I never gave too many damns about…
what people thought about me. Accustomed to being on the fringes of everything mainstream (before it was cool to be so), I’ve become rather cozy in being labeled “eccentric,” “nerdy,” “different,” “weird,” or just remaining advantageously invisible.
Correction: most times, I didn’t give a damn.
But there was one thing I never wanted to be left out on: love.
I never wanted to sit on the sidelines of life, and miss out on that deeply-connected experience of sharing my life with another. I fantasized about it because I’d never experienced it for myself.
And I wanted — needed — to know how it felt.
In my twenties, I donned a serial relationship-type deal. Then, at 28, an abortion shifted my perspective, and it took all I had to stay in my own skin. But with God’s grace, I came through that storm better than I entered it.
After that, I tapped into my inner wild child and dabbled in everything from alternative relationship structures to friends-with-benefits arrangements and situationships. I allowed myself to live the fluidity I always knew was in me…
And it was literally all good…until it wasn’t.
I looked up one day and realized all that galavanting about had worked up an appetite: I was hungry.
I craved something with roots, something reliable and consistent, something present and tangible. I wanted to make a “home” with somebody — a place to rest…heal…lay it all down.
And all along, I thought this had to be “marriage” to be valid, to count. I thought I had to be married for my love, and my life, to count. I talked a different game, but inside I felt the press.
I needed it so badly I demanded it from my Beloved, and when he said he could not commit in that way, it all came crumbling down from within because I didn’t want to be alone anymore. I wanted something REAL.
Fast forward to now (1.5 months from Beloved’s statement):
I love waking up in my bed with my cheetah print onesie. I love feeding our resident cat and overweight yorkie. I love writing and coaching women in life and birth. And I love the dimensions I’m growing into.
I feel so deeply enriched and happy within myself and my life, I feel as though I may burst into light any day now. It was TOUGH getting here, and even now, nothing is perfect, but everything is right.
I had to feel the pain in order to access the joy. That’s how that goes.
I work at it — with me. I affirm myself. I listen within. I fuck it up…I fall off, I get back on. I forgive myself, as quickly and totally as possible.
And I’m here…with myself…I’m “in it” with me.
And then, my dear friend Skye sent me a transcript of Tracee Ellis Ross’ acceptance speech earlier this week, and it all became clear:
“I never wanted to be married: I wanted to be loved and accepted, held and seen, supported and heard … moreso by ME than anyone else. I wanted the ability and freedom to be happy.”
Others have given those things, but it was never quite enough until I felt it for myself…in myself.
I’m still messy with it; my lines are never straight. It may always be that way and that’s fine because I finally have the love I’ve always wanted! I feel a joy I only thought resided in the arms of another.
And I see it: they all said “No” so I could say “Yes” to me.
I’ve chosen myself, and I’m on the field — no longer sitting on the sidelines of life, MY life, waiting to be picked to play for someone else’s team.
I am my own.
Or as Tracee wrote in her journal that day:
“My life is mine.”
And wherever Life blesses me to go and create, if I have me and I take ownership of my life and my well being, I trust it’ll be as beautiful as I’ve become.