Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

This is a personal essay I wrote for my Women’s Life Writing class based on the question “If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?”

Have you ever pleaded with The Universe to change something about your life, begged the all encompassing “creator” to please just make you normal? I have. I spent much of my life wanting to change my sexuality. Although I grew up in a house hold where I was exposed to homosexuality as a young age this exposure did not help me in my own accepting of who I was. My first memory of homosexuality was when I was seven years old while watching the sitcom Ellen. Ellen was my mom’s favorite show and I remember her becoming very angry when the show got cancelled. I recall my mom angrily stating “I don’t care if she’s gay, she’s funny and I want to laugh when I get home from work!” I don’t remember how I knew what gay meant at the time all I knew is that Ellen liked girls and therefore she couldn’t be on TV anymore. I still remember the episode in which Ellen came out. She was rushing to the airport before her soon to be love interest left on a plane, Ellen reached over to the PA system at the airport and proudly shouted “I’m gay” over the intercom, for some reason that always stuck with me. My next exposure to homosexuality was within my own family. My uncle came out when I was nine and I very vividly recall the moment my parents told my sister and I. My mom gathered us in the living room and sat us down on the couch, her and my dad sat on two chairs, directly facing us. Both of them had serious looks on their faces. At this point I was sure someone had died or at least was very sick. My mom continued to explain to us that my Uncle was gay. My parents asked us if we had any questions and neither of us did so my dad told us we could go back to playing. My uncle’s coming out didn’t change our family dynamic one bit, everything went on as normal. My parents never had anything bad to say about my uncle’s sexuality. They told my sister and I that he was the same uncle we had always had and that the only difference was that he may bring a boyfriend to family functions rather than a girlfriend. They told us not to be afraid to talk about him and that no matter what anyone said about him he was still a good person and being gay wouldn’t change that. I still find it shocking that I came from such an accepting family and yet I was so ashamed of my sexuality for so long.

I was about eleven years old when I became permanently confused about my sexuality. All the girls in my grade were getting “feelings” about the boys in our class. At recess they would write down who they wanted to marry and how many kids they wanted. “I’m definitely marrying Mark*, and we’ll have 3 beautiful children and we’ll live in the biggest house in town!” Laura* would say. Mark* was the hot commodity for most of the girls in my class. He had dark skin, green eyes and luscious pink lips, he drove all the girls crazy, except me. I played along with these recess games, but I had yet to feel anything about boys or girls for that matter. At twelve I was still more interested in winning the basketball game after school then who I wanted to date. By thirteen I still had yet to be interested in anyone, but I continued to gossip with my friends about the new boy in class because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. At this point I began to think there was something wrong with me, why wasn’t I interested in dating boys? Instead of wanting to date boys I wanted to avoid them. I began to feel uncomfortable around boys; I didn’t know how to communicate with them. Was I supposed to be flirtatious like my best friend Zoe* or was I supposed to fit in with them like my friend Morgan* who was the “tom boy” in my class? I didn’t know, all I knew was that I’d rather hang out with Jessie*. Jessie* was a new student and had these beautiful, glacial blue eyes and short golden blonde hair. She was tall and towered over me but she had the most gentle smile I had ever seen. Jessie* and I became fast friends and we spent much of our time together, until Jessica started dating Mark* and then our friendship became more of an acquaintance relationship.

Fast forward a year, to the week before my fourteenth birthday. For an early birthday gift my aunt sent me to camp with my younger cousin. That week at camp changed my life forever. I met a girl. She had sparkling blue eyes, and her dirty blonde hair was always pulled back in a pony. She dressed in baggy pants, and I distinctly remember she wore a mustard yellow sweater almost everyday we were there. She had a boisterous personality, she was loud, funny and wasn’t afraid to make a fool of herself. Most of all, she was confident and I loved that about her. In many ways she reminded me of myself and I gravitated towards her. Luckily for me we were in the same activity group and spent everyday attached at the hip. She was a long time camper at camp and was very popular amongst the campers and staff, in turn, I too became popular.

