I’ve been meaning for ages to write a post about social anxiety, because I know a lot of you relate to that issue, and also because I feel like I owe everyone in my life a perpetual, evolving apology for it. But the more drafts I make, the more my whining irritates me. This is one of those topics for which only complete honesty suffices, you know? And there’s only so far a person can pry open their private life, before it starts to threaten the levity of their pastries and shinies blog.
So instead, here’s my current theory explaining why I am how I am: which is that I’m obviously a changeling. Yes. This is Occam’s razor, you guys. The real baby Marian was abducted by creatures of the Fey and carried off to be a lord of their realm, and I’m the monster simulacrum they left behind.
If that sounds like nonsense, I’ve put together a handy visual guide to make it all clear. And actually, it gives me a fair amount of relief to think about the real Marian, bright eyed and broadly competent, off having fantasy adventures across the veil. You go girlfriend. Be the generous scholar-prince you were born to be. I’ll be here, moping around in general; smearing cake on all my possessions, and wearing the same disgusting sweater for a month straight.
11 responses to “Changeling”
I really appreciate this metaphor. I’ve been trying to examine certain issues inside myself, mainly relating to gender, in a more serious way this year. I’ve been trying to make comics about it, because I can express myself better in written words accompanied with pictures that I can verbally, where I get tangled up, backwards, lose my train of thought, and just generally leave most gender conversations feeling I’ve made a complete hash of it. Some things have come out in the art making and I have had a few “ah-ha!”s that I found pleasing. But when I get closer to the- bottom? heart?- of the mess it’s very hard not to come to the conclusion that something that works in other people is non-functional in me. I keep drifting towards a metaphor of incorrect wiring, but I’d rather think the inside of my brain is run by something more handmade and natural than computer parts. I guess I’m alright with the idea my brain is a pulley-system of nicely carved gears and hand-spun string. I’m hesitant to express this feeling of non-functionality to people because it sounds so angsty. I honestly don’t have much angst about it right now though. It’s just a fact. The strings that connect gender identity to biological gender to attraction to sexuality in other people are not connected in the more common fashion in me. Maybe a strong wind was blowing as they were trying my strings in place? What I like about your changeling analogy is that it suggests that if a mistake was made it was not the fault of the changeling, happened outside of the changeling’s body and on a certain level is just a fact that the changeling has to deal with.
Yes, I agree, I think this is exactly what feels freeing about the changeling analogy. Some things are out of or beyond your control. I’ve been thinking a lot about general and gender identity stuff this year, too, and coming to the conclusion that (for me) permanently naming or solving any part of that is just futile – I have to let it be flexible.
Anyway, I’m sure I have more to say, but I’ll email you about it tomorrow.
I really relate to your lovely post and this first comment also. I wish I could summon the courage to just sit with my gender identity/social anxiety stuff without trying to slap a label on myself, or police myself, or explain/ apologise for myself. It is a big help to read a post like this – made my heart leap :)
Thank you! Owning the label can take courage, too. But I get what you’re saying – I also find it hard not to do all those things as a way of feeling in control. It’s all a process, I guess.
Yon sweater there in lies a treasure map to past darings and tea leaf wrinkles of futures embolded.. That is just the first of many jewels you shall find on your journey… *hug*
Thank you, Kim. And seriously, only you could take my ratty sweater that really needs a wash and make it a magical quest item.
I would read the HELL out of this if it were a book. <3
I’ll keep the idea in mind, now that you mention it.
The monster is brilliant! And I relate to this so much. At least you don’t have to reckon with this identity while also being a luddite/total-grandma-in-a-young-person’s-body… (me). Hey, may I email you sometime with more in-depth questions on your working process and “blogging”? My blog/web presence is in a big angsty cocoon right now. Also, Book! Book! Book! <3
Ooh, I’ve got a little bit of that going. I just got my first cellphone ever, last year. But yes, by all means email me! I’m often slow with email, but I’d be happy to answer questions.
Oh, man – suddenly everything makes so much sense about my life.
Isn’t it interesting how we have such an idealized notion of what we’re supposed to be like, when our own experiences clearly demonstrate that we’ve set the bar way too high? And yet, I look at my friends and they seem like they’ve got things pretty together…