New Years Resolutions

So, I’m just going to admit upfront that I am on my third glass of wine as I write the first draft of this. I’ll probably end up posting it tipsy as well, so here goes. After making myself cry about my life over Pinot Grigio and listening to “Sex” by the 1975 and “Fantasy” by MS MR, I think I need some life reevaluation. So with only a week or so left until 2015, I want to start a working list of new years resolutions.
1. Stop falling for straight girls. It is just painful for all involved parties. It is not their fault for not loving me back, I probably could not love a man the same way, so I get it. Also, I am not inherently flawed because they do not love me back. As cheesy as it fucking is, someone out there is going to love me for exactly who I am. I just might take a bit and I have to be patient.
2. I recently heard Taylor Swift talking in an interview about how she stopped chasing love and put that same energy into her work, friends and family, and it changed her life. Love is not meant to be molded and chased, it just happens. I need to focus on all the amazing things happening in my life. I have come pretty fucking far in that past two years. Not just with sexuality (which has been a major improvement) but in growing up and being more free. I need to appreciate that and expand on it.
3. I want to do more things that scare me. I guess I’ve been having a bit of a quarter-life crisis as my 20th birthday approaches. I know 20 is still veryyyy young but it scares me. I can remember on my 10th birthday not being able to imagine being 20. Likewise I am the same distance from 10 as I am to 30! I want to be able to look back at things I did and say “I least I tried” rather than “What if I did try?” I have had social anxiety for a couple years now and even though I have it mostly under check it sneaks back up. So at least once every two weeks I just want to go for it. I’ll start with:
• March your ass into the LGBT center and sign up for those panels. Talk to some people and make friends here. It will mostly likely change college for the better.
• Grow a vagina and ask Maggie if she is gay or not. She has been sending mixed signals for months. Either she’s gay/bi/queer+ and you ask her the fuck out or she’s not and you hopefully stay friends. If she’s weirded out, that’s on her not you.
• Make that sorority thing happen. Don’t let the fear of possible, yet improbable, issues with your sexuality stop you. If it becomes an issue that is their fault, not yours.
• Stop hesitating when stating your sexuality. If it was about to come out of your mouth during conversation, then it was probably a good time to say it. Its 2015, most people in your age bracket are pretty accepting.
4. TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE. My thoughts are important, but no more or less than someone else’s.
5. Stop changing your personality to fit the person you are talking to. Like what you like and keep your values close.
6. Remember how lucky you are and how wonderful your life truly is.
I want to make I video diary of 2015, my 20th year. Every time I’m having an “infinite moment” (see Perks of Being a Wallflower) I want to take a quick video on my iPhone of what is going on. Once a year’s worth of video is taken, I will compile it and set it to “Talking Dreams” by Echosmith. I think we often forget about all the little moments that contribute to our happiness.

CHEERS TO 2015

Melancholy

Unrequited Love.

The hardest part about loving a girl who can never love you back is that I will never get to show her all that we could have been…

We could have lied in my narrow little twin bed, piled high with soft red pillows and worn blankets from my toddler-hood. Her warm smooth skin pressed up against mine. I would lay there and watch her back move up and down with each peaceful breath she took. Closing my eyes to listen to the quiet hush of breath whizzing in and out. I would reach out my fingers and lightly trace circles up her spine, fingers barely fluttering oh so gently against her sun-soaked skin. When my rough fingertips reached the back of her neck, I would gently heft aside her golden, light, waved hair. And place my lips against the nape of her neck. Her breathing will change suddenly with intake of breath. She will roll over to face me in a rustle of moving sheets and re positioning limbs. Her soft brown eyes framed by long blonde eyelashes will flick around my face from lips to cheeks and forehead until they fall on my blue eyes. The corners of her light pink lips will curl up so so slightly. Her hand will seek the one that was just on her back. Her long slender fingertips will ghost over my open palm until she laces our fingers together. We will tightly hold onto each others hand and she will nestle her face into the space between my shoulder and neck. Gradually, her breathing will begin it’s soft rhythm again and her warm breath will tickle my neck, and I will stare up at the ceiling and smile.

