Confession #15

I recently started watching The Real L Word… I know, I know some of you are rolling your eyes like I’m way behind.

Anyway at the end of the last episode of Season One Tracy is struggling with her mom understanding and accepting her sexuality and lifestyle. She shares her struggle the entire season and then ends with this note…

It’s not about choosing Stamie or mom.

It’s choosing me.

That was the moment I realized it’s about choosing me.”

That hit me hard, deep inside my soul. This journey forward isn’t just about my relationship or relationships or even about my mom or the public’s reaction or whomever…. It’s about me. It’s about finally choosing myself and saying I need to find my whole self, my voice, and my strength.

You can say that’s what you are doing all you want, but until you wrap your heartbeat around the words you really don’t feel the impact of it. All night last night I was rolling that around in my head… “It’s choosing me. That was the moment I realized it’s about choosing me.” And that doesn’t mean the rest of it doesn’t matter, because it does. There is so much value in all of the wonderful things and people and relationships and the love in my life. But this journey is about me first. Because when I’m whole I can give to those around me fully.

This morning when searching for where I somehow left all my watches (who normally sit in the same place on my dresser) I found a mini eight ball from a party several years back. I kept it believing it was too cute to throw away but this morning it posed a different reality for me. I brought it to work and have been staring at it ever since.

This process, finding my voice and my footing in this new world, is me taking a chance on myself. I’m shaking the eight ball and I won’t stop until I get the right answer. I may hit a few answers that come up “no” along the way and maybe some “ask again when I’m ready” type of answers, but I can’t stop. I have to keep asking, keep shaking, and keep searching.

I don’t take enough chances. I settle down where I’m comfortable and lock myself there. But the funny thing about walls and locked doors is that you are captive of your own creation. You paralyze yourself from growing, from becoming more. I always settle for less by settling for what’s comfortable. It’s why I’m where I am, slowing chiseling down the walls that are surrounded by bigger walls, that are locked in by concrete. I’ve built a mansion of protection for myself but I’ve let few to no visitors inside. The loneliness echo’s through the emptiness I have created over the years of settling, suppressing, and fearing the outside world.

But I can’t stand being alive only inside my own mansion of fake comfort. It’s a mirage I’ve allowed others to fall for… I’ve let myself fall for. I’m not happy, I’m not satisfied, and frankly I’m not even content. I’m merely surviving. And I can’t call others to be more while I settle to be less.

Today’s confession is: I’m taking a chance on myself and with every confession I feel another wall coming down. It may take time to get through this barren house but I’ll bring a wrecking ball if I have to. I am more than the emptiness I have created. I don’t have to settle with only filling others. I’m choosing me and no matter where I go from here with that heartbeat in mind I cannot fail. Through choosing me my relationships will get stronger, my voice will hold more volume, and my heart will be healthier. I’m choosing me today…  I hope you choose you too.

Confession #14

There’s this moment that happens… these days it happens more and more.

I can be standing in a room full of people, fully focused on something completely different and my hands will start to sweat. I’ll feel this moment creeping into my veins, pressing itself into my thoughts, and will ultimate block out any other moment happening around me. My heart pounds so loud that it echo’s in my ears, often times I look around hoping no one can hear the clamoring.

This moment, the one that happens without warning, is what a lot of people call panic. For me I know it as the moment I feel claustrophobic inside the well-designed closet I’ve found myself accustom to. It happens when people ask me when I’ll settle down which is both because A) I know they are asking me about settling down with a man which sounds like death wrapped up in a migraine served with a side of prison time. And B) because I am terrified of talking about the future. I don’t know why, it’s not my most flattering feature but I think it has to do with the fact I’ve never seen a relationship function properly long term… I’ve seen them blow up, I’ve seen them fake it, and I’ve seen them get by… but I don’t call any of that functioning. Plus I’m a closest romantic stuck with commit-a-phobic tendencies. I’m a ticking bomb waiting to happen. I run and I hide and very rarely play fair.

The claustrophobic head spins happen in less controlled situations as well. Like when I’m in the middle of teaching and while I’m physically saying a sentence with my voice, a different voice inside my head haunts me with a question of, “will they still listen when they know all of me?”  It plagues my very core. Sometimes it takes several moments to know where I am in a message and to get back on track. Every time I’m scared someone notices, but no one has ever said anything to me.

