This song, Wild One, Forever
, is from Tom Petty's debut album; self-titled:Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
. A lot of people may have never heard this song before as the album itself came out 7 months before I was born, in November of '76.
The moment I heard it I was whisked even further into my fandom connection with Tom Petty. I could see myself in it immediately. In so much as the way my life's relationship experiences have defined me that is.
"They call you the wild one. Said stay away from her. Said she could love no one if she tried.
Then, as the song announces with fierceness, "But then something I saw in your eyes, told me right away that you were gonna have to be mine ...
That is the hope of the Wild One. To be seen as worthy of the effort. Worthy of love. To find someone who allows the sight to go beyond that which the Wild One has come to judge as unworthy of love.
Those things in me I had come to believe were my flaws. To be loved in spite of them, or even because of them.
Floodplain brought that ideal, that hope, to me as a reality. With the softness of the next verse, "Well it's too bad, but I want you to know that I understand
He opened me up to a love that is more important than any I have ever experienced before - the love of self.
I love and cherish all of the other relationships that have brought me here.
I have good memories of all of them, and I choose to let go of the bad ones. That is how I stay friends with everybody. That is how I never let anybody go.
Some people have hurt me more than others and the drifting apart doesn't bother me as much. Yet if they come back into my arena, I am nice and I try and focus on the positive experiences I have had with them. Sometimes it is hard, but it is what I do.
Lately I feel like people see me as a person who doesn't meet their expectations, which makes me feel bad about who I am. Yet I know part of it is not them making me feel bad. It is me making me feel bad because I have become uninteresting and people don’t really want to make the effort for me anymore …
Don’t get me wrong, I realize people love me and people love having me around. It has been five years however; nobody calls me, emails me, or texts me. Save a few, Mistress, Turtle, and before the weirdness, Aurora.
Granted I kinda gave up contacting others, because the lack of response was getting to be to heartbreaking. I can handle alone, I can't handle ignored.
I grew up with a mom who got beat regularly for being a Wild One. This lead to fleeing regularly and also lead to a habitual expectation that this was just how it was, so, the beaters were prone to return regularly as well.
From this I learned that you have to let go of the negative and you have to cling to the positive, especially the positive you find in other people.
How else would I have been able to live with all of those guys … repeatedly … scared that mom is gonna die.
I just focused on the fact that all those guys were nice to me. All of my mom’s friends were a ton of fucking fun, just like the community is.
Seriously, I lived a life of adventure in my youth. The type of adventure that most people in their middle-age only dream of getting to experience. I got to grow up with that, and I feel like I was probably very lucky to have the mom I did.
My mom was judged pretty harshly for the type of person she was. Simply because she was more male than female. She didn't fit society’s gender expectations and she didn't have to be transgender to try.
Hell I can’t wait for there to be no more gender expectations! Old white guys are scared that the brown people are trying to wipe out the white race, still to this day. They realize that in the future race won’t matter, therefore it can't be used to control.
It simply won’t matter, because we are evolving to become race-less. Soon it will seem archaic that we ever asked the question “what race are” you on any form. Can you even imagine what life will be like when race is invisible?
Gender is on its way to being erased as well. A lot of men in general, although admittedly mostly the same old white guys, are scared by marriage equality because, “Oh my god, they are going to make it to where people don’t see gender anymore.”
This loss of gender is going to be so good though. Because it is no longer going to be bad for a woman to want the exact same opportunities, the exact same adventures, and the exact same fun as a man.
Which is what people who dislike the lifestyle of women who live like my mom, the Wild Ones, are really complaining about.
They dislike her lifestyle because she is a woman living that way. If I had been living with my dad and that was his lifestyle no one would even care. Because that is what guys do, they get drunk and fight, they are passionate about things, especially when they are single and working blue collar jobs and taking care of a child.
My mom raised me in fun adventurous environments, with crazy fucking people, from all walks of life. Most people got boring, typical American dream bullshit to grow up in. I got to be the Wild One.
Yet what I never had was this seemingly constant, consistent, feeling of connection and love and concern for me that I had in the past within the Pagan community I found … and I needed that.
It is okay that it is gone for me right now. Just like always, I can focus on all the good, and let go the negative. Although, GOD DAMN! it took me so long to get here this time.
I attribute this slow move as a desperate clinging to the fact that I had built every ounce of my being around being the community.
I needed to feel that type of connection. The problem is, for me, it was hard for me to express my returned love in those connections, how happy I was, in any other way except for sexually. So what I personally feel like has happened ...DISCLAIMER: I have to proceed the next statement with a disclaimer that I DO NOT regret the sex. I don’t have any qualms with people who live the poly-lifestyle. I understand, with great empathy and experience, why people are drawn to it and I don’t knock it in anyway.
Personally though, I did not really understand, until Mistress and now Floodplain helped me to learn, you can connect so well, so deeply to someone, and it does not have to be about sex at all.
I think in the end, honestly, because sex was the only connection I really made with people, (yes I know there are other ways in which I connected, but that was one of the main ways I connected the closest. The way I could really express love.
), when that connection was lost, so was the connection to me.
Yet I must admit, I have no deeper understanding then this, because, as aforementioned, the connection is lost ... I don't know what or if people feel or think about me anymore.
Not that people don’t love me, or that they don’t want me around or something. I get it. I’m not the life of the party anymore. I am not interesting anymore.
That’s what I really miss. Being interesting to others. People who will talk to me about me, about things I am interested in.
Community does not connect to me anymore.
I’m not trying to be selfish. I realize I haven’t been around much, I haven’t been doing things. I became celibate, I became “prude”, I got uber-sensitive about the teasing and built anxiety about being something wrong in our community. I also realize nobody cares about that anymore – so yeah, awesome!
