I had started to feel myself getting sick last night — I had experienced about four days in a row running on 7 hours of rest, only. Yesterday I lay down to rest at about 7:15 PM. Unexpectedly, I found myself waking at around 4 AM, then going back to sleep and waking again some time around 7:30. Then Dim Sum. Then back home, and asleep again until late afternoon, even though I did drink a good amount of Jasmine tea.
Because my prof for Creative Process has said we cannot miss any of the next 3 classes without a doctor’s note — even if we are sick — I’ve been trying to preserve my health. Granted that I have been in bed for the majority of today, but I still got to work on my presentation. Notes are filed, but I have not practiced speaking at all, yet. I’m sure I have enough to fill seven minutes. The issue will be cutting down what I say.
What I found to be interesting is that I don’t have time to explain the entire backstory behind why I do what I do, and still have time to talk about all 10 pieces of work which I’m presenting, in seven minutes. I’ll likely have around 30 seconds for each piece, along with a one-minute intro and a one-minute finale. There is a lot I will have to leave out; I’m just not sure how much, yet.
And some time within the last 24 hours, I came to a realization within one or another dream: what is going on with me as regards gender is simply my abandoning the rulebook, except where it comes to safety. (This is connected to the above because I found myself needing to refer to aspects of my identity, without naming them. I think I was first introduced to this mode of working when I needed to communicate my experience with illness without invoking untrue stereotypes. It’s gotten more and more useful as I’ve aged.)
I had been calling myself gender-fluid; however, it’s gotten so loose even with the fluidity (I’m no longer trying to fit one or another image — probably spurred on by not dressing to look good for my Studio Art classes [why ruin good clothes]), that it’s just very clear that essentially what I’m doing is just abandoning the rules. The older I get, the less it matters.
I suppose the clearest name for this is “gender non-conforming,” but even that isn’t really fully the case, because sometimes I am coincidentally dressing in a way which appears conforming. I don’t make an effort to avoid conforming. I won’t trap myself in silence, though, either.
But, none of this means I accept the status of “woman.” People assume that I see myself as a woman, often, but their assumptions aren’t my fault. Other peoples’ assumptions have nothing whatsoever to do with me, and it’s not my job or obligation to tell them they’re wrong. This is especially so when sharing that information with a person only increases the level of danger I experience from them or others.
I was talking with a co-worker the other day and realized that there seems to be a big difference in my area between non-heterosexual (gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, demisexual) and/or non-cisgender (transgender, genderqueer, gender-fluid, gender non-conforming) people who go to efforts to make their difference visible, and those of us who are internally different but don’t care to conform to one or another stereotype in order to advertise it to the world. I should not be expected to “look like” something I’m not in order to be seen as “who I am” (which is really just another person I’m not).
I did do the stereotype thing as a youth, but before I actually knew who I was — I didn’t really make much progress on figuring myself out, until my mid to late twenties.
But an early-twenties mind-space (when I was dressing to and being seen as a stereotype) is a lot different than the situation in one’s mid-thirties. I’m actually glad that I’ve matured in this way…though I know that there is some kind of idea among youth that it’s good to be young, forever. The only benefits I can see to being a young adult is that your family members are farther from the ends of their lives, and you haven’t narrowed down who you are yet: so things seem full of (unexperienced and unfulfilled) possibility. I don’t see any other actual benefit, even socially…but then, people regularly think I’m 14-18 years old. Even kids. It’s annoying.
I know that eventually I’ll get wrinkles, and that my stomach isn’t as tight as it used to be, but this doesn’t seem to be that big of a cost to avoid unwanted flirtations and people underestimating my intelligence and strength. Of more concern is my vision deteriorating and the possibility of developing tremors and arthritis.
Anyhow, it is late. I will see if I am actually able to get any sleep; if I can’t, it seems as though it would be a good time to get some homework done.