On the last day of camp my parents had to pick me up early because we had a wedding to attend. That morning I watched as she got ready for the day. I remember myself laid out on her bed with tears streaming down my cheeks. She insisted I not cry and that we would stay in contact, after all we only lived a half hour from each other. My heart dropped the moment my camp counselor came to the door and told me my parents were there to pick me up. I didn’t understand why I was so upset about leaving, I would see her again and I would be back at camp next year. My parents came and carried my luggage to the truck, she took my hand and laced her fingers with mine. That moment, that feeling, of her fingers intertwined with mine was the moment, the feeling, I knew. I knew that I had fallen for a girl. I had never felt more content in my life then during that walk along that path with our hands in embrace. She refused to let go of my hand even once I was in the vehicle. As my parents drove away she ran along side the truck and our hands were eventually torn apart by my dad’s lead foot. That night as I laid in bed crying I said to myself “I’m gay” and then buried it deep down inside me. I buried those feelings because other then my uncle no one else in my town was gay and I certainly wasn’t going to be the only one. Soon after my realization I decided I would change, I would no longer be gay. I didn’t want to be different, I didn’t ask to be different and I wasn’t strong enough to be different, or so I thought. I went back to school and continued on my escapades of “fitting in” and gossiping about boys. I eventually went to high school and by the time I graduated I had buried my feelings so well that I almost never thought about my sexuality. I had decided I could live my life as a single woman and never have to tell people about how I really felt. I was wrong.

By the time I had turned twenty-three the denial of my sexuality was no longer as easy as it was in high school. I began to have anxiety attacks regularly, my personality changed from being a happy, bubbly, talkative person to being a more tense, reclusive person. A friend set me up on a date; I sat nervously and anxiously through it all the while knowing that this poor guy had no chance. At the end of the night when he leaned in for a kiss I simply put out my hand and said, “Thanks for dinner.” I began to be resentful of The Universe for making me this way. I would cry myself to sleep pleading with whatever power existed to make me straight. I didn’t want to be gay and I didn’t want my family to have to deal with having a gay daughter, sister, niece or friend. I would occasionally come across a television show discussing “coming out’ as if it was something that would make everything in my life better. What a lie! How could coming out as a gay individual make my life better? How would going from a normal, white, heterosexual woman become better if I gave people a reason to discriminate against me; and it wasn’t just me who would face discrimination. My parents would undoubtedly face the dreaded “coffee row” in town and hear whispers about their gay daughter. How would my niece and nephew be treated if they had a gay aunt? Would they be taunted at school, would they be ashamed of me? Would they wish I was normal just like I wished I was?

* * *

After ten years of forcing myself to live an inauthentic life I had finally given up. I had decided I could at least date women and keep it a secret rather than denying myself love forever. I dated a couple people but it never felt right, sneaking around, lying about who I was hanging out with. None of the relationships were healthy and this created further shame about who I was. However, everything changed in May 2013 when I met my now girlfriend on an unsuspecting, sunny, Saturday afternoon in the parking lot of Pet Smart. She and I started to date in December of last year and through her unwavering support I began to accept my sexuality. She said to me one day, “You know babe, before I came out I used to wish I could change my sexuality, but the moment I came out I felt whole, I felt happy, I felt content and I knew that being gay was not something that took away from my life, it enhanced it.” I wanted to feel content, I wanted to feel happy, I wanted to be whole. We dated for nine months before I got up the courage to come out to my family and friends. During that nine months we had many ups and downs. I still often felt guilty and ashamed about my sexuality but on August 23, 2014, the eve of my 26th birthday, my best friend, my sister and my parents received letters from me informing them of my sexuality. In the letters, I confessed that I still sometimes wished I wasn’t gay and that I tried for along time to change who I was but I could no longer fight it. Within minutes of receiving the letters I got phone calls and texts from my loved ones saying, “We don’t want you to change, we love you exactly as you are and if you were any different you would not be the Lindsay we love.” I could not believe the outpouring of support, acceptance, and love I received from the most important people in my life. That was the moment I stopped wishing I wasn’t gay. It all ended there, all the doubt, the pleading, the shame, the denial. All of it gone, permanently.

If you asked me 5 months ago if I could change one thing about my life what would it be? I would have said my sexuality but today I no longer feel the need to change that part of me. If I could change anything about my life today it would be the memories of the shame I felt about being gay. Now I wish I had never felt those things, I wish I had never wished to change who I am. I wish I could have had the courage to come out sooner however, I know when and how I came out was the way it was meant to be. Today I have got all the things I wanted, I’m happy, I’m content and I am whole. As for those episodes I saw on TV suggesting coming out would help my life, they were right. Coming out has been the most important moment in my life to date. I hope that in the future I can help other LGBTQ youth realize they don’t need to change or deny their sexuality. I realize now that the change I had to make was a change in mentality from denying who I was to accepting who I am. I know that if I can change the perceptions of myself after years of self repression and denial then others can change their perceptions too.

