Who am I? I have been asking myself this question a lot lately. The answer really is I don’t fucking know. That is the most truthful way I can answer. I can really only answer the question in relation to who I am for someone or something else. Yet, holding the mirror up blankly, I don’t really know who I am.
Last Winter, I was finally able to identify myself as a writer…as soon as I did that, writer’s block hit me like I was Hiroshima. My writer’s block has been so great I have questioned if I should call myself a writer any longer. How long do I get to go between actual writings and still get to consider myself an authentic writer? I occasionally will whip out a bit of poetry or a mini thought…but something worth reading is coming few and far between.
I am a displaced woman. That is what I am. That is the only thing I truly know that I am as I sit here at my favorite Starbucks (I call it my other office.) I watch person after person walk in…it’s literally like watching a cookie cutter factory roll through. Please understand, I mean a sugar cookie factory. Here I am in the corner, earbuds in, blasting Biggie doing a hip roll. I am not meant for small town Wisconsin.
When people talk to me about growing up I’ll say I grew up in St. Paul. People will always ask “What part?” I will respond with, “I’m a Frogtown girl.” It always gets a reaction. If anyone knows anything about the Twin Cities, they will know Frogtown was the hub of drugs, gangs and prostitution in the 80’s. To me, it was just home. I loved living there…so there was a drive by now and then. My neighbor was dating a gang leader. He was good to me. There was always a neighborhood BBQ and I am not talking about mayo salads. I mean REAL chicken, mac and cheese, collards…mmmm…I miss home.
My Mom moved me to the great white conservative fields when I was in high school. I never really recovered. I hated it. I didn’t fit in. I stuck out like a sore thumb. My vernacular was different. My music, my clothes…I didn’t like ketchup (country spice.) When I left college, I took off to Manhattan. I have never felt so free in my life. I felt like I could be myself. No judgement. Culture. Movement. Diversity. I came home for 5.5 days…all it did was remind me how much I hated small towns. I took off to Miami.
Nevertheless, responsibility found me in the form of a little boy. The chaos of a big city is too much for him and back to small town Wisconsin we are. My heart longs to be in a place I feel at home. While I am here I am constantly looking for myself. I can not find it here. I don’t know who I am. I can not relate. I can not find myself. I am lost.