowed with such great works from the likes of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Flannery O’Connor. These were all works of art; however, it was the one andgb , only Charlotte that ignited my soul. The Yellow Wallpaper, written in two days in 1890 stayed with me even as I stare at this computer screen.

 

“And she is all the time trying to climb through – but nobody could climb through that pattern – it strangles so…”

 

That fucking pattern.

Advertisements
Final Project Chronicles

Hurting and Healing and moving the fuck on…

So here’s the thing…

When you are crazy (and I am, and it’s mine and I fucking claim the word), you question everything about yourself.

Some questions that have actually occurred:

I know my throat is raw and I can’t breathe but seriously depression does that right?

Did I really make plans to go out tonight or did I just make that up in my head?

Who am I?

Where am I?

I can’t believe I said that.. is she going to hate me forever?

Am I the only person in this world and everyone else a part of my imagination?

Why am I the ugliest person in the world?

So when you are in the here and now.. wanting and working your fucking ass off to be better.. (day by day) you really have to figure your damn head out in order to function like a human.

The problem lies in your ability to be ok with yourself.  When you question everything around you, you forget how to understand yourself as a thinking thing,  a human, a valid voice. You forget (in fact may have never known) that how you think and feel is ok.

When you are sick. . You are sick. .fucking period. You didn’t make up the 103 degree fever or the constant stream of…well you get the point. You did not make this up because you are not some superhuman with the ability to inflict imaginary germs on yourself.

When you are upset.. you are upset. Your set of okness values were not met.. you’re sad, angry, frustrated. To feel that is ok.. more than ok. When you close off your heart for long periods of time to avoid potential cataclysmic events that most people call life (you just can’t deal) and have the fucking courage to open your heart up and it be stomped on by all means.. MOTHER FUCKING CRY! Cry for your delicate yet powerful heart for its ache but also for its courage to open itself up to possibility. . To beautiful life! You have become a part of the majority (but are so happy that your still a little weird).

When you question your set of values.. just stop. Your values are your own. When a girlfriend (now ex) tells you that you are ‘too gay’ (she was the one with the mullet) or another one tells you that ‘you are just too much to handle’.. fuck ’em. Fuck them and their bullshit attack on who you are. Fuck them for not embracing the everything that is you. You earned this badge  .. you fucking earned it.

When you think you are not good enough and feel like you have to hide so you won’t be hurt.. go out! Test yourself, force yourself. Not everyone is going to like you and even if you go on some manic tangent (because you are after all deliciously crazy) don’t fucking worry about it. Not everyone is going to like you, but those that do are yours for life.

When your girlfriend (s), now ex (exes) cheat on you once,  twice,  three fucking times.. get out. Don’t hate yourself because you went back… you went back because you believe (and still do) in the sanctity of commitment and love. You were willing to fight for it even when it wasn’t pretty. You loved and loved hard and were willing to try… but don’t lose faith in your potential to love and be loved back. Your person(s) are out there.

When you look in the mirror and seriously fucking hate what you are looking at (and may go for days without ever looking) don’t beat yourself up. Just live.. maybe without looking for a while until your ready.. (baby steps). You hate what you see because you are not looking at yourself.  That person is not you. That is the sad, beaten down, and exhausted you. You are hiding in there.. you will come out.. (still working on that). Remember that this reflection is what is holding you back from doing things .. being alive. . Drinking with drag queens, protesting bullshit homophobes,  dancing until you forget that there is gravity, loving and being loved by your people, finding those people you desperately yearn for.

The problem lies with the fact that you have not been to be ok because some ridiculous piece of shit chemical in your brain is tearing you apart. You have been fighting for so long just to walk out the door and survive.. you’ve gotta fight. You have to fight for yourself.. for your rightful place in the world. No one is going to do this for you.. but if you let them,  the good ones will help you along the way, but you have to let them in. You have to trust the process. You have to live. You have to fight.

And if you feel like your whole world is going to crumble.. because it will.. we aren’t immune..fucking cry.. Cry alone, cry with friends, just cry with every ounce of you. And than take a breath… and get up..

Hurting and Healing and moving the fuck on…