Super Fun Night

If you haven’t watched the new Rebel Wilson show, “Super Fun Night,” you should. I have heard people give it mixed reviews, but I think it is because they are too far removed from the truth of it. As a plus size girl for the majority of my life, we don’t get a lot of heroines. I feel like the big girl is always the butt of the joke, so why wouldn’t you try to be anyone else?

This was magnified for me during Halloween this year. The boys and I watched Disney’s “The Adventures of Ichabod.” Funny, how when you watch some of these old movies you can see things that you might have missed before. First, Ichabod is totally gay. The fat girl that is infatuated with him and the big muscley dude is totally me. She, according to my boys, is the funniest character in the whole movie. I, on the other hand, am embarrassed and ashamed by this comparison. All I want to be is the pretty girl that the boys are fawning over. At least, that is what I told myself for a long time. Isn’t that what we have been told as girls to strive for?

In this recent episode of “Super Fun Night,” Rebel’s character is all about punching up her love life by paying for a seminar on lion hunting dating tactics. She brings her two roommates who are equally as awkward with her. At the seminar, Molly Shannon gives all these stupid’s rules that are vomited from the stacks of old Cosmopolitan magazines about what girls should do or not do to get guys.

Armed with this already established knowledge, Rebel goes to the hotel bar to try and pick up a guy. She strikes out with what one would deem a more desirable man, only to find a sweet bigger guy who is willing to try her out. He invites her to his room, and the freak out sort of begins.

As much as I might have told myself over the years of how unattractive I am, the truth is…you can find a guy pretty easily. They are wired for sex. I have had sex with barely a handful of guys. Two of them I knew pretty well; two of them were one-night stands with strangers. I am totally capable of the mechanics of regular intercourse. The problem is…my heart was never really in it.

I thought for years that maybe it was because I didn’t really like the guys. If I just found one that I was infatuated with, everything else would fall into place. I dated a few more guys here and there, but I could never get past my impermeable wall of vulnerability. I never felt like I could be myself and always wanted out before they could realize that I had no interest in them.

Instead of owning my disinterest with men, I came up with a million excuses why I was unlovable. No one ever wanted to spend the night with me. I was too fat. I had boils. I bleed constantly. My clothes were miserable. I didn’t have a pretty enough face. I was too hairy. My belly was disgustingly large.

Even though I felt happiest when I wasn’t forcing myself to look for a boy, every time someone would ask me about my love life or if I was seeing anyone, I would feel a dagger through my heart. The fact that I was unattached and not even looking was like a scarlet letter. At my sister’s wedding, my aunt went into detail about how I would be a “mature” bride (age 31).

At least I figured out how to masturbate properly. Those Pure Romance parties are cute and all, but if you are truly dense to sex for whatever reason….seeing an assortment of toys with no instructions doesn’t serve you. I actually owned a few toys for which I had no idea how to use them for several years. It wasn’t until I was so frustrated with myself for not figuring it out that I actually researched it on the internet until I felt comfortable and learned what I needed to do.

Okay, so why didn’t I know I was a lesbian? Well, sex is such a taboo subject in this puritanical society of ours. What did you really learn in school? God knows my parents weren’t going to say anything, and I was too proud to ask. I grew up during the time of AIDS so I was deathly afraid of STDs. I would have also been damned if I was going to be knocked up out of wedlock. Even though I don’t really care about anyone else and their choices, I harshly judge my actions based on what I knew were ridiculous rules. For some reason, I thought I had to be held to a different standard.

As I was so blindly trying to do what I thought I was suppose to do, I let so many opportunities for happiness to slip right through my hands. I made myself miserable. I knew I was loveable, but told myself I was the opposite. I knew I was never going to be the “pretty girl,” I will always be the “character” actress and that is okay. They are the ones that everyone loves more at the end of the story anyway.

So, I appreciate “Super Fun Night.” Rebel’s character didn’t have sex. You actually find out she is a virgin. And, we get closer to her roommate coming out of the closet herself. Seeing a story about “real” girls trying to maneuver through this societal crap is rather refreshing. Instead of these truths being hidden behind some sort of joke, why can’t we embrace these characters for exactly who they are?

Granted, I know my whole self-acceptance thing is a little pre-mature. Since I have really come out, I haven’t dated a ton of girls. The one that did have the hots for me I kind of pushed away. There is some part of me that is still not ready.

I see the kind of relationship my boys have and admire it so much. They are best friends. The kindness between them is palpitable. Their love is unconditional. When they fight, they aren’t dirty. They know they have each other’s back and it is freakin beautiful. To feel the amount of love they have for each other is almost more than I can bare. It actually scares me.

If you can love someone so deeply, what the hell happens when the shit hits the fan? How could you recover?

