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Here To Hear Me

2 Jan

Forever ago I saw a thing that rings through my head only all the time.

Strong people don’t have needs.

And other lies that can kill you.

I think about this all the time. Really any time I have a need this pops into my head. Usually after a complete shit-storm of self judgement.

Why do you have so many needs? Why can’t you be easy?

No one is going to love you if you’re this high maintenance.

It reverberates through every request I make of a coworker, lover, or friend.

Why do you think having needs is such a bad thing?

Needs are bad! They are like sugar building cavities every minute. They spoil you!

Stop being a martyr. You’re a human. Humans need things.

I want to be better!

Than what? The best you is still human. And the humans you love the most are the ones who allow you to support them when they’re in need.

Pulling the requests from my mouth hurts more than pulling teeth. But unlike dental work more practice improves the experience. Which is good. The more I call out what I want the more it comes to me. So I better get some practice at asking for what I want.

Surround yourself with people who are here to hear your requests. And let go of the ones who try to convince you that your needs are a burden. They are not here to see you grow and fly.

Here to hear you is a good place to start.

Marriage, Why?

28 Jun

I’m a woman in America over 25 which means that everyone keeps telling me how much I want to get married. How important it is to land the man, pick the dress, calligraphy my bridesmaids gifts. I do have horrible handwriting and love fancy calligraphy but;

How would I know if I wanted to get married? What does it mean?

Does it mean a wedding? A dress? Health insurance? To be square with your deity of choice? An opportunity to tell your whole world that this person is the bees knees? Financial stability? A guarantee that your partner will always love you? Sexual exclusivity until you die? Chosen family? Children? Someone to take care of you when your life is hard? Help in times of sickness? A commitment to supporting your choices, dreams, desires as you discover them? Waking up and having breakfast together? Doing the thing all your friends are doing? Fidelity?

Which of these are guaranteed because you’ve signed a contract with each other and the state? Which are important to you?

Weddings hold little fascination for me. I’ve never been much for throwing parties and I hate decorating. I like attending them but coming up with a color scheme for an event is my literal nightmare. Plus, isn’t it a bummer to decide that you can only have one favorite-ever dress? And that it has to be white and that you have to wear it only once? How about instead of deciding that there’s one MY DAY where I look better than I ever have or will, that I’m my most beautiful every day. That every dress I spend my hard earned money on should be a dress that I want to be seen and loved in. Instead of creating a false scarcity on my beauty there can be an infinite supply. Cause my beauty is infinite and celestial, lets be real.

Health insurance, yeah that’s a thing to consider. Thanks America.

An opportunity to tell your whole world that this person is important to you. This is the one that gets me. I want this. For various reasons bragging my love hasn’t felt very safe in my life. So I have a story in my head that this would be very healing. But wedding days are crazy and from what I understand the dominant feelings people actually experience are hunger and foot pain. I’d like to work on feeling safe shouting my crushy feelings from rooftops before I go around making expensive legal decisions.

Religious considerations. Probably a concern for some but not particularly me. “Hell” concerns me less than my rent. Though if I were to have some sort of ceremonial/party experience of showing off my partner I wouldn’t mind if a rabbi came by to say something that no one would understand and kiss me on the forehead.

Financial stability. Is this actually linked to marriage? Does getting married guarantee that you’ll never be destitute? If there’s a person committed to supporting you, then wouldn’t they want to help you financially if you needed it? But they aren’t required to, is that a big risk? If you’re in financial trouble and married will that partner automatically be the best person to help you? Will they be guaranteed not to resent you because of your rings? Not everyone can marry someone who earns more than they do, marriage is two different people, not a mobius strip.

Relatedly who do I tell if I kill someone and need help burying the body? It would be nice to have someone who is allowed to not testify against me. Am I the only one who finds that sort of romantic?

A guarantee that your partner will always love you. I’m not gonna link to divorce statistics. That feels rude.

Sexual exclusivity until you die. Do you really even want that? Do I? I’ve never wanted to be sexually exclusive to anyone honestly. My mother always told me “I had a long and fun single life before I met your father.” I think I’m pretty good at having my cake and eating it too. And lots of people are exclusive without marriage and lots of marriages don’t include sexual exclusivity. So we can unlink those two pretty easily.

Making a family, whether that means the two of you, or the two of you plus a few. The chosen family that you make as an adult and don’t marry are important still, right? The roommates you split life duties with, the friends you have standing dates with. The people you trust enough to travel with. Are they less your chosen family for not being contracted as such?