Peace has never come from War

Love has never come from Hate

Hate has led to War

War has led to Hate

Love will lead us to Peace

Peace will end in Love

I’ve been in denial. As many of you may know I have been writing what I’ve been calling a “story” that I thought may develop into a short story or a novella. I have realized recently that I have been lying to myself about what this story is meant to be. The truth is I have been scared to call it a novel because I didn’t believe I had the right to say I was writing a novel. I have no education in the area of writing besides a University 100 level English so how could I be writing novel?

Today that changed, I had an epiphany, being an artist of any kind does not mean you have to be educated in the area, you have to live it, breath it, believe it. I thought about it and I do live it, I do breath it and thanks to the response I have been getting on the internet and from people closest to me I now believe it! I received some advice from a person on twitter recently, she suggested I start promoting my book now even though it isn’t finished, and my blog is the perfect place to do that, so here goes:

Hi my name is Lindsay, I’m a writer who is writing a novel, it’s called Gray Hayles and it’s an unclassical story of life, love and loss. I’m looking into self publishing and hoping to have it out within the next two years. I won’t rush it though because I know you can’t rush art! If you’re interested, I have 4 excerpts posted under Gray Hayles.

Ahhhh I feel much better now that it’s out in the open. 😉

Peace and Love and Writing

Lindsay 🙂

I like to think of myself as a good friend. I am fiercely loyal and extremely protective of the ones closest to me. Friends (for me) are just as important as family, in fact they are my family. However, I am not the person who has millions of friends, I am a firm believer that it is not the amount of friends you have but the quality of friends you have. I haven’t always felt this way though. There was a time when I was younger (much younger) when I was “friends” with many people and not people that seemed to be overly caring towards me. This all changed when my best friend at the time told me she could no longer be friends with me if I was going to hang out with people that treated me poorly. This changed my whole perspective, she was right, what was the point in being around ten people who made me feel inferior when I could spend time with one person who I could really be myself with and not feel like I had to live up to any expectations. I will forever be grateful to her for opening my eyes to this concept. I am glad to say she is still one of me best friends to this day and even though we don’t see each other as often as I would like, when we do get together its just like it was when we were twelve. This for me, is the true test of friendship, when you can go months without seeing each other but when you do get together its like you have seen each other everyday.

I am lucky to have to two other girls in my life who I gladly bestow the Best friend title on, my sister being one of them. I know some people say your family can’t be your friends but I don’t believe this. The definition of friend for me is someone who is honest with you, trustworthy and supportive of you and always has your best interest at heart, and my sister fits all of this criteria. I have to admit we haven’t always been close considering the five year age difference (I was the annoyingly mean little sister) but as I’ve grown up I have matured and I look up to her in so many ways. She can tell it to me straight and doesn’t hold back when I’m being difficult (one of the few people who can do this). Recently she gave birth to twins and I was worried about her changing and being different now that she has two people to worry and think about all the time. The truth is she has changed she went from being a normal person to being a super hero. That’s right people I’m friends (and related to) with  a super hero. I am so lucky to have her in my life! Love ya!

Last and certainly not least is my Bestie! I met her many years ago (our moms worked together) but we didn’t become friends until we moved in together when we were taking our first year of University. She is probably the most important person I have met since I moved out and became a grown up :). It’s a great thing when you can have someone with you when your transitioning from adolescence to adulthood especially when they are going through the same transition. We have spent so many nights and days talking about anything and everything. She is another one of those people who can call me out when I’m acting a fool (and she does lol). She is honest and trustworthy and loyal and strong, all the things a friend should be. I haven’t had many hard times but when I have she has always been there, supporting me through. We finish each others sentences, we can communicate just by a look and can laugh at each other (and do all the time!). I feel so blessed to have a friend like her especially when I know of many people who have no one they can talk to and be open with. I wish that everyone could have a friend like her, but I’m not willing to share lol 😉

If you are reading this blog entry because you have friends or because you don’t just know that you need to have people around you that care about you as much as you care about them. Don’t ever feel like you have to change who you are or what you think to keep or gain friends. Those people are not friends, true friends don’t care about that kind of stuff they care about you 🙂 In the words of Kelly Clarkson I’ve picked all my weeds but kept the flowers”  and I have the best flowers!

