Monthly Archives: June 2010

Not that kind of girl

I need new friends.  At least that’s what I’ve been told.

This is something I’ve touched on recently, and the more I think about it the more I realize that this is a big part of my struggle to this whole coming-out thing.

See, I don’t have a whole lot of lesbian friends.  A few, but by and large my friends and social circles are straight, married and most have kids.  But, they’re my friends, which means we share something in common, whether it’s a love of sushi or they’re runners/triathletes like myself, or I find myself next to them on a softball field.  Regardless, there’s some thread that holds the friendship together despite our differences.

I’ve been told that I should start networking and finding people who are “more like me”.  Meaning: gay.  And I get this – if I am seeking out women to date or trying to find new lesbian friends, I should go places where there’s at least a chance that someone gay might show up.  But, even back in my old life when I was straight and purportedly looking for guys, I never really went out of my way to go to events or participate in activities just because eligible boys might be there.

I’ve never been a bar scene kind of girl.  Not unless it involves going somewhere reasonably quiet to sit and talk and have an adult beverage with friends.  I’m certainly not a dance club kind of girl; just the thought of that kind of gives me a mini-panic attack.

I’m more of a softball-playing, hiking-in-the-woods, sit-at-home-on-my-porch kind of girl.  Which doesn’t cause me to meet a whole lot of new people on a regular basis.  And frankly, that in itself doesn’t bother me too much.  Life is comfortable and good and it’s not like I don’t have friends around to fill the time with.

I guess what I’m kind of rebelling against is the idea that now that I’m out of the closet, that my old friends somehow aren’t sufficient and fail to fill some basic need.  That my sexual orientation means that instead of looking for friends who run or play softball (though – ironically – the softball thing should help, no?) I should be looking for friends who are lesbians, as if that’s enough of a common interest that will sustain a friendship (or more, possibly).

I don’t know.  I guess I get it.  Maybe I just wish that my gaydar was in working condition — that in normal, everyday situations I could figure out who was and who wasn’t gay.  Meet people without going someplace where the only common factor is that we’re lesbians and that we’re there to meet other lesbians.

Maybe it would better – or at least less of an irritation – if I were a meet-and-greet kind of girl.  Someone who enjoyed going places where I didn’t know anyone and putting myself out there and being all nicey-nice to a bunch of strangers.  I’m not, though.  Perhaps that’s something I should work on?  All I know is that I’m more comfortable meeting people I don’t know when I know that we already have something to talk about, whether it’s triathlons or the book we’re talking about at the book club meeting.

Part of me wants to stop actively looking entirely.  Figure that if it’s supposed to happen, it’ll happen.  Like the old saying goes, love (or friendship!) finds you when you least expect it.  And I don’t think this is necessarily a bad way to do it.  It would give me some time off to work through some of my own personal issues, anyway.  And I could save money by not subscribing to an online dating service, too.  Bonus!

Though, the conscious I’m-not-looking-for-friends-or-love decision has never actually worked all that well for me; I then have a tendency to not even take advantage of the day-to-day opportunities to meet new people.  But it seems easy enough to give not looking another shot.  Here’s the crux of the problem, though:  is that me giving up, essentially laying down the excuse for why I’m not meeting anyone? Or me being wise, knowing that sometimes the harder you search for something, the more it eludes?

Hmmm.  I’m not sure I have the answer to that one…

I’m taking my Zune with me

(I’ve started using the service Plinky to occasionally generate ideas for blog posts…. The question posed this time was, If you *could* take it with you, what would you take?)

If I could, I’d have an MP3 player embedded in my head…

Two Zune HDs

But seeing as how MP3 brain surgery isn’t covered by my insurance, my answer to what I would take with me (if you could take it with you) would be my Zune! Without a doubt.

Because everything is better with music… commuting, cleaning, running, sex (not that I’ve got the headphones in!), yardwork, dining and anything else you can think of. I’ve always liked the idea of having a soundtrack playing in the background of most of my activities.

Oh, and perhaps the plug-in charger to go with it. Unless, of course, electronics magically stay charged wherever it is that you go when you take it with you.

So, what would *you* take, if you could, indeed, take it with you?

Happy Friday #13: Miles and miles

(on Fridays around these parts, I take a little time to make sure that all the happy things happening in my life get a shout out)

I’ve now mentioned this is in two other posts, but I’m absurdly proud of it, so I’ll mention it again:  the Horribly Hilly ride, while both horrible and hilly (it’s all in the name!) was pretty awesome.

