Tales of a wandering lesbian

Category — Woo woo


“Honey, I think what you’re putting out there is, ‘roadblock’.”

I’d asked my roommates for a little reflection.  It’d been an interesting few weeks on the dating front.  I’d gone from nursing a broken heart, to not wanting to date anyone, to playing around with online dating, to realizing that I value the shared experience of a long-term relationship, to finding myself in a love triangle, on a date with a straight woman, considering dating women living in other states, and falling for a wonderful, but unavailable woman – all as I prepared to continue my personal journey on two other continents.  It was a bit much.

My poor roommates.  I love them so very much.  They’ve watched me through all of this.  And the roadblock comment seems pretty right on the mark.

I’ve been identifying my warning labels, sharing my limitations, and holding back the parts of me that might overwhelm.  Or pushing them forward as a kind of test to see if they will.  It’s like when I get someone a present.  Or make a fabulous dinner.  I lead with an apology. “They didn’t have what I really wanted to get you, so I got this…” “The onion isn’t exactly what I’d wanted, but I hope it’s okay…”  It takes the sting away if they don’t’ like it.  And it’s the same for me.

If I don’t give my full self, and I’m rejected, the other person isn’t rejecting the real me, so it’s not so bad.  If I overwhelm the person on purpose, I’m getting what I expected, so that’s not so bad either.  If I throw up a roadblock, or make sure there’s one in the way, it’s a bonus if I can find a work-around.  But it’s only what was expected when it falls apart.

I’m done with that now.

So here’s my statement to the universe:  I am ready.  I am ready to accept into my life adventure and passion and abundance.  I am ready to unleash the full me and to welcome with open arms all of the beauty that comes.  I am ready.  For a life of radiant love.  For a life of wonder.  I am ready.

Oh, and also thank you.

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May 4, 2010   1 Comment

Shaking the foundation

I realized that I would have to shed a few things when I decided to change my life. House, job, relationship. In honesty, I might not have had to shed any of them to go traveling short-term, and they weren’t all directly related to each other. The relationship was only temporally related; the house and job seemed like a good idea to let go of as I ventured out. And while I realized I was making an intentional decision to live the next part of my life a certain way, I’m not sure I fully realized that what I was actually doing was making a decision to live the rest of my life in an intentional way. It’s really only upon my return from the first leap that I’ve realized this. And that I’ve started to go about the work of embracing it.

There’s something that happens in situations where a person is being programmed. It happens slowly in the course of our lives, over years as people and situations shape us into the people we are. But it happens more quickly in intense situations where the programming is intentional. Take the military, for example, or a gang – or a cult. People enter with all of the pieces of their lives that they’ve accumulated, the preconceptions, the social and political views, the masks and games and walls that they use. They are stripped of all of this, as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Their relationships are removed, their possessions stripped, they leave their homes and enter into a new society, a new family, where, after being torn down, they are built back up. They’re taught to speak a new language, and to interact in a specific way, using a distinct thought process.

It’s a lot like law school, actually.

When I entered law school, it was like I had found a refuge. I didn’t need to be torn down or reprogrammed, because I was already using the language, thought process, and methods of social interaction that are cultivated in law school. Don’t get me wrong, this didn’t make me a great lawyer, but it did make me a great law student. While other students were dealing with being torn down by the process, I was able to put that part aside and focus on the studying. No tear-down needed. But the process of law school, and bar exam is, in my humble opinion, a professional example of the programming that happens in gang and cult situations. It’s just one we idealize.

So, anyway, I didn’t really go through that in law school. I watched it though. And when I decided to take a leap and shift into a new life, I didn’t fully realize that I would be entering a tear-down, build-up cycle. But oh, honey, have I ever.

I’ve talked about removing my home from my life, and the sense of freedom and groundlessness that has evoked.

I’ve talked about leaving a long-term relationship and embracing the friendship that remains.

I’ve talked about leaving a job that brought stability but great discontentment.

I’ve talked about abandoning the language; the words and humor that I use as both sword and shield in my life.

I’m not sure I’ve talked about the cumulative effect, however. There seem to be some people who think that my journey is something to be idealized – like law school. So I’d like to set the record straight. It’s a journey that I am glad of, but not one I would recommend to everyone.

Imagine selling your home and quitting your job to pursue your dream; discovering that you would like to have a home again – and then finding that you can’t get a mortgage because you’ve left your job to pursue your dream.

Imagine getting yourself into the best physical shape of your life – and then finding out that you’re not insurable.

Imagine discovering that you would like to share your life with someone, then finding someone who feels like they fit into your life – and then having the whole thing crumble in your hands.

Imagine experiencing all of this in the course of a few months – repeatedly.

It’s like believing that you’ve found a real answer to the great questions you’ve been asking yourself – and then discovering the “answer” is really a punch line to a joke you haven’t even heard.

Then imagine knowing that you have to let go of it all. Of the desires, and the expectations, and the judgments, and the results. That everything you have been programmed with needs to fall away, so that you can start again, this time with intention.

It’s hard.

I realized this week that I’ve spent the last 8 months in a period of intensive tear-down, pulling at the strings of the tapestry I’ve woven. The pretty pictures that I show the world, and myself. It seems like at this point it should be pretty completely deconstructed, but every so often I have an experience that slams me against the wall and seems to shout at me in loving tones, “no, my child, you haven’t quite gotten it yet.”

And that’s where I find myself now. On the down-stroke of a difficult lesson. One I know I need to learn if I am to move forward. One that I thought I’d already learned. And one that makes me seriously wonder what is left to deconstruct. What part of my foundation have I failed to shake. Because every time I start to rebuild myself, to look at the ways that I can move from tear-down to build-up, it seems there are a few more threads that need to be pulled, and vast areas of tapestry still intact, hiding the parts that I didn’t even know were there.

