[general warning for child sexual abuse— no specifics or especially heavy things in this post]
Yesterday, I was at the store when I impulse bought a Hello Kitty sticker book. I sat down for a few minutes today and looked through it. The bulk of it is sticker pages, but on the bookends there are some silly activities. I went through one of them— two pages just asking you and your best friend to check off what you prefer given two different choices. Then, at the end, you compare to see how you and your friend are different. I decided to just do it for myself.
It’s obviously targeted towards girls half to one-third my age, so it was silly things. Radio or MP3 Player? Daytime or Nighttime? Biking or Skating? But there was something about it that really got to me. About halfway down the list, I realized what it was: I could not remember the last time someone had asked me questions like this and really, genuinely cared. Just boring, mundane little questions of personal preference.
But those boring things matter. They matter a lot because they gradually contribute to your overall image as a person. I am myself because my favorite color is ocean sun blue. I am myself because I would rather skate and feel my feet on the pavement than be disconnected two feet above the ground. I am myself because my favorite foods are all carbs. Other people may have these same interests, but only I can like them in the precise, unique way that I like them.
In the grand scheme of wars and politicians and death and life, it seems so insignificant. But for me, it means a lot to have someone ask me these questions. I’d even consider it a luxury, or a privilege to be able to do this. I was not given a childhood in which people regularly asked me these things— questions about how i feel, and responses about how the way i feel matters. When you’ve lived a life of constant struggle and change, it matters twice as much that you are able to know and enjoy that you prefer ice cream over cake, or cats over dogs. It matters so much.
A Hello Kitty sticker book should not make a 21 year old cry. But here I am, and I am trying very hard not to.