Obviously ‘Out’

I recently received a message that included reference to me being ‘obviously out’ (in a totally positive way) and it made me realize how not only my sexuality, but also my perspective, has changed over the past year. Once, I worried that someone would notice my longing gazes were directed at women, but today I find myself grinning when a stranger can identify that I’m gay (especially when my girlfriend isn’t by my side). In no way do I need the validation of strangers or society, but to me, their acknowledgement tells me that my that my exterior is finally a true reflection of who I am on the inside.

I’ve only been ‘out’ for a short time and I still remember feeling cautious, unsure what it would mean to truly feel the feelings that I had. I worried about being judged and becoming a topic of small town gossip. And I even worried that the societal perception that I had a shitty ex-husband and was ‘off men for a while’ might be true (to be clear, its definitely not). I spent a lot time in my head trying to understand what the implications would be if I was gay, if I was out and if people knew that it was women, and not men, that I was attracted to. I think at some level I was simply afraid that my life would be harder if I was gay.

And the truth is, in some ways my life probably is harder, but without question, it’s also happier. I’ll take hard and happy over easy and miserable every single day of the week, and I guess in a sense, we do. My girlfriend and I live in a small mining town, and although I wouldn’t consider everyone in our town inclusive and accepting, there certainly is a subset of the population that are. Since my girlfriend moved in 7 months ago she’s continually amazed how many people know who she is and what our situation is. People know her name, my name, my kids name and the days they are at their dad’s and they have no problem bringing it up and that’s just our reality.

The truth is, it matters a lot less what others think than I ever expected. Perhaps for the first time in my life, my heart is guiding my path and my journey and that gives me the strength to dismiss those that are not worthy of my time or energy.

Today, the happy I’ve earned by being me, far outweighs the fear I had when I felt scared and alone. Never in my wildest dreams could I have anticipated how freeing it would feel to unravel my grip on the life society told me to strive for and instead allow my fingertips to waver in the wind of my soul.

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I am home.

For the past three nights, I’ve been away for work.

For three nights, I’ve missed the sound of her breathing and the weight of her head on my chest as I’ve drifted to sleep.

For three mornings, I’ve rolled over only to discover that she isn’t there to snuggle as my body awakens for a new day.

For three days, I’ve missed her in ways I never knew possible.

When I hear the door open, I spin, soapy hands outreached and a grin on my face as she rushes towards me. I jump as she lifts and in an instant, all is well with the world.

We are wrapped up in each other, smiling like giddy school girls as we kiss, again and again, trying to make up for three days in a single moment.

I am so happy to be home.

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.

by the Lake

my body sighs,
letting  go,
and drawing in,
tranquility.

soft earth beneath my feet
grounding me,
connecting me,
balance.

Ripples catch my eye,
growing,
spreading,
fading away.

My mind wanders,
but my heart remains true
always seeking,
home.