Things that make me unique

Two pairs of socks (pink & grey polka dots, and white/grey cats on pink); wooden "BRAVE" four paper facial masks; 2 pairs of ear bugs; Junior Mints®-scented hand sanitizer in a green holder
Originally seen on my Instagram

1. I’m an ailurophile.

It means I’m a cat lover. I love cats. I believe animals and humans are capable of understanding each other, if only the humans…listen, have patience, and treat the animal with kindness; there’s a bond akin to telepathy, but not quite—I feel this with cats. I most relate to cats, second to horses, and third to humans. It’s possibly because of this that I find difficulty making new friends and trusting people. I share a lot of behaviors with cats, and find most in common with cat people.

To me, cat people are more trustworthy because they understand the complexity of forming a relationship and that it requires patience. I seldom get on well with anyone who hates cats or prefers dogs.

2. I love being girly, but also hate it.

The genderized part of “girly” is what bothers me most: Why is something that is stereotypically feminine called “girly”? If I do anything delicate/overtly feminine—wear makeup, paint my nails, do facials, love cute things, shave my legs—it’s called “girly” and is supposed to be taken as a compliment; if a boy or man does it, it’s supposed to be taken as an insult.

Why does it have to be a thing at all? Why is there no other word for it?

So that’s the part I hate, and why I hate it.

I know of no other umbrella term adequate to fill the role of “girly”, however, so all I can say is that I love being girly sometimes. I just wish there was a non-binary word to take its place, because I loathe something I love or do to be characteristically defined by my gender, as if liking woodwork or taking interest in architecture makes me “manly”.

Whatever you use to define the collective action of playing with beauty and enjoying cute stuff—fill in the blank.

Some people hate the word “moist” or “cream”. I hate the adjective “girly”.

3. I don’t care if you misgender me.

Preferred pronouns are she/her, but if a slip of the tongue (or fingers) leads you to refer to me as he/his/him or they/them/theirs, I’m not going to feel insulted or judge you. I mean, dissociative identity disorder.

I do care if you call me “queer”, because I don’t consider myself such.

4. I have premonitions and a solid intuition.

I don’t openly mention it. It’s not something I brag about. Movies and TV romanticize this thing that is actually frightening and otherwise traumatic. The first person I ever opened up to about this was my dad, who gave me the word “premonition”; I’d dreamt about a wreck near our house and saw a wrecked car on my way to the bus stop the next morning. I’d been terrified of him judging me harshly, but he never did. I instantly thought of the movie starring Sandra Bullock and considered it as a guide, but my life remained messy. I still forgot my homework, or to study, or what was reality sometimes.

When events come to fruition, it feels like déjà vu. The preceding moments are uncanny, a wave of anxiety clouding my every action. I learned from an early age that I can’t change anything; fate is fate and what is meant to happen will happen regardless of what I do.

I knew when my paternal grandfather was going to die and requested he do so before I said goodbye, a sacrifice I made because I wanted him not to suffer. I knew Todd died before I was told, but I prayed for his health regardless because I wish for nothing more than my premonitions to be false, for them to be mere daydreams and nightmares and not actually come to life. They always do. The people around me feel like strings, like we’re attached by strings. I feel tugs when something is wrong and vibrations when something’s going to happen; when someone dies, it’s like ripping off a scab or hangnail in one fell swoop. Maybe this is why I don’t understand how to process death and need to be alone—the pain of the string being gone, and having to adjust to it, isn’t something my emotions can comprehend.

I view the strings as part of intuition. A cousin who went overseas may not have known what she was getting into, but I felt it.

It’s hard to experience something like this and lack the ability to change it—to be forced to sit back and watch—and I surmise this is how parents feel, but it feels less parental and more distressing, more aching for my love to reach the people attached to me so they can understand my reservations.

It sounds crazy, no? But alas, this is my life. I’ve spent decades working to accept it. I believe in the impossible, so I believe my experience is possible.

I just never know what is going to happen to myself, though I’ve noticed a connection to my plants: I thrive when they thrive. So perhaps all of us—people, animals, plants, the Earth—are connected to each other, and few of us are aware?

5. I love instrumental music that reverberates throughout my body.

I love the instrumental versions of songs. I love the sensation of closing my eyes, music playing through my headphones, and relinquishing control of my body to the sound. I feel like I’m one with the wind, in a meadow surrounded by wildlife and greenery, as free as the sun shines down on it all.

It’s probably why I love dancing so much.

6. My style doesn’t adhere to trends or follow someone else’s rules.

I make my own rules. My style is all over the place. One day, it may be femme, the next preppy or borderline rebel girl. Life is so short, and I’m in love with the way clothes express who we are on the inside outwardly. I’m amused by the amount of judgment which surfaces as a result of what someone wears, and I feel obligated to challenge this in my own style.

If someone tells me I need to buy something I’m not interested in or that they wish I wouldn’t wear something I enjoy wearing—just because of their personal prejudice—I do the opposite. It’s me, my life, my body—so why in the world should I dress for someone else?

