Thank You!

Never in my life did I ever think that I would be an inspiration to someone, ANYONE.

Over that past 7 months I’ve written a lot of content here about my life and learning to love who I am and becoming more comfortable with my sexuality.  Basically, I’ve mostly written about how I never really embraced what I’ve felt in my soul for the longest time. At no point did I even think that my stories would encourage others to live their truth and be confident in being who they knew they were for so long.

You’re probably saying “duh” in your head right now, but I’ve never thought of myself to be someone who could encourage this.  I’m not necessarily a great writer or story teller, but over the time since we’ve started this blog, it’s become easier to tell my story.  So, throughout this time, every once in a while after some of my posts, I’ve been approached about what I’ve written; How it was very real; How it was refreshing; How I’ve inspired some people; How they have expressed how they felt after going through the same struggles that I’ve been through; And basically how I am someone who they feel they can talk to about these things.  And I know I’ve said this multiple times to these individuals but…

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

When I first decided to write about my experience with my sexuality, I gave it a lot of thought.  I spoke with my co-bloggers about posting my National Coming Out Day post, and was unsure if that was a burden I was ready to bare.  I wrote it about 3 days prior, because I thought I was ready.  Then I wasn’t.  Then I was.  Then I wasn’t again.  I was nervous, scared, and unsure of myself.  I’ve been living my life as such for years at this point so why now, you know?  But then I realized that this post, on Oct 11, 2017, was not just about me, but about others as well.  About being done not completely living my life.  About how I was finally able to SHOW that I wasn’t scared to be who I was, even though I didn’t feel like I needed to “come out”. And no, you don’t have to.  But I’ve decided to, to let the world know that there’s nothing wrong with being who you are, out loud.  Just know that I’ll always be here to be your friend.  Your support.  Your ally.

So, for those who have; Thank you for feeling so comfortable sharing your stories with me.  Thank you for trusting me.  Thank you for reading and being open to me sharing my stories with you! Even to those who don’t identify as LGBTQ who have shared with me their thoughts, thank you!  You never really realize how much of an impact you have on someone until they tell you and I’m honored, honestly.  I just want to be here as a voice (in text) for the ones who went through the struggle in similar, and maybe even different, ways. Just know, that I am here for you! I will always be here to listen to someone share their feelings, their emotions, and their thoughts about not only sexuality, but racial identity, and whatever else that you want to talk about, because we are in this together.

Again, thank you all for being so comfortable with me and sharing with me your thoughts and feelings and emotions and tears and hugs and everything!  Please know that you will always have an ally in me, both as a member of the LGBTQ community AND as a friend.

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It’s a Date!

Warning: I have never once claimed that my personal brand of crazy is rational.

Today I did something I have been avoiding for my entire adult life. I took myself to eat, alone, at Olive Garden. Now, I know that sounds silly and it’s just Olive Garden, but for some reason the idea of doing this very thing has been scary and caused my tons of anxiety just thinking about it. I’ve tried to figure out why. And the most logical thing that I can come up with is that for some reason, the idea of taking myself out to eat at a sit down restaurant, pretty much solidified my perpetual singlehood. Again. Not logical. I don’t think this for other people when I see them out to eat alone or my friends when they do it. I actually envy them. But for me, somehow, taking myself out to eat at a fancy restaurant (lol yes Olive Garden is still fancy to me) just somehow meant I had officially accepted my singleness and was the first step to many a single restaurant date. If you are judging me right now please go read the warning again.

So, I went to Olive Garden…and I didn’t die. I don’t know yet if I really enjoyed it but I’m sure I’ll do it again. As I sat there, I thought that the couple on the other side of the room would be what made me most sad but I didn’t really pay them much mind. What did make me a little nostalgic was the table full of old ladies next to me gushing over their one friend’s new hair cut. It reminded me of my friends. It reminded me of Leanna and I’s many cathartic lunch dates at Olive Garden. It made me miss my friends more than it made me yearn for a partner to go to eat with. Though that would still be great.

Prior to all of this I started thinking up a list of potential date ideas. As a single 30 year old woman, I can count of both hands and maybe require the assistance of one set of toes, the number of dates I’ve been on. If I don’t count random meetings at Walmart or parking lots, then I don’t need the toes. So needless to say I’ve had quite some time to think up some really awesome date ideas. Or at least I think they’re awesome.

So here goes:

Dinner and a movie! Duh. The classics are a must. I’m not picky at all. Feed me and take me to a movie and I’m a happy lady. A few variations… movie and then dinner!! Lol just kidding. But there are those fancy theaters uptown where you can eat real food at the movies. Or a double feature where each person picks a movie. Or show up at the movies at a random time and watch the next thing showing.

