I am seriously blessed to work for a company that, while they may not do get everything right, and what company does, but dang, they get the important stuff.
So, early last summer at work they sat us down in the meeting room, HR person from HQ was there, and she proceeded to tell me things bout LGBTQQIP2SAA that actually left me jaw-dropped stunned at myself, and seriously wondering if I’ve been living in a closet. You know, I’m turning 53 this year, and I seriously thought I understood what all the letters meant, or the LGBTQ version I knew, thought I knew, well, truth be told, really thought I knew about myself.
Those questions you ask yourself, I’ve learned a thing or two since that day in the meeting room at work.
I learned about all kinds of things inside myself that up until that meeting, I didn’t have a word for, didn’t even know it was a thing, that there was a community, a group of others just like me.
I don’t know how to describe it, don’t know how to explain it. I have written about this before, yet there is a part of me that understands this at a much deeper level, a different perspective, the isolation that so many have faced, through time, through centuries, of not knowing there were others just like them.
That I think may be the one f’en thing the nay sayers, the Straight Pride types, what they just do not get.
I went to my first Gay Pride in Toronto the 2nd summer after I separated, and just before the autumn that mom died, 2001.
It was a time between.
I wasn’t back there anymore, I wasn’t anywhere, but living in this apartment in this downtown neighbourhood, with my two cats, and a Call Centre job, and lonely, and wounded.
I’d met this guy, this gangly longhair’d pirate that hung out at one of London’s oldest watering holes, he like generations of men before him had got off the train, walked a couple blocks west, and turned left into the first place they came to – the Richmond Hotel.
He was iffy.
Ya, it’s that kinda place. Dirty bathrooms, dirty floors, and most of the regulars were, em, in-between.
I fit right in.
Well, this pirate’s gig was Temporary Tattoos, and so we headed to Toronto for the parade, him to sell his wares, and I headed downtown to Yonge and Church, to camp out in the sweltering sun with this wave of others, for 3 hours, to keep my front row view of this magical thing.
On that day, for that day, all these people, right out loud, so that EVERYONE can hear, see, know, celebrate, embrace, feel, soak up.
I felt a part of something, one of many. That’s how it felt. It was stunning.
Standing in the sun, sweating out the bad mojo inside, and replaced it with the good stuff, the stuff that arms you with the things you need to be back in the world that is.
Anyway, I didn’t really understand that back then. I felt it, but I couldn’t articulate it.
I don’t even know if I can now. But I’ll try.
Sure, I have talked about this before, and much as I still feel weird saying this, like as if I’m hitching my wagon, or something.
Even now, just writing this I feel hesitant, feel shy. To say, to type, it.
All day, and after work, on the bicycle ride home, that word kept swirling and whirling around inside, and I couldn’t help thinking that it really explained so much.
But, it is a thing inside, and the word just seems to check all these boxes, and when I got home that day after the meeting, I searched online for whatever I could find.
Why I felt like, turned off sexually. Why I had such a low sex drive. Why I felt more sexual when I was on my own, then I ever could with someone else.
I’ve even experimented with women, a few times, but nothing. Still, just going through the motions. Still, after all these years, I kept going out there and thinking the whole time that, maybe the next one, or the one after that. It was me, I needed fixing, I thought.
Even in my marriage, as close as we were, still, our sexual relationship was almost nonexistent, and that eventually became a very important factor in why it fell apart.
I kind of liked it that way, the no sex thing. He didn’t.
In the last couple years we’d experimented with tie-ups and some very light bondage stuff, which I carried on with for years afterwards with anyone who would, um, play.
But, even then, it was just artificial, cause to be perfectly honest I am and never, or rarely, have, really enjoyed the sexual aspect of a relationship. I don’t like intimacy. It is a challenge. I’ve had to learn to like it, like Tomatoes.
After I separated, I went on a joy ride, trying every car that came by.
I know that some people say that the wounds do eventually heal once your hearts been broken, and maybe so for some. But, some wounds I have learned just maybe never quite heal right, and over time you just adapt those old wounds into yourself, make them part of you.
Which, I guess is really what I’ve been doing over these last 20 years since my world that I thought I wanted shattered into a million pieces.
I was wounded in the shrapnel of my own delusions.
But, I have learned since, slowly, painfully, that what is for you will not pass you by.
See, I always thought that sentiment meant just the good stuff, the stuff we want. I’ve learned though it means ALL the stuff, it will not pass us by, will not let us off so easily.
Call it fate, but whether it is meant to be, or not meant to be, in the end our reaction, our response is what is really the key. How we work through the painful and crawling on our hands and knees, doing and saying and thinking things we may very well be ashamed, but overtime it is our response to all the good and the bad and the sad and all the god help me I wish I hadn’t done thats.
What’s that saying? Life’s the shite and then ya die. The end.
So, it is the middle stuff that really counts.
Which is why I guess I feel like talking about this. Embracing something that I keep trying on, looking at myself in it, thinking about, wondering about, and wondering what it means.
Who am I?
What do I want?
Do I actually want someone? Or, do I just think I need someone?
Maybe I never needed anyone?
See that’s where I’m going, that right now just makes so much more sense. Feels so much better. Feels like a breath of fresh air.
Truth be told, I am quite content with my life the way it is… or this or something like it, more of, on the right track, feels like I want to, more of this please, but by no means set in my ways.
With just Pika and I, I can not think of anyone that is more of a challenge, makes me laugh, then want to scream, usually in pain, within the space of 5 minutes.
Cute as a button, stubborn as an ox, smart as a fox, quick, a wise one in training, brave, ferocious, and I’m her human, and she’s my dog.
I love her, and she loves me, her in her doggy way, me in my human way.
Just before Christmas I’d been briefly seeing this guy, friend of a friend. Nice guy, seemed genuine, bit selfish, bit too goody goody perhaps, but beside that I found I just really couldn’t really muster the energy to give a shite.
I brought Pika over one night, and he seemed fine with that, but after he mentioned, er, asked, if I thought I’d have to bring her everytime.
I’m like…em… better question… Who would I rather be with? Why am I doing this?
I really thought about it. What if he was, I don’t know, all that and a bag of chips, Doritos even? Where would I rather be?
And… my answer, it told me everything I needed to know.
For so long, see, I thought I’d been wounded by losing something I wanted, but that was wrong. I was wounded by my own belief in those whispers of doubt, like Carries mom in the horror movie, I believed my ex’s BS and got drawn into his psychosis.
And, it has taken a long time to see it that way.
“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”Vincent Van Gogh
And maybe that is the thing, that when we wrap ourselves up within other peoples expectations surrounding love, who to love, why, how, we forget, maybe even ignore, what our own needs are, and how we want to express it, and how is that anyone elses concern? Why should we be judged, criticized, ridiculed, beaten, attacked, murdered even, for wanting something different? Needing something different?
How have so many in our modern society got so wrapped up in everyone being this monolithic goop of sameness? When did we decide this?
That needs to go bye-bye.
Love is enough, and it always has been.