And babies, we all know you don’t need a marriage license to make one of those.

Help and support in times of struggle, sickness, and plain old soul searching. What is commitment and how do you feel like you have it? When I have any clue at all I’ll be sure to share it. Anyone can choose to give you those things. Hopefully a person who loves you can choose to keep wanting to give those things over a lifetime. But how do you receive that? How do you feel secure in this person to support you? In this essay lifetime I will show…

Mornings. I love breakfast. I love morning sex. I love cuddling to the sunrise. This one is hard for me. I think of the morning as my most productive time of day. From about 9am-noon I feel like my brain is full of potential and creativity. If I’m freaking out about something, it’ll be here, now, wanting to be addressed. If I’m feeling frisky, wanting to be sweet on someone then that’ll show up too. But lots of people who are married don’t live together. And obviously you can live together, or have sleepovers with people you’re not married to. Show of hands?

Fitting in. It has pros and cons. To each their own.

Fidelity – noun; faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support. What is the venn diagram between fidelity and marriage? Obviously this can exist within a marriage but regardless of what any magazine says, no white dress can guarantee it. And if you want fidelity in any partnership then how do you communicate that, model it, ask for it? By saying this?

I love you so much. So much that you can’t scare me. So much that I want all the ugly parts of you. So much that I want to know the completeness of you. So much that I want to see all the boring, sad, angry, and shameful parts of you. I want to hold them all carefully and look at them with you. I want to see you and watch how you change. I want to share in your times of joy and I want to support you when you are working through the issues in your life.

Doesn’t sound like a totally raw deal to me…

Non-Verbal Communication

17 Jan

I feel like I live in this cartoon every damn day.

I spend so much of my time talking and thinking about communication with other people, usually male people.

I’m no expert of course. I think of myself as a life-long learner in the art of human communication.

But there are people who have never been pupils of it and that is a sobering realization for me every single time.

Grateful To Be Part Of The Team

27 Nov

Every thanksgiving I scroll through my feeds alternately yawning and misting as only a true New Yorker could. You’re so grateful for the friends that got you through this year. You’re wishing for world peace. You’re so thrilled to be with your biological family or grateful to have found your logical ones. 

And I’m happy for you but it can start to feel a bit cliche.

This year, for the first time in a while I have something new to be thankful for. Something that is truly, surprising. Instead of becoming grateful for something that I’ve had for a while I’m became, on this day, something new to be grateful for. 

I’m a valued, adult, decision-making member of my family. 

Duh, right? No. 

I’m no longer a kid who doesn’t need to know about the hardships and abuse that are the backdrop behind confusing actions. 

I’m now a person who’s opinion is requested and respected. Who can hold court, translate English to English, and mediate large scale arguments. 

It sounds small but it feels huge to me. 

To have a family that values the ideas of all its members and works together as a team would have been enough to be grateful for. And to be invited to sit at the grown-ups table and help perpetuate that inclusiveness, well it’s an even better present than the great socks I got.

Hey, Call Your Friend Please!

28 Oct

Hi there, it’s FG here and someone you know has asked me to nudge you to call them.

They really want to hear from you but for whatever reason don’t feel comfortable reaching out to you again/at all. Maybe this person has been socialized to fear being labeled as “clingy” (ahem, female) or maybe they’re just tired of always making the first move. This person is, in fact, the person who sent you this link.

Did you go on a date recently and texted a bunch the next day but haven’t been heard from since?

Did a friend reach out to make plans and you shot back with a helpful “I’m busy this Saturday but I really want to see you.” failing to provide an alternate space/time suggestion?

So stop reading this right now and call the person who sent you this link. Seriously. Call, text, carrier pigeon, owl post, whatever.

I (and the person who sent you this sweet, heartfelt message of longing) feel that I (we) am (are) tired of waiting for you to call. And also tired of being the one who has to do all the reaching out. So we’re calling your bluff. Dial.

When I try three weeks in a row to get brunch with you and you always say “I can’t today but I really miss your face! Kisses!” it feels like you don’t actually want to drink mimosas with me.

When I invite you over four nights in a week and you blow me off because there’s a new episode of Game of Thrones and you really need to watch it with your neighbor, I hear that you don’t want to have a sleep over with me.

So be the person I want you to be and call me.

Love, your friend who sent you this message.

