July 28, 2008

Losing My MoJoe

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:14 pm by LG

Even though I’ve come out, I’m still failing in my efforts to write more. I did, however, spend two hours trying to figure out what the heck an RSS feed is and how how I could get that little orange volume-looking button on my page. I got frustrated and failed at that too. But I was successful in putting on a link (to your right) where you can go to get an email update from my blog. It’s supposed to send you an email every time I write. (This way, Laurie, you don’t have to check it every morning and get pissed off when there’s no new posting – I’m sorry for not entertaining you more often. wink!)

Judy even instructed to write more: since in “real life” I am usually more worried about others’ feelings than my own, I should use blogging to express my true voice. Which, I do. But, here I am, still not writing. I know it’s because I have so many feelings about moving 3000 miles from home, and I’m hesitant to unleash them for fear that I may not stop crying — or laughing, or screaming with excitement, or sweating with anxiety, etc. — once i start typing. Maybe I’m being a big huge baby about this, but it’s hard. I hate being an adult.

By the way, on my blog, I’m going to forever refer to Judy as J-Know. ‘Cause she’s wise and sassy.

So, since I can’t yet write about anything deep, I’ll stick with a surface story. It’s a goodie.

I treat myself to Starbucks every Friday morning. Monday through Thursday I actually make it to the gym and just drink the crappy coffee there. But Friday, I sleep until 7:30 — well, I set my alarm for 6:00, pretending I’ll get up and workout, but I press snooze 9 times instead — and stop at Starbucks on my way into the office. Call me a sellout, but I love everything about the place, and this one in particular because it’s in the hip area of town. The music is fresh (I know, I’m not credible with statements on music…I still love BelBivDevoe but I feel like I can at least tell a good tune from a bad one), the service is chipper (and everyone who works there has great skin, which makes me feel so happy and clean), and the coffee…well, it just feels so good when it hits my lips. I haven’t worked up to ordering anything greater than the bold brew (room for cream), but I aspire to one day confidently order something sexy like a “triple shot venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha, heavy on the mocha.” (That will probably be awhile since I’m nervous just thinking about having to say that aloud.)

But the best thing I like about this particular Starbucks is – or, more appropriately, was – the clientele. I had a Starbucks romance.

Much like the coffee I love, he was tall, dark, bold, made my heart race, and I imagine he would have warmed my hands on a chilly morning. I don’t think I ever really did want to meet him, because, after all, the fantasy is always better than the reality, right? I’m sure if I had talked to him, he’d do something weird like constantly refer to himself in the third person. But, from a distance — he, sitting on the corner couch, me, standing at the creamer station — we had a lovely affair. I’d see him from the window as I walked up, and he was usually busy grading papers of some sort. It looked like complex math, which made me weak in the knees. I’d come in, smile, order my coffee, smile, get my creamer, smile, walk out, blush, smile…and basically skip to my car, I would be so giddy. This went on for several Fridays. He stopped grading papers at one point, but was still there at 8:25 am with books I could tell he was reading for fun.  Sigh.

One Friday, I was a bit of a mess. I had gone out the night before and didn’t make it home when I should have. I’m quite sure WhereInTheWorld and my co-clerks had something to do with it. I’m quite sure it was fun. But, I wasn’t pleased with myself when I woke up Friday morning after pressing snooze a good 15 times. I didn’t have time to shower, so I just threw on the jeans on the floor next to my bed. Classy. (and, yea, I can wear anything I want to work right now – it’s great and I’m trying to soak it in before I’m committed to suits for the rest of my life). I pulled my hair back, washed my face, and scrambled to get to Starbucks for my “date.”

I saw him as I approached — wishing I would have taken more time to at least put on mascara — and walked in. He was sitting on the couch with a book, which he lowered just beneath his big brown eyes to give me that warm look. I imagined he was thinking, “Good morning, Love of My Life; I’m digging the devil-may-care look you’ve got going. Hot.”

As I strode past him toward the counter, I felt the oddest sensation travel down my leg. It happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to process it, but I believe I was thinking that some animal may have been caught in my jeans….and then it came out the bottom as I was walking. Right in the middle of the busy Friday-morning Starbucks scene. Although perhaps resembling an animal, it was not. It was, instead, my underwear. Leopard print. Thong. When I saw them on the floor, in front of my man, I was so confused. I couldn’t figure out what the hell happened….did these just actually come off of my body? How could that have happened? I can’t even imagine what he thought (not to mention the 20 other people in there who were witnesses). But then, I remembered I had put on different underwear that morning. And it hit me – when I had taken my jeans off the night before, I had also taken off my underwear in the same swoop. So they were in there when I put the jeans on that morning and had just slid down my left pant leg.

Quickly, I thought of schemes. Maybe I could pretend – nonchalantly – that it was simply a handkerchief, and that maybe I could pick it up and blow my nose with it just to make it obvious. See everyone, it’s just a handkerchief. Yes, that’s it. A handkerchief. Leopard print. In the shape of a thong. If my hair hadn’t already been in a ponytail, I may have picked it up and wrapped it around my hair. See everyone, it’s just a hair-tie.

