Human as Fuck
Be You, Everyone Else is Taken
Being myself hasn’t always been as easy as it sounds. And I don’t mean I had it tough because I didn’t. As the oldest and only girl of five, I was a daddy’s girl. I was spoiled; not in a brand name kind of way but I didn’t ever have to work for much. My vehicles were paid for. Spending money and new clothes were available. My parents worked very hard to provide.
But as much as I’d love to say being spoiled was a dream come true, I look back and see that it unintentionally created a sense of entitlement in me. Things came easily and I thought I deserved anything I wanted. My views were black and white. I was right and everyone else was wrong. This umbrella created a safety net where I only made easy decisions knowing they wouldn’t challenge me. Truth be told, I didn’t even go away to school despite being accepted to multiple universities just so I could live at home in comfort.
It’s been a long exciting journey coming to realize how truly limited my viewpoint was. It might sound silly but around the age of 26, I was encouraged to attend a three-day seminar meant to redefine what’s possible for my life (think Tony Robbins style). I went in with no expectations and walked out a changed woman. For whatever reason it was exactly the push I needed.
At the seminar I learned I didn’t HAVE to be the person I always told myself I was. I could be any kind of person I wanted to be. Each morning I could wake up and create Jessica. I could be stuck in my old ways or I could try something new; this was a huge revelation. Things didn't seem black and white anymore, there were so many shades of grey.
Almost immediately, I gathered the courage to move across the country from Detroit to Salt Lake City. Then within three months I was once again packing for a big move but this time it was across the world to South Korea. I wanted to try my hand at teaching (a childhood dream) but as you know, “Teachers don’t make enough money.”
Teaching my little ones in Korea became a passion of mine and I've never worked harder at something in my life. While in Korea, my world slowly started to change in ways I had never imagined. I met a girl and began to question my perspective on love and human connection. Did I have it all wrong?
These days I wonder - if I hadn't gone to Korea or moved to Salt Lake or even gone to that seminar – would I be gay? It’s likely that I’d be living in my hometown married to a man wondering why I felt so unfulfilled.
Despite being spoiled as a kid, I was taught anything is possible and always given freedom to make my own decisions. And thanks to my four brothers, I was a pretty tough cookie.That freedom combined with a thick backbone and my newfound confidence finally gave me the opportunity to really be myself. Plus, not dating men allowed me to shed those stereotypes of what a “girl” should be.
As I’ve consciously taken time to choose who I really want to be, so many things have opened up - the biggest of which are my perspective, resilience and open mindedness. Physically, I’ve chopped off my long hair. I no longer wear push-up bras. Painful high heels are out the window. And I’ve slowly begun to cover myself in tattoos (even though I don’t consider myself a “tattoo person” - whatever that is). For me, it’s just another way to express myself.
So, as Silkk The Shocker would say, "Express Yo Self" and BE HUMAN.