I will be in our tiny little kitchen, cooking dinner, and counting down the minutes until she gets home from work. My heart flutters a little bit every time I think I hear the door. I put my ipod on shuffle and plug it into the little blue speakers on the counter. We keep small speakers in every room because life should be lived to music. I go about the kitchen stirring things and tidying up. My favorite song comes on and I start to sing. A hum at first turning into something so loud the neighbors can probably hear. I wiggle around, my version of dancing, and bob my head while I smile. I’m scrubbing a pot from last night’s dinner, bubbles flying everywhere, when I feel slim arms wrap around my waist. My chest constricts for a moment of panic until I hear her familiar laugh. She whirls me around and my wet, soapy hands grasp at her forest-green sweater. She reaches up to take out the hair band that is containing her light wispy curls. She shakes them out and begins to drag me around the tiny old kitchen. We dance like idiots, jumping up and down and taking turns twirling each other. We scream out the upbeat lyrics to each other, off-key and breathless. We are laughing too hard to get the words out anymore so I stop mid twirl and pull her into an embrace. My head fits perfectly right under hers if I duck just the tiniest bit. I breath in her smell, so distinct and calming. This is my home.

I would leave her little sticky notes all over our house, one on the bathroom mirror, one stuck to the carton of orange juice, one sticking out of her boots by the door. Each one telling her all of the little ways I love her.
How her messy bun always has the right amount of curly tendrils framing her face.
How I love to watch her analyze a situation, eyes shifting back and forth, lips ever-so-slightly bunching up to the side and eyebrows lowering.
How her soft brown eyes literally get a sparkle in them when she listens to Foster the People.
How she puts her outfits together like costumes, every day is an opportunity to be a new person.
How she doesn’t give a damn what others think of her and is so so strong.
How at the same time she is vulnerable about little things and that in itself is beautiful.
How her laugh causes her eyes to scrunch close and her whole body to throw itself back with force.
How there is no way to put into writing how beautiful she really is and how incredibly blessed I am to call her mine.

But I don’t get this life. We will never be this. Because she likes boys, and I do not. She can never love me like this. So I will have to watch as she flirts with those boys, sitting quietly on the sidelines, breaking. I will try to quickly swipe away my rogue tears so she doesn’t see them and then I will smile like all is well. But it’s not. She will move on to others and there is not a damn thing in this world that I can do about it. Those sleepy mornings and sweet memories will become more impossible as each day goes by, slowly slipping out of my grasp. My eyes will linger on her in such reverence and awe and she can never even know how much I truly loved her.
This is what it feels like to love a straight girl.
This is what it feels like to ache.

Coming home for the summer

Family life has always been a mixed bag for me. I am very lucky to have both my parents and and siblings who love me dearly. I have so much to be thankful for. But it it isn’t always perfect. With my dad, I grew up often feeling like the second best child because my sister was absolutely perfect. She was prettier, has wonderful grades, and is gifted at sports. My dad was/still is obsessed with her sports career and lets her get away with murder because of it. She is literally Daddy’s princess. My mom and I also butt heads because we both have very strong and stubborn personalities. It was mostly the usual mother-daughter bickering until my senior year of high school. She had elective weight loss surgery, which was great, however she didn’t take care of herself in recovery which caused a two-month recovery time to turn into about six or seven. So during my senior year I went to school, worked at a pizza joint, grocery shopped, cooked dinner, drove my siblings to all their practices, did laundry and took care of my mom. I love my mother and want her to be happy but I definitely felt and still feel very bitter about having to essentially become the mom in our family. So when college finally came I was so incredibly happy to get a break.

I love college. I am only responsible for myself and don’t have to worry about anyone else. I sleep when I want, I stay out as late as I want, I eat what I want, and I clean when I want. Also, at school my sexuality is somewhat common knowledge and all the girls I lived with knew. Nbd. I wasn’t on guard much.

Now that I am home I feel suffocated. I was homesick and wanted to come home and see my family and friends. However, I forgot how trapped I once felt. For one my friends and I are constantly working. I work 50 hour weeks at a local amusement park. So even when I don’t work I hardly see them because either I’m exhausted or they are working. Now I am just always with my family and I am already so done.

