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.

Terrible Girlfriend

I am a terrible girlfriend; not really, but I have my moments.

Yesterday after very long days for both of us, my girlfriend and I arrived at my house within minutes of each other. I had been out of town, driven 4.5 hours and was literally bursting with excitement to see her. We embraced, we kissed, we reveled in each others presence and began to let the weight of our days dissipate.

We fell into an easy rhythm as we chatted and eventually wiggled our way (not so gracefully) into the hammock where we could snuggle and reconnect. As we rubbed our faces against each other like cats, we began to find our balance and that familiar feeling of home.

As we swayed, she pointed at her lips and with a small smile told me that she’d lost her lip ring; I blushed, embarrassed that I’d been so wrapped up in my feelings and our shared energy that I  hadn’t seen something right in front of me.

Had I not looked at her in the half an hour we’d been together?

It seemed so obvious now that she had pointed it out. And her kisses did feel different, not better, not worse, just different. What kind of partner doesn’t notice a missing facial piercing? I apologized for being a terrible girlfriend, for not noticing something right before my eyes and as always, her response was perfect.

It’s OK baby, I know you see the inside me more than the outside me.

Then she smiled and she kissed me and I just knew that she understood. She is so much more to me than the body that houses her soul.

Touch

The words slipped between my lips, practically whispered, as I gazed at her longingly; I really want to kiss you, but I lack self restraint. As the last syllable escaped, her lips were on mine, soft, tender and embedded with lust. In that moment, the passion we shared for each other was so pure that time ceased to exist.

All there was, in that moment, was her.  Her scent, her taste, her touch, her beautiful eyes looking in mine and the softest sounds that wouldn’t be contained. My senses felt awakened and although we had reached before, I know that in that moment, our souls touched and our worlds shifted. Hours later, I would peel myself (fully clothed) off of her, the wanting and desire pulsing through my body as she said good night.

She asked me today, why I felt so strongly (at the time) that we should wait.

I was afraid, not that I could love her, but that an evening of lust could somehow taint the potential for a love like no other. I knew that we could be something special, that we who were so aligned in values, in life and in dreams had the potential to be everything I never dreamed of. In my life, I have chased lust and though the moments are lovely, it has never made my heart sing. And I was so fearful that chasing lust might ruin all the hopes I had for something beautiful with her.

My girlfriend responded simply, I was waiting for you, we weren’t going to ruin anything. And I’m sure she’s right, but in life we need to learn our own lessons, we need to live our own experiences and we need to find our own certainties. And I needed us to wait.

Now, I need her touch.

Only once, have I felt like our communication was stilted, like perhaps she was misunderstanding me, or I her. We’d been together all day, but around people and in public. We were in the shower, washing the day away when she reached for me, with both hands on my face she kissed me, deeply and passionately and when we pulled apart we both smiled coyly as she stated so simply that’s what we neededI haven’t been able to to do that all day. 

And she was right, with one touch, one moment of shared intimacy, everything was right with the world again.

Friendship and Affirmation

My mom always told me that people come into your life when you need them, and sometimes they leave when the experiences you were meant to share have passed. She also told me that the friends worth keeping are the ones that can be absent for years, but when you connect, everything feels the same. She is a wise woman in this respect and I take her advice very seriously.

Lately I’ve been working on letting people go; people who feel I’m too much or perhaps aren’t supportive of the place where my journey is taking me. There have been tears, emotions and an utter lack of clarity, but through it all I have embraced my authentic self and stood proud. I’ve extended olive branches and I’ve tried to bring back friendships that were once strong, but everything is different now.

I AM different now, because I appreciate and honor all that I am.

I am a hard working woman who provides for her family and strives to raise boys that respect not only themselves, but those around them.

I am a responsible, independent woman who owns a house, tows her trailer and knows her way around a budget.

I am gay and completely, ridiculously, head over heels in love with the most amazing woman and I don’t care who knows it.

Anyone who doesn’t respect and honour all of that doesn’t deserve my energy or my time; I am a strong woman and I will never again change for someone else.

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with a few old friends, people I haven’t seen (or stayed well connected with) in over 10 years and when I saw them, I could feel my heart flutter with happiness and joy.

THESE are MY PEOPLE.

And they love me (and I them), despite a distance of years, just the same as they did the last time I saw them. And the most beautifully affirming thing happened while in their presence, they told me (unprompted and not in the presence of each other) that my authenticity and sense of self was just as they remembered it.

They both said I had barely changed.

I know that’s not true but it re-affirms that I’m on the right path. I’m not creating a new version of myself, I’m rediscovering and redefining the girl that I used to be and the woman I was always meant to be.

I was lost for a long time, but now I’m found.

Today

Today, my boys let us sleep in for an hour and a half, because they were making surprises for us. We woke up to happy camaraderie and beautiful gifts. A hand drawn stick man family that made my heart swell with love and gratitude, a small handmade comic and a batman cutout.  Today, my boys showed us their love.

This weekend, I feel like we leveled up. In a moment when I couldn’t, I watched her interact with my boy, just as I would have; with love and honesty and a bit of toughness. We shared shy smiles of happiness as we dreamed of our shared future. I watched her solve a conundrum, and in her actions I could feel her feet so firmly planted inside the circus ring. Today, quite simply, felt like family.

Today, felt special, extraordinary and ordinary in the exact right way. Together, we relaxed and then together we prepared for our day in a way that flowed so naturally, so easily and so efficiently. Today, it was the little things reminding me that balance exists in our connection; our energy is shared yet remains unique.

This weekend, I had moments, when I needed her. She held me in her arms and stroked my hair as I felt the feelings and let things (that no longer served me) go. She found me  a moment of solace amidst a windstorm of chaos and today, I felt all the love for my boys, for my girl and for the adventure that we are embarking on.

Today, my future feels so fucking bright.

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.

Being Strong

There is a vulnerability that comes with being strong; it stems from an expectation (likely of ourselves) that we don’t need anyone’s help. That we can walk away from everyone and anyone at any time without consequence. Yes, we can make a choice to change our lives, but its never easy. Change is wrought with emotions and often we carry that burden alone.

In my life, I suspect there will never be a harder decision to make than the day I told my ex-husband that I couldn’t do it anymore, that I couldn’t be his wife, that I simply couldn’t be this person that I was ‘supposed’ to be anymore. And with love and support from the people in my life, I stood tall and I stood strong as I walked away from everything I had known and took a chance on me.

After that, life should be easy.

But its never that simple. Being confident, being strong and being me feels so good, but there will always be casualties of change. People, places and things in my life may shift but I’m learning to let those things go, because being strong doesn’t mean that I need to have everything figured out.

Being strong means staying true to my heart, to my values and to my soul.
Being strong means knowing my own priorities and not being led astray.
Being strong means being brave enough to dream and a willingness to sacrifice to get there.
Being strong means knowing when I can’t do it alone and asking for help.
But most of all, being strong means knowing when to let go.