I fear having someone know me so much and using it to hurt me. It is the ultimate in not being able to hide. It almost poses a threat as much as it can produce so much joy and happiness. My level of trust is so incredibly low. I feel like people have trampled over my feelings so much of my life. I have seen family members and friends use personal information to screw me. I have had moments of sharing with my mother intimate details and then just watch her use it to lambast me. I am dying for a soft place to fall, but am on such high alert that I can’t find a place to relax and if I did I would still never really allow myself to settle down enough to enjoy it.

This is the kind of resistance that I am DYING to get over. The need to surrender is so here and now. But, from my current vantage point, it seems almost impossible to get over. I see people who confront these same fears.  I see them try. I see some become successful and others who fall on their faces but get back up to try again.

I see brave people speaking up everyday about who they are and who they love. I see people who boldly trust and hold on to faith when almost everyone else would give up. I see people who march to a different drum, take shit for it, and continue marching to successful lives based on their terms. God, I just want to be one of them, damn it!

Folliculitis

Just when I thought I was okay with my shaved head, something comes along to mess with you. I started noticing that I was getting pimples on my head. No biggie, I am kind of prone to them. No worries. Days started passing, and it got significantly worse. I made an appointment to see my oncologist. She examined the head and said it was an extreme case of folliculitis. It isn’t like every cancer patient gets it, but since I am kind of prone to it and my immune system is sort of down…I just got it. She helped me get an appointment with my dermatologist the next day and gave me tubes of hemorrhoidal crème to put on my head to alleviate the pain. Who knew hemorrhoidal crème did such things?

The dermatologist did a culture of the bacteria on my head and determined it wasn’t anything unusual. She placed me on an antibiotic and some sort of topical gel. I have been on it for three days now, and I believe my scalp is improving. It went from super sore and oozy, to a dry desert landscape with crusties.

I haven’t been able to wear a wig or anything tight on my head. I feel a little weird stepping out because all I have been wearing are some beanies. I never wore these in my life before, now they are my go to, paired with a hoodie.

When I think of myself, I don’t know if I think of myself as a baldy. My self-image hasn’t completely caught up with my new reality. The fact that I am kind of newly lesbian and I still have a repulsion to the concept of “bull dyke,” doesn’t help the situation. I mean, I look the part right now. Still, I long to be pretty and girly. I don’t want people to look at me and try to figure out whether I am a guy or a girl. I don’t even like the idea of them thinking I am a cancer patient.

To prevent me from having total anxiety over it, I just kind of live in a little space of denial. I try not to pay attention. I just stand in the thought that it is what it is and move forward. I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but it has been working for me. That is why I am probably not as embarrassed by my weight as I should be, or that my clothes are seriously ill fitting or outdated.

Appearance is important in this society. It does say a lot about a person. Do you take the time to care? Is how you look always a reflection of who you are? I cannot say that the outside package is completely reflective of the inner person, but isn’t it? My disheveled appearance is a reflection of my internal struggles. It shows how much I care about myself.

This is an avenue that I want to improve in my life, but it is hard to focus on when you feel like a monster because your scalp is super hideous. All I want to do is cover up, which probably draws more attention to myself because it comes off like I am trying to hide something.

In the meantime, usually once or twice a week I play dress up with my friends. Alex paints my face and dresses me. We take photos or do little videos. I love doing this. It makes me feel closer to who I think I should be. Why don’t I do it everyday? Mostly because that feels like bondage. I can’t imagine a daily beauty routine. Sometimes it is because I get frustrated with how it turns out and convince myself that I look worse than I did before I started. It feels like wasted time.

When I put make up on for a show or during one of these little sessions, it isn’t really to please anyone else. I take significant time, enjoy the process, and relax about the outcome. I am doing it to please myself.

So, maybe that is what I need to remember. I need to stop dressing and worrying about what other people think of my look and just try to be more authentic to how I want to look and feel. It is another layer of this theme that has been going on during this whole year. If I could just feel more comfortable in my own skin, I would find the ease that I am looking for in my life.

Overcoming the Disconnect

Life gives you a lot of opportunities to learn lessons.

The beginning of this week wasn’t bad, but I was definitely not on my highest flying disk. I know that I had slipped off after my hair was cut, but I couldn’t figure out what to really do about it. Monday came and I had to do a bunch of errands to pay some bills. It felt good to take care of some things that I had been neglectful of taking care of, but it left me with less than forty bucks to stay a float for two weeks.

Money has been a sore spot for a while. I have been so lucky that my school has had my back while I am out on leave. The union has been paying for my short-term disability. I am so grateful that they have my back, that I feel horrible when I feel like I am coming up short.

Like most cancer patients, I am sure a lot of us weren’t in a good spot financially before we got sick.  I was laid off and unemployed for a few years. How I was able to keep my house? I still don’t know. My bank account is in the perpetual red. I haven’t had money to buy clothes or shoes in years. All those times I bitched about money when I was younger, seem stupid to me now.

Anyway, whenever I pay what bills I can…I sometimes see the rest of the obligations I have and feel like a loser for not knowing how I will ever be solvent. Sometimes I don’t even know where to begin. It can be another cause of slipping off a high flying disk.

