Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Identity, Labels and Progression

When I was a young girl, I identified myself in simple terms.  Female, straight, Canadian, chubby, quiet...  In health class we were split into two groups, boys and girls.  The girls learned about getting their periods, pubic hair, and growing boobs.  The boys learned about ejaculation, pubic hair, and I don't know what else.  In grade 7 and 8 health class, we learned about nutrition, nuclear families, drugs and AIDS.  There was zero talk about sexuality.  LGBTQ community did not exist.  Gay Pride did not exist.  In fact, if you identified as being gay or bi back in the 90's, you were most likely in the closet because people would emotionally and physically attack you.  Simply put, you got beat up for showing a small hint of non-straight sexuality.  I know, I witnessed it more than once.

These days, there seems to be a new label every day.  There are so many terms that I don't know what they all are.  Non-binary, CIS, queer, aromantic, demi-sexual, asexual, gray-romantic, etc...  It can be exhausting for some to keep up with the terminology.  And is it necessary?  Do we need terms for slight variations of sexual orientation?  While I think labels shouldn't be necessary for anyone, I do think it is a positive movement.

I grew up  being called shy and only having a small group of friends.  But I was loyal and experienced strong connections to the few friends I had.  In past years I've learned that I am Introverted.  And it's perfectly normal!  I've read Susan Cain's book Quiet, and it made me feel relief, but also a bit angry  that I was made to feel like an outsider for so long.  Recently I did a Meyer's Brigg's test again and re-learned that I identify as INFJ. Which is the rarest identity with less than 1% of the population supposedly being that.  But it makes sense to me.  I am happy that I belong to a certain group of people.  For years I have been made to feel ashamed, either socially, or intimately because of who I am.  But I feel strong.  Stronger than ever because of these identity groups and labels.  I know a label can place you in one spot, but I think we are becoming open enough to understand that it's not exactly who you are.  We vary.  Thus, there are spectrums.

This week I have learned that I identify with demisexuals, asexuals, and aromantics.  I am not sure if I am more demisexual, or aromantic-asexual?  A demi-sexual is a person who does not feel sexual feelings until they form a strong bond or connection with someone.  Asexuals (remember, there are spectums) do not feel sexual attraction to anyone, and aromantics do not feel romantic attraction.

I can't believe that I am getting so close to being 40, and I am only really beginning to know and understand myself.  But it's great!  A big reason why I am exploring all this, is because recently my label and identity as a common-law partner has changed to 'single mom.'  Over the past few months I've been trying to figure out what that means.  What my goals are?  Do I want a boyfriend/husband?  Do I want another child?  Am I career motivated?  (lol-no, probably not).  How do I now want to live my life?

I don't necessarily have all the answers.  But the more I dig, the better I feel about who I am.  I feel strong in my convictions, and happy in a way that I have identity labels to support who I am.  I've known all along that I am not a social or sexual misfit.  I am a person with different levels of comfort.  And that's o.k.  Thank god for progression.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Suddenly Single?

To many people, IRL and not, it may seem like I am suddenly single.  However, to me it feels like a long journey.  It's no surprise.  Not by a long shot.  But it still surprises many people.  In fact, there are still people, such as my neighbors, and parents of my daughter's friends who have no idea.  And to be honest, I haven't  managed to tell them because it just feels like such an awkward conversation.  I'm not ashamed, but at the same time, there is some element of failure you feel in a society dedicated to monogamous nuclear families.  Now I'm a single mom.  I feel like there are still many stigma's regarding single mom's.  But I'll leave that for another time. 

I am still trying to plan out how my life will look, or should look.  Daily thoughts and fears of ' Where will I be living?' 'How will I get by financially?' pass by.  I've gone through various phases of 'I don't care about dating.  I'm fine on my own.'  To, 'It'd be nice to have a connection with someone, maybe dating would be nice.'  To, 'Fuck that.  I'm really fine on my own.'  Really, I just want to be the best mom that I can be to my daughter.  I don't want her life to drastically change.  And I am being as positive that I can be right now.  I have finished mourning the fact that I no longer have the perfect life that I once had.  A partner, a house, two dogs, two cats and a child.  I'm down to just me, and my daughter.  Oh, and the cats, but I don't even know if the cats will be with me indefinitely.  Nothing is set in stone yet.

