Updated: Jul 13, 2020
You know how people have issues, baggage, or complejos as we call them in Spanish. Well,
I'm going to confess right now, and let you know what mine is. Keep in mind, few people are aware of this. Even I, myself have a hard time accepting this fault. Brace yourself. It's coming. Turns out... I give a shit. It's a curse. What can I say? As long as I can remember I've been trying to prove something to someone. I've been trying to shift people's perceptions of me, and it's draining. It's not really something I can switch off, which is why I fucking lose it sometimes. I remember my freshman year of college, art school, to be more specific. I came to realize that during introductions I had to make my spiel of who I am, and where I came much more elaborate than my peers in order for my professors to realize that in my case my disability was not mental. I had to be twice as hard working and professional to show the professor that this wasn't a hobby that I was trying to accomplish in order to enjoy my last years in this world because that was not the case. Even then, when handing in my project... let me elaborate on that, when handing in my outstanding, out of this world, and well-crafted project my professor had the audacity to ask me "Did you really do that or did your assistant help?". As my heart fell to the floor when hearing those words my brain started to glitch and all I could do was smile and say "no, it was me." while laughing. In truth what I wanted to say was "You ungrateful son of a bitch. I have been busting my ass in your class for the past nine fucking weeks, and your impulse is to ask if I made this? All because my assistant helps me erase some lines and moves my paper around while I draw? And yes, I do have conversations about where the shadows should go, but this creation is 100% mine ".
Here is where I start getting preachy. Melisa, Amy, Tanya, okay, I'm still trying to pick a name for the 16-year-old girl, but the point is I'm going to need you to not believe the shit people project on to you because truth be told I thought maybe my assistant did more than help. Deep within me, I was so insecure over my abilities not just as an artist but as a human being. I thought I was witty but people didn't see me as witty, so I thought maybe I'm not as witty as I think. I thought I was smart, but I wasn't recognized as being so by strangers, so maybe I wasn't as smart as I thought I was. I thought I was pretty, but... you see where this is going. Turns out the world has never seen someone like you or someone like me, so they don't know how to register our presence. I hate to break it to you, but you're different, and because you are different you can't let yourself be judged by other people's norms. There will be a time in your life where you're going to be laying in bed after a crappy week and you will feel like nothing. Let me type that again you will feel like NOTHING. Totally useless, inhuman, a mistake. Thus, when people's perceptions start to drown you and make you feel heavier than gravity already does that's when the best parts of you should come in to play. I don't want to be cliche, but what sets you apart from the rest isn't your disability, it's your grit. You thrive and feel joy when you defy expectations. If that drive and passion doesn't make you human I don't know what does.