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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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.

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.

Live in the Now

In six days, I will officially be divorced.

I know that its just a piece of paper, and the only thing it gives me (that my separation agreement didn’t) was the ability re-marry, which is currently not on my agenda; yet it feels monumental. Never again will I have to tick a box that says I’m separated from a man I don’t want in my life. I will be divorced.

Coincidentally, this weekend I felt my mindset shift and my thought patterns change. I no longer want to look at my life in comparison to the reality that didn’t serve me; that life and those memories, though important, do not define the life I live now. They do not deserve to be the yardstick by which I measure the success of my life, the bounty of my my happiness or the depth of my love.

I feel things now, that I never dreamed were possible and they are beautiful and perfect in their own right, and I shall respect them as such. I had a moment of clarity this weekend, my hands literally digging in the earth, I felt myself reset.  I realized that in order to clear the space I need to feel the feelings of my life and continue to grow, to thrive and be free, it is time to stop comparing my reality to my past.

It is time to simply live in the now.

Unsurprisingly Gay

Not for the first time, someone asked me recently if I was surprised, in the context of a conversation about my girlfriend.

Am I surprised that I have a girlfriend? No.
Am I surprised that I’m gay? No.

So obviously, regardless of what exactly she was trying to ask me, the answer was no; I tried to casually explain that it was more of a personal acceptance thing and she couldn’t seem to help but prod a little deeper, asking me if I had a feeling, when I left my ex-husband “that was the way it would go”?

And although I answered her and I laughed (a lot) about the whole conversation later, I can’t help but wonder why anyone would feel that asking me about the state of my sexuality, when I walking away from a 14 year relationship, would be appropriate.

This woman is not my friend, she is an acquaintance at best; she too is divorced and has a much younger fiance but I can’t imagine asking her if she had a feeling she might date a younger man when she was leaving her husband.

In another, unrelated, conversation with someone else it was suggested that perhaps I was bisexual, immediately after I explained I had no desire to date men. I assured her, that although I had believed I was bisexual for many years, it is simply not the case.

Again, I can’t help but wonder why she felt that was an appropriate comment and what she thought she was adding to the conversation. Did she imagine I’d never heard of bisexuals or that in accepting that I was gay I hadn’t put significant thought  into what that meant?

I am honest to a fault and I am an open book to just about anyone who is brave enough to ask me the questions to which they desire answers. And so I will continue to have these conversations as they present themselves and I hope that speaking my truth will help, at least a few people, understand. Although I was married to a man for a long time, it was not a surprise to me, that I am gay. I did not wake up one morning and simply discover a rainbow filled world.

For years I told myself that I didn’t discriminate and that I was attracted to people regardless of gender. I told myself that even though the intimacy and connection that I could find with a woman alluded me in all of my heterosexual relationships, I couldn’t be a lesbian because I didn’t hate traditional sex.

I had to work through those misconceptions and I had to understand and accept my own desires. My sexuality belongs to me and accepting that I’m gay didn’t surprise me at all; what has surprised me however, was how much accepting my gay has empowered me.

via Daily Prompt: Acceptance

Owning It

Recently, I commented that when I ended my relationship with my ex-husband, he wanted to go to counselling to try and fix things, but I refused. My girlfriend replied simply, you can’t ‘fix’ gay and we both laughed.

But she’s absolutely right, I was square peg trying to fit in a round hole. Trying to make the life I thought I was supposed to want fulfill and satisfy me in a way it never could. But that’s not why I left, there were many facets of my marriage that should have prompted me to leave before I did, and sadly, I’m not sure exploring my sexuality even makes the list.

It’s taken me a long time to accept that I am a lesbian, even though in my heart, I’ve probably always known. I’ve been attracted to women as long as I can remember, I just never stopped to question whether I was truly attracted to men. I’ve come to realize that my willingness to accept a man in my life, was the very thing that was keeping me from accepting that I was gay.

I recently read a blog post that stated your sexual history does not diminish your sexuality and all day long, those words ran through my mind. Until only a few months ago, I had been the one allowing my sexual history to prevent me from moving forward, from being free and most of all, from embracing and celebrating that I am gay.

But now that I’ve accepted it, I’m owning it like nobody’s business. I’m not all rainbows and unicorns, but I’m not hiding either. I put pictures of my girlfriend up at work and when coworkers and acquaintances ask about my weekend, you can bet I mention her too.

I will not be defined by my past (by myself or by anyone else) because I am not that girl anymore; THIS girl is gay and gives exactly zero fucks if you approve.

I don’t want YOUR dream

I had ‘the dream’, all the things we are ‘supposed’ to want in life: a husband, two kids, a house, a dog, a car, a truck, a mini van, a trailer, a good job and enough disposable income to purchase whatever I wanted (within reason). On paper, I couldn’t ask for more, but in reality, I was flailing.

It turns out, that ‘the dream’ that is embedded into modern society wasn’t my dream at all. It didn’t fill me with love and light and happiness, it didn’t give me pride and strength and joy. Instead, each day I awoke, simply existing, going through the motions of life, attempting to thrive in a world that was not my own.

The other day my friend sent me two photos that I’ve looked at many times, but I’m not sure I’d ever really seen. They were selfies, Facebook profile photos, one taken recently and the other from a few years ago (when I was still married). She sent me the photos, side by side with a simple ‘Buddy, look at the difference‘.

When prodded, she told me, ‘You looked miserable before. Your eyes aren’t smiling, you look tired and your smile is half assed.’ And she’s absolutely right; a few years ago that was a good picture and a good day, but the woman in that photo is but a shadow of who I am now.

Now, my photos show a woman who is alive with joy, confidence and happiness and as I cheekily told my friend, ‘being gay and happy is working out so much better for me.