Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In sight

Having learned a second language and to be breathing it everyday has changed my perception of English. I read words with spanish pronunciation. I translate spanish directly back into english instead of the other way around. I'll say of useless actions, thoughts, things - it doesn't serve for anything (No sirve para nada). And I don't see the difference until I catch myself, a little later. When I was learning it, fluency seemed such an impossible and distant place that I would never reach, no matter how much I walked in one day. Now it is an afterthought. When I was tongue-tied and nervous trying to connect my brain to my tongue to a second language, there were days I would rather stay in bed than go out to face my Spanish and Italian room mates. Now mornings speaking spanish doesn't cost me anything (no me cuesta nada). 

Being with someone is like this. My mind is stretched and shaken constantly to make room for a new way of saying what I want to say. I am learning this third language which is made up of reading my own silences and moments I bite-my tongue as much as his eye-rolling or rants. Deciphering the way we are together, in all the voiceless touches and unsaid hints, remembering what he's done rather than what he's forgotten to say. Wrapping my head around the way I am now not a completely unattached being floating in the world with only myself to think about - that's a language I'm not used to at all.

The more I learn about being in a relationship the more I understand what I did and who I did not understand for such a long time. I breathe a slightly regretful sigh at my childish demands of friends trying to neatly divide their time between everyone they loved and who they just wanted to get along. I shake my head at grace before version 2.0, slapping on labels and judgments because it's funner not to have to consider the complex alternatives. That's all the hindsight, now that I am in sight.

In hind sight, I am more acutely aware of the space and distance I need from others to function on a daily basis.  My close friends tell me not to make myself small, not to shrink so others can be big. Which implies that I do that, which I have realised I do. Why do I do that? I have always been so big for a person so small. Being small doesn't serve for anything. The advantage of being In sight means I can edit my life while it's happening, before it's printed in black ink on uniform pages I so desperately wish to tear out. 

If there is any insight I have now more than before it is that we are all so many different people. I am not the same person with everyone. We have no one personality, no one side to us. I don't think anybody can really know us totally. There may be a face we wear the majority of the time but there are millions of masks we store away, masks we may never wear but have nonetheless. 

On here I try and avoid sentences that begin with but it seems I have no other point of reference. I used to not hesitate beginning sentences at all but I am too self-conscious now, clumsy and paranoid holding my cards close to my chest. What do I write here? What do I have to say? What is worth saying? Who gives a damn? On here people I know well or not at all read what I choose to write. But it does not define me and when whatever is written here takes them by surprise - people who have known me for years, or are with me everyday - it reminds me that this is just one of the faces I wear.

I used to care in a more earnest way what everybody thought of me, as everybody does at one point or another - even those who grow up to beyonce (that being, beyonce). In hindsight even if I could rewrite those years of my life, I wouldn't rub out the insecurity because the feeling of learning to untie the weight of expectation was almost certainly worth the carrying it all around for a while. And in sight I would tell her that you can be more than one thing, one person. I would tell her that no one thing and definitely no one person has to define her, ever. And that it's okay to begin sentences with I. 

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