Tales of a wandering lesbian


Here are a few questions I get on a regular basis:

“How do you know you’re a lesbian?”

“Why aren’t you writing as much?”

“How do you stay so thin?”

Here’s the answer:  girls.

Superman has kryptonite.  I have girls.  At least that’s the way I’ve seen things for quite some time.  Sure I have bouts of self-doubt, and sure I have moments of deep loneliness.  I work through those.  But there’s something that really, really can stop me in my tracks and make me abandon all sense of rationality, reason and pretty much anything else.  Girls.  More specifically, beautiful women.  Beautiful, intelligent, articulate, athletic women just knock me flat.  And if there’s an emotional/spiritual connection in addition, it’s like I find myself in a movie where everything else becomes background and then fades to black – while my heart pounds.

I don’t blame them.  I blame me.  I get distracted.  And I get nervous.  Which means I spend more time thinking about things other than writing, and I get so nervous that I burn off anything I eat.  So I’m pretty sure that makes me a lesbian.

It’s kind of annoying (not the lesbian part).  Here I am, a somewhat accomplished, intelligent woman who has been trained in the art of logic.  I have systematically developed the left side of my brain.  On top of that, I’m one of the most introspective people I know.  I’ve embarked on a journey to cultivate those things that are important to me, going as far as abandoning most everything that tied me to any one perception of myself.  And still, I find myself throwing caution to the wind and diving ass over teakettle as soon as I feel a connection with a pretty girl.

Damn it!  What the hell is that about?

I like spending time with people.  And when I can get over my nerves, I really like spending time with the beautiful, intelligent women.  I’m not so sure, however, I can be responsible in these situations.

When I left for Italy, it was in response to the little voice.  I heard it loud and clear, and I listened.  It was a rare moment of clarity, and I embarked on a journey to listen to the little voice as much as possible, and see where it led me.  As a result, I’ve been able to hear it and listen to it more and more.  Except when I’m clouded by the lovely and befuddling fog that surrounds women.  Then, either I’m unable to hear the voice, or (more often) I’m willing to debate and ultimately disregard it.  DANGER!  DANGER!

Here’s the rub:  I know that if I fight against this part of me, it’ll just get stronger.  But it’s become more and more clear to me that I’m missing something that is leading me to make the same mistakes over and over.   And I’d like to stop making those mistakes.    So what have I been missing?

This week, I made a pretty big realization:  for some reason, I’ve developed a story line that has me living my life alone.  For years I’ve been repeating things like, “I will probably end up alone,” “I never want to change my life for a woman,” “I’m in no place to be dating anyone,” “it’s safer for everyone if I just don’t date.”

I’ve believed that, in order to be true to myself, I need to be alone – to a large degree.  That to be a strong woman, I need live a singular existence.

I do recognize how important it is for me to be comfortable in my own skin; to not NEED to be with anyone; to not NEED external validation.  And I have more work to do in that area for sure.  But this is something different.  I’ve been believing that, if I make a decision based on my desire to be with someone, it’s automatically invalid.  That wanting to be with someone to the degree that I would want to change my plans to include them in my life is somehow a sign of weakness.  And in believing that, I’ve belittled the idea of being with another person, and come into conflict with myself the second I found someone I wanted to be with.  I hadn’t realized that.

In fact, until this week, I never really considered that wanting to share my life with another woman could be a valid priority for me.  I wanted it, but I discounted it.  How sad!

But this week, as I was checking boxes to indicate my priorities and preferences for online dating sites, and wondering why I haven’t moved on to the next leg of my travels, I started to make sense of things.

One great lesson I learned while I was in Italy came on my last night in Venice.  I’d spent an incredible few days seeing the city, eating fantastic food.  I found myself in the hotel about to sit down to write about my day, and I physically turned to talk with someone who wasn’t there.  I wanted to relive the experiences of the day.  But I was the only one there.  That’s really great for writing – but not so great for emotional stability.

I value shared experience.  I write to share my experiences.  I publish for others to resonate.  The times I’ve been most happy in my life are when I feel connected.  I love playing softball.  I loved playing rugby.  Being part of a team makes my heart sing.  The jobs that have made me most content and brought out the most passion in me have been those where I am connected to a community of people with a common experience.  Why would my personal life be any different?  I don’t know why I would ever believe that wanting to have someone to share my life with is shameful, but that’s how I’ve been living – for a long time.  As an apologist for myself and my willingness to adjust my plans to include the possibility of a relationship.  Because I didn’t see that it could be an important priority for me, in and of itself.

I’m someone who loves deeply and values connection with others.  Usually I see those things as my greatest strengths.  But every time I find myself attracted to someone, I tell myself I won’t sacrifice, won’t compromise, won’t change whatever it is I’m doing with my life.  Even if I don’t know what the hell I’m doing with my life.  (Which is more often than I care to admit.)  And it’s possible that all of those grand statements about what I won’t do have kept me from having an authentic experience with myself or anyone else.

I don’t talk about my relationships very often.  I don’t want my friends and family to know how much I’m affected by another person.   That means I act differently when I’m with someone, like I’m hiding something.  Being ashamed of being in a relationship isn’t so healthy I think.  (I mean, I’m not a shrink, or anything, but I think I’m fairly solid on this point.)  It’s totally possible that I’ve doomed my relationships by isolating myself, as a way of not sharing what I see as weakness.

By ignoring the importance of my relationships, I’ve been invalidating a very critical part of me.

Talk about being self-loathing!

The reason I haven’t been writing isn’t girls.  It’s me.  The reason I came back to Portland is because I valued the potential for a deep connection with a wonderful woman.  The reason I haven’t moved on to the next leg of my travels is that I haven’t heard the little voice telling me where to go.  It’s possible that it’s a little unhappy that I ignored it last time I heard it.  But it’ll be back.  And I’ll be more likely to listen this time, because I won’t have to argue with it about my priorities.  Women aren’t kryptonite, and my desire to share my life with someone isn’t a weakness.  And that realization is a great gift.

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1 Big Mama { 04.12.10 at 9:16 pm }

God bless you, my child!

2 KFlick { 04.12.10 at 10:39 pm }

Thanks, Mom! I’m all good. It was a big week. 🙂

3 Michelle | Bleeding Espresso { 04.13.10 at 12:41 am }

Love this Kristin; I think a lot of women of our generation go through a similar internal struggle of wanting to share our lives with someone but also thinking that agreeing to compromise somehow makes us weak…you’ve expressed this beautifully.

And you’ve been quiet because you’ve been doing a lot of hard work…growing is hard! 😉

4 KFlick { 04.13.10 at 8:28 am }

It’s hard werk! Thanks Michelle.

5 Ant { 04.15.10 at 10:20 am }

Thank you for sharing your “aha coulda had a v8” moments. This totally applies to straight or gay. Ha and I learn so much about myself reading you…….

6 Michele { 04.20.10 at 5:16 pm }

Nicely done, K, nicely done.


7 K { 04.26.10 at 12:25 pm }

Nice work. Seriously proud of you.

8 Ce'licia TaTiana { 03.15.12 at 12:18 pm }

Wow, its like you peeked into my person and wrote what you saw. Cheers for making this discovery for yourself!