As promised, it’s time for me to get a little more personal in this blog. Too many people were reading my intro page and guessing that I’m the gamine in question (thanx, Mom) or a yeti — which I’m not, yet — so I think I’d better lay to rest some misconceptions.
My name’s Esta Marie. I was named for my Great-Grandmother Esta Brackbill, my Mom’s cousin Esta Fisher, and her sister Marie Brackbill. As a kid I hated the name Esta because no one else had it, but now I love it for that precise reason. Hooray for being the only person with your name in the whole city!
I like to write, rather a lot. Unfortunately I get seized by inspiration at inopportune moments: the two best poems I’ve ever written were composed in my head, one in the shower, the other on I-95 S between D.C. and Richmond, to be scribbled hastily on scraps of paper at the earliest possible moment. Because I would never do anything as dangerous as writing verse on the back of an envelope while driving at 70 mph, no, never.
I’ll turn 26 next month, and feel more at home in my skin at this age than at any previous. I’ve taken the past few years of my life to figure out who I really am, which is an incredibly useful thing to do but looks lousy on a résumé. I’ve found, much to my surprise, that I like myself better with shorter hair, and that I really can’t stand football. I’m happiest when the house is clean and I gravitate toward things that make me laugh. I’ve been single for more than 2 years and I like it. It makes me angry to see my otherwise strong and wise girlfriends hinge their self-images on their relationships with men. Whooo, better break off that train of thought before I get rooted on the soapbox. Trust me, I can (and have) rant on this subject for hours.
The justification for this self-indulgent entry comes from my years of dealing with depression. I went through a lot of crap before the best friend in the whole world smacked me and told me to get help. If you’ve ever been that friend to someone, bless you. If not, odds are you will someday, so take pay attention. You can come through “on the other side of the sun”, as Madeleine L’Engle writes. If you’re reading this and saying “hey, that’s me”, go to this link now.
I should include a moral in this entry somewhere…someone help me glean a moral from all this! (Or at least a concluding sentence…) How about a line from one of my favorite books, The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley: “Once royalty has declared itself it can’t go back into hiding.” Darn straight I’m the royalty in question. I guess it’s time to practice what I preach: if I really believe in the value of small-town America and the preservation of identity, I can’t let myself stay a faceless corporate cog. So that means, as we walk down the street, we have a civic responsibility to meet peoples’ eyes and make them feel like individuals too (even if they leer and make suggestive licking motions, as one weird guy did to me at VCU last summer). Hey, we all gotta take risks for the greater good.