Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: future

Shifting perspectives

My brother once told me that he doesn’t regret any decision he’s made. This was about a decade ago, and it blew my mind. I pushed a bit, and he said there was no point in regret as he couldn’t change anything he’d done in the past. He’s not wrong. Regret in and of itself is useless and can be harming if it causes shame. Shame keeps you stuck in bad behavior more often than not. On the other hand, it’s hard to learn from the past if you refuse to study it at all. I think there *may* be a truism about that floating around the interwebs. Since then, he’s made indications that there are things he might have changed or that he wished had gone a different way, but in general, he is an eyes-forward kind of guy.

I admire that about him. I also envy that about him because I regret almost every decision I’ve made in my life. Where I want to college. Going back to a certain boyfriend twice. Not questioning the narrative he laid out for me because I thought he was trustworthy.

Side Note: I recently talked to my mom about this ex of mine, let’s call him Todd because that’s most definitely not his name. I always held a slight grudge because she and my father had dinner with us once, and they both did not like him at all. I attributed it to my father not liking anyone who wasn’t properly effusive/deferential/in awe of how amazing he is plus a shitload of other unspoken expectations and my mother deferring to him. I found out during our recent talk that the reason she didn’t like him was because he took my love for granted (ironic given her own marriage) and because he caused me so much pain. She said he was using me and he was selfish.

We discussed a bit about how he dumped me three times and came back to me twice and how he lied to me in our relationship about having dumped his ex before she went abroad for a semester. In reality, they were in an open relationship, but only because he insisted. I found out by reading a letter from him to her. Yes, a physical letter. I was looking for something else on his desk, and when I saw a letter from her, I read it. When I brought it up to him, he got mad that I read it. Which, yes, invasion of privacy, but it allowed him to neatly sidestep the fact that he fucking lied to me. Why? Probably because he knew I wouldn’t have agreed to going out with him if he told me the truth. I was very straight and narrow at that time, and I would not have agreed to be in an open relationship. Funnily enough, though, when the girlfriend came back the next semester, he was ‘dating’ both of us at the same time to figure out what he wanted. I started dating someone else, and Todd couldn’t take it after a few weeks.

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Think of the Children; Vote Against Hate

I saw my niece recently. She’s eighteen, graduated from an arts high school, has a full-time job, and has moved into an apartment with her boyfriend and his friend. She also got two tattoos recently. A small one on her hand and a larger one on her arm. She asked me if I had heard about her getting tattoos, which I had from her father (my brother). I asked if I could see them. She showed me the small one, then shrugged off her jacket so she could display the other. It’s on her arm in a similar place to the one I have on my right arm. It was beautiful, and she told me she had to get it touched up because all the color hadn’t taken. I asked if she was going to get another one, and she said, “Oh, yes!” with eagerness. I laughed and said that you can’t stop with just one, and she nodded in agreement. Then, she said something about getting it because of me. I didn’t really register it, and we kept talking about tattoos as I walked her and her father to the door. She repeated that she had gotten her tattoos because she’s liked mine* ever since she was a small child. I was touched, but also concerned. It’s not a good reason to get a tattoo, but I can’t deny that it was flattering to hear.

She looked like me when she was a little girl. People used to think I was her mother, and my family would sometimes confuse her name with mine. We used to tell stories to each other for hours, with her being the Fairy Princess and me being the Fairy Queen. She wasn’t waiting around for her prince to come, however; in fact, many of our stories were about how she would save her prince from perils. I watched as she grew up to be a creative, artistic, sensitive, intelligent, thoughtful, striking young woman. She’s always been more feminine than I am. In fact, I remember when she was eleven, she wasn’t happy that her mom wouldn’t let her shave her legs until she was twelve. Boys like it when you shave your legs, she informed me gravely. When I told her that not all boys felt like that and that I didn’t shave my legs, she said with as much scorn as an eleven-year-old could muster, “You’re not married, so it doesn’t count.” It made me sad that she had gotten that message from society, but the only thing I could do was continue to model a different way of thinking in the best way I could.


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