Yes, I fell.  Twice.  Sure, I wanted to throw my bike out and never see it again by the end.  And damn right I would have taken a ride back to the finish line had it ever been offered.

But still – there’s something about going out and doing something that you KNOW is beyond your fitness level.  Something that’s big and daunting and scares the pants right off ya (and puts you into spandex bike shorts, apparently).  The challenge of it all… and the hard-fought victory… more than worth the blood, sweat and tears (yes, there were tears, too).

On an entirely different note, during one of my miles upon miles commutes this week — during a Dorothy-and-Toto-like rain storm — I had an accident.  I managed to hydroplane my little car into a concrete barrier.

And this makes the cut into the Happy Friday post?

Well, it makes me realize how incredibly damn lucky I am.  I escaped with just bumps and bruises.  My car escaped with nary more than that.  And where the accident happened, I have no idea how I wasn’t hit by another car.

I was able to drive away from the scene, car and body intact.  Shaken up, muscle sore and emotionally spent, but safe and sound.

Yup.  Happy.  And grateful.  And feeling amazingly blessed despite this being the week from hell.

Random, like my brain

Just a few things that have been tumbling around my brain recently…

  • I survived the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bike ride.  It wasn’t pretty.  Or fast.  In fact, it featured two zero mph falls before I even hit mile 9 on the course.  Luckily, things got better from there.  And now I have a lovely bloodied-up knee and bruised up hip to show for my efforts — chicks dig scars, right?  Oh, and a Culver’s paunch since their wonderful custard was being given away free at the end.  Totally made it worth it.
  • Life has been very up and down lately.  This weekend – despite the 68 miles of horrible hills – was good for me. Social, sweaty, fun, challenging. All good things in my book.  And my group of triathlete friends that I hang out with for these types of events?  They’re the best.  I can’t help but smile when I’m around them (except when I’m trying hard to have my heart NOT explode out of my chest while climbing up hills on my bike) and all the fun and laughter is exceptionally good for me.
  • On the down side, I’ve been struggling with a few other friendships. Well, not the friendships themselves, I suppose, more my expectations of the friendships.  Because I don’t currently have a significant other to shower attention on, I do that for my friends.  And part of me expects that in return, despite knowing that I probably go over the top and no sane person would act as I do. Recently, I’ve fallen into the trap of expecting too much from someone whom I know isn’t ready to give it — and I very logically know that I have to be patient, but very illogically, it’s really hurt me to not get what I want from this friend.
  • I’ve had another friend kind of on my tail to get out more, to find more lesbian activities to immerse myself in.  I think I’m starting to understand my resistance to this:  yes, I know that to meet lesbians, I need to go where they go.  But at my core, that’s not how I want to be identified. I’ve spent most of my life NOT being labeled by my sexual preference.  I was a runner, a triathlete, a student, a dependable employee. I was never explicitly labeled as “straight”.  But now I’m a lesbian and somehow that’s who I am?  I don’t want to make friends based solely on that — I want friends based on shared activities. And – by the way – I already have these kinds of friends.  Why should I get new ones?  (and yes, I realize that I’m not doing myself any favors thinking this way).

I think that’s about it.  Well, it’s not, but I could go on forever here.  And since I don’t post enough as it is, I figure I should get this out before I write a novel. And an uninteresting, bullet-pointed one at that.

What’s on your mind lately?

Happy Friday #12: Head for the hills!

(on Fridays around these parts, I take a little time to make sure that all the happy things happening in my life get a shout out)

Actually, at this point, I’m not entirely sure that this is going to turn out to be something to be “happy” about, but…

Tomorrow I head for the hills of Wisconsin to do the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bike ride.  I am wholly untrained and unprepared for this ride (um, yea … right now my longest ride of the year stands at 25 VERY FLAT miles), but I’m doing it anyway.  Why?

Because a good friend of mine asked, no BEGGED me to go with.  And you know what?  It feels so good to be wanted.  To know that what I’m doing is making someone else really happy.  So – perhaps this is THEIR Happy Friday moment, too!

Being a runner/triathlete, I’m well-acquainted with the whole pleasure/pain ying yang.  This ride is going to hurt.  I’ve no delusions that I’m going to magically gain bike fitness somewhere in the few hundred miles of driving between here and there.  But, like my friend said:  misery loves company.  And she’s right.

