Courageous

I was called courageous this week; for simply being me. For being honest and true to who I am and living the life that only I can lead. It was a compliment of great magnitude, an honour, to be recognized for living my authentic life.

I have worked hard to get here, to finally stop carrying the burden of expectation and instead channel the energy that runs through me, that’s always been in me, but I was afraid to unleash.

Today, I am many things to many people but there is one, single defining constant that I can depend on, me. I have found a strength within me, that has come with loving and accepting myself in a whole new way.

And I’m proud of who I am.

I am a lesbian mom to two little boys (who I adore) and am ridiculously in love with a woman that makes me smile like an idiot and fills me with a warmth like I’ve never known. I feel lucky to have created this life, but I’ve never considered  myself courageous.

But perhaps, when I was a closeted, unhappy and inauthentic woman, encountering someone living an honest, gay and happy life, would have been inspiring. Perhaps that interaction would have been a catalyst for the change that I was searching for. Maybe, I would have asked myself the questions I was so afraid to answer; I never had that epiphany, but I did eventually find my way.

Today, I’m living a life that fulfills my soul without pause for expectation or judgement  but for the first time, I’m recognizing the possibility that a glimpse of my life may inspire authenticity in someone else’s journey.

And perhaps to them, I am courageous.

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I Don’t Know What They Wore

Today was the first day of school for my boys, they woke up at home with me and I whisked them off to their Dad’s at 6:30 am. I gave them kisses and hugs and told them I loved them. I told them I hoped they would have an amazing first day at school and I assured my littlest that if he played nicely, like he had all summer, the other kids would want to play with him too.

When I talked to them after work, they both sounded happy, excited to have seen their friends and gone to school. For two little boys who have been claiming they hate school all summer, that’s a win. My heart smiled when I could hear the joy in their voices, I want them to love learning, to thirst for knowledge and have the drive to accomplish their dreams.

But, today was the first day of school and I didn’t get to walk them to their classes, I didn’t get to hug them at their classroom door or pick them up and celebrate a successful, albeit short, first day.

In fact, I don’t even know what they wore. My Facebook account is a sea of smiling faces with adorable first day of school signs. I know what everybody else’s children wore to school today, but I don’t have a clue what my boys wore. And its making me cry.

As a working mom, I know that there will always be school events I can’t attend and that’s the only reality my boys know, I’ve always worked.

But as a divorced Mom, I never realized how much the little, seemingly insignificant, things could hurt. I knew that getting divorced and co-parenting would be a challenge, but I don’t think I could have ever been fully prepared for the emotions that bubble up in a moment, painting my face with tears.

I had trouble focusing all day at work and I couldn’t pinpoint why. When I sat down to write this evening, it wasn’t about parenting, but my stream of consciousness brought me here; pondering what it means to my soul, to co-parent my children.

Letting Go

This is the third time I’ve moved in four years. For the first time, as I’m unpacking the boxes of stuff, I’m watching the piles for donation and garbage grow much faster than the keep pile. I always want to keep things, especially if they have memories and for me that includes clothes.

I remember the way she smiled, shy and eager, when she saw me in my white flowered dress; unexpectedly her shirt matched perfectly. I will always, without question, think of that moment when I see that dress or that shirt. Clothes have memories.

And so I have clothes, a lot of clothes, with a lot of memories. When I was packing, I purged a lot from ‘before’ that I just hadn’t worn and now I have another big pile ready for donation. It turns out there are very few things that I want to keep when the price is a constant reminder of the life I almost settled for.

My girlfriend told me, it was about letting go, and I think she’s right. My life is so full, there’s no space for old memories that bring me no joy.

But its not just the memories, its the expectations, including the ones I used to put on myself. I forgot, that feeling, of needing to be more, if I wanted to be lovable. That belief that with a little more effort on my side everything could be better for everyone. But better was never quite attainable.

Now, my life is better, in all the ways.

My boys will always have my heart, but there was a time when I struggled to enjoy them. The energy to mom, when you are broken on the inside can sometimes be difficult to attain. Now, I laugh, smile and play with my boys far more than I get frustrated.