(Inspired by this)

PS, If you fail to respond to this desperate measure then I will assume that indeed, you don’t want to see me. And I will quit exerting a substantial amount of emotional energy trying to schedule you into my life.

Timer

10 Aug

Don’t laugh at me.

A number of years ago a woman who I would call trust worthy told me that I wouldn’t find a relationship with any kind of permanency until at least 28. My mom jumped in, “It’s not that you won’t fall in love before then.”

Great.

I’m ashamed of how seriously I took this premonition and yet I still don’t think she’s even the least bit wrong.

Some people grow alongside their partners for years, melting into each other like precious metals mingling, strong for sure and beautiful but impossible to tell exactly where one ends and the other begins.

Other people meet someone permanent later and have to learn to shave off the burs, rub them against each other slowly and surely over decades. Learning to fit together-ish.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m in the latter camp.

The question is what does that do to your choices between 25 and 28? I fell in love, age 25 and as promised it was not long lasting. It was reciprocated which was nice but long lasting it certainly was not. So, choose your own adventure style, what do I do armed with this knowledge?

Now that I’m old enough to know that you choose to fall in love or let relationships fall away, do I let them go for the next 3 years or do I try to fall in love as many times as possible?

Or do I avoid that question like the bubonic?

Suggestions welcome.

FemaleGazing’s Bona Fide Get-Over-Him Routine, Step… Much Later

5 Aug

 

Spoiler alert, breaking up gets easier to do.

I was out with a guy last night and he asked me if I had ever been in love before. The answer that popped into my head was one I didn’t expect.

Yes, and it was recent and it hurt and I’m still learning from it, but I don’t think that’s very interesting anymore. I’m doing a lot of cooking these days, I never thought that would be something I’d be very interested in.

No one who knows me would have been able to guess that I’d find cooking more interesting than relationships but alas, that is where I am right now.

Why should I be sad? I have lost someone who didn’t love me. But they lost someone who loved them.

-a positive way to look at a shitty situation (via upabovetheworld)

The Yankee And His Ilk

6 Apr

I spent an evening with the Yankee this week. What a wonderful time I had. He is one of the most loving, considerate, wonderful people I will ever know. I would be wise to love him for the rest of my days and never let him go. But alas…

When I made the decision to stop seeing him I wasn’t exactly sure why I was doing it. I knew in my bones that it was right but couldn’t name the feeling.

This month I fell in love with someone, probably for my first time ever (it was great and horrible, thanks for asking) and spending the evening with the Yankee in the midst of that was… made it crystal clear.

He rubbed my shoulder and it felt like an eraser on my skin. He touched my hair and I felt like a dog being poked. He whispered in my ear and I smelled his breath.

My body wasn’t tuned to love him. It’s like he was a song in A and my body was tuned to B flat. The intention was there but everything was coming out wrong.

I loved him for it of course but it would always be a little mistranslated.

So, I propose a toast.

Here’s to the lovers who are perfect on paper but who your body rejects, on it’s own accord. To listening to your body when it knows that. To doing right by and respecting it. To looking for something better when you’re sure nothing better exists.

Trust that it does.

There’s someone who plays in your key.

Fear Is The Difference Between Poly And Scaredy Cat

27 Mar

Polyamory.

Fun times.

Some people function best living a polyamorous life.

However, some people use it as a crutch.

Someone recently told me that he chose to lose someone he loved rather than give her the closed relationship she wanted. When I asked him why he did it he said he was scared.

What are you scared of?

I don’t know.

He never could answer the question.

After talking with each of them here is what I think he is scared of:

You are so afraid of not being sufficiently loved that you’re spreading the responsibility of loving you among multiple people in the hopes that losing just one won’t hurt too badly. You’re so afraid of someone taking your entire heart when they leave that you’re willing to inflict that pain on everyone you date by hurting them before they hurt you. You will push these partners away one by one, and this coping mechanism of yours will turn the fear into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’ve solved the mystery.

Things That Love Might Be Based On My Limited Experience With It

23 Mar

Knowing their astrological sign and always checking theirs when you check yours.

Knowing what foods they do/don’t like and stocking your fridge accordingly.

Washing all the clothes they threw up on while they sleep it off.

Watching their face very intently while they open the presents you got them.

Showing them your favorite movie and watching their face the entire time.

Wondering what they’re thinking all the time.

Wondering if its you.

Talking about them constantly.

Writing about them constantly.