Of course, if you listen to the Law of Attraction advice, one of the best ways to stay in a place where you don’t have money is to focus on what you don’t have. So, for now I am trying to stay really grateful for what I do have…which is a lot when you think about it.

Yet, this little mental mind jockeying combined with a little self-conscience about my hair and nerves about getting a second infusion this week made life a little blah. I tried to make it a point to do some activities for fun, but I was thrown for a big curve ball on Wednesday.

I got home Tuesday night to find that my furnace wasn’t working. I knew there was no way I could afford a repairman, and my father is not always good in these types of situations. I covered up in every blanket I could get my hands on and found a way to sleep through the night. Michigan was getting cold. I could hold out for a few nights, but it isn’t like I could go through the whole winter without heat.

When I got up the next day, I had an appointment for a free massage. As I drove out, tears just streamed down my face. What was I going to do? I had to try and see if my father was interested in helping, but I hated the idea of asking him for money again.

I used my massage to calm me down. I was so sure that he would shoot me down that I knew that I had to reframe my thinking or I would get exactly what I feared. My energy and vibration lifted. I drove back home to find two packages and two cards in the mail. I had signed up with a group of Chemo Angels. Each cancer patient is assigned two angels who would send cards and letters to lift their spirits while going through treatment. It was an unexpected surprise from strangers. I opened them up and let the awe of knowing that these people really cared about me wash over me. I believe the massage earlier helped me to receive these gifts.

After I felt a little cheered up, I called my father. He asked me how I was doing and I said I wasn’t great. I told him about the furnance and he went into a mini tirade about bills and him being broke. I found myself begin to sob…I couldn’t even ask him for help. I felt so bad for needing help. I think he was thrown for a loop and kicked in saying that he would take care of things. It felt like he finally understood that I needed him to act like a Dad who knew his daughter needed help.

I love my father. I took care of him when he was diagnosed with cancer. I became his sudo wife when my mom died. I hung out with him a lot. Sometime after my sister decided to move back from Virginia, I began to distance myself from him. I spent so much time with him that I felt like I couldn’t have a life. I had taken a loan out for school before he got sick and used it to live on when I took a leave of absence to take care of him. When I became unemployed, I couldn’t pay the loan. This kind of became a sore spot. The funny thing is, he had just paid for my sister’s wedding and it was the same amount.

Now that I have faced the fact that I am a lesbian, I have trouble feeling like I am nothing but a big disappointment to him. In some ways, I am sure he already knows. Still, the dream that I was following for most of my life was one that I knew would be acceptable to him. Have a great job, a guy, maybe some kids. Be an upstanding citizen. Go to church. It was the path I am sure everyone feels like they are suppose to follow. The problem was, it was never my path. It is what I thought I needed to do, not what I wanted to do.

Still, I feel like staying true to myself is like becoming an embarrassment to him. Would he still be proud of me? Would he think less of me? The pain in having these questions answered is what keeps me away along with the fact that the reason I don’t drive out to his house is because I don’t have enough money to pay for the gas.

The boys are well aware of this dilemma I have with him. Max was getting pissed off because I didn’t want to ask my father for help in the first place. He was rather short with me during that day and than invited me over. Max apologized for getting frustrated with me, but he said that he saw me slipping into old patterns and it was pissing him off. Part of the reason why my father would get pissed when I called him in an emergency is because I never tell him what is really going on in my life. I have shut him out and it put Alex and Max in a strange position. It puts them in a place where my father would feel animosity toward them where it wasn’t necessary. My desire to protect my father from any obligation toward me is what makes him feel bad. The point is he wants and deserves to know me more and I am the one who is hiding, avoiding any display of the true me.

In order for me to continue to grow on this path, I need to be authentic and vulnerable in all areas of my life, not just with the people and places I feel most comfortable being it. Of course, the thought of being that way with my family was excruciating. So, the boys told me that they wanted to see my father at my infusion appointment. Immediately, I thought no way. First, how would you like to be tethered next to someone you have been hiding from for 6 hours with no way out? They said, maybe he needs to see his daughter hooked up to IVs and bald to understand that I am human and vulnerable. Maybe he needs to feel like he is contributing to my emotional needs and not always the financial ones. Maybe he still needs to know that I need my Daddy.

As the Universe usually knows how to manifest these things, my sister decided to spend the night in my cold house. Maybe to get away from her husband, maybe to feel like she was giving me some support. She took me to my appointment and drove back to my house to meet the furnance guy. She had already scheduled my father to come a little latter, but the furnance guy was done and gone before the original appointment was scheduled to even start.

I did my labs and met with my doctor per usual, without my posse with me. I knew that someone would join me at the infusion room, so I wasn’t too worried. They started with the pre drugs and I got a little sleepy. When I woke up, my father was there. There is a one person maximum guest policy in the room. He had brought me some lunch. It was nice to see him there. The thing is that I do enjoy my father’s company. We are buddies. I don’t have to say all the shit that is on my mind. What he needs to know is that I still enjoy his company and I still care about what is going on with him and his life, just like he wants to be a bigger part of my life.