I’m sure all of this went through my mind in a nano second, but it seemed like an eternity, in slow motion. I ended up just taking a deep breath as I bent down, grabbed them, and stuffed them in my purse. I couldn’t look my guy in the eye. I could barely order my coffee. I shuffled out the door, and chalked it up to one of those days. I did, however, take a couple-week sabbatical from my Starbucks soirées. When I finally did return, he was no longer there.

I guess he already did see my underwear. Game over.

July 15, 2008

I’m Coming Out.

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:47 pm by LG

No, I’m not a lesbian. And I don’t mean to diminish one’s act of publicly acknowledging his or her homosexuality by using the phrase “coming out” to describe my personal revelation. But as I sat down to write, the phrase “I’m Coming Out” was the only thing that, well, came out. Along with Pink’s lyrics, of course.

In all seriousness, it has recently occurred to me that I may be going through a similar experience as my gay friends who had to endure the often painful process of coming out to family and friends. And I think that’s why I’ve been away (from blogging) for a while. Let me, briefly, explain.

I started this blog for many reasons, the most important of which was (and is) to learn about myself and make a commitment not to abandon myself. Of course it’s been *super* fun to reconnect with people through this blog and keep family and friends informed of all my recent (mis?)happenings. And I plan to continue as I journey to the west. But, at the risk of sounding sickeningly cliche, the journey that is most crucial to me at this point is the one within. This journey is not always pretty. In fact, it can be downright ugly, dark, terrifying, mean, hateful, and angry. But it is honest and so far I haven’t completely turned away.

I got caught up a bit in the blog, however. You see, I have this problem. I like to please people. And man, I’m good at it. Somehow, I learned early on to quickly evaluate what makes another person happy (with respect to me): do you want me to be smart, stupid, pretty, ugly, funny, attentive, hard to get, feminine, tomboy-ish? I can tap dance like you wouldn’t believe. Ta-da! Whatever it takes to make sure you like me. The reason? Well, turns out (thanks Judy) that for most of my life, the only way I knew how to value myself was by seeing myself through others’ eyes. So, I was always desperate for you to like me – ’cause if you didn’t like me (and you thought that I was an intellectual snob, or pathetically stupid, or self-centered, or a dull wallflower, or cold, or a tease), then I didn’t like me either.

I’ve come a long way though, baby, and I’m learning to like myself a lot more – “uglies” and all. A lot of it I’m still working on – of course. But some of it (like, the “inner bitch” I’ve been instructed to embrace) is actually really freakin’ great. I call her J-Lo. She’s my girl.

One area where I’ve started to get to know and reveal myself more than others has been through my blog – because, again, this was intended for me, by me. Here, I’ve expressed more of myself. I’ve revealed a bit of my complexity. I’ve become more than the one-dimensional “I’ll whistle any tune you want as long as you like me” Little Girl. In other words, I’ve started to come out.

To get back to my comparison, I read the following on a gay/lesbian resource page:

Coming Out to parents and family is a very difficult process. In part, it is about you. You are sharing something very personal with people you love. This makes it a time when you could become closer and more attached, but it also carries the risk of rejection and pain. Coming Out is also about others. This is a time when family who may have “seen the signs” but ignored them must admit this to themselves.

Now, you may find this funny, but this statement — describing “coming out” as it relates to homosexuality — also applies directly to my situation. My coming out has been difficult. I’ve finally tired of trying to be the person that (I believe) everyone wants me to be (and it’s a different me for everyone) and I’m striving to be the person who I actually am! And it hasn’t been without resistance. Through the blog, particularly, those who are close to me are seeing/reading thoughts or opinions of mine that maybe they aren’t used to. (Or maybe they saw the signs long ago that I am an independent thinker but now must admit this to themselves!) I’ve gotten several comments ranging from – “Man, LG, when did you become so angry?” to “Hey, LG, I wouldn’t share your blog with any guy you’re interested in dating; he may be turned off by the ranting.” to “Um, LG, you really need to get a life.”

And although I was expecting (as I was warned) to get all kinds of comments and feedback from the public, I think those who are most “disturbed” by my journey are those who are closest to me….and, interestingly, most of these “concerned” comments come from male readers.

So, I had to take a bit of a break because I felt myself slip back into tap dance mode. I heard those comments to mean: “LG, it’s unattractive that you are a complex woman and have thoughts and feelings about the world and the way it works; you should be ashamed.” And, momentarily, I was. And I felt nervous and scared that the real me isn’t going to be liked by anyone. But then I realized I was wrong: if by no one else, she will be liked by me.

So, I’m back; better (and worse!) than ever. But it’s me. All of me. And, I’m not asking you, World, to pat my back along the way, or agree with the things I say (indeed, I enjoy and invite debate and discussion!) In fact, I’m not asking anything of you, World. I’m just giving a notification. I cannot write for you. I will not write for you. I’m going to keep writing for me.

In short: I’m coming out….so you better get this party started.