It is almost a year now since I moved back to my cosy, little hometown. I spent six years in a place which gave me full freedom to seek myself, find it and express it in a very own way. That place hugged me, as the lyrics of a famous folk song describe.
I remember stepping on its grounds seven years ago. As an average kid from province I couldn’t believe that there’s a place on Earth like this. Messy, crowded, noisy, with beggers on every corner. I cried for my countryside. I thought this place would never accept me. But the show went on. I was a mess, although I wasn’t quite aware of it and at the same time – bigoted! When you’re a kid, they tell you what’s good and you keep following it.
Anyway, I’ve met all kinds of people: odd, talented, beautiful, sharp, dominant, stupid, regressive, silly, eccentric, different from everything I have ever seen by then. But those six years were also full of love, expectations, understanding, hate, misery, heartbreaks, stresses, exploration, separating and new personal inventions. I knew that city had truly accepted me when I felt free to speak out and present myself as someone different than I used to be before, loudly and freely without any doubts or fears that I could be abandoned, criticized, marked and rejected. I did whatever I want because it had sense. It had clear sense to me. And the relationship I had with this city was the best I’ve ever had. The city is the one who said to me: “I love what you’ve become.”
And me of course… I love what you gave me.
I am a dancer. As I said in my first post, I always go round. And I’m not just a dancer, I am also a doctor. It is not the title that makes me so proud, really. It appeared that anyone who’s enough stubborn can become one. Without any other qualities. I used to be a lot, but these two I’ll keep as my personal badges, my two selves, one old and one new, different, merged in my present self.
About this time of the year I came back home bringing heaviness in my chests. But no matter what, that’s how it is. I kept carrying out myself the way I liked, the way the city loved me and the way I loved myself. I promised I’ll keep in touch with the city and my favourite people who are still living there. I promised I won’t give up my pole dancing classes. But after a while, I felt what distance feels like and that it is not that easy now to manage all the promises.
My old-new surrounding started pushing me a bit. My parents kept repeating me that I’m a doctor now. Although, I can’t suit in that role completely. I don’t even like when people call me a doctor. Soon I should start seeking for a job right here. I came back to the place where I was born, where everyone I’ve known since I was a kid live, where people I used to see in the streets but never met them personally live, where all my old loves and crushes live, where all my friends and their friends, and friends of their friends live… Somehow everyone knows who I am. At least they’ve heard. They were all around me, but still it happened to me that I began loosing people. Lonely surrounded.
The first shocking act of rejection was made by my very old friend. That rejection started some time earlier, but emerged that night. I came in that place wearing myself as I always do. I was in a company of three people, we’ve had a great time, music was brilliant, vine was tasty … and so was my cigarette! It passed less than a minute when I received a threatening message saying: “leave that cigarette at instant!” At the moment, I was a bit confused, since I’ve never faced a situation like this before. There were several questions that bothered me related to that kind of acting:
- I’ve got a message filled with this kind of content from a person who is not here, who was invited to be here, but turned it down as if I was some irrelevant marginal person
- Why so heavily writing and so harsh if I’m not doing anything to you, since you’re not here?
- How do YOU know, since again, you’re not here?
I didn’t have to look around much since two tables far there was sitting “a friend of friend” – person. I replied politely: “what was going on?” since I had no idea what else to reply. Couple of minutes later a cell-phone-long-distance argument was set up. By the acting of my spy I saw that they two were collaborating (?!) sharing screenshots of a conversation I had with my friend. As the argument progressed many disgusting stuff unrolled, lies and told secrets. I realized that the person who I’ve known for a decade, almost half of my life, striped my being bare naked in front of an audience who have known not so much about me, until then and represented me as a less worthy. I felt a cocktail of emotions, but the thing that defeated me the most was my own reaction. I should have just let it go, as if I never received it and end that fellowship in a more suitable way. But no, I told her: “stay away.” And so she did. She never called neither messaged anymore. Not even tried to fix it up, to bring it to some more civilized level where we could at least say: “hi” one to another when we pass by in the street.
I fell into a trap. Like I’m some kind of a badger. I fell into a trap and degraded myself hidden under the idea of integrity defense.
People are people. They will always make idiotic moves. What moved me in this situation is the fact that I’m still growing. I need to tie up my emotions and become a real adult from the inside. I need to learn a lot. I need to conquer a lot. I need to get the communication right. I need to raise. And the thing that scares me the most is that I’ll drown in this place and become same as everyone here, that I’ll fail, that they’ll convince me that I am wrong and that they are right.
In order to protect my personality, my thoughts and believes I signed up for language lessons. Those lessons were the days in the week when I sat down for an hour and a half with people who have had the same goals – to be better and to succeed. That kept my mind and soul together.
And constant suppression, it is not the cigarette, it is also the dance, the hair, the speech I’m using. The words I’m saying, the sentences I’m making, they call me odd, often they don’t understand a single word of my story, but then they freely conclude that I’m offending them. In the politest case they call me different. They don’t appreciate my tolerance and comprehension; it is categorized as something bad, useless and characteristic of the weak.
That night, I was that cigarette. It represented all I was. It’s an ugly habit. But more than a cigarette then was ugly.
I quitted smoking couple of months ago. Not because of others, it’s just not my vice. But I’ll profoundly cherish the rest of my deviations. Or finally just sneak out…