Her and I suffered through the Chicago Marathon together (we were both injured, both utterly undertrained) and despite the awfulness of it, it was probably my most enjoyable marathon ever.  And to this day, we laugh and laugh about it.. the inside jokes and shared glances, knowing what each other is thinking.  Now that?  That’s worth the pain.

“Remember that time when we thought that biking up a few hills wouldn’t be so bad….”

Happy Friday #11: Problem solved

(on Fridays around these parts, I take a little time to make sure that all the happy things happening in my life get a shout out)

I work in the I.T. industry, and since I’m employed by a small company, I get to do a little bit of everything.  I usually try drawing the line at fixing the copier machines (just because I know how doesn’t mean I’m the only one who can change the toner cartridge), but everything else electronic is fair game.

That means that it’s fairly routine that recurring, mysterious problems will land on my desk.  Sometimes the answer is a google search away, other times it takes a little magic and pixie dust to make it happen.

Every once in awhile, there’s an issue that’s utterly perplexing:  a repeatable, consistent problem, but no idea what might be causing it.  Well, this week I cracked the Case Of The Disappearing Icon.  Sounds harmless enough, but it pertained to our antivirus/firewall software so it needed to be solved.

A little bit of luck, a bit of a lightning bolt idea and VOILA!  I’ve figured it out.  I still don’t understand it entirely, but I know why it’s happening.

And that makes me feel good.  I might not usually like my job all that much, but when I can solve problems that no one else has been able to?  I feel a little like a computer systems Superwoman.

And now I’ve earned the right to go home for the day, right?  Like time off for good behavior? Right??

Dream girl

This is the recurring dream that I keep having.  Over the last week or so, I’ve probably dreamed it half a dozen times, always just about the same. Sometimes the conversation is a little different, but it never strays far from the original.  I know it’s just a manifestation of what I want most in my life right now, but it’s been wearing on me to spend my nighttime hours living in a world that the daytime hours have yet to create.

______________________________

I’m in my childhood home, though I have no idea how I know this, since it’s nothing like the house that I actually grew up in.  And my family is living there, too, though an odd assortment of them:  my parents, my brother and his wife, and my sister, who inexplicably, is pre-teen (though in reality she’s mid-30’s with a husband and kid).  My parents know that I’m gay, but the rest of the family doesn’t.

I’m texting a friend of mine (and yes, I know who I’m talking to).  There’s a disagreement of some sort, though nothing major.  I start to get annoyed when she stops answering my texts, but then – the doorbell rings.  I go to answer it, and there she is, looking a little mischievous.  I’m surprised:  she’s never been to my house and I didn’t think she had any idea of where I lived.  But – I’m really happy to see her, to know that even though the misunderstanding we were having wasn’t anything huge, that she thought it important enough to seek me out.

We go inside and sit down on a big, fluffly arm chair.  I’m sitting regularly, she’s sitting on the arm of the chair facing me, legs sprawled over mine.  I’ve got my arms draped over her knees and she’s constantly either got her hands on my arms or shoulders.  I have no idea what we’re discussing, but it’s clear that the conversation is intimate.  Not romantic, but intense and close.

All the while, my family is milling about around us, though we hardly give them a glance.  It’s as if we’re in our own little world, hashing out whatever it is that we were disagreeing on.

After a time, there’s resolution.  I can feel it in my posture and how I comfortably slump back into the chair.  We both smile at each other, and she gets up to leave, her mission having been accomplished.

After she’s left, though, there’s a feeling of regret hanging in the air.  We’re on good terms, but I didn’t really want her to go.  My brother — in a very derogatory way, which is completely unlike him in real life — snarks:  “You should go after your girlfriend” as if calling me gay were the worst insult in the world.  I stop, look at him and say, “You’re right —  I should” and I hightail it out of there while his mouth hangs open at the implication.

It’s at this point in the dream where I start to realize that this isn’t just a friend — this is someone I’m meant to be with.

As I leave, my parents and my sister-in-law are following right behind me.  We go downstairs into the train station (hey – it’s a dream – I never said it made total sense) and some random worker dude comes out from behind a stack of suitcases and hands me two packages, telling me they’re for me.

I open them, my family hovering over me, watching me unwrap the packages. The first is a set of newspaper clippings, detailing parts of her past, along with a note that says, “Whatever you do, I’m proud of you.”  The second package is an old-fashioned key — like a skeleton key.  Attached is a tag that reads like a Visa commercial, where the last line is, “the key to my heart:  priceless”.

