Hippie asked me one day, back when I enjoyed going to work with her and things were unintentionally lovely, back when I first began to carve this perfect little niche out of life for myself to live in, where I would go if I were given an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world.
I adored her in that moment; I love a question I've never been asked before. Frivolous, thoughtful, it doesn't matter. As long as it forces me to detour from the day's pre-programmed thinking, I'll be only too happy to reply. I told her Russia, which was true. She was confused and dissatisfied with the response, but it was all me. I'd had no help coming to that conclusion.
I couldn't total the number of other people I've been. I meet somebody new, often vibrant or self-assured or just a little bit different than me, someone I'm suddenly fat with affection for, and without even thinking I pluck pieces of them off like a plant's old growth, accidentally making their discards a part of my outfit.
I do this because, although I am happy, satisfied and self-loving, I get bored of Noel, sick of the cycles, annoyed by how well I can predict her. I've never loved anyone who didn't grate my nerves every now and again, so I suppose it makes sense to feel the same way about the person I'm stuck inside all day long, every day of the week. I can powder my face and rearrange myself with surgeons, dye my hair dark and grow old like that and die, but I will always be inside this same sheet of skin, always watching from the same overbearing brain that thinks the same things every day unless somebody throws it a curve ball question.
It's no wonder that the intrigue I develop for other people turns into unintentional copy-catting of their smaller interests; I must be trying to act as they act, in order to feel as they feel, in order to step out of Me and think unexpected things.
I know you're supposed to "be who you are," but I've been doing this for so long; that is who I am. The sponge, the attachment of me that drinks in other people, that's part of who I am. I wouldn't have much of a self to be if I stopped. I will always be a little wet clay girl, probing new crevices into shape and smoothing over rough areas and applying the balm of other people's personalities to any piece that I feel is stagnant.
My base model stopped evolving for itself at 11 years old, the first time I met Cat, this love-mouthed, poetic and cynical little beauty with her sideswept bangs and a heart already too ripe, and I fell in love for the first time.
Now I can't help but rely on the beauty I find in others to be beautiful, on the wit I envy in others to be clever, on the strength that rumbles deep in others to be strong, on the sensitivity that whines through others to be compassionate.
Whatever success, nobility or confidence is in me comes from Lover, whatever depth, intellect or self-awareness is in me comes from Rabbit; I've made a story of myself that has an entire cast of contributing authors. I've been inspired all my life to do things, think things, try things, taste things I would never have known existed without that inspiration, without that other person, without that particular contributor.
I don't see independence as a thing I will earn because I make my own money or drive my own car, or because I throw myself into frightening new things, or because I can stand up for myself and overcome obstacles. I don't see it that way for me, I don't see it that way for others.
Independence is simply being solitary in every way, it's waking up, eating, speaking, thinking, dressing, moving and never once stopping to consider how those actions will effect somebody else, never altering even by a fraction to accommodate somebody else, never softening or stiffening those inner thoughts to protect or inflict pain on somebody else. Independence is standing alone, formed only by you. Independence is not having any contributors.
I have never met anybody who was independent, and I will never be independent. It's nothing to mourn.