My evolution of Christmas

Four years ago, I was preparing for a Christmas of chaos. I had three families to coordinate, my own husband and children, my parents, siblings and children and my (now very ex) husbands mother, sister and children. I had presents to buy, presents to wrap and most importantly time to allocate between three homes that exist approximately two hours apart, collectively ending up  four hours from home.

In my mind, the years of Christmas chaos begin to blend and I struggle to remember the specifics of each, but I remember feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, guilty and so exhausted.

Three years ago, I was preparing for a Christmas unlike any I had ever known. I was alone, I was sad and I cried many tears. I had friends to pick me up, to keep me busy and to share their joy, but it was hard. However, when I finally gathered with my family and my children again, I felt a freedom I’d never known. Like the anchor I had been dragging behind me had finally been left behind.

Last year, I was surrounded (in my tiny townhouse) with my family; together with my children and my parents we celebrated Christmas in a whole new way. It was small, it was personal and I loved it. When my children went to see their Dad and his family, I spent a week with the most amazing girl, someone whom I couldn’t deny my feelings for and discovered that after a week together the only thing I wanted, was more.

This year, she is part of the family. Together we setup the Christmas tree, we listen to Christmas carols and we bake (gluten free) goodies. Together, we wrote Christmas cards, we bought presents, we hide the damn elf and we wrap the seemingly endless presents. We will have our own Christmas day and then pick up my boys and make the way to my family to celebrate Christmas all together with the family.

This year, I’m excited to see what Christmas will bring; together our idea of Christmas is evolving by the day and I’ve never seen anything quite so beautiful.

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So homo

I love that my girlfriend has helped me embrace the humour of gay stereotypes. Last week, I pulled up in my lifted truck, wearing my flannel and listening to loud pop music and I had to giggle as she smiled while announcing I was ‘so homo’.

The first time I heard her say something was ‘so gay’, ‘so homo’ or ‘gayer than us’ I was surprised and a little bit confused. Was it ok to say that? Ok to laugh? I’ve come to realize that its all about the intent.

As gay women, we may be walking a fine line by using words that historically have had negative connotations, but its our choice to own them. It is our perogative to find joy and humour in societies perceptions. The truth is, as individuals and as a couple, we DO fit some gay stereotypes and that’s OK.

We are living our truth, being ourselves and finding our unique brand of happy and that includes embracing our sexuality and our place within a world that is evolving in its acceptance of those that don’t meet traditional expectations.

So when my girlfriend tells me my body language screams gay, I wear that label with pride and a smile on my face, because it turns out, I am in fact, ‘so homo’.

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.

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.