Besides dealing with all the stuff I used to have to deal with, I now deal with sexuality more. To the family members that still don’t know, I am walking on eggshells. “No, I don’t have a boyfriend and no there are no guys I am interested in.” Unfortunately those who still don’t know don’t know because they have made their anti-gay feelings very clear in the past.

My mom has been the toughest part though. She always says she supports me and my “decision” but I simply don’t feel it. She urged me not to tell anyone at work about my sexuality because people wouldn’t understand and would be mean. She asks if there is any way that I might like boys because how would I know if I never had a boyfriend or girlfriend? I try explaining that I don’t need that kind of evidence and that I know I’m gay because of how I feel. But she just doesn’t get it. All I want to say is “well how do you you know you aren’t gay if you have never had a girlfriend?” The answer is simple. You. Just. Know.  She asks me how I can have a normal wedding if I marry a girl. Today was particularly bad. I had manged to get her to watch a twenty minute episode of Faking It with me. I really relate to the feelings of confusion and unrequited love in the show and thought it could be a good starting point in conversation. However, when the non-racy kissing scene came (which I find very sweet) she covered her eyes and exclaimed “EW!” then said “I can’t believe they show this stuff on TV.” She didn’t mean to hurt my feelings but she did. It sort felt like a knife through the heart. She doesn’t even realize how the things she says are wrong and  tries to brush by saying she “comes from a different time.” but you know what, it’s still hurtful and homophobic. Your parents are the people that you hope will always be on your side no matter what and it feels like she isn’t. I want to be able be close with my mom and share my life with her, but every time I do, I just end up feeling terrible about myself.

A Whole New World

Okay so… I only knew of like two lesbians in high school. They dated each other and everyone was a little weirded out by them. I must admit, I was a little taken aback by them too. Not because it grossed me out, but because they fascinated me. They were the only lesbian couple I had ever seen in person. However, there was no way I was coming out to everyone in high school. I just stuck with my friends and did my own thing. Now that I’m in college, and my sexuality is somewhat common knowledge here, I sort of want to get into the dating game. Now, my problem there is that I tend to lean more towards the feminine girls. It’s just how I roll. However, it makes it kind of difficult to identify them. With girls who lean more towards the butch side, it is usually relatively easy. For us femme-type girls, not so much.

I really wish we just had like sims icons over our heads that only other lesbians could see because I spend a lot of my time playing the gay guessing game. If I find a girl attractive, I literally look for anything in their appearance or  speech that could possibly mean that they like the ladies. Unfortunately, its appears my gaydar is tragically broken.

Also in turn, I have realized that to other people, I may appear straight as a pin. I want to send off some lesbians vibes too, so that just maybe someone would take a chance hitting on me.  So I often find myself wondering “should I get some piercings?” “maybe a leather jacket and some combat boots?” “what if I dyed my hair or maybe  (ugh) broke down and cut my hair short?” Now I know that sexuality shouldn’t be based on appearance and that straight girls could totally have all of the above things too. Also, I shouldn’t change my style or demeanor in order to be with people, that defeats the entire purpose.  But honestly, I am just desperate to send of some sort of signal without sporting a rainbow cape.

Another struggle I face in the collegiate lesbian dating game is that I tend to find that most lesbians I do meet are already coupled up. For instance, one of the girls I’m living with next year plays for a school sports team that happens to have a high number of lesbians. She took me and our other roommates to a party of theirs and I was very excited to get my flirt on. However the night pretty much broke down into two categories.

1. That girl I think is really cute and has a great smile… is dating that other girl over there.

2. Wow! this girl I’m talking to is so great! We have so much in common, she’s funny and sooo pretty. And she’s talking to me, me! Oh wait, did she just say “I just broke up with my boyfriend”? Dammit. I guess I’m friendzoned then.

Y’all, the struggle is real. I spend half my time not knowing if it’s appropriate to flirt or majorly striking out if I do try. Boys, I really feel ya on this one. Hats off to you.

But… honestly even if I’m not tearing it up in the dating world yet. I’m still very proud of myself. Two years ago I would never have dreamed that I would even by entertaining the idea of dating somebody. At 18, I have plenty of time to find a relationship and I should just enjoy being able to live my life freely right now because I have come so far in accepting myself and being exactly who I am.

