Yesterday was my birthday, and it was also Benicio Del Toro's birthday (in case you didn't know). Today I am writing about the life events of my 27 years. I call these "segments of my life" because my life changes a bit every five years into a new interests or perspectives, which is why I am writing on every five years. The first five years I was energetic and playful and had many friends. I was shy during this time but I was still a dramatic diva child. My memories here are foggy, but I remember once on a birthday that I had wished to be a dog. Little did I understand at the time that I was saying to my family: I would rather be anything else but myself. During these years, once I jumped through a glass window of a door that was laying outside in the yard. I was dumb and I have a permanent scar on my foot from this. I climbed a lot of trees, tore money, made and ate mud pies.
From 5 to 10 years old I was conscious of myself and others. This was the time I realized I wasn't as smart as my friends or other classmates, I realized my house didn't look like my friends and I had more siblings. During these years I went to church and I prayed a lot for something better for me. I prayed for money, fortune, or something. Between 10 and 15, I hunted with my dad during this time and listened to garage, grunge,
metal, hard rock music because that's what my dad listened to. I became more self aware and self conscious of my family, house, smarts, so I put on a facade like a chameleon around different groups of people. Boys really liked me and noticed me during these years. I got gifts from boys, and I was asked to go on dates, but realized these kids of teachers and superintendents were middle class kids that wouldn't understand where I come from. I done good in school during these years though because I pretended to be smart, which somehow helped.
At the age of 15 to 20, a lot happened that I remember in my life. I started doing veganism at 15 after I had eaten shrimp for the first time. This moment happened on the first Sunday in April. I started having sex then I moved in with my partner who I am still with. I started sneaking cigarettes from my grandmother and my mother. I was voted Most Changed Since Freshmen Year in my senior year of high school. I quit believing in god(s); my parents got divorced; and I thought killing yourself like Kurt Cobain was cool. I went to prom once at 16 and at 18; and I had jobs painting murals and portraits and then got a secretary job; I voted for the first time which led to the nomination of the first Black President of the US. I went to college and got drunk and high for the first times of my life; I tripped on shrooms several times; I developed a smoking habit and quit all within five years. Although these were the funnest years of my life because I was making friends and partying and learning new ideas and reading new books in school, I was also very sad and confused. It was during this time that I was hyper aware of my future, sexuality, relationships, death, love, fear, and pain.
The years of 20 to 25 I was putting my life into context with the world at large and where my place is in society. I became more socially and environmentally conscious during this time. I was watching documentaries more than ever, and read a lot of books and articles, and writing a lot during this time for school, so these became hobbies of mine. Very quickly I dropped out of college to start growing food and work as a farmer building an orchard for myself and my partner. This was also influenced by me eating more fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and greens. I became a homemaker, gardener, carpenter, and landscaper all in one. Between 20 to 25, I hated being around people, so naturally felt very alone in the world. I felt suicidal as well, and a couple of times I had break downs to the point that I couldn't imagine the next day. During these years I wanted to run away many times, and did jump from house to house one year and lived in a tent, and wanted to spend a year traveling across America (which I attempted for one day and decided against it.)
Later I started to question my sexuality as I had been. Which brings us into the ages of 25 to 30. At 25 to the age of 27 I am today, I realize many things about myself that were influenced and related to my past. For one, I realized I was always around nature in my upbringing that could influence the way I feel protective of nature now while at the same time I was seeing nature destroyed. Two, I realized I became vegan because I grew up hunting animals with dad. Three, I realized I became atheist because I grew up in church reading the bible. Four, I realized I was an anarchist because I grew up being told to respect the American flag, police and military. Five, I realized I was gay because I grew up hearing that I should marry a man when I'm older. Six, I realized I was a Feminist because I grew being told to look pretty for men and let men touch you and grab you so they will pay attention to you, and I "let it happen." When I realized all of these things was when I started writing. I went back to college and got my Bachelor's degree in Sociology and minor in Social Work. I painted a mural for a center in town, and I interned at a nursing home. I write a lot and read daily now, trying to read one book a week at least.
In these years of my life I have always asked myself what I wanted to do, and I feel that this is because family and society are constantly asking you what your next move is in life. What are you going to do now? What are you going to do five years from now? There is a constant stream of these questions about the future that for one can't be answered, two, your mind will change. I have accomplished my goal of building an orchard. In fact, this is slowly happening and I am working on big beautiful gardens. I feel good about that, and I have been taking the initiative to write and blog about this experience as a small scale gardener. But I do beat myself over this question: What is my next move? And I can't say that I have ever wanted to answer that question. I have wanted to be many things in the segments of my life. I wanted to be a star like a singer, a model, an actress, then later a doctor, a guidance counselor (that's a laugh), a social worker, and at this moment I am comfortable with being a gardener. I also want to be a writer, but what I really mean by that is a critically acclaimed author rather than just a writer because I already write. What will 30 look like for me when the next three years pass by? What will another 27 years look like?
Well, yesterday I didn't think about any of those things. Yesterday I went into the city, bought two large vegan pizzas and shared them with my partner and my sister, and that was good enough for me.