So I lean into the hurt, pulling gently at the threads while part of me clings to them, trying to salvage the parts that are authentic, and working to let go of the judgment that rises up within me every time I find another thread.  Because when I finally enter the rebuilding, I want to know that what I build will be solid.  That I’ve shaken all I can out of the foundation, so that next time maybe I won’t have to dig so deep.

Because there’s another where that the tear-down, build-up cycle is used – abuse.  And I wonder, at what point does the tear-down move from self-growth to self-abuse?  How deep is too deep?  (I know, it all still sounds so glamorous and self-indulgent.)

Even then, I’m not sure I know how to rebuild. I’m pretty sure it has to do with listening to the little voice. Hearing it, and listening to it. Nurturing it until it becomes not just a little voice, but a clear, respected rudder. I know the rebuild won’t be easy, necessarily, but I think I’d like to get to that phase now, because the tear-down is just hard.

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March 3, 2010   4 Comments


I had a session today with a spiritual counselor of mine.  I check in with her when I’m looking for a little confirmation that I’m on the right track, or when I’m struggling to see what my next steps are.  She’s someone who helps me get more fully in touch with my higher self.  Today we talked about how the work that I do in this life impacts not only me, but the other people in my life, and even souls that aren’t quite here yet.

That got me thinking about my sister.  I’m headed to Idaho this weekend for her baby shower.  She’s having the first baby in the family in quite a while.  She and my bro-in-law don’t know if it’ll be a boy or girl, so we call it UBC – short for Un Born Child.  When UBC is born, it will come into a small family, but one full of love.  I’ll be an aunt – that blessed position that will allow me to support unconditionally, spoil unmercifully, and return the child to its parents when it gets gassy from all the sweets I’ve fed it.

Until now, that’s how I’ve thought of my relationship with UBC.  The child is scheduled to be born near my birthday.  A beautiful and challenging time of the year to be born.  At a beautiful and challenging time in our history. After today’s conversation, I started thinking about how my life will impact UBC.  And about what I can offer to this child.  Here’s what I came up with:

I will listen.
I will offer support.
I will encourage your dreams.
I will take the time to answer when you ask, “why?”
I will live my dreams so that you know that you can live yours.
I will speak my truth so that others won’t be so surprised when you speak yours.

All I ask in return is that you love and trust and dream, that you live fully and speak the truth you know, so that the next generation will find this world a little softer, a little more peaceful, and a little more ready to love.

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February 27, 2010   3 Comments

On humanity

It strikes me that there are two basic types of emotions – those based in the feeling of connectedness, and those based in the fear of disconnection.

In my estimation, it is critical that we embrace the fear.  Celebrate the connection, yes –  the feelings of lightness that come from knowing that you share something deeper with the rest of human existence.  But don’t hide the feelings of fear.  By bringing them into the open, discussing them and sharing them, we find that even those feelings of disconnection are shared by everyone at some point.  That the feelings of disconnection are, themselves, a point of connection.

That, to me, is the essence of being human.  That even in our darkest moments, there is light.

I know this is nothing new, but I think it’s something important nonetheless.

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February 3, 2010   1 Comment


“That’s not normal.”

The woman at the crystal shop had greeted my mom with a bright smile.  Now, she was looking at her with awe.

“You actually HEARD the whales?”

On our way out to the old Hawaii town of Hawi, we’d yelled for my dad to pull off the road.  The whales are active off the coast in January, and we were seeing flashes of dark and white plumes coming from flat spots just off the shore.

My parents have a time-share on the big island, and they usually come for about a month every spring.  This spring, my little sister is having a baby, so they’ve come early to the island – and I’m tagging along.

On our walks along the resort beaches, we’d seen whales breeching alone and in pairs – something beautiful and exciting – but this day, we were seeing something different.  While the whales we’d seen near the resorts were on the horizon or well off shore, where the turquoise sandy bottom meets the darker, deeper water, these whales very close to the shore in the deep water that comes right up to the land.

We walked down the lava-dirt path that led from the road out onto the little shelf above the scrub-covered hills that roll down to the water.  A light breeze blew off the water, bringing the sounds of the water to us, a mile or two away.

A screeching, sucking sound made us all stop.  I thought it was tires on the loose lava behind us.  Another car had pulled in to watch the whales.  We looked around and then continued out onto the bluff.

Out came cameras and binoculars.  We watched as two or three whales, all very close to each other, bobbed and flashed out of the water.  Glints of shimmering ribbons played around the whales – spinner dolphins dancing through the air.  The celebration continued as we watched, and we began to wonder what we were seeing.  Whales both mate and birth in January.

And then we heard the sound again.

“Is that coming from the whales?!”

We all looked at each other.

The screeching, wheezing song sounded again.

“Holy shit.”

I started recording, hoping I could capture something as we watched in complete disbelief.  The spinners surrounded the whales, hurling themselves twirling through the air, the sun glinting off their slick, laughing forms.  And the whales waved their fins.  Then they splashed their tales, and bobbed their heads, straight out of the water.  And they sang.

As my mom shared the story with the woman in the crystal shop, we all started to realize how strange the experience had been.  “That is quite a blessing,” she had said.

And we believed it.  We heard whales singing above water.

Here’s the video.  You can hear it at 0:38 and then more clearly at 2:00.  You have to listen in between our excited babbling, but it’s quite a blessing, all the same.

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January 24, 2010   2 Comments