We hung out for three hours, and my brother showed up from out of town. It was a pleasant surprise. They swapped out and had a great time. It was one of his last vacation days and even though he was having car problems, he still made it over. I got a beautiful picture from my nephew, and my brother made me into a zombie with a Walking Dead app on his ipod.

My brother suffers from the same painful lack of vulnerability that I have. We totally got it from our parents. We are so busy trying to keep up appearances that we kill ourselves a little bit. I have had a Renassance, and I feel like he may be on the verge of one soon as well. I believe that part of the mix needs to be us sharing what we have been feeling and doing with one another. The thing about sibblings is that we are genetically connected and we carry the same family drama and tropes from childhood. We can use each other to heal from those wounds so we can live more fulfilling lives.

When the infusion was through, I had my brother drop me off at Alex and Max’s. That way, I had someone to watch me until I feel a little more comfortable being alone. While my brother was there, I could feel him completely open up. We shared our drag videos with him, my recent art work, talked about all kinds of things and just saw him relax and unwind. He didn’t feel like he had to be anywhere or answer to anyone for a while. The release of responsibility is sometimes a bigger vacation than a trip around the world.

When it was time for him to leave, I basked in the day that I had. Just 24 hours earlier, I had dreaded the idea of what would happened…but now I realized it was exactly what needed to happen. In order to really heal, I need to be me. I need to have my family in my life.

The boys and I had some great conversations. We are a unit, maybe a dysfunctional one. I don’t have to worry about losing Alex and Max, but we do need to open ourselves up to more people and more experiences in our lives. We had been doing it, but when I slipped up…they got tripped up too. One of the favorite places for me to be is in their presence, but they made a good point as to say that I need to feel like I can achieve the same amount of happy with them as without them. My enjoying my house, my family, new friends, and/or new experiences should not suffer because I am afraid of not having it with them. In reality, having a great time without them is giving them a gift. The same goes for the two of them. They should be open to having experiences by themselves individually, or even together with out me. It is what fuels us and makes us enjoy each other even more when we are together.

It is not as if I didn’t know this, but I had always assumed that they placed it on my head like I was the desperate one. In reality, they told me that it is as hard for them to do things without me as it is for me to do them without them. One of the biggest ways I could help out is to be more assertive. I need to not be always available to them. I should voice my opinions more and take my leave when I know that I am drained as opposed to when I think they want me gone. They had become as dependent on me as I was on them. This had served us well recently, but now we want bigger returns on our growth journey and this is the next step.

It is not meant to be sad, it is meant to be expansive. This is what can get us to our next level of success and enlightenment. We have filled out trivial pursuit pie hearts with our pieces to an overflow capacity. Yet, there are still empty spots waiting to be filled with the contributions of others. We can’t do that for one another.

Because of the love I was feeling from everyone, and the increasing amount of a-ha moments, I have to tell you that I felt very little pain from my infusion. Even yesterday I felt great. And, as a big surprise, I got another visit from my whole family. Unannounced, they showed up to check on me and we even went out for dinner. I can’t tell you the last time that happened. Instead of feeling put out, I really enjoyed it. I even let my father drive my car for the first time. Not because I wouldn’t let him drive it, but because in a round about way he asked to.

It gives me hope that new beginnings are starting. The hierarchy and false pretenses of the past may be finally falling away. Maybe this whole cancer journey was just a catalyst to make these important life changes, a huge moment to stop the crazy spinning of what we perceive life is (work, work, and little play) and focus on our truth, our love, and our path.

The Ideal Relationship

Okay, I have been focused on love a lot. I know I have so much to learn on the topic that the words are pouring out of my hands. I want to grasp it, feel it. I want to taste the deliciousness of it. I feel like I have been preventing myself from tasting the juiciest, most decadent cupcake in all of the land.

Honestly, I do love pastry but the sadder part is that cupcakes represented the joy I was missing from life. A cupcake didn’t judge. It always looks cute. It doesn’t discriminate. My younger self would gorge on these items, which lead to weight gain, PCOS, and in all honesty…uterine cancer.

The problem is we often make fun of the fatty eating the cupcake. We don’t dig deeper to see what that means. For me it is the lack of love and acceptance I felt, which ultimately led to swallowing my sexual confusion and frustration down with pastry. It was a talent my father passed down to me. Seriously.

I crave pastry when I have gone awhile with out it. I can’t go a week without a cupcake. I have gone without sex for years. At one point, it was over a decade. When you are looking for an object to love, one that hasn’t betrayed you, one that has never made you feel worse, I look to the humble cupcake in all sizes, shapes, and flavors. My love is unconditional when it comes to this pastry.

