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September 2014
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My Favorite Time to Write


I’m sure many people hated high school as much as I did. Even though I wasn’t there often, the memories of when I was are still some of my most cringe-worthy of recollections. It was filled with a lot of hard to deal with topics that I had no one to talk to about. Like how to be a teenage girl. I had a lot of issues that I didn’t learn to deal with until my twenties came around. Issues like sexuality, gender confusion, how to dress, and love. All things that became even more difficult to talk about after the person I decided to confide in only mocked me for feelings that were very serious to me. Family shouldn’t do that, but you can’t choose your family. If you could, I’m sure everyone would make a few different picks. I know I would.

The most confusing things for me, I think, were the stereotypes. With my interests, lack of makeup, and straight up men’s clothing it made sense that everyone thought I liked girls. I think at one point I felt so uncomfortable being a girl that I thought maybe I was a lesbian. It hurt my feelings when people said it because they made it sound like such a bad thing. Then I started to think… Why? Why is that a bad thing? Love is love is love, right? It doesn’t matter what kind it is. For a while I even began to claim to it. Even now I’m still a firm supporter of gender and sexual equality, but the bottom line was that I did like guys. In fact I liked guys so much that I wanted to be one, too.

It’s a confusing feeling to explain. I hated being a girl. I was sure that if I had been born a guy my whole life would have been better. My name, my attitude, my clothes… Everything about me was masculine, but my body was getting more and more feminine with every passing day. I didn’t know how to talk about it then so I wrote about it instead, but even then it was hard to find words that expressed what I felt. Then something happened to me that changed everything. I fell in love.

This feeling for this boy was unlike any crush I’d ever had or have ever had since then. It gave me a desire that I didn’t think I’d ever feel. No, not that. It made me want to be pretty. It made me want to fix my hair and wear girls clothes and makeup. Simple things that most teenage girls do without thinking too much about it. I thought that wouldn’t be a problem, but it would end up being a source of a lot of frustration.

I’ve always thought that my dad wanted boys instead of the two girls that he got, but nothing was more proof of that to me than the obvious problem he had with us wearing makeup and nail polish. The makeup I understood. Young girls don’t really need it, but what was the problem with nail polish? Even my six year old cousin wears nail polish. He was adamant about it, though, going so far as to confiscate the one that my friend had given me for my birthday.

I never did find out what his problem was, but eventually my sister and I grew up. We moved out of our dad’s house and into my Aunt’s. Now this woman is definitely one of the most feminine ladies I’ve ever met and even though I have many qualms with her, I can’t deny how much she taught me. During the two years I lived with her I discovered so much about myself. I became comfortable in the female body I’d been born into and most importantly I learned a valuable lesson about trust. When you confide in someone about something as personal as gender confusion, you should be very sure of their level of understanding or you may end up resenting them forever. I definitely won’t be going back there again, but at least I can finally say that I enjoy being a woman. I can finally do what I want with my body. I can do what I feel I must to look nice and, most satisfyingly, I can wear all the nail polish I want.

It’s funny to me when I think about it because there are people who know me as the person I became after that transformation. I’m sure that there are people who think of me and the first thing that comes to mind is that my nails are a different color every week. It’s amazing how many stages a person can go through. Even the current me is vastly different from the me of last year and I’m sure with each passing year I’ll look back and wonder what the hell I was thinking. Why did I paint my nails that color? Why did I think that eyeliner looked okay? No. I don’t look good in frills. Why did I ever think I did? But I’ll also remember some of the brilliant ideas I came up with and most likely relate them to whatever color my nails were at the time.

Well, after a couple of years of experimenting with heavy makeup and frilly clothes, I’ve come back down to a comfortable medium. I wear skirts every now and then and, though I never leave the house without makeup, it’s usually not a lot. But the thing that I still love the most is the weight of nail polish and the look of the perfect shade of dark purple at the tips of my fingers. It’s a reminder of the struggle I went through just to be okay with being me. It’s a weight that reminds me of how long it took to be able to express myself with words and not just art. This weight slowly erodes away until it’s only bits of colors and I must remove it and apply it all over again. Then, after the fresh coat is on, I feel this anxiousness in my fingers. The need to tap them against a keyboard. The need to record memories like falling in love and learning to be myself. The need to let the world know that my favorite time to write is after I’ve just finished painting my nails.

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