“I don’t always feel beautiful, but I always feel human, and maybe that’s my problem.”
Despite finding my non-binary identity, the word woman still sits in my mouth. I don’t chew on it. In fact, I find myself clenching my jaw all day long, protecting it. The word isn’t dirty, but it does have grit to it. It’s like potting soil. In stores, it has colorful packaging with flowers all over it. It’s something to grow your dreams in. Something that drinks up the light from the window in your modern white kitchen. When you handle it, it ends up under your fingernails for the next few days. I think about scientific articles with titles like, “Gardening Makes You Happy and Cures Your Depression” and how they sound a lot like the articles titled “Married men live longer; married women, not so much.” These entrenched generosities make me protective of the word and the lives that are woman. I’ve never wanted to completely shake these histories off of myself. Maybe, “the most beautiful part of your body is where its headed” (Ocean Vuong). I want to find peace with woman and where I’m going.