Sharing Time?

*WARNING, SUPER LONG POST

One thing that’s still on my mind a lot is, when is it appropriate to share my sexuality? Depending on who I’m a’dealin’ with at the moment, how much should I share and should I share at all? Like for example, here at school I came out to about eight or so of the girls on my floor within the span of about three weeks. Granted some of it was when I was… inebriated. It was scary for the first few, then it got easy. Now I have sort of hit a brick wall with my other friends on my floor and in classes. Once again it scares me and I have no fricken clue why.

And at home back in Ohio, it’s even worse. My three best friends knew. They were the first to find out. My 15 year old sister knows, after much chiding form my roommate this year. And my mother sort of knows but she thinks that if in any way I might like guys I should pursue that because it is “easier” (topic for another time)

I can remember the first time I ever talked about my sexuality out loud, to my friend M. It was summer before Senior year and I had finally let myself believe that there might be something else going on than complete straightness. I asked her to go to our local park together, where we all go when we have something big to share or want to have big emotional cry-fests. We walked around, played on the swings, got a little lost in the woods, bitten up by bugs and eventually walked back to my car. I chickened out. “Well I can just tell her when I drive her home” I reasoned. I didn’t. My heart was pounding the entire time and I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. I felt like a huge failure and started to cry on the way home because I felt like, “If I can’t even bring myself to just talk about these feelings with my best friend, I’m going to feel trapped and hopeless forever.” I felt stuck and stifled even more, so frustrated with myself. I was in bed when I decided to send a text message. I wish I still had these messages saved somewhere, but alas I don’t. I basically just typed how I felt and that I had been too nervous to do it in person and I understood if she wasn’t ok with it (even though it would break me). I remember trembling so bad as a hit send, knowing it might change everything. It is probably the scariest thing I have ever done in my life because by admitting my questioning to someone else, I just made it real. It took about five agonizing minutes before I got a reply that said “Emily don’t think this changes anything, I still love you and it’s no big deal <3” I have never felt so relieved and grateful before. That is the hardest “coming out” I’ve done. I think any gay person would tell you the same too, that the first one is the hardest because you’re letting the world into your internal world and it’s a very scary thing.

But back to the main topic. I don’t think it’s really necessary to tell everyone I meet that I’m a lesbian when I meet them. 1. I don’t owe anyone an explanation, my private life is my private life. 2. I’m a lot more than my sexuality. I am funny, and nice and extremely goofy. 3. In an acquaintance-type or work relationship I think it’s a little crass to get into such personal subjects right away.

Like it or not, homosexuality still isn’t widely accepted. Well, I shouldn’t really say accepted because most people these days (in my experience) are not going to grab their pitchforks and create a mob just because you’re gay. What I mean is that we live in a heteronormative society. Most of the time if I drop “oh ya! I’m gay” into a conversation people aren’t gonna just nod their head and say “kay, so did you hear that new Katy Perry song” and go on with their day. Usually people are taken a little aback and have to rewire their thinking for a minute. It doesn’t mean they are homophobic, it just means they are a product of our society. However to have to take that a minute for that “rewiring” with every person I meet, is just annoying. So most of the time I just don’t mention it, and it has become a habit to do so.

The problem with that is I really should be sharing it sometimes. For example, I absolutely HATE when people (especially family members) ask if I’m dating a boy or they talk about when I marry a guy blah blah blah. By just saying “haha, no I don’t have a boyfriend” I feel like I’m telling a huge lie and my insides are screaming. I want to say “Well actually Nana, I don’t have a girlfriend right now, but when I do get one, I’ll be sure to send you a wedding invite” But I don’t speak up, out of convenience and also out of fear. When I am altering my answers or opinions, I am lying by omission, and sometimes it really hurts.

So that brings me back to the start, when do I speak up? When do I stay quiet? What’s the right timing and delivery? This isn’t rhetorical, like I actually don’t know and if anyone does, please tell me.

