The Stranger

Before I left, I wondered if I would feel myself a stranger here. For once in my life, I'd be visibly a minority. There definitely are minorities I belong to, but probably not visible ones (unless you count my gender to be a minority, which is sort of is considering sexism, but well, let's not go there now). I've often felt strange in many places, even familiar ones. I'm just that sort of person. I've always felt a bit apart from others. In part probably because I've been quite depressed in my time and feeling like an outsider is an actual symptom. The feeling that comes over me, the way I feel myself hovering away from a situation, maybe in part it's still clinical but I think it's also that I am a little weird or strange, as a person. Artistic types often are, I think. So feeling like a stranger, I figured, might not be new.

It's not new, but it can still be uncomfortable. Like I said in my previous post, here in Japan I often feel like a big white giant. I've never really been satisfied with my weight or body and recently I've gained quite a lot of weight (because I love eating and because my thyroid has been removed, my thyroid hormones seriously messed up) so I'm all about that bass. I have a lot of bass. Would like to get rid of some bass. And in here, I just feel like I'm taking up all the room and people are looking me like I'm that ugly old chair your spouse brought into the house and you can't throw it out because it'd be insulting. I'm kind of disgusted with myself.

I know it's sort of useless to worry about one's weight or looks, because there's not much I could do about either now. I'm as fat as I am and currently I just don't have the time or the energy to lose weight. Some people will think it's wrong to say this, but there are more important things to me in this world, liking finishing my work, for one, and resting my head for another. I don't like exercise and certain other issues make exercise difficult or even painful for me. I do like walking etc, but often I just do not have the time. I'm either working or sleeping and those come before vanity. 

I also feel like I shouldn't be vain, because that's superficial, but there you have it. I'm superficial. I worry that the person I see in the mirror is not pleasing and I worry that I'll be judged because of it. Can't help it anyway.

Being in a country where people are graceful and petite, it just magnifies my feelings. A lot of the clothes at the shops won't fit me and if they do, I won't look good in them. I'm always hot, or hotter than skinnier people, I'm always sweating and I have to keep my hair up everyday because otherwise it will smother me. I only know maybe like two up-do's, so my hair is super-boring right now.

I'm aware that I'm in advantage and that I'm privileged: I'm very white, white as the effing driven snow and I'm western and from a country that has some sort of healthcare system and mostly free education. My illnesses aren't completely debilitating and while I consider myself poor, I still have food on the table everyday and currently I'm in a situation where I can put 6 months worth of pay for an art residency. Come October, I'm going to be poorer still but I've lived with very little money before, I can do it again. I felt this residency was so important for me, as an artist and as a person that I will gladly spend my money on this. This is self-exploration and world-exploration and okay, some pretty effed-up white lady shit, if you really think about it, but well, I'd still rather not be quiet about it, I guess?

I've never felt so white in my life.


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