On a side note I apologize for the lack of blogs :/ I’ve really been slagging on my writing but I’m back in action now and will make up for it in the coming days 🙂

Peace and Love and Flowers

Lindsay

It’s a weird thing growing up. I’m on the verge of my 24th year and I never thought I would get this old. As a child part of me believed I would never grow up even though I desperately wanted to. Now I find myself wanting to be young again, free of responsibility and certain wisdom I have gained that comes with getting older.

It’s strange when you’re a teenager you think that what you know, the ideas, the opinions you have will always be that way. You think that you are who you are going to be, that you couldn’t be more you than you are at sixteen. How naive, at that age I think you are the farthest from who you truly are. Hormones and influences contribute too much to your being when you’re that age. I remember thinking I knew everything when I was a teen, and I remember my mom constantly arguing with me that I didn’t, but I would not step down. I was always irritated by people hating on teens, saying they were ignorant and reckless. I still believe people can be too hard on teens but it is not a lie that many are very ignorant and reckless, but in their defense they don’t know any better. I think the problems between most adults and teenagers is that adults forget what is was like being that age and teens have no concept of what it’s like to be an adult. In all honesty they are on complete opposites of the spectrum, resulting in many heads being butted.

About six years ago I remember a friend of mine getting upset at me for dabbling in some things she did not agree with. I had been out of high school for a year and had been thrust into this world of being able to make my own decisions without having the guilt of my parents looming over me head, which was freeing for me. I experimented while she was still in high school, still living under rule and she was not happy with my decisions. I recall her saying to me “You’ve changed,” I was so angry at her in that moment. I hadn’t changed, how dare she say that to me, I was still the same person. Needless to say our friendship went into hibernation and a year and a half later I got a message from her apologizing for overreacting saying that she too was now making some similar decisions and had a new perspective. I never really gave up on our friendship during that time, I knew she was younger and hadn’t yet the ability to understand. I knew she would come around and she did, I’m happy to report our friendship has been going strong for the last 5 years now.

Recently the topic of changing has come up again in my life and now I am not so negative about it. I have changed and I’m proud of it. I’m glad I am not like my 16yo self(aren’t we all?), we are not meant to be our teenaged selves. I don’t believe in the things I used to, I don’t have the opinions I used too. As I’ve gotten older I have become more open with my ideas, less judgmental of others and more accepting. However, even though many things have changed about me I still am fundamentally who I was as a 5 year old. I don’t like to let things define me but I have always been these three things:

Loud, I was born with a high decibel voice, I am destine for a life of my dad constantly telling me to lower my voice (which is not possible unless I whisper lol so get used to it dad!)

Talkative, Since I said my first word at 9months and haven’t stopped. I could talk about anything and everything all day long. Nothing makes me more happy than a good conversation (it’s they way to my heart).

Honest, My mom always says “Come on Lindsay, tell us how you really feel,” I have never been shy about what I am thinking, sometimes it gets me in trouble but I truly believe it’s the best policy.

I guess I’m supposed to call myself and adult now but I still have so much kid left in me (considering I work with 5yos all day). I feel like I am on the border of childhood and adulthood. I am gaining knowledge everyday but still trying to find the novelty in things. I hope to keep this quality as long as I can. Being an adult is no fun without a little novelty and childhood is enriched with a little knowledge. Cheers to growing up and growing young simultaneously.

Peace and Love

Lindsay the Rambler of Things

It’s okay for me to think what I think

It’s okay for me to feel what I feel

It’s okay for me to write what I write

It’s okay for me to see what I see

It’s okay for me to be what I be

I find myself repeating this mantra over and over these days.

When people try to stuff me in a box,

When people try to tell me how I feel,

When people try to force ideas on me.

I will not let other people decide who I am.

Some think I am weird

afraid to come to near

but I am not to be feared

 

He thinks I am a disease

expecting me to please

this is what he sees

 

She thinks I am poser

burning me with her smolder

wanting only for me to hold her

 

You think I am an inspiration

playing with your imagination

all of Me is a collaboration

 

They think I am insane

pushing to me to detain

but my spirit will not be slain

 

I think we can be free

if only we choose to see

each person selflessly