At this turn of events, my Mom urgently tells me that I have to go after her, and that I can take the bus to Halsted and then walk from here.  I’m only half-listening to her, though, and instead, I pull my phone out of my back pocket, dial, and without any preliminaries, ask, “Where are you?”.  Like in the movies, about 5 trains pull out of the station at the same time and I can see her leaning up against the far wall, phone to her ear, just waiting for me.

I walk over to her, matching her half-smile with my own.  We meet up and share a long, tight hug.  A hug that says, “yes, you’re the one I’ve waited for.”

Next thing, we’re back upstairs at the house.  I have to finish my bowling game (???… yes, my dream childhood house has a bowling alley in it….).  We’re all having fun and laughing and playing around and after that, I’m tired and tell everyone I’m going to go to bed.  At that point, I’m in bed, but in my here-today-real house.

I’m dozing on and off, not necessarily waiting for her, but knowing that she’ll probably show up.  She walks in the room, wearing these ridiculous pajamas — white flannel with red hearts all over them — and while the bottoms fit nicely, the top is about 3 sizes too big for her.  Oh, and a matching kerchief.  (And yes – in real life I’d call it a “bandanna” but in the dream I distinctly remember thinking of it as a “kerchief”)

She climbs into bed, and is perched on one elbow, looking down at me.  Her eyes well up and one tear slides down her cheek as she says, “How can I be so happy and know that this is so right, and be so scared at the same time?  How do I know this won’t end?”  I reach up to her face, and with my thumb wipe away the tear, and assure her that I love her more than anything and am not going anywhere, that this is the most right thing I’ve ever been a part of. And with that I put my hands on her waist and pull her down to me, whispering that we should just hold each other and that everything was going to be all right from now on.

______________________________

And – end of story.  That’s where the dream ends.  And I wake up knowing that’s exactly what I want in life (and – perhaps even the person I want it with) but knowing it isn’t going to happen.  Which leaves me feeling empty and hopeless.

From the moment the dream begins, I know exactly who this other person is. She’s someone in my life whom I initially had a tiny crush on, but it quickly turned to just friendship and she’s what I consider a close friend.  And I can’t say that I ever thought about her in a soulmate kind of way, but now every time I see or talk to her, my view is tinged with this “What if…” sentiment.

Which makes things a touch awkward for me.  I talk to her several times a week and she has no idea that our entire relationship has changed — at least from my perspective.  Somehow my subconscious decided that she’s the person I’m meant to be with.  Of course, real life doesn’t always reflect our deepest desires (or fears or hopes, for that matter).  And this is a case where I realistically don’t think something like this would ever happen.

And that’s okay.  I mean, who knows – sometime in the future, things might cosmically change.  Until then, I’ll enjoy the friendship we do share.  And perhaps go about my life with a better understanding of what I’m really looking for, out in that big, bad world.

Funkytown

I’ve been slacking here, I know. But I’ve been in kind of a funk and while it’s not like I have writer’s block, I do seem to be hard-pressed to come up with anything positive/cheerful/non-depressing to put down on paper.

There’s probably half a dozen posts waiting to be published, but it’s nothing that I want out in the open like this.  Sometimes I feel like it’s bad enough that I have dark thoughts like that in my head, and that to put them out there for everyone to read just makes it worse.  Makes me feel like I’m asking people to be all, “Awww… poor Laura… don’t worry, everything will be all right…”.  Which would probably just encourage this behavior.

For a lot of my life, I’ve had a very bad habit/personality flaw that I’ll create or play up injuries to get attention from the people around me.  I want them to care about me, so I create a situation that makes it easy for them to do so.  When I was in high school, I was a cutter, using that as a means to get my best friend to be overly concerned about me.  As an adult recreational athlete, it’s now easy to have injuries — legitimate ones, even.  And I try so hard to be nonchalant about them, knowing my history.  That doesn’t always work, though.  And after I’ve brought the boo-boo to someone’s attention, then I feel like I’ve manipulated the situation, taken advantage of the good nature of whomever I’m talking to.  Tricked them into caring for me.

I’m not really sure where this is going.  I guess I’m living up my blog title; just spewing a little.  Trying to pull myself out of wherever I’m at right now.  And trying not to fall back on old, unhealthy behaviors.  Oh, and still waiting on the therapist to have an opening, in case anyone is following me here and wondering.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’ll be funnier later, promise.