Kentucky pumpkins in the PNW.
I’m drinking local.
There’s nothing strange about that comment when it stands alone up there. Lots of lesbians like to hang out at coffee shops, drinking local and shit. Right? Typing obnoxiously long essays for grad school and discussing politics with their shop neighbor. They sip lattes named after street corners and adjust their grunge chic beanies. Not me though. I’ve never been that girl.
Me? I’ve always thrown my money at Starbucks like it was a cheap whore. But let’s be honest, excuse me, lezbehonest, that’s a terrible analogy because hookers terrify me and we all know Starbucks isn’t cheap. Regardless, you get the picture. I’m not that coffee shop lesbian. Yet, here I am, drinking green tea at a local favorite, typing on my laptop. No beanie, just a hooded sweatshirt and a backpack full of carmel apple suckers.
The real question is why do I care that I’m not that lesbian? That’s the question of the week, really. Why can’t I sit and drink local without feeling some sort of urge to look the part? Why the fuck do I try to be someone that I’m not? I asked my therapist this same question. Her response was simple. “You care too much about how others perceive you.” I wanted to reply with a subtle, 'no shit' but I decided to let it marinate for a few days instead.
I care too much about how others perceive me. I’ve spent my entire god damn life caring about what others have thought of me. I guess everyone cares a little, deep down, but when you care enough to catch yourself feeling uncomfortable because you chose to wear a hoodie to a coffee shop opposed to a beanie and TOMS (which hypothetically speaking you don’t even own a beanie), that’s when it’s an actual problem. And it’s not about this coffee shop even. It’s everything, really. I smoked my eyes and teased my hair in high school to bring the boys to the yard. Boys which I had no intentions of letting anywhere near my milkshake. In college, I owned a snakeskin t-shirt…
Long enough for that to settle? Okay, good. After graduation, I told everyone I was going to get a Ph.D after an 8 month break because Dr. Williams sounds so much better than Sarah Williams, Sales Support Manager or Sarah Williams, LEP or Sarah Williams, LMFT. Right after I came out, when I was 20 years old, I became a vegetarian for 3 months to impress my vegan love interest. Neither of those lasted longer than 90 days. I fucking love chicken. Once I listened to Celtic Woman for a solid month because I decided I wanted to befriend the dance team at the university. Like, the fuck? At what point in my life do I look in the mirror and say, ‘cool. That’s me and I’m fucking awesome’.
My therapist says self-acceptance is a slow process and more times than not, you don’t even realize you are rejecting yourself until you see it in writing or hear it from someone else. So here I am, drinking local and shit, putting it in writing. My name is Sarah. I don’t wear beanies, or dark eyeshadow, or snakeskin. I’m not a vegetarian and I can’t stand Celtic Woman. I like indie folk music, and green tea, and quality beer, and not-so-quality beer, and cotton v-neck t-shirts, and oversized scarves, and earth tones, and dark nail polish, and fucking chicken.