I pricked my finger on David’s line of vision and couldn’t get enough of his attention.
He told me he loved me and wanted to be with me, yet still one thing was clear: he wasn’t completely attracted to me. While I sought to pursue this image of what he wanted, I found myself spiraling out of grip, scrambling to keep up with the sexually appealing nature of my contemporaries. Toned bodies laced in leather choking at each joint, jaw lines that ran forever, eyes like whirlpools sucking in every Instagram follower, masculinity: dirty and raw. These men were who he wanted.
In January, he sparked an essay I posted about breaking out of my supposed ‘lane’ and embracing my own sexually aggressive nature, owning my sexuality at the forefront versus keeping it within until brought forth when comfortable. My social feeds were filled with images of who I wanted to be, of the men I knew David wished I could be, and I came up short each time under my own guise.
“I could be like that,” I thought.
But while trying new things should always be encouraged, the more I pushed against myself the more miserable I became. Since I was a kid, there have been people around me who would tell me I was ‘too much’ or ‘not enough.’ That I was too ‘odd looking’ or not ‘conventionally attractive.’ This narrative slowly and quietly took over as I struggled to find a place to belong. I was on the hunt for my tribe, to bring me higher, to help me become this archetype of who I thought I should be.
This feeling of needing to be what David wanted didn’t simply dissipate when I cut him out of my life. It wasn’t until I began focusing on who I really am and understanding what my true power is when the process of self-love & acceptance truly began.
To put things bluntly, my lack of bold masculinity at the center of my image appeared to stifle me. And even while I wear my heart on my sleeve, open my life up to those who read this blog and dance in the streets to celebrate who I am, I still tried to assimilate in some way. I tried to embody the characteristics of iconic gay imagery but my confidence in doing so lacked gravitas. Every image David liked drove me crazy, every comment he left, every new follower, I saw everything that he wanted and I wasn’t able to be that. But it wasn’t just David that made me this way, it was all the Davids’ that surrounded me.
So then I began to shut out the noise. I focused on my breath, I listened to my intuition. I dove into myself to examine the parts of me that made me, me.
As I thought about who I am at my core, I listed the following:
- I have strong maternal instincts
- I am a friend’s friend
- I am supremely connected to my emotions
- I have enough self-awareness to see the terrible patterns in my life and get to the root of the problem
- I am highly intuitive
- I can empathize with just about anyone
- I am a truth seeker
None of these things had anything to do with self-image or the false portrayals scattered on social media that fed me daily. And that’s why it was imperative I stopped to think about who I am. To come back in, in order to understand what I can bring out.
My style, my art, my writing is all derived from my own perspective. By understanding this, I began to care less about what others were doing and focused on what I can do and how to do it well. I discovered there is great power in maternal energy, that my intense intuition (and lowkey psychic tendencies) is a great strength. My role in this world had been right in front of me all along and I fought and fought to be something else. I like to wear flowy clothes and long cotton dresses, and cook for my friends and tell stories, and listen to other people’s stories and share lessons and chat about spirituality and astrology. How I present myself and where I fit in the world is all secondary.
If you’re struggling to understand your strengths and how to use them, I’d love to chat with you! I don’t really know much and I’m no expert by any means, but it would just be dope to continue the conversation privately if you’re down boo. My email is in the About section ayeeeeee.
xoxo Robby Rob
While the photo featured is from a couple years ago, I chose it because I recently decided to look back at earlier projects to understand who I’ve been at every stage in life. This image stuck out to me as it represents the person I am becoming (flowing free, connected spiritually) and the crazy thing is back then I had no idea why I was drawn to this feeling the first place. Timing is everything.