My family watched me get lost, but they couldn’t change a thing. I wanted that life to work and just kept trying a little harder to be more. Now, I am found and there are all the smiles; my parents, my boys, my girl. My Family.

My heart was once so confused, so unaware and lost. Now, not only does my heart sing, sometimes its a duet.

My life IS better. So I’m letting go of before.

Dreams

I woke the other night and was overcome with the strangest feeling; I was scared and I was sad. I rarely remember my dreams and the details always allude me, but this time I awoke overwhelmed with feelings. In my dream, my girlfriend had kindly and sweetly walked out of my life leaving me wanting and alone.

I’m not afraid to be alone, to be strong, independent and fierce but after years of unknowingly searching for her, I woke curled into myself and overcome with sadness at the thought of losing her. Fortunately she was there with her warm embrace to envelope me with love and assurance, which was all I needed to drift back to sleep, but in the morning I hadn’t quite managed to shake those unwelcome feelings.

And I realized, for the first time in my life, I have a love that I’m scared to lose.

I know, that life is full of uncertainty, change and turmoil. I know that in a moment everything can change and that there will be moments, days and times where we don’t or can’t align and that’s just the nature of love, life and relationships. But I don’t want a partner who is willing to sacrifice who they are to keep the peace, because I’m not that girl anymore either.

I have a partner who challenges me to dream bigger and encourages my uniqueness, who respects me and wants me to grow more than she wants me to stay the same. I have a love that is rooted in acceptance and never asks me to apologize for being who I am.

And that is the type of love I think we all dream of, that is the type of love that you cannot create and you cannot will into existence. The type of love I have is so much more than good enough; together we have opened the door to a future full of adventure, laughter, love, light and happiness and although I never knew such an extraordinary experience was possible, now that I have it, nothing else will do.

Lessons in Love

I try not to dwell on the past, but I remember, so that I can learn the lessons and continue to grow and blossom. This weekend amidst a conversation with my girlfriend, we started to talk about love, particularly in the context of the past. She asked me, if you never cared what he did or who he did it with, did you never question if it was really love?

And I always tell myself, that I never asked the questions that I wasn’t ready to answer. That I wasn’t ready to change my life, so rather than reflecting and truly evaluating the choices I was making and the life I was living, I just kept following the ‘recipe’ for a happy life.

But if it was that simple, then I have to believe that the question would stop presenting itself to me time and time again. As we talked I had yet another realization; I barely had time to process the thoughts before I shared them with her.

It seems so obvious now, there’s still a lesson for me to learn about love, about why I was willing to settle for good enough, why I didn’t strive and dream and want for more. For the past year and a half, I’ve been allowing myself the comfort of an “I wasn’t ready” excuse, because in all honesty, I wasn’t yet ready for THIS lesson.

I can feel within me, this lesson is one of the important ones.

This lesson, like every one before it, is going to change me and its going to change the way I interact with the world. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but in time, I know another switch will flip and the world will become a little clearer.

The Magic Ingredient

Sometimes, I still can’t believe this is my life.

I am currently sitting on my girlfriends couch, clad in panties and her tee, her golden lab and my boston terrier snuggled up against me with a cup of coffee, my computer and my thoughts, while my girl is cozy in bed.  This is the only weekend we will have, all summer, where I can remove my Mom hat, where I can be me, she can be her and we can just be US.

We contemplated going away, going camping or perhaps on a weekend getaway, but instead we chose to be wrapped up in each other at home. We have visited the farmers market, cooked amazing food and enjoyed the tranquility of home.

Never have I made food with someone, the way we make food together. It starts with ingredients, thoughts, ideas and then one of us is chopping, prepping and marinading and when we sit across from each other at the table, we have the most delicious meal that neither of us could have created on our own. Together, we make everything better.

My youngest son, at the age of 6, recently told me that a meal we had made was so delicious and then he proceeded to ask me, if I knew why it was so good.

Because its made with LOVE Mom, love is the magic ingredient.

I can’t argue with that son.
Love is Love and its the most beautiful thing.