Selfish

Just wanted to make a quick post about something I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Many other, gay kids probably know this feeling too, but I have spent years not being able to express myself. Censoring was/is a constant thing. I could never gossip about who was cute or just proclaim “damn, she’s hot!” like many of my friends would do with guys. It got bottled up for years and years and made me just feel like screaming “MY FEELINGS MATTER TOO!”. Now that I have slowly come out to some of my friends and sister, I’ve started to become more comfortable with that. The problem is that when I do, I feel like I’m being selfish. I’m making it about me. Anti-gay people use the argument that gay people are all attention seekers. I know I shouldn’t listen to them, but an attention-seeker is not something I ever wish to be. I don’t want pity or special treatment. Even with my most supportive friends, who love and accept me unconditionally, they don’t understand how I feel. It’s not their fault, I just feel like I’m wasting my time when I want to talk about girls because they can’t relate. I can’t shake the feeling of being selfish. There has been one time where a friend of mine tried to reach out to me in this way. She is thoroughly straight, but she offered to be my “gay best friend”. She would send me pictures of hot girls and talk about it with me.  It made/makes me feel more at home with myself and that selfish feeling goes away a little. Thanks M, Love ya always for that!

How do ya know?

I am a avid and firm believer that there is no one way to be gay. Take me for example, I’m pretty girly. I very much so enjoy doing my hair, playing with makeup, and lord if I don’t go to the mall again soon I might lose it. I will never get a pixie cut! I also suck at sports, yes I played softball for nine years as a kid. But that was rec league and didn’t actually require much skill. If you throw a ball at me I will probably squeal and drop it. Also, I bruise like a baby peach. Where was I going with this? Oh ya, so there isn’t one way to be gay, or anything really, and stereotypes are almost never entirely true.

That being said, there are definitely indicators to look for (mostly emotional) that could tell you if you gay/bi/questioning/etc. (btw, I am a strong believer in the kinsey scale, placing myself at about a 5) check that shit out

*pic from google

I never really realized much of this until later on and homosexuality was always just a thought that I brushed away. Most of this stuff started in middle school:

  • I didn’t get boy crazy, my friends would obsess over the guys in our grade but my reaction was like an “eh” even though I would pretend I liked them too. I chalked it up to being one of the youngest in my grade and a late bloomer. I would get boy crazy eventually.
  • Movies like Magic Mike and other shirtless males did very little for me, if ya know what I mean.
  • I would get supppperrr attached to some of my friends. Specifically when I was 12, there was a girl named S who, looking back, I had a massive crush on. I would get butterflies in my stomach and want to just make her so happy. My day was made if she hugged me or complemented me on my outfit. Not my proudest moment, but one time we were going hot-tubbing at a friends house I felt myself trying to sneak a peak when we changed into our bathing suits. I felt very ashamed and confused as to why I felt that urge. But once again I convinced myself I just really liked her a lot as a friend. Haha, I really should have seen the signs.
  • When everyone started that phase of holding hands with boys or even (for the more bold) a peck on the lips, I didn’t get excited. My stomach felt weird, but it wasn’t butterflies, it was uneasiness.
  • I did have a some far-and-few-between crushes on guys but much of the time it was if a guy was nice to me or flirted the teeniest bit, I would convince myself I had a crush on him. To be blunt, there was no sexual attraction whatsoever.
  • As I got older and farther into high school I found that I had/have MASSIVE GIRL CRUSHES on celebrities, and a lot of times this is normal for straight girls too. (see Jenna Marbles video) However, I realized that I had an unusual amount that outnumbered guy crushes and that most of them were a level three (again see Jenna Marbles video) Ahem, Dianna Agron, Shay Mitchell, Mila Kunis, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris,  Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones. that blonde hair just does somethin’ to me) and the list goes on.

I often felt very confused and ashamed of all of this. More than once I wondered if maybe I was a lesbian. But I would always be like “Nah, your just not exactly like everyone else.” I didn’t want to be gay because I was having a hard enough time fitting in as is. But once I finally had my a-ha moment, all of my bullets started to make sense and I had an explanation behind them now.

Not everyone has the same experiences. Some gay people know all their life, others discover it in their forties. It’s different for everyone and everyone is going to have their own story behind it.