Who I Am

Happy, Not Fat

[So this is just a draft that will improve with time, but I wanted to put something up for now]

Oh there are so many ways of answering the question of my identity. There are so many faces and facets to the answer. One of my favorite facets for the last six years has been my ‘lesbianity.’ I finally came out to myself in 2011 and, instead of feeling defeated and suicidal (as I imagined I would feel at making so great an admission), on the contrary, I felt like doing cartwheels (as if I could do a cartwheel to save my life) all over the world shouting at the top of my lungs, I‘m gay, I’m gay, I’m gay! And God loves me as I am! Created me to be this way. Absolutely celebrates me! Finally my sexuality has become a source of celebration and not of shame. I wrote Late Summer Bloom to celebrate this experience.

Another couple of facets include the fact that I am the oldest child of a blind woman and a schizophrenic father, with extreme poverty and childhood trauma to overcome. I am an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I am writing about this elsewhere.

I love to laugh and I love to make others laugh. I even formally studied humor from a sociolinguistic perspective and published an article about my family’s sense of humor (one of the real treasures of my childhood). On the other hand, I am someone who has spent ten years of her life weeping. Three individual years spaced out in my twenties and then a seven year stint in my thirties. I am so good at weeping I can cry out of just one eye if I don’t want the person on the other side of me to see my tears (at church, for example)! I used to weep rivers of pain. Naturally, there were suicidal tendencies along the way, but no more! I have had years of therapy from gifted therapists, and I am now so beautifully healed I almost only cry at other people’s pain. Or I cry tears of joy and inspiration. I am good at weeping with those who weep and laughing with those who laugh. I admit, however, that I can get choked up over commercials, which embarrasses me. I am a Meyers-Briggs INFP and a 4 with a 3 wing on the Enneagram, which totally fits.

Much of the weeping was due to early childhood trauma related to the death of my brother when we were small children. Other sources were a string of abandonments, which really all pointed back to the original trauma. Another fountain of pain was caused by the death of my first love to stomach cancer in 2001. It was a long hard climb to get out of that hole, but I made it! I consider my life a miracle. And I would like to share the healing.

As for personality, I think love is my guiding principle and transparency is my superpower. If you ask me I will tell you point blank about the darkest stains upon my soul. I do not have much value for secrecy, which can amount to a level of hypocrisy that I despise. I try to live out of a motive of love.  If I watch TV or movies, listen to music or read poetry or novels, I want to know that there is love in that work. (For example, I did not enjoy Rubyfruit Jungle because I felt there was almost no love at all in it, but I enjoyed Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, because there was a lot of love of various kinds between a lot of the characters). If there is no love, I am not interested. Somebody has got to be loving somebody in some way to make it worth my time. I seek out friends who live by love and am blessed with an incredible ‘family’ of friends. I avoid people who don’t make love their guiding principle.

In terms of education, I hold a PhD in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University. I have a Masters in Applied Linguistics, and a BA in Spanish and English. I wrote my dissertation about my blind mother and how she communicates with sighted people. Specifically, I showed how she uses language to build an extremely (and ironically?) independent identity and close relationships with and among sighted people.

In terms of writing, I have published two rather seminal academic articles. Better to Be Seen and Not Heard: Blind Sighted Interaction in an edited volume published by Georgetown University Press. Also: Identifying a Family Humor Style, in the International HUMOR journal, published by John Benjamins.

As for poetry, less prestigiously, I have had a short story and several poems published in Kansas Young Writers and in The Epiphany, a publication of Evangel University. One of my poems was regularly read to open their annual poetry reading years after I had graduated and gone away. I was also invited to read a poem I wrote on social (in)justice at the National Honors Society for Religious Studies. Then I let my poetry simmer on the back burner for 20 or 30 years. Now I am doing a taste test to see if any of it’s ready to serve.  I am pleased to report that on May 19th I ‘read’ my poem Healing Tree at a wonderful friend’s ordination service, and I performed my poem, Late Summer Bloom, at the first ever Reston/Herndon Pride Festival on June 2, 2018.

Faith. I believe in a good God, not the evangelical God of the U.S. I attend Metropolitan Community Church in Northern Virginia. I highly recommend this church for people who believe there is something beyond us that unites us, even if we aren’t a hundred percent sure Who or What that is. I am a big fan of Jesus, in His pure form, not as he has been presented by American evangelicals. I’m also a fan of Buddha. . .

As for geography, I have lived in Kansas, Missouri, Tokyo, Chicago, DC, Texas, Arkansas, Korea, Northern Virginia and Pennsylvania. I currently live in Northern Virginia of the DC metro area. Hobbies? Writing songs that sing sweetly to guitar playing that does not. Poetry, books, birds, beads, lesbian film, public speaking (Toastmasters) and gardening (when I have a yard).

If you would like to know more about me, you can always contact me at the gmail address provided under “Contact.”

 

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