I remember a great conversation with Alex and Max when I was explaining my love of all things cupcake. I could describe every aspect of the experience, from selection to devouring. They explained to me that the feeling of craving is exactly what they experience when they are hungry for intimacy with one another. As a self-professed prude, I didn’t think that eating a simple pastry could be as tantalizing as having sex. It made it almost feel dirty. They told me I needed to stop hoarding, and start sharing my cupcakes.

That judgment is exactly what I have to counteract when it comes to really trying to connect with a partner. Being intimate with someone is not dirty. There is nothing wrong. It is natural. Our bodies were made to express pleasure in the experience. Why we have demonized sex is beyond me. I bought it for so long. I drank the kool-aide. I just wanted to be a good girl. A respectable girl. Meanwhile, girls who were whoring it up and getting pregnant at young ages were actually better adjusted than I was.

No sense weeping over lost time, but it is time to get a handle on things.  I don’t have any more lady bits to be ripped out from neglect.

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When you really want something, you often have equally as intense emotions about not wanting it. This has confused me for years. I have had a paralyzing fear of being alone for a good portion of my life. All those years of feeling desperately alone in my bedroom, begging for someone to love me, didn’t set me up for long term mental health. I feared the lack of love so much, that I was obsessed by it.  Little did I know, you get what you think about, whether you want it or not.

On the rare moments where I felt love or attention from an adult in my life, I was so ecstatic that I became frightened by what lied on the other side. It is rational, or at least I was taught, that I should look out for the other shoe dropping. The vulnerability of loving and being so connected to myself created a fear of lack that morphed into foreboding joy.

Somehow I was taught that I had to find my worth outside of myself. When I couldn’t mold myself to be worthy in someone else’s eyes, I felt excruciating alone and disconnected. I stopped looking for objects to love, and I stopped hoping to be someone’s object of attention.

On occasion, someone would surprise me and shine a little attention onto me. As much as I felt excited, I became super paranoid. First, why would they ever hold me as an object of attention? I wouldn’t, so they must be flawed. If I got passed that, which was almost never, I had trouble relaxing into the acceptance of that attention, or desperately focused on not losing it. I would begin doing everything I could think of to prove to them that I was still worthy of their attention at even greater sacrifice to my self.

Some people could smell this desperation and milked it for all they could. There are people who are drawn to these situations because the pickings are easy. I was easy to control and manipulate. You could do it to get something, or do it for show.

Eventually, I released these people. I found other friends who made me feel so great when I was around them that I became terrified that I couldn’t live with out them. For these non-sexual soul mates, our relationship was filled with ease. Time flew by when I was around them. The stark contrast of how good I felt with them, made the darkness of my isolation when I was not around them seem unbearable.

I became so dependent on them to make me feel good, that I released any accountability on my part. I was an emotional leech. I would do anything for these individuals, but I couldn’t take responsibility for my own happiness. They loved me, but I was draining them.

When I was the object of their attention, I felt great. I felt fed. I felt love. I demanded that they kept focused on me, because when they let go…I was a puppet cut from its strings. They saw the crash and wanted to do anything they could to prevent that, but they knew they were killing themselves. No matter how much someone loves you, they will never be always available to you. It is impossible. Their mission on this Earth was never to be that for you.

This was a really difficult lesson for me to learn. As someone with almost no relationship experience, I was so emotionally unintelligent that I could understand what was going on. I just felt the pain from the lack of love and connection. It got so bad that these friends moved 21 hours away to restore balance. I am pleased to report that we are now closer than ever, but I couldn’t have done it without them.

Sometimes your worst nightmare has to happen in order for you to get the biggest a-ha. I believe that it wasn’t really meant to be this way. The universe whispers what you need to do all the time. When we don’t listen, the result can feel like that impact of a car crash on the soul.

So, back to finding a significant other.

There are so many reasons why I am so grateful that I haven’t met “the one” or others in my life. First, how many women are in their late 30s, discover they are lesbian, and are stuck in a bad marriage with children? It is more than you can imagine. If Law of Attraction states that you are matched to that which you are a vibrational match of, I am grateful that I have held off. I am sure in my depressed state I would have ended up in a miserable relationship.

On New Year’s Eve, Max asked me what I wanted most in life. I told him a relationship. On that night, he made me call it out into the universe and we actually talked about action steps for making it happen.

This year in particular, as I have grown and expanded on my journey, I have had a lot of close calls. In January, I dated a man who had every item checked off my Cosmo inspired husband checklist. He fit every expectation that I thought I had for my partner, but we met and he disappeared. It was spooky.

I was devastated for a while and took a break from looking again. I worked on myself. I found things to do that made me feel sexy. I tried to look at things in a less prudish way.  Shortly there after, I had the epiphany that I was most likely gay.

This realization opened so many doors, but I remember being discouraged because I couldn’t find as many ladies interested in dating as I could find men. I became impatient. I tried to force things on for size. I would talk to girls that I was not clearly attracted to. This felt like swimming upstream.  The universe knew I wasn’t ready and wasn’t yielding me what I wanted; I was dissatisfied.

