Monday, May 23, 2016

Bisexual & Mormon--Leaving, and Coming Home

I'm not gonna lie.  I was disheartened to read my last nine posts and realize that I've been going through pretty much the very same mid-life crisis since 2012.  I still tell the story to everyone as if it's new!! The newest part is that my daughter, who has been warning me since she was about 13 years old, that she WOULD graduate early and head to California, is now about to graduate early and head to California.  I always knew that she wasn't kidding, but whoa!  It's like mid-life all over again.

Another new part is this:  Last year, she came out to me.  She came out as a lesbian, but is working very diligently to date boys right now.  She may be bi, or she may be swimming in a very, very small pool of possible "dates" at a high school with almost no "out" lesbians, unless you count her English teacher, who has two kids and is way too old to take my daughter to Jr. Prom. 

My daughter may be bi.

My reaction to her coming out surprised me.  I cried like a baby for two whole days.  I cried because I imagined how the Mormon kids in her school would likely react if she ever decided to globally come out (which, actually, except for testing the waters with her two closest friends, she decided against doing). I cried because it brought up all the old stuff in me, and I suddenly wanted to protect and save her from all those crazy people who were going to say stupid, hurtful things, and who were going to possibly leave her.  I cried about the "crush" she was experiencing with her best friend, a very straight and very devout Mormon who could never "like" her back.  I cried about the potential losses.  I cried because I had no idea whether there would be someone who would take her to the Jr. Prom.  And, I cried with joy, knowing that she was delighted at being able to be open with me about what she was experiencing. She is safe with me, I realize, in a way that I am still not safe with my own parents.

Probably, more than any other reason, I just cried because she is growing up so fast, is now graduating early, and is heading to California.  And I can't change or stop any of it... and shouldn't want to.  But what we should want, and what we do want, are rarely one and the same. 

So, the empty nest is looming large, and the irony is that I am finding that I need to be alone in ways I've never needed before.  I NEED it like I need water to drink and like I need sleep.  I'm kicking out my newest roommate at the end of the summer, and driving my child out to sunny Cal, and then I'm coming home to silence, but a different silence than I spoke of in my previous posts.  This silence, strange as this may sound, is alive and pulsating with the creative forces of my life.  I'm on the verge of something so new... and I don't need to know exactly what it is because I understand now, that my life is unfolding and will continue to unfold whether I poke my dirty little fingers around in it, or not.  

The past several months, I've been obsessed with two subjects:  1) Progressive Mormon podcasts; and 2) books, blogs, DVDs, and YouTube videos about transgender people.  ??? I can't explain either obsession, but I finally stopped trying to explain and gave in to the need to learn everything I can possibly learn about the lives of other recovering Mormons, and the experiences of transgender teens, children, adults, and their families.  I know.  I really cannot explain it.  But, I have learned SO MUCH.  And, after four years of lamenting that my mid-life crisis has seemed so much bigger than my actual life, and after 16 years of being inactive in the LDS church, while never quite being "out" of it, I've done something astounding.  I've turned in my resignation. 

I realize that this may not seem like a big deal to any of you, but it is a big deal.  A really, really big deal. I actually planned on never "officially" leaving.  I guess I thought if I lingered around the periphery that I could avoid having to do the harder work of grieving and saying goodbye to old ideas about happiness and purpose, and the even harder work of having to find, within this life of mine, some meaning that wasn't first defined for me in a Primary song book.  

I've turned in my resignation, and it isn't over yet.  I still need to hear back from the lawyers, and then from LDS, Inc., itself.  I've asked for no contact, but I suspect that could actually result in a few extra folks on my front porch over the next few weeks, but we'll see.  I'm no longer afraid, which is... well... quiet.  It's quiet to no longer be afraid.

So, maybe my obsession with ex and post-mormon stories, and with stories about transitioning children and teens, has something to do with crossing a threshold that I haven't been able to step over before now. Maybe it's about finally being willing, and more importantly, able, to come out.  Come out for real.  Come out as all the things that I am, and as all the things that I am not.  I am not gay.  I am bisexual.  I am not a dancer, and yet I am starting to dance again.

I am not a Mormon.

I am no longer a Mormon.  And my life is so happy, and so simultaneously sad. It's like being a mom who is about to send her youngest child to California to make her way in the great big world.  I'm so thrilled at who she is and at how brave, beautiful, and brilliant she is, and how driven she is to absolutely be herself, even if it means having to let her mom down and leave when it truly is time.  And I'm simultaneously sad.   Sad about the things that were once true about my life, and sad about the things that never were true about my life, and sad to set them down, and let them finally go.  I remember feeling sad as a little girl, thinking about how devastated my mom would be when I left the church. It was odd, considering I was so young.  How could I have known all the way back then?

It's time to set it down and let it finally go.  It never really was my life, and certainly hasn't been my life for most of my children's childhoods.  It's a story that only included me because my parents told it to me, and because I sang it, for so many years, in primary.  