Yet it has been heartbreaking for me for so long to go to festival. I know I built expectations around the type of person I was. When I finally tried to explain to people that I had these new boundaries, I started with those closest to me, and their reactions made me expect the same from others.
It made it to where I just didn't want to get fucked up around anyone anymore, nor be around when the party began, even if I was sober, because I had to be fully responsible when someone was going to come onto me in their intoxicated loving state.
I have a hard time with that role, because I love everybody, and I want to express to them love from me in the way they desire of me.
I love to be needed, wanted, and most importantly to nurture love in other people. I love the feeling of giving everyone as much of my energy as they need and seeing them burst with happiness because of it.
Yet not doing it sexually was new to me, and, due to my anxiety, I wasn't really afforded the opportunity to try to learn how to express it in a different way. My anxiety being built around the expectation that if those closest to me could not respect the boundaries, than how could others.
In short I was scared, I didn't fit anymore, and I didn't even know how to try to fit anymore.
When you compile all of this into the heart of a woman, a Wild One, who takes care of herself, well, you get a woman who slowly disappears. Because a woman who can't try to make it better, who sees that the fight to change is not an option or not working, will eventually take flight.
Yet this is the longest I have ever been connected to others; ever. I clung desperately to the idea that, if I just stuck it out, if I just kept going and made changes to things I could control; leaving the fire before the party started, staying sober, then it would all get better.
It didn't get better. Instead I learned what it was like to suffer from constant anxiety. Too have your heart pounding out of your chest, while your brain worries about everything that most likely will never happen. To build a sensitivity to everything around you as if at any moment just the right thing would shatter you into pieces like glass.
The truth is, with my past, I have never really had anybody there to help me with my problems but me. I have always solved them myself, through writing, or music, art, or time with nature. I am really good at this and I don’t really feel strongly about changing it. I love this artistic part of me.
However, my clinging desperately, rather than stepping away and spending time alone with it all; topped with my anxiety, made it impossible for me to figure anything out. The art stopped coming. All I could do instead was play chess with my life. Move myself cautiously into a square and hope to not get knocked out of it.
Until the music came that is ... but the music is a whole other story.
Most of my life I was lucky to get a few years with others; and then I gotta move. Then it is time to write letters, because there wasn't facebook, internet, texting, hell sometimes there was no land-line because we couldn't pay the bill.
So I would just move and lose contact with people. I would be alone again, usually it was summer, and usually we were in the middle of nowhere. So I would be in the woods, in nature, for the summer, by myself, all my friends living in some different city or state doing whatever it is that normal kids do in the summer.
Despite all the change and loss I would have a good time. I spent my time alone, contemplating the good memories, the lessons learned, while exploring nature. I would wonder if others thought about me. Sometimes I would fantasize reconnecting later in life and all the fun we would have then.
It is silly, because I really believed I was just forgotten. Yet with social media I found out that a lot of people did wonder about me. Even some people I had minimal contact with wondered about me. It’s been surreal to be connected still.
What I also realize is that if I met up again with all these people of my past, we would sit in a room and babble at each other with true interest in each other. We would express our passions and share interest in each other. Maybe some of us would find common things to follow-up with. Maybe connections would grow and new close friendships would be made.
This use to be what community was like for me.
I realize this is what community remains or has become for so many others.
For years I have expressed a desire to have a ritual, something to study, something to do, that connects us all like this again. Something that we can all focus on and learn together that allows us all to participate with each other and have something to talk about together. Something I can be included in.
What I finally realize is this: I am the only one not connected like this anymore
The community still shares common interests, interests I am disconnect from.
I can’t express what I am passionate about and find other people interested in the community anymore.
Hell they don’t even have to really be interested in it.
It’s like when I was dating the second Corey, and he was such a dick. I learned everything about kayaking. I don’t ever even want to fucking go kayaking, yet I know all about it. I know more about the types of boats, rapids, boaters, water levels, then I ever wanted to know about. All because I wanted to be able to talk to him about what he is passionate in.
Yet with my passions he would say he, “Didn't want to know about it,” and he, “Wasn't going to learn that shit.”
I don’t expect people to learn everything about the things I am interested in; but it would be nice if people talked to me about it. To just try taking a moment and talk to me about things I am doing too.
Because right now I realize I could make an effort to be with the community, maybe twice a month, give all the love I have and then leave, and everyone would be happy to have seen me and fine with that level of connection.
This is what I have now.
I have come to accept that this how I fit.
It sucks not being included. I know that some of that is my fault because I am not sexual anymore, I am not really focused on the party anymore, and my interest are not interesting, etc., etc. As well I am sure there are other things about me that bother people that they just won’t converse with me about.
Yet those things I can participate in make me feel awesome. Even if it leaves me only connecting to the community ever so often.
Seriously, Yule was SSSOOOOOOOOO awesome. I felt so connected. I was needed. I was able to bring comfort and love without sex. The kids welcomed me like I was the best thing since sliced cheese. People loved the meditation. I was included in conversations and some people even asked and talked briefly about things I am interested in.
I was included, I could participate … yet most importantly people made the effort to include me and participate with me.
So it is I start anew.
I no longer search for how I fit. I know the small way in which I do and it is enough; for now.
I hold out hope, that in the future the connection to community that I use to have, that so many others still have, that so many others have gained, I can find and have again. I accept, however, that this may never be ... and I hope that the small connection I do still have is enough to sustain me in community if it never does happen.
So the Wild One, becomes a Lady, a Lady Godiva on a Buffalo, playing the drums, singing her heart out, honoring her Mother.