I recently was called vapid and self involved on the Facebook page for the queer site that syndicates me once a week. They had posted a link to my most recent post and she made her statement in the comments below. I wanted to hold my breath and move on, however I decided to respond. I apologized that I wasn’t talking about the state of the economy, the never-ending war, the housing crisis, politics or the gmo foods we consume without concern. My blog is merely a trail map of my own personal journey.
Re-coming out was, in many ways, more difficult for me psychologically than coming out as Bi as a teen or realizing, in my early 20’s, that I was only attracted to women, subsequently then coming out as a lesbian. I don’t feel like I went back in. I never had issues being a lesbian. Perhaps because I am blessed to be a slim attractive feminine woman in a society that smiles upon that, I never suffered the injustices that some other lesbians have. I didn’t choose to love heels, makeup, long hair, and dresses… it would just be incredibly disingenuous for me to be anyone other than this. One winter I was going through a hard time and opted to go off the grid a bit so I delivered and stacked firewood for the owner of a small composting company. It was all cash under the table and incredibly hard work. A cord of wood is a LOT more than you think, when you have to carry it to a pile and stack it. Some days there were 4 or 5 jobs like this. My point is, my “work boots” had huge thick 2.5″ heels. I wore my hair in pigtail braids and put on mascara and lip gloss at the beginning of my day. It is who I am. I wasn’t a girly girl as a child, nor as a teen, but somewhere in my early 20’s things shifted and I began to find myself.
My journey into self hasn’t been smooth. I have dealt with a lifetime of anxiety issues from growing up in a family of insanity. I had anger management issues in my teens and 20’s. I suffer from a mild case of body dysmorphia from childhood obesity. Fleeting depression, chronic disorganization resulting in my often sabotaging projects, jobs or relationships, and the myriad of insecurities that just come with being an emotional human being. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? It isn’t though. I’m thankful for being the glorious mess I have been, because it has allowed me to better know myself, to be stronger, to try harder, to find determination in unforseen circumstances, and to run blindly into experience, reminding myself to breathe often, to stop long enough to feel what it is I am experiencing, to remember that I am blessed for having experienced it. The good and the bad. The bad sucks, indeed, but that bad makes the good so glorious. The bad makes me appreciate the 3 hours spent on Type Geeks lap watching South Park and Mad Men, drinking port. The bad makes me appreciate the smell of my dogs paws (it really is a mix of all the grossness that they step in that makes them smell like popcorn, isn’t it?! eww). The bad makes me appreciate the sensation of a piece of smoked sea salt dissolving on my tongue, the aroma of roasted brussel sprouts with truffle oil, a long hot shower and friends that make you laugh til it pains you and then you laugh more, because you just can’t stop.
So, into all of our lives things bad things happen. Some of us are in foreclosure, some are facing homelessness, or are homeless, some are sick, and some will get better, some feel all alone even when surrounded by a room full of “friends and family”. This is life. However, remember that life is also the wag of a dog’s tail, the glint in a 2 year old’s eye from across a bus or subway train, the way the chocolate feels as it melts in your mouth, the sound of autumn leaves under foot and .. one of my personal favorites, when the temperatures drop so drastically during a snow shower that the top layer is frozen crisp, as if the world is a giant creme brulee. I block out the world and I crunch crunch crunch down the street, through the grass, while cracking the higher crust with my fingers. I love it. I do.
Find the small things you love and be thankful for them. They make the big things, which you don’t love, diminish in size. Happy Thanksgiving.