Hello readers! As it says on the tin – you’re getting a guest blogger today. I’ve written about her before, as she is my best friend from high school, and one of my constant supplier of ideas for this blog. So when she hit me with today’s idea, I turned it around on her and asked her to write. The following is what she came up with – enjoy!
my name is heatherbat. astoundingly, right now? that’s nearly all i can tell you.
for most of my life, i’ve been self-aware. alarmingly self-aware. i was on top of shit about my own brain and inner workings in my teen years that i didn’t see my friends struggle through until their mid 20s. i blame this clarity on my two sisters (8 and 10 years older than me) who both minored in psychology and had me help them cram for their tests. i knew more about psychology by the time i was 12 than most people know by the time they leave college. but, like most people, i’m also lazy. probably lazier than most. so when i had an identity figured out for myself by about 21, i stuck with it and didn’t bother re-evaluating it.
which has led to where i am now – 29 and just now really figuring out my grown-up identity.
i’ve always delighted in not being what was expected of me, so as a spookybat with visible ink and piercings and big stompy boots and a car covered in manson/nin/dead milkmen stickers, of course i’ll blast the golden oldies station. are you kidding me? SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET caroline! BUM BUM BUM! good times never seemed so goooooooooooood! i love that shit. i also love the confused looks in traffic when people are craning their necks trying to figure out who the hell is BLARING petula clark and then realising it’s -me-. so when i met the boy of my dreams, and we burrowed into each others’ lives, i got more and more into the domestic side of myself as the surprise element. and for a while? i thought that WAS my grown-up identity. i got a volvo, i bought a house in the suburbs, i had a 9-5 job in a cubicle that i seriously fucking LOVED. (said job also allowed me to have a shaved head or multicoloured hair.) then i got laid off and the house is really a pile of shit and the volvo is broken down and husband-thing nearly stopped being husband-thing. i spent a couple of years with my identity being “alcoholic”. hey, man, whatever makes the days keep going, i don’t regret it. but so much of my teenager shit doesn’t fly anymore, and honestly? it’s just goddamn fascinating to be pushing 30 and only just now figuring out so much about myself. i’m so used to having myself figured out, it’s really exciting, and enjoyable.
for instance: did you know i’m a feminist? i didn’t! for most of my life i identified as antifem due to discrimination i experienced at the hands of “feminists”. i put that in quotes for a reason – those women that called me a “tool of the patriarchy” for being a woman the way i love being a woman? they aren’t feminists. they are people telling me how to be a woman, which is sort of the opposite of feminism. i called women like that either “feminists” or feminazis, they are women who bring shame to the term, they’re the women that stick in people’s minds when men use them as an excuse to deride feminism and feminists. i’m still a misogynist, i tend to not be able to stand other women unless they are other women who also cannot stand other women. i have, however, ALWAYS been a big fan of you be a woman however you want to be a woman, just don’t give me shit for how I’M a woman. but lately – and maybe this is just because women are under attack in a way i didn’t feel like they were before – lately i’ve been real goddamn angry about feminist issues. my own blog has turned into some kind of feminist platform where i yell about shit like a tiny group of men being willing to shut down the government over planned parenthood getting money. and i look at it and shake my head in wonder, and say, “who is this woman?”
it’s cool, though, i kinda dig her.
here’s some old things that haven’t changed: verdana, 8pt. no capital letters. texan. gun-owning texan. FIERCELY texan. did i mention texan? texan. bats. bats have been a part of me since i was 4 years old and saw my first one. when i said i’m heatherbat, i meant that. i identify with that more than i do just heather. i’ve nearly forgotten my middle name (lynn), and my maiden name is no part of me. it never was. i DO identify with my married name. i’m proud to be one of that clan. i still love the domestic shit, but really? i just love taking care of my loved ones. has nothing to do with husband-thing. if i love you, i’ll do it. i’m frequently over at my friend katy’s house helping her out with her daughter, doing groceries with her. when my cristabat still lived here, i thrived on taking care of her. i’m just happy doing things to make life easier for the people i love. my boots. oh, my boots. i’ve had them since november of 96 and they are falling apart but i am still ten feet tall in them.
things that i’m just now realising: i have no real ambitions. i mean, i always knew this, but i had that office job for three years and really? i LOVE office work. i love having a cubicle! but i can’t do office politics. my brain isn’t wired for it, i wind up being ostracized and eventually fired cause i just don’t get how to play the games. dude, give me work and i’ll do it, why do politics have to come into it? i suck at politics. my goal right now? get insurance, get a vicodin prescription (did i mention “prescription pill addict” is part of the present identity? oh, is it ever. fuck, i love pills.), and get a retail job because there are no real demands there and the only credentials i need to present are “i’m 30. did i mention i’m 30? cause i am.” shit, man, they’ll fire a teenager just to hire me. i’m responsible. i feel like maybe i should be alarmed at my deeply decreased expectations for my life, but to be honest? the last four years have been astoundingly hard. husband-thing and i have gone through more shit in the last four years than a lot of people in our age/income bracket go through in their whole lives. i’ve been shit-miserable for so long that i’m just looking to be happy. if a retail job and narcotic painkillers are what’s gonna do that for me? i ask you so seriously, why the hell not? hedonism, baby! the only person it’s hurting is my liver. and, you know, that teenager they’ll fire for me.
i know none of you know me from adam, but i spent so long fighting to do what i now realise was what i thought i should do, to prove i’m a good person. have a good job, a nice house in the suburbs, a husband, have all that despite being the pierced-up weirdo. have all that and be happy, just to say “hahahahaha, FUCK YOU.” to the people who thought i’d just wind up in a gutter, pregnant and std ridden and alone. but who are those people? i know some of them were in high school. a lot of them are just strangers on the street who see me and think ill of me because of how i look, and i took private joy in knowing i made more than they did, and had a better relationship than they did, and a bigger house. but what’s the point when i was killing myself to get those things and it was only a private joy? kiddos, i’ve got to be happy with myself. so what if that whole prescription addict thing and doesn’t-aspire-to-higher-than-retail thing is living up to some negative expectations? who are the people i am trying to impress? who am i defending my entire existence to? shit’s stupid, son.
so now i’m on this kickass little journey of figuring out who i am, but figuring it out for ME. not who i am to impress people, i’m just out to impress myself, here. this is not something i thought i’d be doing at 29, because…well, like i said, painfully self-aware. but i’m digging it. i’m digging this girl i’m unearthing. she’s unapologetic as hell, and i love it.
so tell me, boys and girls, who are you? do you dig on you? do you apologize for any part of your existence? how much of you are you still figuring out? how much of it is surprising?
and goddamn, man, isn’t it fun?
Heather can normally be found at her Tumblr – So Many Monsters. And you know what? I might just babble in the same vein tomorrow – we’ll see! *grins*