We are in the midst of a culture war that is based soley on the strength of identity politics. It used to be that it was just one part of the political story to our nation, now it’s everything.
In this devisive time, I think it’s more important than ever to create an inventory of your own identity, not so you know where to stand– but so that we can find common ground with our supposed enemies.
This is not a litmus test. It is an endeavor for new ties. It’s a hand across every aisle and divide. It also has pineapples.
Who Am I?
This List is in no particular order. Just like my brain:
- I am a painter. I am excited about a new series I have banging around in my brain. It’s basically using John Singer Sargent’s style of painting luminscent skin, to paint flawed bodies. It’s partially my idea, and then inspired by something my husband said about entropy and beauty. He’s smart.
- I am a wife. But I am not your typical wife. I’m a cool wife. (Yes, that was a Mean Girls reference.) No, seriously. This segues into a lot of other pieces of my identity–
- I am bisexual. Though I prefer using the term Queer.
- I am polyamorous.
- I am oddly traditional. While I would never foister my personal beliefs onto other women, I like staying home with my son, while my husband has the more traditional “Head of Household” role. Older women love this about me, but it’s not a moral stance. I try very hard to never clutch my pearls in horror, but I would be happy to wear my pearls with pride. If my son didn’t break all my jewlery, that is.
- I am a mom. Notice that this wasn’t at the top of the list. That was intentional. It’s not that I don’t love being a mother. My son is the best thing I have ever made and I would literally die for him– but I think society expects us to drop all other aspects of our identity when we give bith. And that’s just not healthy.
- I am a collector. Really, I just have these cues that bring me happiness– Like fuzzy blankets, squishy kawaii stuffed animals, office supplies, pineapples, plaid– the list goes on and on.
- I love oldies music. My favorites are Blossom Dearie, The Inkspots, Nina Simone, and Nat King Cole. There is an album where Natalie Cole sings her father’s catalog. I listened to that CD until it was absolutley ravaged.
- I also love quirky or emotive modern music. Here it would be things like Post Modern Jukebox, Sufjan Stevens, Tilly and the Wall, Cat Power, Brandi Carlile, and of course, Lizzo. That beauitful bad ass bitch is everything I want to be.
- I love adaptations and covers- basically all clever references. This has mostly to do with my love of layers and familiarity. Some doctors might say that also has to do with my austistic sensiblitlies- that comfort from familiarity, the structure. But it’s apart of me for sure.
- I love movies.
- I love theatre. This is my mother’s doing. I get honest to blog frission from a well staged scene in play or musical. “Hamilton”, I am looking at you. The only show that possibly beats out my sister’s ballet performance of “How Slow the Wind” which is my favorite thing I have EVER seen on the stage. And I am a playwright.
- Oh, yeah, I am a playwright. I write plays for children. They’ve been performed internationally. Which sounds much coooler than it is. It’s like getting paid with “exposure” and “experience”. The artists know what I am talking about. Although, I shouldn’t complain. I did actually get paid.
- I love to laugh. It gives me such an endorphin rush.
- I am a kinkster. I thought I should mention that after speaking about endorphins. The particulars of this are worth their own post, so I’ll let that sink in for while before I go into it.
- I love fifites kitsch and aesthetic BUT I also think that it is one of the most morally corrupt and corosive decades of the twentieth century. Again, that’s probably worth its own post.
- I love ASMR. If you read this blog regularly you probably already know this and know that I am listening to Gibi as write this. It helps me focus and relax like nothing else I have ever tried. I aspire to one day create my own ASMR videos if only to give back to the community that has helped me so much.
- I am a photographer. This is my father’s doing. More than the lessons he gave me, I believe I got his eye and his sensibilites when it comes to visual stimuli. I also got his sensitivites when it comes to hearing. And just being sensitive in general. Again, a whole other post.
- I am compassionate. To an unhealthy degree. While cognitive empathy has been both an interest and a struggle for me, I am extremely compassionate and suffer from sympathetic empathy pretty much every moment of every day. Medication helps with that last one.
- I am plus sized. That’s a fashionable term for saying that I have excess body fat and atypical measurments. I call myself soft. While there are days when I want to be more svelte it is only to earn approval from strangers. And that is silly.
- I am neurodiverse. This means that I am wired differently from more typical people. First, I am autistic. I also have ADHD, OCD, agoraphobia, anxiety, and (technically) Bipolar Disorder. I vasicilate on the validity of the Bipolar Disorder diagnosis because my doctor told me it was induced by the wrong medication (a real thing.) I think that it was never Bipolar but just undiagnosed ADHD. Not sure. I take the meds he has prescribed and they help me quite a bit. So, I don’t really care what my written diagnosis is anymore… as long as I can function to a reasonable degee.
- I am handicapped. I don’t like to use this term, actually. Not because I think it paints me in a negative light, but because I think others have it so much harder than me. My badass writer uncle has been living with MS for years. (His blog is called Wheelie Out There and is about travel from the perspective of wheelchair bound man. So cool.) Even with my daily joint and muscle pain, my occasional dislocations– I dont think I will ever live up to his battle. I know that it is not a competition. I just have perspective and respect for those who deal with more than dislocated joints. After all, my joints pop back into place. They rebound. And with effort, so do I.
- I am funny. This is very much a part of my identity. As much as I love to laugh, making people laugh is my most natural high. It’s why I went into plays. What’s more playful than a play? And what’s more diffcult than making insecure middle schoolers laugh?
- I am a spiritual Unitarian. People like to mock my faith because Unitarians are so open. Earnestly, for some reason I cannot understand, inclusivity is considered a weakness when it comes to church. Despite it being the most important lesson Jesus gave us. Social justice was one of our evengelical tenets before anyone ever used it to “cancel” or exclude one another. My favorite Unitarian Ministier and author is Robert Fulghum. Check him out.
- I am an audio bibliophile, which means I love audio books. I honestly don’t even consider books without an audio book format. It’s a form of respect and accomodation to those with disabilities AND its own art form. I also have aspirations to become a successful voice actor, specifically for audiobooks and radioplays.
- I am a romance novelist. Sometimes I wonder if it is the dismissable quality of genre fiction that draws me to it. If no one cares, I am liberated to be as sentimental, erotic, and controversial as I want. Only one of those is welcome in the children’s plays category. I’ll let you guess which.
There are a lot of things that I hate or get on my nerves that are apart of my identity too. But hate is too easy of a unifier. We have to try harder than that.
So, who are you?