It’s been a while. Since I started playing this game. In fact, it’s been so long that I forgot I was even playing and started to believe that this is who I really am. Or, it is who I really am, but playing the part is exactly that: it’s playing, it’s acting, it’s pretending. I guess there’s a certain element of “fake it til you make it” that has colored my life recently, although it has made me feel cagey, and also there’s that thing called impostor syndrome that I suffer from, but more on that later.

I don’t know where it started, this decision to be someone else. Or, not someone else, because it wasn’t about changing who I am fundamentally as a person. I still wanted to be me, but I wanted “me” to be different from what it had been. I don’t know if you remember who Pilar used to be – wild 20-something party girl with a sex blog and a drinking habit. I liked being that iteration of myself. It was definitely fucking fun, but after a while I realized it wasn’t sustainable. If I never changed, I would have been a wild party girl into my 30’s, and what starts out as a light hearted drinking habit would have eventually evolved into full blown addiction, which isn’t very cute considering the bloat, liver failure, perpetual health problems and financial burdens of addiction. So, that had to change.

I don’t know what my vision was for myself as I changed. I can’t even really think of the day when this all started – was it the day I got out of the hospital? The day I got that new job? The day that check arrived in the mail and I realized I didn’t have to be that person anymore? The fact that my city was rapidly gentrifying and I had to get with it or get out?  Or was it when I tethered myself to some lofty moral social issue and felt like I had a responsibility to act the part? I guess that’s the thing – there are so many things that can make the party lifestyle feel, well, boring. Trauma, success, the world changing around me, moral causes, the distance of being poor and the ability to leave one’s scum fuck life in the gutter. Those were all good reasons to level up.

Okay, but I should probably address the level of guilt I feel about all of this. This having a good job and trying to have a positive (rather than divisive) social standing and working on my future and shit. There was a reason why I was the person I was – I did it because I felt free.  I felt unfettered. I had a different vision of myself, and that vision was informed by radical idealism and the romance of life. I don’t know. Is this just what getting older does to us? It drains out the sexiness of existence and replaces it with the doldrums of reality.

Oh, but that’s not what I’m complaining about. I just hate the idea that I have changed and that extenuating factors have more of an influence on me that I have on myself. That I have lost control of who I should be because the social pressures weigh heavier than my own dignity.

So I’m back at the question of: have I changed the things about myself that I value the most? And how can I be a different person without giving those things up.

The box I have been trying to fit myself into is crowded around by normal, functioning, successful adults who have set the bar of functionality a lot higher than what I’m used to. Normalcy. Never really my thing. I feel like I’ve been crouched in here, cramped up and almost crying, trying to suppress certain feelings just so I can hold onto the crumbs of capitalist success that they have fed me. I am trying to be good. I am trying to work hard. But those things were never me – I much prefer dicking around and doing bad shit.

So now I am tasked with the problem of: how do I maintain this level of success and still do bad shit. I’ll admit that the bad shit I want to do is far different from the bad shit of my 20’s. I’ve had enough fucking around, getting high, staying up late, partying, stealing, and vandalism for the rest of my life. I’m trynna do some bad shit with finesse. I’m trynna level up my sins. I’m trynna rack up some bad deeds in a pretty way. This is the only thing that will redeem me: fucking shit up, yet again, but in a new and fresh way.

I guess I really haven’t changed if this is the basis of everything I want to do in life. Same me, nicer hand bag. Still doing bad shit, just with more money.

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