And yet, there is the richness of my heritage and culture.  I'm not talking about pioneers.  I'm talking about the art of Mormon women (crochet and cooking and needlepoint and music) passed down to me from my mother and my grandmother and all the generations of Mormon mothers before them. I'm talking about hymns and primary songs. I'm talking about stories of survival and service.   I'm talking about the richness of family connection and of green jello at Family Home Evening.  I'm talking about the things that I've forgotten that I loved.  I've been wondering what I'll do for the next 45 years, (without an eternal companion to go with me on missions?), and here it is.  I'm going to speak and live Truth.  I'm going to serve and advocate for those who are most vulnerable, and I'm going to live life.  I'm living it already.  And I'm going to cry when my sweet teenager leaves home in less than a month.  After 24 years of "momming" other humans, I deserve to cry a little.

And then, I think I'll sleep. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, Old Me

January 1, 2015. I had a plan last night. I would listen to books on tape, do some cleaning, ring in a new year with absolutely no fanfare and NO resolutions.  No resolutions = No disappointment when I reach January 15, 2015, and I've already stopped.  This New Year's Eve I decided to just let the new year be like any other day and let it slip away like every day slips away.

But, around 11:15, I suddenly couldn't tolerate my audible book anymore.  The Ex had taken my daughter to a New Year's event with his friend's family.  The dogs were sleeping (I'd sedated them a little to help them deal with fireworks that were starting up here and there through the neighborhood).  I turned off the book and started to cry.  I can't pinpoint a specific reason.  I just cried.

Then I dug around in a drawer and found a Thank You card and inside it I wrote down the names of everyone I've ever dated or loved (or slept with... ummm.. yeah).  I had to look a couple of people up online because I actually couldn't remember some last names.  I didn't include anyone I "loved" before I was 16 years old, but from 16 on, fair game.  I then found a little card with a saying on it about remembering the happy times.  

It was too freakin' cold outside to go out and light a fire, so I got out a metal pan and some matches and literally hung it out the bathroom window (I should really get a screen for that window!).  For some reason, the Thank You note wouldn't burn well, but I finally added a piece of cardboard which lit up like a little bonfire and kept the card burning until it was gone.  Ash.   

And oddly...

I felt better.  

There is something so powerful in the act of ritual.  I've spent several months feeling weighed down by my sadness and disappointments.  I've felt so heavy with what I've labeled "vow."  The-I-can't-ever-do-that-again type vow that keeps one from opening to possibility.  What I fear, more than failure, and more than rejection... is disappointment.  I fear the experience of letting myself hope and having those hopes dashed.  But, without some kind of hope (or motivation), I've been living in a very grey place.  At work, if one of my employees were in this kind of place, I'd say that they weren't engaged.  I'd work to help them find and build their engagement.  So, I guess what I'm finding is that I'm not very engaged with life right now.  I've been doing things that are new this year, and have been living each day, working slowly, slowly, slowly to build some discipline in new arenas, and to create something new.  But, even with a nice new living room, and a cleaner home, and deeper connection to the world through my spiritual practice, there is still this cool, grey barrier between myself and what I hold sacred, and I sit along the outside edge of it, or inside it, without crossing over.

Part of what I'm finding is that I no longer believe in the things that I used to believe in.  I no longer fantasize that magic is going to happen (well... except I'm still planning to win the lottery!  ;))  I don't really "believe" in love.  Certainly, it's not like the movies, and certainly, it's never, ever something that I can count on to be real, or to last.  I don't mean the kind of love I have for my kids.  That never goes away.  I am talking about partnership.  

Last week, waking up to my alarm, I pulled the CPAP mask off my face, then took out the mouth guard, then stumbled into the bathroom in my old flannel pajamas, and stood there for minute in front of the mirror, struck by how many physical barriers I've got in place to keep me from having any kind of a physical relationship with another person.  I couldn't (and wouldn't) even sleep next to someone. In addition to the CPAP and mouth guard, it's possible I still snore through all of that!  (The last person I tried to date had to wear ear plugs).  

I've stopped taking daily showers or shaving my legs. 

I don't eat meat or gluten, which makes even going out to a nice dinner with friends nearly impossible.

And I hate parties and crowds, despise trying to meet new people (at such events), and have sworn off online dating sites in a very BIG way.  Add to all of it, the extra 80 lbs I carry around on my body, and the message to the world is crystal clear. Stay the FUCK away from me.  

And then... I'm lonely.  I don't know how to find my way through this strange time of my life.  I don't know what this will look like on the other side, and I can't really think about the other side right now, because I'm not on the other side.  I'm right here.  In the thick of it.  I don't want to bypass what is real.  And then, I also want to find what it is (besides years of little and big disappointments) that keeps me in a grey place, behind so many physical (safe?) barriers.  For the first time in my life, I feel very... ordinary.  I have no delusions about my life.  I would think that might be freeing, but I find it disorienting.  Aside from getting up in the morning and going to work, I don't really have a plan, and I don't really want to make one.  

So, tomorrow I'll head in to work.  I'll try to remember to write "2015" in my file reviews, and I'll deal with all the little things that come up throughout the day.  Put out the fires, then come home and sit in front of a computer screen.

