I find it hard to live in the world I am in.
There are people around me that think love is only right under certain circumstances; only when it comes in the right shapes and colors. Black and white, no gray lost between them.
There are people around me that think that social issues are something to be ignored - perhaps they will go away if they don't pay attention.
There are people around me that think things are okay the way that they are.
But I see this:
A man sits down at the bar at the restaurant where I work and hooks his ankle around that of the man next to him. They touch warm hands together and share each other's drinks. They smile at each other, and a soft kiss presses their lips together.
This is love.
The girl I work with says this is wrong. She believes in the same God I believe in, yet we do not agree. She asks me how I could say those things, accept those people. I stare back at her, the incomprehension and ignorance of her statement hurtful and oh so typical. A painfully normal reaction.
Why is the way she reacted expected?
A woman cringes at the joke shared between her friends, a word thrown into conversation that tears her world apart and takes her back to the moment that will haunt her for the rest of her life.
“He totally raped you!”
They laugh. She hides. She hides the ragged edges of herself that break and blister every time someone says something so blasé, so usual that no one even notices anymore. But she will never be the same because of the dark and terrible things those casual words represent, she will forever be afraid of the night and the potential that has been proven true.
Why is this horror so normal that we use it in regular conversation?
My roommate called me a man because I killed the spiders for her.
Then she called me a man because I knew which kind of screwdriver to use on the cabinet. She called me a man when I fixed her desk. She called me a man when I reprogrammed the thermostat. She called me a man when I payed the electric bill. She calls me a man when I am self-sufficient and capable.
Why can I not be a capable woman? Why can I not be curious and resourceful AND feminine? Why can I not be myself?
Because love only love if we understand and can control it.
Because entitlement is more important than free will.
Because femininity is weakness and masculinity is power.
I find it hard to live in the world I am in because suffering is passed over and ignored while those who cause suffering are excused and celebrated.
I find it hard to live in the world I am in because everyone in it is consumed with power and mindless cruelty.
I find it hard to live in the world I am in because it doesn't make sense.
I find it hard to live in the world I am in because if I was living in the world the way I wanted to, there would be no place for me to live there.