When I was seven, I said to my mother, "May I close my door?" And she said yes but asked me why. I said, "Because I want to think." And when I was eleven, I said to my mother, "May I lock my door?" And she said yes but asked me why. And I said, "Because I want to write."
Dorothy West

So I hope it will benefit you that I have forfeited the nail polish remover another night, for no doubt my boss will be inwardly cringing when he sees it tomorrow; I have gotten in trouble before for being too "French Quarter" on the job. But I simply can seem to keep my hands off this board. Many thoughts.

I have issues. I still have them. I have not done away with them all. On the way back from our daily walk in Audubon Park, my friend asked me what I thought of her illicit attraction to one of her co-workers, who is in many ways like her own husband. I told her that it was because this man was to her like her husband but in the doses she preferred.

When I decided to quit doing drugs, I didn't join a 12 step program. I just quit. When I needed to overanalyze and find closure in my first love/fiancé, I gave myself two years. There are bits of it that will come up again in my life no doubt, but the yearning for reunion are long since over, and that was my biggest hurdle. I'm finding that when you think you have discarded the outer layers of your problems, the things that are obvious to everyone including yourself, there are likely still more hidden issues you have to contend with.

From reading Anne Lamott's book Traveling Mercies, I am also becoming aware that I am not the only person who hasn't already dispelled all the demons of my history by the age of 24. While I long to get the whole sad array over and done with yesterday, I would still like to do it right. Which means going through everything that holds me back from being what I am, section by section, in my own time.

It's perilous and terrifying, but so is being defensive when I get called on my insecurities by people who genuinely care for my welfare. As far as other people, I realized that it's not a matter of me having to be better than what I am, that what I have to offer isn't good enough on its own. It's a matter of throwing aside the cumbersome walls and diversions I've set up to let people get closer to me, to allow myself to be seen and accepted for who I am.

Everyone has reasons to not trust others, to be scared of what will be found out or lost if they are seen in a true light. So there will be times where I have to shut and lock my door and deal with me on my own terms before anyone else is to deal with me. It's my door, and my lock. My freedom lies behind that door, if I can brave going through it alone and coming out of it alone.

Henry Rollins once said in an interview that the history of his tattoos came from a desire to be unique. He likened it to customizing one's chasse: "I thought, 'I can sand this down, modify this' but then one day I woke up and realized 'this is it'. This is how my face looks, no amount of Neutrogena scrub is going to fix anything. If you don't like it, bite me." There are things I want to change about myself, but there is likely more that I will keep as it is, things about me that I see as benefits to my perception. I will say 'bite me' to some who won't always like it. But for now, I am on my third round of chemo, killing out all the bad cells that stand a chance at destroying the good ones if left to their own volition. But don't worry. I won't leave the door locked for long. I'll be back.

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