I’m Glowing

I’ve had a lot of people tell me lately that I am ‘glowing’ in my pictures on social media, that I look so happy and that people are proud of me for finding my happiness and being true to myself. And I can’t help but wonder, if my people can see THAT much from my photographs, what must they see when I’m standing right in front of them?

My parents spent some time at my house last week and although I missed it, my lovely girlfriend caught my dad looking at the two of us, and smiling as we all shared a meal. Then when we went to the pub for dinner, my mom pulled out her camera and asked us to smile for a photo; it turned out terrible, but when she posted it to Facebook the post was accompanied with a simple ‘Happiness <3′. I just couldn’t tell her to take the picture down, such a public compliment and expression of her acceptance of our love.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’ve been spoiled with acceptance when its come to my being out. My cousin is getting married in September and when my invitation arrived, I was excited to see a plus one included and promptly asked my girlfriend if she was free and up for the family affair that is a wedding.

And then I realized, my cousin isn’t on social media, maybe he didn’t know I was gay. Maybe his wife’s family is homophobic. Maybe my gramma is homophobic. And suddenly, RSVPing wasn’t quite as simple as it had once been. But when I contacted my cousin to check in, he told me quite simply ‘I know about the love of your life, and yes she’s invited.‘ And my mom assured me that she had already talked to her mom and although she sometimes speaks without thinking (don’t we all), there was nothing to worry about when it came to gramma either.

Just like that, I realized that our crazy circus, my boys and my girl are going to a wedding and my entire family is going to see all my damn happy. If they can’t see the joy and authenticity that this life brings me, when I’m standing right in front of them, then I guess they aren’t paying attention because apparently, I’m glowing.

What’s Important?

Change takes time. Sometimes I feel like I’m succeeding in my journey of self discovery, confident I’m learning my lessons and progressing step by step. Other times the progress feels slow and old memories, old patterns and old habits abound but I believe that any challenge truly worth undertaking is worth the effort.

I know, that there is no finish line, no single moment when life will achieve perfection and there’s nothing left to strive for, because there’s always an opportunity to dream bigger, but that does not negate the value of reflection. Over the past month, on multiple occasions, I’ve found myself contemplating where I’ve been, who I am, where I’m going and of course, what’s important to me.

I learned about Autonomy (the independence or freedom, as of the will or one’s actions) in the context of work; an employee who has the freedom to complete their work in a way that makes sense to them (and without being micromanaged), is more apt to be satisfied in their role and the same is true for life. Autonomy is important to me; the ability to make my own decisions about my life and my actions means my life is my own. I am free to be me, to love who I want to love and to express  myself in the most authentic way I know how.

Family is more than the sharing of blood and relations, its the people in my life that will stand up and support me day after day, time after time. Family trusts and believes in my ability to blaze my trail with my head held high, but will hold my hand and lift me up when I get tired. I am honoured to have the family and support system that I have.

Nature, the scent of the earth, the sound of leaves rustling in the air and the tranquility of water gently swaying are like food for my soul. Nature brings me balance, peace and an opportunity to revitalize my soul. The opportunity to separate my mind and my body from the realities of life, even for a moment at a time, is not optional; I need access to nature.

And love. I love, love. The warmth that overcomes me when she’s near, the smile the slips across my face as I see her walking towards me, the understanding that we share and most all all our ability to communicate and to listen. Together we stand taller, are braver and are stronger, because we don’t have to tackle life’s challenges alone. I am spoiled to share a love that is rooted in acceptance and individuality; love enhances the life that I choose to pursue.

Today, I live the life I want to live and finally I feel certainty that I know what that actually means.

Terrible Girlfriend

I am a terrible girlfriend; not really, but I have my moments.

Yesterday after very long days for both of us, my girlfriend and I arrived at my house within minutes of each other. I had been out of town, driven 4.5 hours and was literally bursting with excitement to see her. We embraced, we kissed, we reveled in each others presence and began to let the weight of our days dissipate.

We fell into an easy rhythm as we chatted and eventually wiggled our way (not so gracefully) into the hammock where we could snuggle and reconnect. As we rubbed our faces against each other like cats, we began to find our balance and that familiar feeling of home.

As we swayed, she pointed at her lips and with a small smile told me that she’d lost her lip ring; I blushed, embarrassed that I’d been so wrapped up in my feelings and our shared energy that I  hadn’t seen something right in front of me.

Had I not looked at her in the half an hour we’d been together?

It seemed so obvious now that she had pointed it out. And her kisses did feel different, not better, not worse, just different. What kind of partner doesn’t notice a missing facial piercing? I apologized for being a terrible girlfriend, for not noticing something right before my eyes and as always, her response was perfect.

It’s OK baby, I know you see the inside me more than the outside me.

Then she smiled and she kissed me and I just knew that she understood. She is so much more to me than the body that houses her soul.

Touch

The words slipped between my lips, practically whispered, as I gazed at her longingly; I really want to kiss you, but I lack self restraint. As the last syllable escaped, her lips were on mine, soft, tender and embedded with lust. In that moment, the passion we shared for each other was so pure that time ceased to exist.

All there was, in that moment, was her.  Her scent, her taste, her touch, her beautiful eyes looking in mine and the softest sounds that wouldn’t be contained. My senses felt awakened and although we had reached before, I know that in that moment, our souls touched and our worlds shifted. Hours later, I would peel myself (fully clothed) off of her, the wanting and desire pulsing through my body as she said good night.

