Monday, September 19, 2011

Fickle Inspiration (and a vacation-borne confession)

Dear crickets who remain in my readership--- unless of course someone is actually reading (which I absolutely do not assume)--- I'm back. No, I'm really back, not just the pretend back where I post something every 3 months and pretend to be a blogger.

Because... I'm not really a blogger. I am a person who loves to write. And if a few select friends, family, and my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Pace are to to trusted, I have a nice talent for turns of phrase which has grown a bit rough, rusty and displaced over the past 13 months and could use a little exercise.

What happened? I could attribute my drop off in chronicling the minutiae of my life to so many things. Beginning with my "big girl job" working for the city wherein your trusty protagonist spent untold hours working as a public servant, paying into a retirement fund and enjoying the spoils of health and dental insurance. In short- I liked it, then I resented it, and ultimately I hated it.

It's not, of course, that I hate work, but rather that I hate the sort of senseless government sanctioned work I was doing- all the hours wasted in pointless meetings, all the restrictions imposed by federal funding, the pointless hoops I was required to jump through in order to grease the wheels of the little program I was running. But primarily the sense of loss of self that I began to experience on a daily basis, doling out my life in well-measured lumps of hours to little effect, and worse than that- little pay.

My job was in many ways pointless, and I performed it to the best of my abilities, but it made me feel smaller and less purposeful than I have made a habit of feeling in my life. When I quit last month, the sensation of lightness I experienced was startling. The sense of a yoke being lifted from my burdensome, beastly back.

And then there was the quiet end to my long term relationship with Chip; dear, wonderful Chip whom I love and adore and am so intensely grateful for. He is such a spectacular human being, and an extraordinary friend. Anyone who knows him must agree. I felt bashful for a long time, because while our demise was mutual, it was primarily my doing, and in retrospect I still feel ashamed that I let him work so hard for so long to make something work that I knew wasn't right for us both.

Shortly thereafter, I met someone who is kind and keen and generous and supportive, whom I eventually moved in with, and am still with today, almost 14 months after we first met. And this has been perhaps the larger reason for my long silence here.

It is very difficult to maintain close contact with all of the family I care for when I feel as though I am keeping a secret. And this relationship has been, in many ways, a secret. Not to my friends, or my coworkers or employers, but to some of my family. This is not the way I would have ever chosen for things to be.

You see, from the time that I was a teenager, I questioned my attractions & relationships, to their core. What I was drawn to and what I acted upon were two entirely separate worlds, and last year I forced myself, finally, to be honest about who I am. Chip and I parted on amicable, generously understanding terms, and when I met Michelle, I felt in many ways like a rudderless ship coming home to port, setting down an anchor, and making myself at home. Finally, my heart found a sort of peace I had not known before.

I cannot help the fact that I love and have sought the companionship of another woman. I find myself distressed by the notion that people like me have made a "choice" in this direction or the other.

Believe me, if there was ever a choice to be made, I'm pretty sure we would all choose the easy, simple route, where there is no need to make uncomfortable confessions to family, or to risk being judged by the outside world. Where one can simply marry and have a family of their own and enjoy the simple rights and privileges of the majority.

I sense that I could have done just that- chosen to deny my innermost feelings, married and had children and always swallowed the lingering sense of dissatisfaction that lived in my heart. But how would that be fair to anyone? I believe in honesty, and in happiness, and in the life-affirming paths that these virtues lead to.

Which is why I find myself here today, on a breezy afternoon in Rome- where I am vacationing by myself- suddenly inclined to set the record straight once and for all.

I'll not maintain my silence, and I hope not to be judged by those I love most in this world.

And I promise to write more about more interesting things than the complicated layers of a private life that have kept me from expressing myself freely in this absurdly public forum.

Dear family, I miss you all, and am thinking of you today from the cradle of Western Civilization.


Tom said...

Wonderful and heartfelt post. Glad you are back, and look forward to hearing more.
Enjoy Italy and all she has to offer.

amycue said...

Not sure why I checked your blog site but am thrilled that you are writing again. Wonderful post and I think I can speak for the family - we miss you too!