In a conversation today with a new friend, he said, “I came out at about 18, I wish I’d come out earlier. I wish I’d known who I was sooner.”
Well don’t we all. At 47 I keep hoping that one of these days I’ll be comfortable with who I am, in all my fan-girl, feminist-scholar, historian, glory. Instead, I keep comparing myself to others or relying on who I see in the mirror to tell me who I am – and we all know, that way lies madness.
My thought, when my friend said he’d wished he’d come out at 18 was, “Wow, you came out at 18? Most of my friends came out much later.” He didn’t see how lucky he was to have that epiphany so young. It wasn’t young to him, and I guess that’s the point. At 18 I knew I liked guys. I also knew that most guys didn’t like smart girls, but I have standards, and I wasn’t willing to lower them (ok, except occasionally ;-))
Most of us wait our whole lives to discover who we really are, but the reality is we pick it up piece by piece. We’re a puzzle to be put together gradually.
Or as Buffy once said, “I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming who ever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day, I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat m- or enjoy warm, delicious, cookie me, then that’s fine. That’ll be then. When I’m done.”