I finally came across a lovely girl named Juliet.  She looked like a girl, not a man. I thought she was cute and went and saw her at a bar on the same night we were introduced to one another. She was younger, but more experienced. She had a bad childhood and rotten mother. She recently survived cervical cancer. She was smarter than hell and loved Shakespeare.

For everything that I found positive, I could find a negative. What I couldn’t ignore was that I felt the most like myself when I was around her. When I saw her, I knew she thought I was cute no matter what I wore. I didn’t have to try and be anything other than myself, and it felt great.

I started to see what people were talking about. Step one: coming together. We see only the positive aspects of one another. We see ourselves being vulnerable and true to who we are, and being the object of the other’s attention feels so good. We are both aligned with source on our own accord, and find ourselves even more aligned together.

Then, I started seeing things I didn’t like. I got judgmental. What would others think? Each item I saw and disliked separated me from her and my source. I held her responsible for how I felt. I knew I felt good before I saw it. The next thought becomes, she isn’t the one; I must go somewhere else where that thing that is displeasing to me is not present. In reality, that is nowhere.

The more I realized this, the more I felt like I was such a loser. I knew my problem had nothing to do with her. I was more honest with her than I had really been with any other partner, but I couldn’t keep the door of communication open. I was still questioning my worth, my homophobia, and my sexuality. As long as I was poking at my vulnerabilities, the more I felt like I had to protect her from me.

Hence, I took a break.

The momentum wasn’t flowing from ease. Besides, by now I knew I had cancer. There were a lot more fish to fry. I realized that it was crucial to keep people with the right energy around me, a positive one. I realized that part of my difficulty with Juliet was the fact that I sensed such negativity in her. It was the same negativity I had worked so hard to process in me. I knew that I didn’t want to revisit it. The problem was, I still wasn’t assertive enough to tell her what I felt. I was too concerned with people pleasing. I wanted to be polite, not honest.

Feeling a little stronger, I am ready to give things another go. I am the attractor of what I want and can attract it from anyone I want. I am in the process currently of picking out what I want. So here is the request list:

I am looking for someone already tuned in, tapped in, turned on. They already get it. They are already in alignment with source and won’t hold me responsible for how they feel. This is someone with a majority of things I feel at ease with. Not someone who satisfies me on every level because expansion is fun. This is someone who understands who she is and who she is expanding to be. She is eager about life and willing to keep up with what she is becoming.

I take responsibility for how I feel. I will focus myself on being in alignment with who I am so I can attract someone else who is in alignment. By learning to control my thoughts and take responsibility for my emotions, I can go with the flow and be deliberate.

We understand our own autonomy and can both be expansive without being joined at the hip. We can do our own thing and root for the one another. I will do my best to stay in alignment with source, but will not hold the other one responsible when I slip.

I like you pretty good. Let’s see how it goes.

I am going to only focus on positive aspects.

I want to go with my flow. I plan to go with my flow and I don’t hold you responsible for going with my flow. But, if we can make it easy to go with the flow together….there is nothing we can’t achieve.

And let’s not forget to share your cupcakes!

AGAIN…I am heavily influenced by Abraham Hicks.

Life’s a Drag

One of the big take-a-ways from the movie The Secret or the talks from Abraham Hicks is that we are meant to feel good. Often times, we hope if X, Y, or Z happens, then we’ll feel good. In reality, it is quicker to make yourself feel better in order to make X, Y, and Z happen.

When you are already feeling crappy, it is hard to swallow that one. In my depressed state, I already hated myself. I felt as if I couldn’t feel better because I needed to be punished. I needed to feel impoverished because I couldn’t pay my student loans off. I needed to not spend money on food because paying off people was more important. I could think of a million reasons to deny myself fun.

During my “dead” years, I used to travel and see my best friends in Chicago once every three months. I called these “vacations from responsibility.” The point was to go somewhere and not worry about the million things I believe an adult had to worry about. I honestly felt that the mark of adulthood was to feel an over whelming sense of burden, constantly.

It got to the point that I often wondered what I was doing anything for. I was working 80-hour weeks, doing more than one job. The second I got my paycheck; it just went to paying bills. I often didn’t have any money left over to buy food or have fun. I would look around my empty house and thought that if this was life, I wanted to check out. It wasn’t worth living. There was no meaning, no joy.

When my best friends moved to Kalamazoo, I felt a little better. When we put our resources together, we found stuff to do. Just hanging out with them was fun. I had forgotten what that felt like. I became so worried that I would lose them or at least the excuse to have fun, that I became a little neurotic. I didn’t want to have too much fun, because the lack of it would just kill me.

Thanks to the unconditional love of my besties, I began to take a chill pill. One of the ways we decided to build fun into our lives was to put on little drag performances. Before I get started, I feel like I have to give a little background on my best friends, Alex and Max.

Max I met 17 years ago. We were young. We both loved theater. We met while rehearsing for musical shows at our local community theater group. I remember when I met him that there was just something so special about him. I felt like I had known him for years. We just clicked. He continued to contact me when I took off to live in Europe and Chicago. He stayed by my side as I watched my mother died. He was my rock.