I just thought I would start this conversation on here.  To let anyone who might be interested know, that my life has changed.  Hopefully for the better.  But I still can't believe I am almost 40, and I am single again. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

On Contemplating Life, Art and Purpose

Yesterday I finished watching a movie called Before Midnight.  It's the third movie in a trilogy directed by Richard Linklater, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.  I still remember watching the first movie in the 90's when I was in high school.  It was a vhs rental from the local video store.  A treat for a lonesome friday night when my friends weren't doing anything, and my dad was playing in his band at a bar until the wee hours of the night.  Before Sunrise had an impact on me then, and it still does today.  I was enthralled with the scenery and conversation in the movie, like I was transported into a moment of someone else's life.  I loved the grittiness of it.  How the characters weren't physically or mentally (who is) perfect.  It made me want to get out of my comfortable skin and go traveling.  I wanted to see old cities, hop on trains, drink wine in parks and banter about life. I wanted to be spontaneous.

After watching the third installment last night, I started to become obsessive about what's important to me in life again.  Sometimes these things get lost on our paths.  It's also hard to be you, and only you after you become a mother.  Somewhere between diaper changes, night feedings, lack of sleep, you can lose yourself.  It's not to say motherhood strips you of your identity, but rather it alters your life and how you perceive what's important.  In Before Midnight, Celine and Jesse have a monstrous fight that appears as a fire that keeps getting more kindling tossed into it.  I loved watching it unfold and viewing the male and female perspectives in their relationship.  I found that I couldn't exactly side with one person or the other.  At one point Celine expresses that there was a point in her life where she created.  She liked to sing and play guitar.  Jesse remembers when she did that, and tells her that he loved that about her and that she could still do that.  Celine disagrees, because her responsibilities of being a mother and wife override her passions.  I can understand that too.  There was a time in my life where I loved to play the ukulele, attend yoga classes, and swirl a hula hoop around.  I haven't don't much of those things, or other hobbies of mine since my daughter was born.  I miss doing, creating, and connecting with communities.  But on the opposite spectrum, I look at the things that I have done in life and think how lucky I am.  I see my family and love them to pieces.  I tell myself balance will come.  I just need to stick it out and live heavily on one end of the spectrum for a while until I am less needed, and I can explore me again. 

I really enjoy Linklater's films, especially the 'Before' series.  I love hearing Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy discuss their passions about acting, script writing and progression of time and aging.  Even though they are not exactly in my age grouping, I still feel like they are apart of my generation.  Somehow, that is important to me.  I want to exist around people who know and remember what it's like to not have cell phones, google, email, gps, online shopping... all those luxurious conveniences that I think are slowly destroying many things that are key in life.  Things that are important, like communication and community.  Simply said, his movies make me think, and remember what's important in life.  I'm such a sucker for these arty movies. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Is Here!

Alright-so it's like 22 degrees out today and we may be getting snow tomorrow, but I'll take it.  I'm excited to get out of the house.  I miss the daily stroller walks, visiting my favourite little shops downtown, and watching my garden grow.  I'm already (for the 4th year in a row) envisioning my square foot box garden (previous years we just plant a mass tomato orgy in the backyard).  I'm hoping to plant lots of sunflower and cosmo seeds, and enjoy fresh tomatoes from our yard.  I can't wait until Story can walk so she can venture around the yard.

Monday, December 30, 2013

First Christmas 2013

Story turned 10 months on Christmas Eve!  There has been a whirl wind of outings and dinners, and I'm happy to say that she's done really well.  On Christmas Eve we went to V's parents house for their Lithuanian (Kūčios) feast.  It involves lots of fish (supposed to be 12 courses I think), but there are some vegan delights such as the beet-bean salad, and the perogies (stuffed with veggie cheese and broccoli!  yum!).  His mom was kind enough to even make vegan desserts, such as chocolate ginger short bread and blueberry squares.  On Christmas day we had my dad over, and we made our first vegan Christmas dinner that included a Gardein Veggie Loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli, cranberry sauce... all the typical holiday fixings.  THEN, on boxing day we had another get together with family and takeout chinese food.  Wow!  So.  Much.  Food. 

It was lovely to see Story with her great grandma's, who are 91 and 92 years old!  I took lots of video footage, because I'm sure she will love to see that when she's older.  I have no memory of some of my older relatives, and it would be nice to have that. 

Story got some lovely presents, including a sleigh, B Zany Zoo activity cube, Doug and Melissa puzzle, and some wooden toys from us.  I'm really big on the wooden and natural toys, and was happy that it wasn't a plastic fiesta.  

I can't believe New Years Eve is tomorrow!  We've been so busy that time has been flying by.