« Give her another drink, she’ll be alright. » This is the statement I overheard being said about me last night. So I’m not alright now? The way I am?
Some people only want the glory, not the whole story. They want to revel in my marathons and my cross country bicycle rides but then they want me to be « calm and normal. » « Calm and normal » doesn’t run twenty-one marathons and thirty-one ultra-marathons; « calm and normal » does not jump on a bicycle and ride two thousand six hundred kilometres alone with next-to-no experience camping and long-distance riding. But I did those things. And those feats are a marvel and an inspiration, right? But now I need to be a different person? Calmer, like how alcohol makes you? So I need to be « drugged, » essentially, in order to be acceptable? Really? Why?
I was so happy on my bicycle ride because I was being me, was being celebrated for being me. I no longer felt weird, or like a fish out of water, or like there is something wrong with me. I finally understood that my differences and my abundance of energy are okay and even wonderful. The whole way, from Toronto to Baddeck, not once was I made to feel that there is something wrong with me. Maybe this is why the comment I overheard last night jolted and hurt me so.
Now I remember. Some people often find me strange, « too much. » I forgot that I need to tone things down, be less excited and less animated and less passionate; I forgot that I need to not be me. So, thank you. Thank you for your shitty comment. Thank you for reminding me that I am back in our regular society where hide the muted souls and forgotten dreams and tamed passions and lowered expectations and fear and all things small. Thank you for reminding me to feel uncomfortable in my own skin, like I need to change something about me to be « alright. » Thank you.
And when I say « Thank you, » what I really mean to say is a from-the-heart, passionate, energetic and animated « FUCK. YOU. »