I’m not like everyone else. I never will be. You could say that’s a good thing. That makes me unique. And many times I feel the same way. But then there are times, that I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. At a social event for instance – You’ll see others drinking and staying up late. You’ll find me with water in the corner, ready to turn in by nine. I wasn’t always like that, but as I find myself I realize I’m most comfortable that way. I’m a homebody. I love my animals, my safe space, the people I’m closest to. I’m simple – I’m not about presentation or what others think. What you see is what you get. Like I said – sometimes I love this about me. But other times, I find myself asking “why can’t I fit in?” I try and then feel extremely unsettled because it doesn’t align with me. Have you ever felt this way?
I’m sure we all have at one point in our lives – but truth is – there is no one right way to be. Me drinking water isn’t better than others drinking alcohol – it just is every individual being an individual. So why do I feel like others are superior to me or doing the “cool” thing? What makes that the right thing in my mind?
The closest answer I have to that question is the increased use of social media, accompanied by low self esteem. Recently I watched a documentary on Netflix entitled “The Social Dilemma”. In that documentary, they argue that with the rise of social media, people have become more depressed because they envision life a certain way. With pictures of what seems like the perfect life and filters to distort what we really look like, it is hard to convince yourself that life isn’t always perfect or one way.
We are conditioned to think we need to fit in with this image, but what does it mean to fit in? Get married, have babies, have the perfect body, and job? This is not everyone’s path…and trying to fit in with this stereotype will only force yourself out of alignment.
In the end, how is that the right thing to be doing?
I have being doing some soul searching and this is what I have discovered – at the end of the day, we aren’t meant to conform to anything.We are meant to find like-minded people to do life with. Social media depicts only a small snapshot of a person’s overall life– and that snapshot is not everyone’s path. There is no right way to do life. It’s about finding your tribe – the people that will lift you up and help you develop into your best self. You will not always be everyone’s cup of tea and that is okay. Embrace who you are, follow only those that lift you up….and do not let yourself think you are less than what someone else portrays themselves to be.
Social media can be a great thing – but do not let it determine who you are and what you stand for.
“I am gay. I am straight. I am a lesbian. I am bisexual. I am trans. I AM HUMAN.”
My story is anything but ordinary, especially when it comes to my relationships and sexual orientation.
The most common question I get is, “Did you always know you were attracted to women?” The answer is quite simple – yes, and no. 😉
Growing up, I knew I was attracted to women’s bodies but – if I’m being honest – women, frankly, were annoying to me. I am a low maintenance, fun outdoorsy type. I don’t need a lot of things to make me happy. The girls I grew up with were not like that. So to me, the thought never occurred,”Oh, maybe I could be a lesbian.” I also had the longest crush on a guy for most of my schooling, so again, my sexual orientation was never a question.
During my teenage years, while I was not aware of my own identity, I supported others who were discovering themselves and would praise friends who came out. In addition, I would occasionally check out the LGBT events, but that was about as far as that went.
Then college came. Within the second week of Freshmen year, I fell for a guy, who would later become my husband. For the first year or two, things were great. Then I found out he cheated on me with my roommate, and things were never the same after. We spent ten years in an on-again, off-again relationship (I was definitely not a saint during those years, let me make that clear).
While he grew restless with our relationship, I did as well. Even before getting married, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. In this mixed up time, I was starting to wonder about my sexuality. He found it enticing at first that I could be interested in women, so I began to explore that part of me. As our issues continued to mount, he and both realized “that part of me” grew louder – especially the more our relationship unraveled.
Fast forward to Fall 2017, I found out he cheated on me again and was browsing internet dating sites . At this point, after just having a miscarriage as well, I was mentally done and checked out of the relationship. I could not give anymore to this marriage no matter what he did to try to make it up. We began living separate lives, but we still lived together. As I described in previous posts, I overdosed on anxiety meds twice during this period of time and drank heavily to deal with the pain. It was December when I downloaded the app “Her” – a lesbian dating app. I was so annoyed at my situation and figured if he can get something from these apps, why can’t I? And a lesbian one, even better – no fucking men!
Long story short, I downloaded the app but barely used it. One – I felt guilty, and two – I wasn’t in the right place to be with anyone. On December 20th, a girl messaged me saying “hey” and asking “what I was looking for”. I think I was in one of those moods where I just didn’t care anymore so I answered and went on about my sob story. The funny thing was – she was going through an almost mirror situation. Talk about the heavens aligning.
We spent a few months talking, supporting each other as friends as we both tried to end our long-term relationships and get our lives back. The more time we spent talking, the more I realized how much I liked her. This was the first time I really felt this deep about someone since my husband – and it was a woman! At the time I was discovering my feelings for her, we never crossed that line from friends to lovers because we knew things were already dicey – but the romantic pull was strong. I liked her as a person and I was insanely attracted to her. I had a hard time comprehending this concept.
After filing for divorce, I began telling my immediate family the situation. At the time, I had no idea if things would work out between her and I, but I knew that I needed to be real with them. My brother and mom supported me wholeheartedly, but it was definitely an adjustment for them as months went on and this girl and I actually began dating. They were not used to seeing me with a female, which lead to some awkward moments to say the least. There were times I cried because I felt like if I was dating a guy it would be different. Guys and girls show affection all the time, why is it so different now that I am with a girl? I knew it would take time for everyone to adjust, so we tried to be more considerate while everyone got to know each other better. It was hard to not show how in love we were though, because – honestly – for the first time in a long time, we both were so happy. We could not hide the happiness we were feeling.
I was hoping that by the time of my mom’s wedding later that year, everyone would be more comfortable. I remember calling my Aunt in fear that my family would not accept me. She told me to calm down, that people’s views are changing and evolving. It just takes time.
By the time of the wedding, everyone had grown to love my girl and, to my surprise, my extended family was so accepting and happy for me. My mom’s cousin’s comment stands out the most – “I’m just so happy -You are happy. Your mom is happy. Mike is happy. Everyone is happy!”
Now two years later, life couldn’t be more amazing. I am still with this amazing girl and she has become a part of my family. And most importantly, I am finally at peace with myself.
So the question I’m sure everyone has on their mind, if you are “bi”, would you ever be with a guy again? The answer is “no”.
The reason? It has nothing to do with my orientation and everything to do with me finding “my person”.
When you find yourself, you know when you have found the right person for you….whether you are gay, straight, bi, queer, lesbian, trans, etc. – you will know. That person will signal those heart strings that say “GAME OVER” and sexual orientation will mean nothing -“I am gay. I am straight. I am a lesbian. I am bisexual. I am trans. I AM HUMAN” just like you.