~what was i made for~


lol this is not a post about barbie :). instead, this is a hyperspecific post about a song in barbie intermingled with some life-therapy things. but i eventually make it back to the original meaning!

"what was i made for", by billie eilish, is played in the credits of the new barbie movie. to start, it is absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. when it started playing, i was utterly captivated. what can i say, i am nostalgic about those breathy acoustic sad songs that are often used as the subject for contemporary dance. you just *know* the dance girlies are already perfecting their choreography for this song - get that drop kick babe.

the content of this song, though - waghghhghghghhg - it is written in the context of growing up within the capitalistic patriarchal hellscape, but, from an adoptee's pov? good lord. it's a lot. i feel it in the thread of my life from beginning to uhhh now. i decided to write this entry as a way to organize my thoughts on all this - it still surprises me just how much i have been affected by a thing that happened so long ago. i mean, i suppose being adopted affects a lot of aspects of life thereafter, but still. at times i feel as though i am being just so incredibly dramatic, bringing it up over and over - it would be so nice to not have to think about this anymore. but alas! i guess now i have a chunky bit of content to write to the internet about.

[verse 1]
i used to float, now i just fall down
i used to know, but i'm not sure now
what i was made for
what was i made for?

i imagine this opening verse describes the ~coming out of the fog~ process that many adoptees go through. coming out of the fog refers to the process of pulling back the curtain of disillusionment that has been carefully curated around the adoptee experience by family members and society at large. there is suppressed grief and emotions and realizations and memories - this process restructures the way that you understand your family and history and childhood. coming to terms with such a profound loss is not something you can easily put into words.

"i used to float, now i just fall down/i used to know, but i'm not sure now" growing up, i didn't have any particularly strong opinions about being adopted or how my family was "different". that's just how it was, that was my normal - it was a fact about my life, normal just like how we had big dogs at home and an acacia tree in the front yard and loud music at all hours. i started having those feelings of ~hmmm this seems kinda fucked up~ in high school, but those thoughts didn't really truly take form until perhaps a year or so ago. i started having closer proximity to my birth culture and more time and space to be able to sort through the stickiness of this history. since then, this lil box containing a massive ball of grief just keeps on popping up! how insistent and loud it is.

"what i was made for/what was i made for?" this line is repeated throughout the song. the first line sounds like an internal wondering, but when the question is posed for the universe in the second line, i can feel myself pulled forward. that silly saying about heartstrings and all seems very applicable. the loss and confusion and vastness of unanswered and *unanswerable* questions are palpable.

[verse 2]
takin' a drive, i was an idea
looked so alive, turns out i'm not real
just somethin' you paid for
what was i made for?

this verse feels like the feeling of understanding, realizing the disconnect between the person i was and the person my parents held onto. my parents held onto the idea of children - malleable, impressionable, agreeable children (this is of course leaving out the stickiness of queerness on top of that). when that stopped being true, the children started developing *gasp* opinions, thoughts, and feelings, the already present friction and hostility only increased exponentially. it was impossible for my parents to see me (and my sister) as full humans capable of these things. i imagine that many parents experience this - holding onto a child that has all grown up! a child no longer. but it feels different knowing that my parents explicitly signed up for this, *paid* for this even. the cherry on top was receiving nothing more than a thumbs up upon parting ways from them for good. i just - *sigh*. it all seems so *trivial*. to have caused so much pain and for no one to take on that responsibility - no one will be held accountable for the loss i did not consent to. for a loss that was potentially preventable. what *was* i made for? the lack of humanity embedded within this adoption process is so disquieting - to be just somethin' you paid for, to be left with the pieces and asked to remain whole.

[verse 3]
when did it end? all the enjoyment
i'm sad again, don't tell my boyfriend
it's not what he's made for
what was i made for?

'cause i, i
i don't know how to feel
but i wanna try
i don't know how to feel
but someday, i might
someday, i might

think i forgot how to be happy
somethin' i'm not, but somethin' i can be
somethin' i wait for
somethin' i'm made for
somethin' i'm made for

i think i have, or at least had, a tendency to feel absolutely everything or nothing at all. i had a few months this past winter/spring where i just felt consumed by this grief - without end, an infinite sadness (verse 3). i mean, i've experienced some sort of baseline mild depression for a good deal of my life, but i hadn't felt *this* before. i kept getting triggered by my surroundings and the cycle just kept pushing me down. but then! come like the last 1.5 months! it seemed to ~go away~. how exciting. it was so refreshing to feel so light and to have energy and to have life. the grief and loss is always there, but i was able to set it aside again and still *live* alongside it. however, and not a big however, but a pondering however, in ~therapy~ i had mentioned this loneliness that kinda just follows me around. and we explored it a lil bit and he put a name to it - grief. ughhhhh my past therapist called it that too. i don't love that. it makes it feel bigger and uglier and less manageable. and maybe it is all of those things. but i had thought that i was simply ~better~ like the grief box was tied up with a nice little bow. the silly thing about emdr is that it asks that you reprocess the things in order to heal and move forward. a couple hours after this session, i had this dramatic rush of all of that grief i was feeling a few months ago - it hit like a freight train and left me panicking thinking that i was about to fall into another months long depression. but uhhh the other funny thing about emdr is that you learn how to ~emotionally regulate~. and i did that!?!!??!??!? i felt the things and then i was able to set it aside... and not in like an unhealthy ~i'm going to ignore my thoughts and feelings while white knuckling life~ kinda way but in a ~i feel the things and that is okay and i'm going to make space for that and will revisit this as needed but not exist in it forever~ kinda way. the relief i felt upon realizing that i wasn't stuck in that was nearly as strong as that rush of grief. damn. i am so mad that therapy works XD!!! ugh. LOL. yeah. "somethin' i'm not, but something i can be/somethin' i wait for/somethin' i'm made for" i do still feel it, the loneliness, loss, grief all mixed up, but i am also able to experience the highs, the joys, the excitement. i don't feel like i have to hold on to the memory of joy out of fear that it will fly away forever any more. and my god that is such a relief.

this song overall is just *chef's kiss*. there is melancholy mixed with hope. this is how it is *right now*. but the right now is not forever. the grief is not always going to feel so loud. and perhaps that is enough. i suppose we are made to be *human* - with that comes all of the stickiness. humans are inherently sticky. get stickier. i dare you.