I’ve had marriage on the brain lately. Well, not exactly marriage as much as weddings. I used to have all these ideas growing up of the perfect wedding because I’m a girl. A pretty feminine girl even though I’m not afraid to say “I’ll kick your ass”, even though, chances are, I would negotiate us out of a fight before it ever came to that. (Insert nervous laughter)
I had the style mapped out, the kind of dress I wanted, the hair, the jewelry. I was a princess. And then life happened, and nothing happened the way I thought it would. I had a life plan up until I graduated from college and at six, planning your life out all the way to 22 is a pretty big feat, so I stopped there. “Let me just get there,” I thought, “And I’ll figure out the rest as it comes.” If only I understood then just how hard that would be. For some reason, I crave plans. I love lists, and at the same time I want to be free enough to let my creative mind fly. It’s a delicate balance, but all that to say, I hadn’t planned on being a lesbian.
I had a plan for the guy. He should have been tall, but that wasn’t very necessary. He did have to be taller than me at least. The universe then played a trick on me and made me just under five feet, ensuring that the majority of the population at large would be taller than me. He needed to be older than me. I grew up with all older siblings. And they were all at least eight years older than me, which meant that I was always functioning almost a decade out of my age range. I was abused when I was younger and then didn’t date while I was growing up. I read a lot, perhaps too much and none of the guys in real life compared to those I read about in books, and I had already learned at a young age the kind of cruelty that they were capable of.
My first date happened when I was 18, and I was so angry with it. I had gone with a friend to see the Phantom of the Opera on their first excursion into New York Broadway. It is still my favorite show and I had already seen it twice by then. During the end of the first act, he reached over and held my hand, and I spent the rest of the show fuming because I had to worry about what to say and what to do, instead of enjoying the most incredible show on Earth.
After some of the most emotionally stressful months of my young life, it took me another three years before I would even consider dating again. College threw me for a loop and introduced me to a girl named Devon. I had been going to the city back and forth for years. I loved the atmosphere. I loved how free people were even though I was still a shy wallflower. My idea of my New York City college was that it was like living in an awesome dream, and she fit right in with it. She had a faux hawk. She wore her jeans baggy and battered. She made smoking look attractive as hell. She was sarcastic and funny. Fiery and passionate about what she believed in, but incredibly sensitive. She terrified me. She became a friend. A real, true friend. She didn’t want anything else from me. And if she did, she hid it well enough that I never knew. In the end, once the semester was over, I allowed our friendship to drift to a close because I wasn’t ready to accept her or myself. Her friendship made me want more from myself and from my life.
I tried for years after to be exactly what everyone wanted me to be at all times and in the last year of my twenties I realize that it’s made me miserable. I’m not quite sure who I am anymore now that I have been living for everyone else. So, I’ve been revisiting my ideas of the life I planned when I was six. The wedding is a huge part for me. And when I think about it all, forget the wedding, forget the marriage, I just want to settle down now with someone. Someone I feel a passion for the way that I have never felt with men. They’ve been amazing friends. But I always arrive at the point where I feel as thought they’re the great best friends that I’d like to set up with someone else. I just want to live my quiet life. No hardcore drama. I want to forge my life to someone else’s with all of the romance, care and passion that I know has been lying dormant within me. Thinking and praying about it recently (yes. I pray about it. I believe my God loves rainbows. He/she made them after all) I’ve said that I don’t mind if we didn’t have a wedding. I didn’t mind if we didn’t get married. I didn’t mind any of it. I just wanted to settle down into a cozy, loving rhythm that we would call life.
I have always been a quiet, private person. But I realize that what I am now is silenced. Quiet, to me, implies that there is some personal choice behind the matter, while silence is inflicted upon an individual by their external circumstances. It’s a feeling that tells me that it is easier to hide behind secrecy than to go against the grain and speak my thoughts and have my voice heard. Somehow, I have allowed myself to be silenced. I have allowed myself to subscribe to the belief that hiding is better than facing potential disappointment and rejection. I have always had a problem doing something that I thought might lose me the affection of the very few people that I have fought to keep in my life. But…my life is my own. Living in vibrant, beautiful, bold high definition has to be better than the black and white 2 dimensional universe that I have taught myself to play in. Telling myself to do away with my dreams of marriage and elaborate celebratory weddings is a byproduct of the silence. The part of me that says, if they don’t hear me maybe they won’t notice that I’m different. If they can’t tell that I’m different maybe they won’t reject me.
But honestly, if those who I think love me are ready to reject me for the love within my heart, I should know sooner rather than later. I should know, because they have been taking up space. Space reserved for those who can know and love all of who I am. I need to re-learn the definition of who I am as a “quiet” person as opposed to a silenced person. I need to learn how to be who I am and live with passion without feeling as though I need to change the fundamental parts of myself for someone else. I should have the wedding of my dreams with the person of my dreams. But most of all, I should have the life of my dreams with someone who I feel I can try out all of these best-selling relationship tips that I’ve been reading up on. Also, I can’t help the excitement that bubbles up in me when I think of a wedding with another woman. They say the wedding is for the woman, not the man. Imagine putting two of us together. Can we say romantic party of the century???
I need to break the silence, but remain quietly me.
Avery, I’m in awe of your intimate memories and dreams. I especially love the line “I believe my God loves rainbows. He/she made them after all.” Seems like it’s so common for us LGBTQ individuals to have grown from our dramatic experiences and used them to better clarify our affective orientation. Sounds like your love is flexible and empathic, and not many bloggers know how to share that side of themselves. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for taking the time out to read my posts. At heart we are all looking for a way to be heard and to connect. I feel fortunate to meet writers that i can admire, learn from and connect with. We keep fighting the good fight 🙂