Book store date. I love reading. If you can suggest a good book you’ll have a piece of my heart. So we go to the bookstore. You pick out a book for me. I pick out one for you. Then we find a nice cozy spot somewhere around town to read. Or we get the same book and read and discuss. This I semi did once but the guy was cheap and ordered his book online and before it arrived we had stopped talking. I still read the book. It was great.

Netflix binge. This is maybe after we’ve been dating for a while. But a good Netflix binge is always nice on a rainy day. And depending on how long we’ve been dating and how serious it is it can totally be an official Netflix and Chill.

A museum. I hear Charlotte has tons of museums. I’ve only ever been to the Museum of the New South. That was once in middle school and twice in high school for prom. So those two don’t count. So let’s go see some cool museum stuff!

Trampoline park. Disclaimer. I like these places but am super out of shape so I can only bounce for like 5 minutes at a time.

Charlotte is always having some sort of festival. Let’s go! Bonus points if it’s a festival about something neither of us knows anything about (or the renaissance festival).

Anywhere but Charlotte! Again, maybe for later on after I’m certain you aren’t a serial killer. But road trips are cool. And it can totally be a random day trip just to try some fancy ice cream in a random town. Let’s just go!

One of those paint classes. Or that pottery painting place. Arts and crafts are fun even if you suck at them. The paint class doesn’t even have to be a couples one because what are we each going to do with half a painting. And if we go at night we can bring wine! Same for this pottery painting place I know of.

Clearly this is not an exhaustive list. There are a million other things that could be done. The most important part is who you’re with and the time spent together. Which has me thinking? Why am I waiting around for someone else to take me on a date and to do these things. Like I said. The most important part is who you’re with, that can be a partner, friends, family or yourself and the time spent together. As long as your having fun and getting to know whoever you are with…IT’S A DATE!!!

So, what are your favorite date ideas?!?!

Update:

I forgot

A comedy show. Doesn’t have to be Katt Williams (but if it was that would be awesome) even a local amateur night could be fun.

A concert. Someone huge or someone just up and coming. There’s always a concert going on. Fun story. A guy once stopped talking to me because I told him that if we went to the Drake concert I would be excited but wouldn’t be like screaming with my hands in the air the whole time. He said that if I wasn’t going to have fun then he wasn’t taking me. He struggled to understand everyone doesn’t show they are having fun the same way. I’ve dated some gems really.

Harsh Truths From Gentle Friends

Tonight I am thankful for friends who say what needs to be said even when it is tough to hear.

I have been blessed beyond measure with three intelligent, amazing, beautiful, kind and ferocious female friends that make up the inner most circle of my tribe. They have laughed with me, cried with me, traveled with me, gotten drunk on nachos, margaritas and self-love with me, and when I have been completely broken and not had any idea how to put myself back together they have not tried to fix me. Instead, they have gently held my broken pieces and breathed words of life and loving reminders of why I deserve to be whole and complete in my own right. They kept my pieces safe until I was strong enough to put them back together. For this, I am eternally grateful.

But sometimes…a lot of the time…they are more than willing to say the not so nice things. The things that hurt. The things that knock a few pieces loose again and cause me to have to re-arrange and rebuild. It hurts. It sucks. But I know that it is done with the most love imaginable as they only want to see me thrive and be the best me I can be.

This happened Thursday night. So Tegan…this ones for you!

After a long day of work, a rough couple weeks (okay months) in the lack of love department and right before watching the much anticipated Black Panther premier, as I stuffed nachos in my mouth and had another discussion about why men suck, why I deleted tinder and why I refuse to settle. Tegan, my most gentle and kind friend and the last person on this planet who would purposefully hurt someone, after explaining to me what she feels is causing my frustration and patiently listening to my rebuttal uttered this statement…

“But you’re still single”

From a few tables down I legit heard the waitress say “Damn Tegan. Shots fired.” (We frequent this restaurant a lot but they know each other from high school just in case you were wondering).

Let me back up just a tiny bit to give some context to the statement. But trust me. It doesn’t make it any less harsh.

Here is a brief history of my dating life: I’m minding my business trying to live my best life. Random guy enters the picture in some random way (tinder, going out, sliding in my DM’s, someone saying hey I think you would like this guy. Normal 21st century dating stuff). I give said guy a chance. If I had a super power, it would be my ability to see the good in anyone, latch onto that, and fall in love with it. That happens. I’m amazing. Guy decides nope not what he wants. Guy exits in some usual dramatic way that involves either a very confusing argument or him explaining how amazing and wonderful I am but why he just can’t be with me because he is scared, has goals, doesn’t want to hurt me, or they try to convince me I’m crazy for having standards. I’m sad for a while (though the amount of time spent being sad is getting shorter and shorter). And I swear off all men. Until the cycle starts again. And scene.

