Few words resonate with me quite as much as shapeshifter. This word breaks the paradigm of what we should be, our possibility, our purpose. It liberates and isolates, and it is my only constant.
I am exceptional at goodbyes, at leaving. I went to 15 different schools as a child, lived bicoastal, lived in cars, lived out of the country, lived in three story homes. I’ve been homecoming queen, I’ve been outcast, I’ve been the only Hispanic, I’ve been the only white, I’ve been the Jesus freak, I’ve been a Witch, I’ve been a housewife. I have changed my name on purpose, changed my name on impulse, changed my name by force. I have disappeared, reappeared, become unrecognizable. I’ve been the daughter of dozens, the lover of some, the leaver of most.
If I were to be what I’ve always been, to live up to expectations of my skin, my circumstance, my gender, my name, maybe I would be concrete. Maybe I would be attached to some identity, feel a culture within me, have clearer memories. Maybe I would feel understood and seen, maybe I would feel there are some like me.
Instead, I am worlds that no one has seen, I am faces that some think came from their dreams, I am horrific, uncategorized, unknowable.
But truly, I am free, for I know I will leave. And I don’t think much of it. I’ve seen a thousand iterations of white and brown faces, and hidden between there are fuckers like me that don’t sit as clean intersectional queens. Behind our eye color, we’re shapes to be shifted, arranged into waves of compiled days.
I’m no stranger than the nearest stranger, I’m no wider than the world, I’m nothing you won’t find in yourself. With unknowable miles under my feet, I can say with assurance concrete, that you are me, and I am you, and we are everything.