Eventually, Max moved to Chicago and became my roommate. That is where he met Alex. Alex was 18 when we were 24. I remembered thinking he was so young and naïve. He was from the Upper Pennisula of Michigan and was attending school outside of the city. Alex and Max fell in love quickly. Before I knew it, I was in an old Jeep moving Alex’s things to our apartment. He transferred schools to pursue his relationship with Max. They were so cute.

I couldn’t be super happy for them, because I was commuting nearly every weekend to be with my dying mother in Michigan. Circumstances parted us physically, but I was always connected with “the boys.” A few years latter, they decided to move to the house across the street from me.

Alex and I became super close, as Max was busy holding down a job as a training manager at a ridiculous big box retail chain. Soon, Alex became as close to me as Max was. We went through a lot together. I loved them so hard I could barely handle it, and the fear of losing that made me crazy.

I think people naturally assume that a girl can’t be a friend with a boy without some sexual tension. It is really not the case. Our love is sort of a brother/sister one. They are my family. I would take a bullet for them, and I think they would take one for me. It isn’t Will and Grace but it is better.

No matter how much you love someone, sometimes events happen. We were all trying to figure out life. The boys decided to try and live in Key West. Watching them move was heartbreaking, but I knew the distance was only physical. When it didn’t work out, they moved back….still pretty close to me.

I think we know that we are somehow forever connected. That is why it was important to them that I feel better, that we feel better.

Now, we love RuPaul’s Drag Race. We have watched it since the first episode together. I know there is this strange contingent of gay males who think RuPaul is too gay for them, but they are seriously missing out.

When the boys and I were in some of our darkest moments, we started playing with my make-up. Over time, my wig collection was brought out, then my old dresses. We decided to try to lip sync for our lives. The iPhone captured our earliest attempts. Soon, ever weekend we would put together a little show.

Alex was the most insistent. When Max and I were not feeling it, Alex would find a way to make us sit still long enough for a makeover. After our little productions, part of the fun was watching the footage. It started with photos and developed into videos.

I found that seeing myself on the television made me actually SEE myself. I began really enjoying the girl I am. I could see how pretty I was. I could see the real me just dying to come alive. The practice left me feeling empowered and alive.

Alex found the same thing happen to him. He discovered a passion for drag. When we uncovered an old tape of him, at 13, doing drag in his childhood home, we realized that this was more than a past time. He developed a character and started to hone his craft. Eventually, he actually did a drag pageant and won on his first try.

As Alex found his passion, Max went back to his theatrical roots. What did he love to do the most? His 18-year-old self loved theater. He would do countless productions. Unfortunately, when he moved to Chicago – he sort of gave it up in order to work for a living. It became clear to him that he needed to return to doing what he loved, whether he got paid for it or not. He began to audition and got the lead in the first production he was cast in.

So, what did I really want?

That question became more difficult than I ever imagined. I had discovered that I had been trying so hard to please others that I had lost myself. I had lied to myself for so long, that I didn’t really know what I felt. Drag inspired me to begin seeking the help I needed to answer those questions.

As I began to share more with my friends, I allowed myself the freedom to be me. It almost felt like the first time in my life that I was deliberately doing so. I began to accept what I looked like. I accepted that I have a little too much love for pastry. I could start appreciating who I was.

I started looking at things in the past that brought me joy, and began to try them back on for size. I loved to write, so I went back to journaling. I took out my paint supplies and started painting. Little by little, I started reclaiming myself.

During one particular drag session, I found myself taken back by the beauty of Alex in drag. As he whipped out a number, I exclaimed, “Maybe I am a lesbian.”

In my life, many of my friends would say that I exhibited “lesbian” tendencies. I don’t like purses. I wear Crocs, Keens, or Merrills. I have a clip that I keep my keys on. I don’t wear a lot of make-up during the day. My clothes are not super girly. I have only slept with a handful of guys. I had never really had a boyfriend. When the boys told me to tell them which boys I thought were attractive through my daily interactions, I had a little difficulty. The girls always looked better. When I watched straight porn, I was never really turned on. The signs were all there.

The boys kind of confronted me on this point. As I talked it out with them, I felt the knot in my throat. It felt as if someone found that I was the wizard behind the curtain. I was exposed.

That night, I went home and looked up some lesbian porn. I lit up inside. Could it be? Was this really true? I looked up lesbian website and chat groups. The more I read, the more I realized…there is something to this. I went to bed exhilarated.

I had always been pro-gay. I have lesbian and gay male friends. One would think that it wouldn’t be such a big deal to claim my new identity. That next day I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Oh my god, I am gay. I thought of my church family rejecting me. I realized that I was no longer part of the mainstream. I was living in the minority. Every lesbian stereotype you could think of went through my head. I cringed. I am not a big dyke! I don’t want to be a man. I love men. I like to be girly. Why was this happening to me? What am I to do? Who am I? If I could repress something so pivotal, what else was I hiding from myself?

