I’ve felt like an alien my whole life. And it’s killing me. I was raised as a foreigner by foreigners. They raised me in a religion that was similar to Islam but the country I was in was by and large very Catholic. I was raised to speak English but my friends spoke Spanish. I was light skinned, everyone had dark skin. I went to a Methodist school and attended weekly services despite them telling me I was going to hell. Everyone was right-handed and I wrote with my left. Most were planning on being engineers or doctors, I wanted to be an imagineer or an artist.
I wasn’t trying to not belong. I just didn’t. I’d have recurring dreams of aliens coming in spaceships to pick me up. One of the ships looked like the letter “Y” I can still see it vividly. The creatures with long faces didn’t use words to communicate with me. It was all in their eyes and their hands. “Come with us” they’d say silently. But that’s where the dream always ended. Their hands extended and me looking up to the stars; wondering if I should go.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of approaching a group of five classmates outside during recess only to find that the group leader would see me approaching and then say: “let’s count how many of us there are… 1..2..3..4 and five. There are only five of us here, not six.” He’d smile back at me condescendingly. I’d get the hint and walk away.
So I learned to love my own company and dove into my work. My drawings. My paintings. My music. I became an artist. I’d talk to my art and my art would talk back to me. The aliens I’d draw would keep me company on my wall. Their eyes would follow me, wherever I went. They brought me comfort. “Guardians” Is what I called them. They were my protectors. They believed in me and I believed in them.
Later on when I married it was within the religious tradition I was brought up in. But I’ve left that. And I’m more of a pagan now. And for the last ten years have felt like a foreigner to even my own family.
I’m tired of being an alien. I need to honor myself and let the creature that is “me” fully blossom. Even if I’m only a momentary firework; an explosion of color and light, then that is what I’ll be. I’ll be beautiful and brief and counted by many. Never to be ignored or dismissed as a ghost.
Written by soliloquiesonlove.wordpress.com © 2017