Multidimensional, and also I was wrong.
I don’t know of many people who identify as Asian urban planners. Throw “lesbian” in there, and I would’ve claimed that as my predominant identity, on the basis that I’d be a rarity in Toronto.
So I wasn’t surprised at all when a brief urban planning meet-up with an acquaintance from the gaysian community extended beyond the workshop and lasted a full five hours. We mutually prolonged our time together, taking turns fueling our hangout with coffee place and artisinal shop suggestions for our (unplanned) next stop.
A mutual friend had introduced us a month or so prior after talking about us separately to each other. “You’d like her!” – these really are the most promising starts to friendships.
She’s an interesting one. We had a lot to bond over – our mutual interest and knowledge in urban planning unwrapped a whole layer of conversation that I usually reserve for my… well, urban planning friends. She made it clear that her sexuality was low in her hierarchy of identity, and naturally, queerness came up not too often in our conversation – if it did, it was likely on my part. We got raw with our conversations fairly quick and she told me about her own insecurities as I reciprocated with my own. I’ve never had anybody open up so quickly and blankly before.
To my surprise, when I saw her again at a party last weekend, she was a different person from when I first met her. She was in her comfort zone and far louder, she wore a bigger personality, which I had difficulty adjusting to. I preferred her quieter, more honest. I suspected, given when we’d talked about, that she was compensating… but I’m still not quite sure which side of her is real.
Had it been the same time last year, I would’ve been completely fascinated by her. But at this point, at the speed I’m meeting (queer) people, I just don’t know if I have the energy or patience to figure her out.
But it’s wrong of me to assume I need to figure her out. Perhaps what I’d considered the greatest lesson of 2016 was wrong; perhaps closure (in this case, on what she is) is overrated and it’s just a bandaid solution for people who overthink. Closure is not the answer to overthinking, just as dropping a loonie will not cure homelessness. In fact, in seeking closure, you can often make things worse – it’s a falsehood alluding to being in power/having control, when in fact, you are so far from it. It can fix that dreaded, baneful feeling of powerlessness, but it will not take your foot off your mind’s gas pedal. Being able to shift gears, stop, and sometimes reverse, combined with knowing where to steer and in what direction – that’s a better way to not spiral out of control.
Mmm this post took a turn.