It is 2003. I am 14. I’ve never been rebellious.
The first (wrong) hormones are thrashing my body and literally bleeding me out.
The puberty connects with me in all the wrong ways.
I don’t strike out at my dad, start wearing ridiculous spiky clothes, experiment with drugs or run with the wrong crowd. None of the expected things.
I continue to dress like a confused Amish child, struggle to get good grades, and am estranged by my peers. What’s worse is that I can barely be bothered to care.
Bigger fish to fry.
The hormones wreak havok on my inner mind, playing hell with my gender identity, tripping over the Bouncing Betties of dissociative identity and PTSD left strewn about by the mother who waged war on my mind for so many years.
It is a private battle, and an ugly one. How I came out in functional pieces on the other end I’ll never know.
It is 2003. I am starting my freshman year soon. 9/11 is still a fresh wound in the collective mind.
My Chemical Romance is just about to release Headfirst for Halos, which goes completely unnoticed by me for the ensuing years.
I don’t care about music. I’m just trying to survive the battlefield of my mind.
I have a baby face that follows me around for years, and I hate it. Little do I know that one day it will be a blessing.
Flash forward ten years.
It is 2013. I am 24. For the first time, the dormant strings of rebellion are stirring up in me.
The right hormones are flooding my system for the first time, and the only blood I see is where I stab it into my leg every week.
The puberty is connecting with me in all the right ways this time, and the reoccurring thought on this roller coaster ride is, “I’m getting too old for this shit.”
I am angry at the establishment, wearing clothes that, for the first time, I actually care about (and will probably laugh at uncomfortably in 4 years), making friends with dangerous hobos and taking up recreations that most grown adults would shake their bony fingers at. I don’t care.
I continue to try to build my career, pursue my dreams, get independent, and there are some people who call it a pipe dream, who think I’m “doing too much”. Best thing is, I can’t be bothered to care.
Bigger fish to fry.
The hormones rip me through a hurricane of aggressiveness, independence, territorialism, and that special kind of selfish apathy that only teenage punks can properly exude. They inflame the inset manic depression passed down genetically by my dad, but at least this time, there’s medication for it.
The Lithium tremors make my battle a public one. How I’ll maintain my dignity through all this I’ll never know.
It is 2013. I’m starting my non-profit soon. There are people who are still dazed that the world is still here after last December, and I suspect they have some explaining to do.
I just discovered my old friend’s collection of My Chemical Romance tracks on my computer. I listened to them in a fit of nostalgia. As shameful, ironic, uncomfortable, laughable, or whatever it may be, this old music has just caught up to me and somehow it’s the soundtrack of my year. It’s making me want to hear more and more and more music and for the first time, I’m actually trying to hear things that aren’t 40+ years past their prime.
For the first time, I truly care about music.
And for the first time, I am very, very glad that my face makes me look like a teenager.
This isn’t just my second puberty. This is my second chance to experience the childhood/teenage years that were ripped away from me by a shitty life. I intend to live it to the fullest, embarrassing music choices and all.
Won’t you come with me to 2003?
[insert obligatory myspace angle pic] 😉