Today’s word of the day: addlepated.
Someone at work today was asking if that was a real word. I was like, Oh yes. You know, it’s when your pate (head) is addled (all mushy like tapioca).
Like mine was tonight when I was driving home from Havana Sauna and the combination of head cold and hot water was making me think about random stuff like how I’m going to a Denver Women’s Chorus concert tomorrow, and what would happen if a man wanted to join the chorus? Would they let him? Why would he want to, anyway? Because he felt like some part of him was a woman?
And this made me think of a conversation I had back in college in rural Indiana, PA with my friend Jim who was telling me that it was a dream of his to someday be in a gay men’s chorus. (The very idea seemed impossibly metropolitan at the time.) And I was like, “Could I be in it too?” And he said no, because then it wouldn’t be a gay men’s chorus. But I sort of thought I belonged there anyway.
When I was in college I often referred to myself as “a feral lesbian, raised in the wild by fags.” I was super into our campus LGBT support/activist group and I was a hard core feminist. But I didn’t really have lesbian friends. I had straight women friends, and gay male friends. And I was trying to figure out who I was among that crowd.
I’ve written before about how part of the long slow process of self acceptance and self forgiveness and self love involves learning how to see aspects of my life story from a different angle — realizing I’ve been holding myself “on the hook” for a lot of things that were just part of my learning process. And that maybe got me where I needed to go after all.
And really I wanted to write this post because I was feeling very appreciative of and grateful to all the gay men who let me hang around with them like a fat duck in a flock of lithe young swans. They put up with at least some (who knows how much — a good portion of this time I don’t remember) whininess from me about not being able to go on guys’ nights with them at the Pittsburgh clubs. And I was thinking, I wonder what I can do to capture those feelings and express my appreciation? Well, at the very least I can say “thank you” in my blog.
I guess I’ve always beaten myself up for not knowing how to act with women, I’ve always thought I was pretty stupid in that regard. I always wanted to be very gallant and charming, but I always felt like I came across either too chaste or too needy (or too drunk). I imagined my style as more Oscar Wilde than Ani DiFranco, and I guess it still is.
I’d pretty much chalked “relating to lesbians in college” up to my list of failures, but now I’m learning to notice and investigate any uses of that word in my self-analysis and see if I can’t rewrite the story. It is only a story, after all, and it’s part of what made me who I am, so I might as well own it. For one thing, I have more compassion now for where I was on the inner plane — not well. For another, at this distance I can see that the beauty I saw then was real, and the life I have now, which is full of beauty, grew from that soil.
So, here’s to you all, people who put up with me in college and held the space while I floundered around with my identity. I won’t squander that gift. You all rocked, and in retrospect I felt truly accepted. If I couldn’t really take it in then, if I believed happiness was just beyond my reach, I understand that I still needed to learn that I have value, so I was always looking for it outside of myself. And I know now that even if the love is there, if I don’t believe I’m worthy, it can’t penetrate my heart.
The quality I chose to work on in 2015 is self love. I don’t even feel like it was a choice. This is just what’s been up for me. I’m being pushed to finally get rid of the poisonous beliefs about myself that keep me from living my full potential. Sometimes I think I’ll never be able to do it. Other times I think I can. So thanks to everyone who has helped me, who is helping me, whether you know it or not; thanks for your patience; thanks for your kindness; thanks for listening.
I’ve always liked the word “addlepated.” Also “twitterpated,” although I’m not sure I’ve heard that one outside of “Bambi.”
Twitterpated is also a great word, indeed!