I was talking with a gay friend in the co-living group I'm in for the month,
and he had mentioned some of his experience "coming out" as gay when he was young,
and so I told him that I was having some trouble "coming out",
not as gay, but.. being more expressive in general..
and I am a pretty effeminate male,
and I mentioned that I was wearing some polar bear pajamas,
and that I would tell people they were just what was available at the thrift store,
but really, they were as expressive as I thought I could get away with,
and if I could, I would wear My Little Pony pajamas. Which is true.
and he asked me to name a couple flamboyant pop songs that I like,
already knowing that I like pop,
because we had sung together on a previous evening,
and I said "Tik Tok" and "We Can't Stop",
which he put on,
and then suggested we dance,
which was totally awkward for me. I've danced before, alone, and I actually love dancing, alone, but I was extremely uncomfortable dancing with him, but I voiced those concerns, and he did a fantastic job reassuring me that he didn't care..
and I had a thought about "self expression".
I usually think of "self expression" as someone expressing themselves to other people,
but another way of thinking of it is: expressing myself to myself.
That is, when I dance, even with other people, I — my slow thinking / system II / left brain / whatever — is watching another part of myself dance, and learning from that through the experience itself.
and I am increasingly convinced that at least a major part of the "drug experience", at least for me, is seeing that expressive side of myself, since the drug lowers my inhibitions — and somehow alcohol doesn't do it for me, perhaps because it makes me so tired that I'm not having meta thoughts about the experience of being drunk..
..which also means that I'm increasingly convinced that the "drug experience" can be reproduced without drugs, by "expressing myself", and I've had some success testing this, including today with this dancing thing.. and maybe there's more to it, but the self-expression thing is definitely there, and I feel like I want to understand it first before trying to assess whether there's something else as well — so, more self expression is in store, more pushing my boundaries, and possibly overshooting and offending people, but the benefit of being self expressive — of knowing the things that my fast thinking / system I / right brain / whatever wants to tell me — seems.. good. I think I'll be able to think better, and probably also feel less depressed.