Tales of a wandering lesbian


“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


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


Alright, people.  I know I haven’t been posting much.  Part of the reason is that I’m starting the book-writing process.  I’ve got one little segment done, so I thought I’d share it.  Enjoy!

Choose.  Every day, choose to live in love.  Choose to trust yourself, and others.  Most of all, choose to choose.


I planned to be President.  It came about pretty rapidly, really.  One day I was receiving a college scholarship from the local homebuilders organization.  The next, a reporter from the local paper was asking me what I thought of the First Lady, Hillary Clinton.  And then it happened.

“So, would you ever run for president?”

“Yeah, sure.”  With that flip answer, I did a quick calculation, determined when the earliest feasible time would be for me to run, and made up my mind.  I would be President.  I was 17.


“Daniel!”  The girl from the school newspaper was shouting at the group of us posing for a picture.  I was back in town from a series of extended travels.  One of the High Schools I’d worked with over the last 4 years was presenting a $11,000 check to the charity I’d worked for.  I was tagging along to congratulate the students, and see the completion of my work.

“Daniel, get out of there, you’re too tall!”  Daniel’s shoulders hunched as he jogged out of the picture.  His linebacker’s frame oozing disappointment as the smile slid from his face.

“Here, Daniel, come kneel in front,” someone offered.

“Nah, I don’t want to make the picture ugly.”  He said it as though he truly believed that his presence would destroy the memory of this great day.  The tone in his voice was absolute.

The 6 adult women holding the oversized presentation-check gasped in unison, “NO!”  Daniel was covered immediately in a hurled web of reassurance.  “You have to be in the picture!”  “You’re part of this, Daniel!”  “We want you here!”

Daniel found his place on the ground in front of the check, and we all breathed a sigh, glaring at the totally clueless photographer who was clicking away, her unnecessary flash blinding us.

I’d known Daniel for a couple of years.  I’d seen him as an awkward teen, too tall and too big to do what we all so desperately want to do in high school – fit in.  The first time I met him, he assured me that he was a dumb jock.  But the questions he asked during my presentation betrayed his words of self-doubt.  He was engaged and funny, asked intelligent questions, and served as a great role model for the other students.  His deep voice and heavy brow couldn’t mask his keen mind and personality.  By the end of the year, he would find himself in a statewide leadership role with the Future Business Leaders of America.

Now, a year later, he was just as engaging, outgoing and talented.  And just as willing to believe that he wasn’t good enough.

Standing in the entry to the school, we all said our thank yous and good byes.  I reached up to hug Daniel.  When we stepped away, he looked at me with curiosity.

“You know, I can’t even guess at how old you are.”

“Thanks, Daniel.”

“No really, I can’t.  But it seems amazing that someone your age can live such a fulfilling life.”

When I left my job with the charity, it was to change my life.  I sold my house, quit my job, left my girlfriend and my dog, and took a leap.  The kids I worked with knew this.  Daniel knew this.

“It’s amazing,” he continued, “that you, at your age could be living like you are.  There are so many people who don’t even try until they’re 65.  And then they can’t even enjoy it because it’s too late.”

“Thanks.  That’s exactly why I’m choosing to live this way, Daniel.”

“I know, but who gets to do that?  I mean really, who gets to do-“ I cut him off.

“Anyone who chooses to.”

He looked at me.  And then he blundered on, “Yeah, but It’s really incredible.”

“Anyone who chooses to.”  I caught his eye with my hand and brought him to my eyes.  “Internalize this, Daniel.  Really.  Anyone who chooses to. That’s who gets to live like this.  End of story.”

The beautiful boy stopped.  And he listened.  Still looking at my eyes, he nodded once.


I smiled, nodded back, pulled my visitor’s badge off my shirt and tossed it in the trash as I walked out the door.

Once in the rainy winter air of Portland, I breathed.  Maybe – just maybe – if I was lucky – he’d heard me.  And maybe that would be what he remembered in 10 years when he looked back to this day, and not how he’d ruined the picture.  And maybe – just maybe, he’d remember that he gets to choose.

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February 18, 2010   4 Comments


There are things my parents have given me that I recognize every day.  My hands look exactly like my mother’s, and I see my dad’s mannerisms when I’m doing any type of business.

There are other things that sneak up on me.  Things that surprise me and make me grateful for what I’ve been given.  I know how to eat healthily.  I value good sentence structure.  And I recognize the benefit of physical activity.  I’m reminded of these things sporadically when I read a really badly written book or feel my body respond well to exercise.

Right now, I’m in Portland, housesitting for some friends.  In their living room, they have something that I grew up with – a piano.  Yesterday, when I walked in, it called to me like an old friend inviting me over to chat.  Like an old friend, I remembered some things, and forgot others.  I knew some of the things we used to chat about, and started through familiar territory, plunking out the first few bars of “The Entertainer”, something I used to play at parties and on dilapidated uprights everywhere.

I knew where my hands started; how the black keys felt on the sides of my fingers.  I remembered how to start.

I could feel my little, French great-grandmother sitting on the bench beside me, encouraging as she sang her songs.  She loved playing, but her hands were so small they couldn’t reach even a full octave.  She played anyway.

As the melody died away into a cacophony of unintended dissonance and hurried corrections, I reached up to open the beginner book on the music stand.  Working through the little book with the big notes, I smiled and laughed.  I played piano for years as a kid and then flute in high-school and college, as well as a plethora of other instruments, so I was able to read the top line of the music immediately.  The bass line was a challenge, though.  It took a full 5 minutes for me to remember all the mnemonic phrases that would help me identify the notes.

I’ve done this before, started over with the piano – on trips to my parent’s house, trying to re-learn Christmas songs.  It’s always been vaguely frustrating, trying to recreate something I used to have so fully; something that used to feel so natural.  It was like every missed-note was a confirmation that I wasn’t meant to be a musician, raising doubts;  taunting with unexpected sounds.  But over the last couple of days, I find myself gravitating toward the piano, the little upright that is so at odds with the perfectly tuned grand that I learned on, welcoming the learning that comes with rediscovery.

And I’m grateful.  I don’t need to start where I left off.  I don’t actually want to.  I remember how to start, and for now, that’s enough.  Actually, it’s more than enough.  It’s a beautiful, beautiful gift.

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February 10, 2010   2 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