October

This October, is going to be different she said, better than your last two.

And she’s right; it would take a fairly major life catastrophe to be worse at this point. Last October I struggled; I cried a lot of tears, felt a lot of feelings and grew a lot. I remember sitting in a hotel room (which I coincidentally have been this week as well), awash with emotion trying to understand why.

And then I knew, it had been 365 days since I changed my life.

In October 2015, I walked away from a marriage that brought me no joy and from a life that was slowly stealing my soul. I recognized and admitted that I was worthy of the life that I desired and that life was not meant to be lived in the shadows.

In October 2016, I finally began to let it all go and in doing so, began to find myself. Only a few months later, I embraced my sexuality and my life exploded with rainbows, joy and happiness.

And this year, in October 2017, I have laughed, I have smiled and I have celebrated family, love and the girl that makes my heart sing. This October I have embraced the life that I have chosen and made space only for that which deserves the honour of existing within the recesses of my heart and soul.

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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.

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.

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.

All the Time in the World

I was almost 19 when I met my ex; it was supposed to be a summer fling that turned into a 14 year relationship where I lost myself for a long time. I followed the societal ‘recipe’ for happiness: got a degree, got a job, got married, had kids and bought a house. It was  easy to just do the next thing on this list without ever considering if it was truly what I wanted. I want to believe that if I had taken the time for that reflection, perhaps I would have reconsidered at least some of those steps.

But the past is part of the journey and its brought me to a most amazing present, so I rarely dwell, but part of that ever important journey, is the lesson. I learned through my first post-separation relationship that even though the path may appear different, simply going along with what’s easy is just a variation of the same mistake that I’ve made before.

So this time, I have my eyes wide open. We talk about life and our relationship, we are honest about what we feel and where we want to go in this life, together and on our own. And the truth is, I want it all with her, but not too fast and not today. But someday. And she wants that too.

I remember one day, early in our relationship, we were discussing all the possible adventures that we could pursue and she told me ‘we have all the time in the world’ and my heart melted, just a little, because I knew I wanted all of the adventures without any of the rushing, the pressure or the need to meet some external standard.

It’s been over 9 months and we live by those words; we do what feels right to us in the moment and nothing more. And it’s the most beautiful feeling.

We spend a lot of time together, we can barely make it two days without each other and we almost always have a sleepover because there is no greater feeling than falling asleep in each others arms. We live in different cities and without question, we both know that one day we will live together, that she will come to the house that I’ve bought and together we will make it home. But when?

Every single time that we spend multiple days together, every damn day is amazing, even if its a day filled with chores and errands. Things truly are better when we are together, so after much discussion we have decided to change our someday, to a someday soon.

We’ve decided that on November 1st, the anniversary of our ‘not-date, first date’ we will take that step, she will move in and we will begin the next step of our life together. In truth, I can hardly wait for that day to come, but I’m happy that we are giving ourselves time to process, to prepare and to grow a little more on our own. More than that however, I’m confident that this time living together is what I WANT and so just like everything with her, it will be different than anything before

Mean Girls

As a young adult I remember asking my mom why I was never teased; I was always nerdy, awkward, clumsy and looking back, probably pretty sexually confused. I have definitely lost friends over the years, but have only one recollection of being teased. My mom told me that kids probably tried to tease me but I was likely busy in my own world, oblivious to those around me and therefore not worth the effort since I never solicited the right response.

I’ve always carried around this naive belief that when you are truly good to people and treat them with respect and good intentions they will at the least, attempt to return that kindness. I am an extrovert and I recharge by talking about and sharing my feelings and my experiences with those that I consider my friends and family. I will bare my soul and I will share pieces of me, if we share any sort of connection.

Foolishly, I’ve always believed that though I share them, the pages of my book are sacred and those that have seen them respect all that they contain. But I know now, that in a moment everything can change; I find myself standing here with the pages of my book fluttering in the wind for everyone to see.

It’s not the first time that I’ve lost friends but I do think its the most painful.

Maybe its because I’m an adult and I expect that the people in my life can and will act like adults, that there can be a conversation, some space and some shared understanding of how a situation can improve.

Maybe its because in a town of ~2000 people, starting over isn’t exactly easy especially when you’re a working mom who has very little free time. Making new friends when you’re rarely around is difficult at best.

Maybe its because my heart breaks every time my children ask me why they can’t go see the kids they thought they were there friends, or why I’m not friends with the mom’s anymore and I have literally no answer to give. I don’t know why.

I think its the latter that is the hardest for me; I don’t want people in my life that can’t support me in all my authentic glory, but my kids are suffering too and that hurts my soul. They miss kids they thought were their friends, shared barbecues, camping, kayak trips, laughter and smiles. This summer is nothing like their last and I can’t change that for them.

But I’m also disappointed, never in my life have I ever felt like I was truly part of a group of girls, I just never seemed to fit, until I moved here. It was an adjustment for me, to learn what it meant to be part of the crowd and then just like that, I was out.

It turns out mean girls aren’t just for Disney movies and they don’t just disappear after high school. Mean Girls become Mean Mom’s and quick as you can blink, they may turn on you when you no longer fit their mold.