Essay: aj robbins
The Ramblings of a Confused Seeker
I have a friend who told me about this site and that I should submit some work. She claims that I would be a good writer. See, finding meaningful work or work that you’re even semi-passionate about when you are 28 years old and have a degree in Philosophy is hard. Especially when you work long and hard hours in a restaurant and it’s sucking your soul dry. All the while you feel your professional clock ticking because you can’t figure the fuck out what you want to do. Did I mention I’m also queer and trying to figure out if I’m trans? So even writing for this publication is hard for me because I don’t necessarily identify as a “woman”.
I don’t know what I am, who I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going in life. However, the theme for March is “marching on” and how appropriate is it that my friend, my beautiful partner, and my therapist all agree that I must march on. Life is not what I thought it would be and it’s still showing me its dark sides. But with darkness comes light, right? I hope so at least. There’s light at the end of the tunnel is what they say. My light is coming. I’m not dead yet! I still have something to give to this world. I yearn for it. I taste it. I just have to believe that I am capable of it. I am very lucky to have such beautiful people in my life to help me and to yell at me (because I’m so damn stubborn) that I must MARCH ON.
It feels as though I’ve had to march on my whole life. For as along as I can remember, I have never felt okay with who I am, I have never been able to fit in. I am a misfit toy. At least it feels like I am. Cognitively, I know that I am not alone, that there are plenty of other people in this world who feel the exact same way as I do. But this does not negate my experiences and my feelings on how I have felt for most of my life. I was told today that I tend to extend so much of myself to others to make them feel comfortable around me or to simply make sure they are happy and I do not extend anything to myself. Am I not worthy of happiness? Am I not worthy of feeling okay with my body, with feeling okay with myself as I am and who I want to become? I most certainly am! Of course, this is so easy to say, yet it’s so hard to internalize this and truly understand it for myself.
Life is more difficult than I’m sure anyone ever thought it would be. The black and white narrative we are told as children quickly fades to this grey color and then we discover there are multiple shades of grey. I find beauty in the grey. I think there’s a sense of wonder and mystery in the grey. I have a tattoo across my chest that says, “I’m certain of nothing”. Which is true, I am not certain of anything. However, this does not mean that I can or should give up. Nihilism is attractive to me but I think it is too simple. I welcome the struggle to find meaning, to seek for knowledge, to come to a place of inner peace or shalom (I’m Jewish). My story is my story and no one else’s. Mine alone. I am able to pave whatever path I desire. I am capable of marching on and not giving up or giving into societal pressures or expectations. I want to be clear that I am writing my own advice. All of this is easy to say and so hard to put into practice and that is okay.
about the writer: aj robbins
AJ Robbins lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with their beautiful partner in crime, Bianca. When AJ’s not working, they’re reading, writing, drinking coffee, watching Anthony Bourdain shows, or getting more tattoos.