So what if my socks don’t match, or my leggings don’t match my shirt and/or my jacket? So what if a horses jacket has become my staple jacket? So what if I prefer buying and wearing one-size-fits-most leggings because, as of late, all that fits me regularly with my fluctuating body in the pants department are items which are not restricted to one set size.

7. I’m primarily tokophobic.

It means that, despite never having had experienced pregnancy myself, the whole process of it terrifies me. It also revolts me, in that I view personally experiencing pregnancy as hosting a parasite that leeches off your body for nine months.

So? While I have considered that I might want to experience the “joys” of pregnancy, the cons never fail to outweigh the pros.

My stepfather’s parents were foster parents, so I’m also keen to adopt despite all the horrors people talk about re: adoption and especially foster care adoption. When people warn me of this, they don’t realize that — sans the foster care — I, too, am the same kind of person they’re warning me out. It’s indirectly insulting me, where I come from and who I’ve been, and who I’ve become today.

I’ve also considered surrogacy despite the amount of money involved, but I also surmise the costs of surrogacy is essentially what I’d be spending on myself. Plus, hopefully I’ll be a resident of Iceland or some other woman- and LGBTQ+-friendly country and decrease the risks of being denied parental rights because of preconceived notions about gay people raising children, and also not in the USA because I don’t want to raise my children here.

8. I drink more water than the average American, so lectures to me about the sugar content in soda/juice are futile.

I wish I could go back to when I was a child and give her enough confidence to say, “It’s not my fault that I have to drink what they give me,” and, “Last time I was in here because of water poisoning, so you’re mistaken.” But she was such a lamb, terrified of everything that goes bump in the night.

I drink so much water that, if I don’t work juice or smoothies or soda into my daily life, I’m in trouble. The repercussions, which no one talks about, include diarrhea, constipation and horrendous stomach cramps unresolved by laxatives.

9. I wear a sweater or flannel year-round, both because it’s comfortable and because of anxiety.

First of all, you never know when a place will be freezing cold. Doctor’s offices, grocery stores, the laundromat — these places run cold and can leave you feeling too chilly to just be in short sleeves.

Second, my anxiety is real. I’ve always been that girl who had a sweater or hoodie, even when my peers judged me immensely for something they didn’t understand and something I couldn’t explain. I used to wear sweaters so much until they produced holes in the elbow. Now, I’ve enough flannels that that shouldn’t happen, and my blue horses jacket is of such good quality that I don’t foresee it getting holey anytime soon.

Third, I do prefer cold weather over hot weather and intend to live someplace cold someday (outside the US, of course). In winter, it’s not unlikely to find me wearing shorts and a flannel or sweater. I also wear leggings year-round, but hopefully the more comfortable with my body I become, the more comfortable I’ll be wearing shorts in public.

Fourth, if I feel comfortable in my environment, or with you, I’ll remove my sweater if I’m also hot. Otherwise, no one’s the wiser how hot or cold I’m feeling, because I don’t let it show. I learned to have a poker face since I was young, so my stepfather wouldn’t reprimand me for my pitiful countenance when I felt sad or my joyful expressions when I felt happy. I’m recently learning to feel again, even going as far as crying when I’m happy. (Gross.)

10. I don’t do what everyone else is doing just to do it; I’ll do it because I need or want to, and/or because I like it.

Monograms and chevrons, for example. I’d love to know why these things were popular in the first place, because?? personally, I’d have enjoyed a collage of cat illustrations and ransom-like magazine type.

I’m more of a trendsetter, not to sound pretentious or anything. People like my unique style and often want to copy it, rather than using it to create their own unique style.

11. I don’t actively seek out new friends, and I definitely don’t think everyone is meant to get along with everyone.

I view the part of us that makes us stand out most — that also makes us disagree and thus not get along with everyone — the part that can be the best and worst of us in one go.

I’ve seen my family tear each other apart because of different views on abortion and women’s rights, and I could tell you all the reasons I thought so-and-so was wrong and so-and-so was right, but it doesn’t matter who is right. Rather, it matters who was more rational and thinking of individual interests and rights in mind, and who was not.

It’s the best and worst of us — the best because we’re so passionate about it, the worst because our passion can blind us.

When I do seek out friends, it’s typically with specific variables in mind, e.g.

  • similar hobbies/interests
  • fellow LGBTQ+
  • local

Likewise, I seldom actually network and am more keen to befriend fellow bloggers than to want us to scratch each other’s backs, but I also understand the value of networking since attending a food expo for several years now.

12. I could do both.

I could be androgynous if I wanted. I have small breasts, much to my dismay, and my grade school yearbook pictures lead people to mistake me for a boy because putting my hair up in a ponytail that isn’t so high anyone can see it paints that kind of picture.

I’ve even considered buying a binder just because I want some photography of that — to model for myself, rather than what someone else wants of me, to challenge myself to engage in abstract ideas and to push stereotypical boundaries.

But I consider myself a femme. I just love the possibility — the fact that I could, if I wanted to.

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Comments on this post

So wonderful to read more about you, Jane. I am the opposite of ailurophile, i have a phobia towards cats. I love and friendly towads, other animals, especially pet ones but cats give me nightmares and scare hell out of me.

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