She asked me today, why I felt so strongly (at the time) that we should wait.

I was afraid, not that I could love her, but that an evening of lust could somehow taint the potential for a love like no other. I knew that we could be something special, that we who were so aligned in values, in life and in dreams had the potential to be everything I never dreamed of. In my life, I have chased lust and though the moments are lovely, it has never made my heart sing. And I was so fearful that chasing lust might ruin all the hopes I had for something beautiful with her.

My girlfriend responded simply, I was waiting for you, we weren’t going to ruin anything. And I’m sure she’s right, but in life we need to learn our own lessons, we need to live our own experiences and we need to find our own certainties. And I needed us to wait.

Now, I need her touch.

Only once, have I felt like our communication was stilted, like perhaps she was misunderstanding me, or I her. We’d been together all day, but around people and in public. We were in the shower, washing the day away when she reached for me, with both hands on my face she kissed me, deeply and passionately and when we pulled apart we both smiled coyly as she stated so simply that’s what we neededI haven’t been able to to do that all day. 

And she was right, with one touch, one moment of shared intimacy, everything was right with the world again.

Friendship and Affirmation

My mom always told me that people come into your life when you need them, and sometimes they leave when the experiences you were meant to share have passed. She also told me that the friends worth keeping are the ones that can be absent for years, but when you connect, everything feels the same. She is a wise woman in this respect and I take her advice very seriously.

Lately I’ve been working on letting people go; people who feel I’m too much or perhaps aren’t supportive of the place where my journey is taking me. There have been tears, emotions and an utter lack of clarity, but through it all I have embraced my authentic self and stood proud. I’ve extended olive branches and I’ve tried to bring back friendships that were once strong, but everything is different now.

I AM different now, because I appreciate and honor all that I am.

I am a hard working woman who provides for her family and strives to raise boys that respect not only themselves, but those around them.

I am a responsible, independent woman who owns a house, tows her trailer and knows her way around a budget.

I am gay and completely, ridiculously, head over heels in love with the most amazing woman and I don’t care who knows it.

Anyone who doesn’t respect and honour all of that doesn’t deserve my energy or my time; I am a strong woman and I will never again change for someone else.

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with a few old friends, people I haven’t seen (or stayed well connected with) in over 10 years and when I saw them, I could feel my heart flutter with happiness and joy.

THESE are MY PEOPLE.

And they love me (and I them), despite a distance of years, just the same as they did the last time I saw them. And the most beautifully affirming thing happened while in their presence, they told me (unprompted and not in the presence of each other) that my authenticity and sense of self was just as they remembered it.

They both said I had barely changed.

I know that’s not true but it re-affirms that I’m on the right path. I’m not creating a new version of myself, I’m rediscovering and redefining the girl that I used to be and the woman I was always meant to be.

I was lost for a long time, but now I’m found.

One Year Ago

From the first moment, there was something; a feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on, yet couldn’t deny. Before me was a strong but gentle, fierce and sweet woman whom I needed to know. Amid a sea of people, a room awash with emotions, she was my distraction; a source of curiosity and wonder. On that day, neither of us could have predicted that an incidental meeting would ultimately change our lives. And yet, perhaps we could.

Tomorrow, it will have been exactly one year since that first meeting. We talked for moments, yet I felt a strong sense of familiarity in her presence; I found my gaze drawn to her and my interest piqued by this lovely creature I didn’t even know. We had, and have, a connection that I didn’t know how to recognize at the time but that could be felt from deep within my being.

I believe that if we listen, our bodies, our minds, our heart and our soul know what we need. I believe that we have the answers to the questions we are afraid to ask but we need to be brave enough to trust our own intuition. The familiarity, comfort and solace that we shared that day would take months to understand, but I know now, that we had been searching for one another and our meeting allowed our souls to mingle and reconnect.

I feel so lucky to call that special girl mine. Every day I feel the joy of sharing a connection that far surpasses expectations and even describable emotions. With her by my side I feel a oneness and a balance that makes me stronger and more confident in myself than ever before. We are strong, independent women, but together we are unstoppable.

When we touch, the fire inside me glows strong and my soul smiles; I feel the beauty of a love that accepts me, supports me, recharges me and builds me up each and every day. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but one year ago I met a girl who would change my life and I have no intention of letting her go.

Today

Today, my boys let us sleep in for an hour and a half, because they were making surprises for us. We woke up to happy camaraderie and beautiful gifts. A hand drawn stick man family that made my heart swell with love and gratitude, a small handmade comic and a batman cutout.  Today, my boys showed us their love.

This weekend, I feel like we leveled up. In a moment when I couldn’t, I watched her interact with my boy, just as I would have; with love and honesty and a bit of toughness. We shared shy smiles of happiness as we dreamed of our shared future. I watched her solve a conundrum, and in her actions I could feel her feet so firmly planted inside the circus ring. Today, quite simply, felt like family.

Today, felt special, extraordinary and ordinary in the exact right way. Together, we relaxed and then together we prepared for our day in a way that flowed so naturally, so easily and so efficiently. Today, it was the little things reminding me that balance exists in our connection; our energy is shared yet remains unique.

This weekend, I had moments, when I needed her. She held me in her arms and stroked my hair as I felt the feelings and let things (that no longer served me) go. She found me  a moment of solace amidst a windstorm of chaos and today, I felt all the love for my boys, for my girl and for the adventure that we are embarking on.

Today, my future feels so fucking bright.