The other day I stumbled upon the journal I kept in 8th grade. Have you ever been embarrassed in front of yourself? Reading that was like punching myself in the face repeatedly, and it would really destroy my street cred if anybody were to see it. One thing that stuck out to me as I skimmed the pages was my conviction; You wouldn’t think so, but at one time, I was a soldier for the big JC. I was honest in a way that I could never really be now. That book was my connection to God, and I used it faithfully.
One thing I prayed for a colossal amount that year was a set of boobs. I was already plucking my fucking lip hair, and I didn’t think it was fair that I could be confused for a prepubescent boy when I was supposed to be luscious and curvy.. or something. In almost every entry, I asked God for a pair of soupcans.
It was all very Judy Blume.
Except he didn’t deliver at the end of this coming of age tale. I turned 14 and entered high school as flat as the desks into which I had carved crosses and bearded men. I wish I could describe to you how angry I was, but there are no words to do so adequately. This is when the spiral of doubt entered my brain. Do you know what it’s like to come back over summer break and notice the girls sporting melons while you are stuck with mosquito bites?
That was another problem that accompanied this summer of booblessness:
Noticing girls…and there are an abundance of them at Christian summer camp. Girls had always just been fellow aliens to me, but that something about the heat that year made lips more than just lips. I saw dimples and collarbones and eyelashes. My brain was in a state of utter chaos. I think it would have been easier to absorb if we hadn’t been sitting around a campfire every night discussing the consequences of homosexuality.
The more I heard, the less welcome I felt. It seemed that doing right came so naturally to these people, while I was constantly fighting off urges to do things like steal small trinkets and then throw them out. I was certainly never pure in thought. That sneaky spiral of apprehension continued to grow inside of my soul until I thought it might burst.
I mean, C’mon guy. I can deal with the sunken chest, but if you don’t want me to like women, why’d you make ’em so cute?
I couldn’t tell you exactly when it happened, but I separated myself from the idea of an infinite spirit filled with unconditional love. It sure felt like a lot of conditions to me. In the end, I chose the life that I was guaranteed- this one. This one, where I swear colorfully, love tenderly, and feel unabashedly. I feel okay about that.
And, if I’m wrong, well, I guess I’ll be seeing most of you often.