It works like clockwork it’s almost scary. So after this happening about 13574893020193837920 times (actual number. Not an exaggeration). I guess the people closest to you get pretty sick of it and decide forget it…I’m just going to let her know it’s all her fault so she can fix the problem and finally find a man.

Just kidding. That’s not what she did. I gave her a really hard time and got really loud and dramatic and for the duration of the movie told everyone I was re-evaluating our friendship. But really I totally understood what she was saying.

So the discussion prior to the statement was that I tend to date the same type of guy. And clearly that’s not working. A lot of the discussion centered around looks and the type of guy I am attracted to and maybe that’s why it’s not working for me. Her thesis was that I need to date someone I’m not attracted to and that attraction will grow and that other things should be more important. That I need to try something different.

Let me pause right here. I’m not shallow. Of the list of qualities I am looking for in a man, drop dead gorgeous Michael B Jordan look alike is not one of them (though I wouldn’t be mad if it happened that way)

I have dated some ugly guys (sorry if you’re one of them) but according to Tegan, I even have an ugly guy type.

So her suggestion was try something different. Find a nerdy, ugly guy who I’m not attracted to who would worship the ground I walk on. Attraction will grow.

My concern is however, that to me that sounds a lot like settling. Not to say I would never date a “nerd.” I’m sure plenty of people would call me a nerd for my love of reading, knitting and all things Harry Potter related. But to me it felt like “don’t chase the spark” (explanation to come) and just find someone who is looking for a relationship and see if it works out. And my fear more than being single forever, is settling just to be with someone and waking up 20 years from now not knowing how I got there and wanting to run.

I don’t think it’s wrong to want a spark (see I told you it was coming). And not a lustful dang he’s beautiful I want to have his babies even though he is a butt hole spark. But a connection. One I’ve never been able to explain but have felt on several occasions leading me to no longer believe in the idea of a soul mate. But something that makes me interested from the beginning and wanting to spend time with them and get to know them. To endure bad days with them and be their safe space and to know each other.

and for that spark to grow into a beautiful, committed, connected relationship that is unbreakable by fight, or distance or some random thot.

But here’s the thing. Of all my friends. Tegan is the only one of us not single. Not only is she not single, she’s engaged!

So I would be stupid not to at least take a few minutes (or the remainder of dinner and the duration of Black Panther) to think about what she said.

While I watched all the amazing black women before me on the movie screen with a few glimpses of men in there too I got to thinking about what I admired most about Tegan. I know she hates being called strong but that’s exactly what it is. In particular, her ability to hear “advice” and opinions from all sorts of people, including myself, take it, process it and in the end come up and act on the decision that works best for her. It takes strength to go against almost everyone’s opinion of your relationship and say screw you, I’m sticking with it because it works for me. It might not make sense to you, but it’s my life, I see the vision, and I have faith that in the end it will all make sense for everyone else.

That’s purposefully vague because I’m not trying to put all of Tegan’s business out there but just know, that it worked out. Heck, she got the ring, but more than that she has a man she loves, who adores her and it works for them. I can’t be mad at that.

So, I said all that to say this. As I sat in a movie theater, watching one of the most amazing movies I’ve seen, with a cast full of beautiful and amazing black people, and strong and fierce black women, next to my best friend whom at the moment I was deciding wether I wanted her to remain my best friend, I came to the conclusion that maybe she’s right. She probably is right. But I also came to another conclusion…

Maybe I’m right too…

Maybe it is possible to find someone, and have that initial spark, and be attracted to them in all different areas, and for them to like me back and want to make things work. I don’t like operating from a mindset that assumes that all interesting, intriguing, goal oriented, employed, and slightly attractive men, especially black men, are ass holes. I have seen many a woman with this kind of man and it work. So I have chosen to hold out faith that it will happen for me. That I won’t have to settle. That there is someone out there who as Tegan put it “will appreciate all the awesomeness” that is me.

And maybe he’ll be gorgeous, or maybe he’ll be my kind of ugly. Maybe I’ll have to try something new and get out of my comfort zone, or actually leave the house, or maybe he’ll be at Salsa’s one night overhearing our ridiculous conversations and he’ll be intrigued. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. I know that for now I am tired and will allow myself to rest and in the future I will try again. And maybe one day I’ll tell this story at my wedding reception, or maybe one day we will be 60 years old and still meeting for Mexican and movie night and Tegan will say

“I told you so.”