Sometimes I can be in the middle of hearing about my sister’s relationship successes and I’ll start to feel the air leave the room. I’ll chock wondering if anyone else feels the oxygen draining around us but I realize it’s my chest that has tightened not hers. I think this happens because she is brave and I’m a coward. In everything she does, regardless of the responses or repercussions or even feelings of others she plows forward and gives everything she has.  I care too much… I care about the hearts of others, I care about their needs from me, I care about how they will feel, I care if I hurt them. She isn’t vulgar and she isn’t cruel… she’s just brave and I am a much weaker animal.

A shrink would tell me it’s panic; I just call it my daytime nightmare. It’s my inability to be fully me and I’m terrified everyone knows I’m only partially present. I’m not fake I’m just absent of full emotional participation. My compassion, my aspirations, my joys, and my heartbeat for people is real. Vibrantly real. It is the most important part of me; it is my livelihood and my greatest need… to love others… to let them know they are needed and wanted and cared for. But while I ask them to invest fully I keep parts of me back; the part of me that deeply and passionately love women and the one that has known since I was thirteen that the reality of marrying a man wasn’t one… it was a mirage of pretending I could pull it off. I can only partially invest, but I hypocritically ask them to fully engage.

Today’s confession is my wholeness is what I desire more than anything and what I fear even more than that. I’ve lived partially for so long that I keep wondering who am I really as a whole person? If I become whole will that cause people in relationships with me to have to be less… because I have been less in the past? How will my wholeness affect our oneness? I am scared of finding my wholeness, but I am incapable of stopping the search now. Today’s confession is it scares me how little control I have over my need to seek this out….

Confession #13

I kissed two girls in middle school.

I know… bad ass right? Just kidding…

The first one I’ve talked about, it was that four year running affair that wasn’t spoken about. But there was another night where I again out of the blue decided why not just kiss a straight girl when I’m already struggling to keep my identity a secret.

I just kissed her. Out of nowhere. We never talked about it again. Two years later she moved.

There was only one person in my life who actually knew about it, knew about everything. And I knew she knew but her and I never talked about it. Not once. And we never can again.

You see I lucked out….one of my sisters was very close in age to me and we shared the same friends. She knew about my affair even only in part and she knew about that kiss… how do I know that? Because girls talk and I kissed her best friend. But she never said anything to me and I never asked just in case that 0.01% chance actually happened and her best friend stayed mute.

These days all I want to do is talk to her, it’d be so much easier just to bring it to light. But I can’t. I talk to the air and to my memories but that’s all I get now… memories and wishes that I’d of spoken sooner. You see the sad reality I live in every day is that my sister died… a few years ago now and it’s been horrifying to walk through. I don’t really think the missing of a sibling gets better or less painful… I think the gap of time just allows it to be more manageable, but never better. And the more I share my secrets the more I wish I had shared them with her…with the person who always, already knew.

I’ve been avoiding talking about my sister, I’m just not sure why. I think it’s because it adds a heart load of pain to a lot of questions. I think it’s also because deep inside me I always knew she knew and she constantly loved me regardless. Why didn’t I just say it? One word, one hand reach outward…anything.

This is another reason, among so many that keep piling up, of why I need to grow my voice. I understand in the most painful of ways the fragility of life. I know that in just a split second you get a phone call that changes your whole world. I understand that I can’t promise I’ll be here tomorrow to anyone but I can promise to give everything I have today. And I wasn’t doing that before, I was giving what I had the courage to give and nothing more. I was hiding like a coward but I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to continue to grow strength in my legs as I shakily stand up for the first time.

Today’s confession is life is very short and very fragile. And I’m scared if I don’t start speaking and start growing I’ll die a mute…that my sister’s death will somehow stand for nothing more than pain and not a reality check. Her life was far too much for her death to mean so little to me. I need to live my life as fully and as richly as I possibly can. I need to start taking chances and start making changes. I need to thrive to be successful in things I love and not in the things that continue to increase my paycheck and my numbness to life. Today’s confession is… I’m going to really need to continue these confessions… I have so much more to say and so much more to give.