Well, I didn't mean to fall of the face of the planet. But as you can imagine, I've been dealing with quite a bit after dropping my big coming out bomb. And, unfortunately, my laptop died and I haven't had a computer for a few weeks. Let me tell you, I have missed sitting at a keyboard and typing.
I think there has been a collective intake of breath and a question hangs on everyone's mind- Now what? What are you going to do?
I've been asking myself that question for weeks, months, years. I never saw myself here. I never saw myself with three kids with autism, facing a divorce. I never saw myself coming out of the closet and being vocal about my uncertainty in the religion I was raised in and professed for my entire life. This was not the plan.
But then, I've made a lot of plans in life and few of them panned out. I'm not really interested in thinking of a ten year plan at the moment. What I am interested in is figuring out what I want, which isn't quite the same thing. I'm interested in continuing to learn about myself and then following through on what I know that I want. What am I passionate about? What kind of life do I want to live? What kind of home do I want to create for my children? These are the questions that I find myself laying in bed at night, answering in my head.
Here's what I've got so far.
I am passionate about people. About changing lives, in small ways and on a large scale. I want people to think of me as a helper. In the year to come, I want to continue doing my job, which is providing women with a space to relax and pamper themselves and just plain feel good. I want to help change the laws in my state, both in the realm of autism insurance reform and lgbt rights. I am eager to help my parents as they begin a non-profit to provide financial assistance to families affected by autism. These are all things that challenge me and push me out of my comfort zone, but I think are completely worthy of my time and effort and discomfort. To know that you have helped people...is there any better feeling or purpose?
I want to embrace all the other things I'm passionate about. Reading good dystopian novels or young adult fantasy. Watching my nerdy shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock and Firefly (you can't rewatch it too many times). I want to keep trying new foods but also come to terms with the fact that I will never be Betty Crocker. And dancing. There must be dancing, there has been far too little dancing in my life. I know people use the phrase "gay lifestyle" a lot. I don't really know what that means. The lifestyle I want involves nerdy fandom, poetry, red lipstick, cute dresses, dancing, late nights with kids who don't sleep, snuggles with three little loves, binge watching netflix, crockpot meals, holding hands with a woman I love, liquid eyeliner, IEP meetings, and writing in this very blog. I just want a life that embraces all the things that make me, me.
Part of what makes my life good are the three little ones who look at me as their Mama. I spend a lot of time thinking about the life I want to create for them. I want their home, or homes, to be a peaceful haven. I want to teach them about being strong. I want to create a better world for them. Then I want to be sure that I teach them how to navigate this big crazy world that is so much harder for them than I could possibly understand. All three of them have birthdays approaching and I find myself swinging back and forth between nostalgia and looking ahead. It's true that the days seem so long and the years feel so short. Their futures are a mystery to me, much as my own is. I think we will all just have to hold hands and step into our futures together.
Yes, I've got a lot to figure out. I used to feel like that was some kind of weakness. That not having it all together would mean that you are falling apart. But I don't feel like I'm falling apart, I feel like the opposite of that. I'm growing up and taking responsibility and saying things with more certainty now than I ever have in my whole life. Even if the words are "I don't know", I can at least say them with confidence and security in who I am. And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing.