I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even 6 months ago. The essence of me hasn’t changed; the “who” I am is the same, but many of the “what” I am’s (labels) have changed. I’m going to talk about one of the big “what” I am, changes tonight.
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about life, it’s changes, and how every now and then the stars align just right and it’s clear that my higher power is letting me know that I am on the right path.
I spent a couple of years considering leaving my previous job, but I stayed on until I couldn’t take it anymore. The time was right and I needed to move on. Everything fell effortlessly into place. I started working at my current job as a Chemical Dependency Technician October, 30th 2016. Little did I know, at the time, that someone would soon walk into my life and show me so many things about myself that I hadn’t had an awareness of. My life was about to change in ways I never would’ve expected, but I am welcoming the change with open arms. Not all change is bad, I think sometimes we lose sight of that. We take the good changes for granted and focus solely on the hard or unwanted changes. Regardless of what type of changes we go through, we learn something from every one of them and we grow just a little bit more.
I had a conversation with a family member this week that brought to my attention something many of my family members and friends may be a little confused about.
I’ve not spoken directly to this yet, but have certainly mentioned it. I’m still not going to speak in any real detail about it, but I will try to explain the changes to the “what” I am, part of me.
Approximately 21 years ago I came out as being bi-sexual (interested in both men and women). After a couple of years of not dating men I came out as being a lesbian (only interested in women). With the exception of one extremely drunk regrettable night nearly 2 years ago, I haven’t been with a male since I was 17 years old.
I knew when I came out some people would struggle with it, but was hopeful that in time everyone would be ok with it. For the most part I was right. I was nervous/scared about coming out. The unknown is filled with fear. I was afraid some of my family members wouldn’t accept me, that I would lose friends, that some relationships between family and me would never be the same. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones to have been accepted pretty much from the beginning.
After dating strictly women for 21 years, it didn’t occur to me that some family and friends would struggle and/or be confused when I take an interest in a man. It isn’t a big deal for me that I am interested in and have feelings for a man. I’m actually surprised by how good I am with having feelings for him. Love has no gender for me, it is an emotional connection for me. I’ve never liked labels and I only apply them to myself if it’s needed, otherwise I’m just Dani and Dani is ever changing and growing and open-minded as well as open-hearted. Since I am so okay with this, I just assumed everyone else would be too.
So “what” am I now? The easy honest answer is, I’m Dani and I have feelings for a man. I am building a solid healthy foundation with this man so that we can, hopefully, have a future together. This is how I view the “what” I am.
From a label standpoint, I suppose I’m bi-sexual. Perhaps I always have been, but after a few years of not being with any men and only connecting on a romantic level with women, I just went with the lesbian label. That has made sense and has felt right, until now. Maybe I was always bi-sexual but until this man walked into my life, no other man caught my attention or my heart, so I had assumed I was a lesbian rather than bi-sexual. Regardless of which label I fall under, I’ve always been comfortable with my sexuality.
Does this mean that I am no longer attracted to women? No, it doesn’t mean that at all.
Does this mean that I will never be with a woman again? The honest answer is, I hope I won’t be. I hope I won’t be with anyone else again. I hope that this time will be the time that lasts. Isn’t that what we all hope for when we enter a relationship?
He is a wonderful man. We have mutual respect for one another, we have a connection that time and space can’t touch, we care deeply for each other, we accept each other without judgement, we know we will figure things out together as they come. We both bring baggage to the relationship, rather than us leaving our baggage at the door, I want us to unpack our baggage together.
Side-note I’ve seen it happen where someone has been in relationship with a same sex partner, built a circle of friends in the LGBT community, then dated someone of the opposite sex when the same sex relationship ended, which then resulted in the person losing friends in the LGBT community because they began to date someone of the opposite sex. That’s just ridiculous! I would like to point out to members of the LGBT community who have behaved this way towards their “friends”, that the “B” stands for bi-sexual. They aren’t only a member of the community as long as they are in a relationship with the same sex, it still applies when they date someone of the opposite sex. If that bothers you then you need to check yourself because you’re not any better than anyone else who discriminates against the LGBT community, in fact, your behaviors are worse.
Anyway, I have deep feelings for a man. I look forward to a future with this man. I am happy with were my life is for the first time in a long time (not just because of him). Many things in my life are falling into place and he happens to be one of the pieces.
It’s said that love finds us when we aren’t looking for it. This is definitely true, at least for me, in this case. I can’t say for sure that a life together is what will come of our relationship, I can’t see into the future, but I’m hopeful. I struggled for, what seemed like several years (was actually 3 years), with being single. I got involved in a couple unhealthy and toxic relationships, but they didn’t fit. I kind of checked out the online dating thing, but I’m a bit old fashioned in the sense of letting love and connections happen naturally rather than it feeling set-up, planned, forced…that’s how the online thing felt to me, so I left that scene. Somewhere along the way I became content with being single. I embraced it, I was comfortable with it. I had stopped focusing on being alone and single. That’s when I met him. Life is funny sometimes.
My advice, keep your mind and heart open to the unexpected. Don’t let others put you in a box and sure as hell don’t put yourself in a box. If it feels right just go with it. It could be the best thing to ever happen to you.