The boys calmed me down and reinforced that my realizing I was gay didn’t mean that I was really any different. I had always been gay. My friends and family knew who I was and wouldn’t really be shocked that I was gay. I was still me. Gay is only a part of my identity.

After only one day of freaking out, I actually felt a huge release. Things in my life started to make sense. I had always been trying to live up to an ideal of what I thought I was supposed to be or do. I never operated from a place of being who I wanted to be. I didn’t need to try so hard any more. I could just be.

I became super enthusiastic. I changed all my profiles to women seeking women. As I sorted through profiles, I realized that there aren’t as many options for girls as there were for guys. I came across a lot of stereotypically manly women. It wasn’t what I had imagined for myself. I began to feel hopeless.

In a feeble attempt, I posted a Craigslist ad and got a response from a pretty girl. She was younger, but she seemed okay with the fact that I was only now embracing my new identity in my 30s. When I went out with her, I didn’t get as freaked out as I did when I was with a guy. I felt comfortable. I felt able to be myself and I told her very vulnerable things about me. It was very empowering.

I began to feel whole. It is with this strength that I went to my doctor’s appointments. When it became clear that something was wrong, I didn’t freak out. When they told me that my uterus needed to be ripped out, I became okay with it. When telling my loved ones that I had cancer, I had to consider whether they could handle knowing that I also realized I was a lesbian. For the most part, everyone I told was supportive. Several even stated that it came as no surprise.

I had spent years feeling like I had missed something. Why wasn’t I with a guy? Everyone was having kids, why didn’t I have them? I had already chalked myself up to never getting married, and bawled my eyes out over it. At the time, I was upset because I thought I didn’t deserve it or that I was unworthy of being loved. What I realized was that I didn’t go through that because unconsciously, it wasn’t who I was.

Any doctor who is about to rip out a woman’s lady bits is going to be very careful to see how they are going to react about taking away a woman’s ability to reproduce. I am sure there are several women who have breakdowns right in their office. I know my doctor had a few women bail on the surgery hours before it was scheduled to happen because they couldn’t handle it.

I had gone through that grieving process for months before I even knew it was a real issue. When I first met my gynecological oncologist, I knew what I needed to do. To my surprise, I signed up for surgery less than a week latter.

The next couple days were a blur. I had to notify work. I had to set up my classroom for a long-term sub. I had to get things in order. I was so busy that I didn’t really have time to dread what was coming.

My boys agreed to house me and take care of me after surgery. My sister took my animals. My dad grumbled about the boys taking care of me, but I knew I didn’t want to rely on him. I had the boys sign a durable power of attorney. All the paperwork was done.

On the day of surgery, Max brought me to the hospital. My sister and father were waiting to see me. Having been through this with our parents, my sister wanted to take charge but I made sure Max was the one next to me. I did not freak out until I was in the prep area with IVs in my arms. I knew there was no going back. Max squeezed my hand; I knew he had my back.

As I was being rolled into the operating room, I had a comedic conversation with my male nurses. I climbed onto the table and watched them take the plastic off the arms of the robot that was going to dissect me. I was happy. I was talkative. As the doctor and nurses were prepping me, I know my jokes were making them smile. I remember the doctor and nurse holding my hands as they were putting me under. I felt that they cared deeply and they would take good care of me.

When I came to, I was in pain but not as bad as I could have been. I looked at the clock and realized the surgery had gone long. When I could have visitors, only my father and sister were there. Max had left for a musical rehearsal. When my father left for the bathroom, I asked my sister what was going on. She told me that my breathing became so shallow that they almost had to stop the procedure. When they took out my uterus, they had feared that there might be more involvement so they took out a bunch of lymph nodes.

I am sure that should have been an “oh, shit” moment. It wasn’t. For some reason, I woke up feeling like the Universe was on my side. All the grief I had over my lack of sex and love, focused negative energy on my lady bits. In my most depressed days, I am sure I had asked to die or be sick. In some ways, the Universe gave me what I wanted…my worst nightmare. The bright spot was that it wasn’t as miserable as I thought it could be. I was stronger than it.

After a somewhat uncomfortable night in the hospital, I was released to the care of my boys. For the next week, they took great care of me. They fed me, made sure I took my medicine, screened my visitors, and made sure I had fun. I felt so much love that I could barely handle it. In some ways, I knew that there wasn’t another spot I wanted to be in the world than where I was.

The transition home, after staying with the boys, was rough. My house reminded me of the years of loneliness I had felt. I had no TV. My bed was so uncomfortable. I couldn’t drive. I felt trapped. It wasn’t until the boys helped me set up my bed with extra pillows and tucked me in, that I fell asleep.

I realized that it is okay to ask for help. I focused on watching or listening to things that would bring me joy and light. I made it a point to make sure I was fed. I focused on doing things that made me happy. I ended up recovering from surgery very quickly.