Becoming someone new is never easy. I like to gloss over that time in my life, when I wrote full-length plays and neglected homework, when I created esoteric pulp/dystopia comic pitches that had more ambition than craftsmanship, attempted costumes that outstripped my skills and threw byzantine murder-mystery parties that more or less held together. I started a novel, and delved so deep into it my mother asked if I was on drugs. I performed a solo freak-show on a pitch-black night with inadequate lighting. I wrestled with love and sexual attraction and queerness and what it all meant, in a personal identity way. I worked at several coffee shops, one grocery store, a hardware story, and the graveyard shift at a convenience store. I had no direction, because I was moving in all of them at once.
I was struggling for escape, trying like mad to make fantasy a reality with the meager tools I had at my disposal. I was still figuring out who I am now, and only in looking back can I see the way the successes and failures pile up to make something more. I was trying to jumpstart my own personal evolution, activate a secondary mutation or three, and become an adult. NEW X-MEN, which is all about the difficulty of maturity, how hard it is to grasp adulthood, was the perfect comic companion for this time.