Happy New Year, I should say.  I wonder what's going to happen next.

Monday, November 10, 2014


I've been listening to a podcast with Jon Gabriel and one of his successful coaching students.  She talks about being hungry... hungry for the emotional work she has had to do to be able to begin to finally feed and nurture herself and lose weight.

I have been realizing lately just how hungry I am.  I've done SO MUCH emotional work over the years.  Endless self-help books.  Years of therapy.  Years, now, of meditation and spiritual practice.  

I've dating anyone who would love me.  Dated anyone I thought maybe I could love.  I've spent the past three years, now, not really dating.  Last fall when a dear friend started emailing me regularly, deep in the throes of divorce pain, I thought, again, that maybe THIS was the thing I'd been waiting for my whole life.

That's even what he advertised.  And, at least he admits it, now, with some level of remorse for what he unintentionally did--which was to do exactly what so many had done before him.. make promises he actually couldn't, or didn't want to keep.

And I don't even have (much) regret.  What I have is really, just... sadness.  A lot of it.  My ex-husband and father-of-the-children, in a bizarre twist of life weirdness, has been taking meditation courses, and is now in what we call "core" where he is beginning to wake up to all the things he's been so, so sleepy with for all these years.  And I'm the one who is crying.  Crying about the divorce again (after 14 years).  Crying about the childhood stability that my children didn't have.  Crying about a near empty nest... about losing a key component of my identity that goes back half of my lifetime to this point.  Crying about not knowing what the next forty years could possibly look like since the first forty have been nothing like anything I'd planned.  

And as I continue to wake up to all the things I've been so, so sleepy with for all these years, I realize that this mad hunger I have had for so, so long... is not really what I thought I was hungering for.  I have lived an imagined life.  Not imaginary.  Imagined.  I have spent the majority of my 46 years saying that I'm a poet.  A dancer.  A gardener.  A camper.  A hiker.  A physical being.  But I never dance.  Or garden.  Or camp, anymore.  I haven't actually hiked for years and years.  I haven't gardened for so long that I've forgotten how to prepare soil, would have no time to get my hands dirty.  I can't even find time to clean up the dog poop in my yard.  I've been so, so tired.

I've survived.  I've made it through each week with a few pennies left between paychecks most weeks.  And I've learned and learned hard lessons.

It's true that I've developed some level of expertise in some areas.  People tell me now that I've got some wisdom, and that I'm a leader.  But I still clench my stomach each day as I drive to work--afraid, maybe, that someone will figure it out.  That I have no idea why I'm here on this planet, or what it is I am doing that makes my life meaningful.  Aside from feeding my children, which I continue to try to do, even though two have now grown up and moved out, I am not sure what good I am to the world.  And for some reason, it actually matters.

I'm a skeptic, hungry to know that the world has meaning.  I'm a healer without anyone to heal, having lost the belief that this world can be healed.  I'm a mom with only one child left at home, and a really huge (for one person) house, with old dogs who won't likely live much longer than my last child's final days of high school.  And then it's just me, plugging every extra cent into my nearly empty-at-this-point retirement account, and hoping someday to carve out a few thousand dollars to go see The David in Italy before I die. Me alone in the world, trolling around social media each evening, looking for some illusive connection to other human beings, looking for some online political discussion to crash.  

I'm hungry to get all my words out.  I guess, I'm hungry to write. I used to fill journals and journals with words, working out my emotions and my ideas on the pages.  I no longer believe that anyone will read them.  I doubt those old journals will ever be opened again.  God knows I don't want to re-read all that nonsense.  I've lived it already.  There's nothing I can do to bring back those old imaginings, really.  My kids are grown.  Those opportunities are gone.  What's left is whatever it is---but nothing I had planned, exactly.  It's a strange, strange place to be.

I want to dance I think.  I want to camp again, and hike.  I want to read books.  Not listen to books on  I want to read them.  And I want to dig deep into the soil and find a way to heal it, to plant in it, to grow something that will produce a fruit with viable seeds.  

I am hungry for connection.  I am hungry for myself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

OK then, Cupid. Bring it!

So, here I am again.  It's time for my annual post.  I am, of course, just coming off another little okcupid bender.  Well.. I updated my profile tonight, for whatever that's worth.

I've made a commitment to quell my swelling Facebook addiction, and therefore need to find something to do with all this free time with which I now find myself.  Yesterday I called in sick and spent the day ruminating on some frank realities.  First, my youngest daughter is on vacation with her dad which leaves me in a mostly empty house, facing the truth that in three years, this will be my daily condition.  My oldest moves out next month, as does my friend/roommate, whom I'll call "C".  He found the perfect place in the perfect location and put his money down on it this week. I'm relieved to have him go, to be honest.  That's a very long story which it will do me no good to discuss in this blog post, but suffice it to say, his being here has made for a too long (and too short) summer.  I'm happy he has found a place, and I'mn especially happy that his intense emotion and particularly his intense self-focus will be playing out in his own space vs. in mine.  I love him to pieces, but OMG, he's a narcissist, which is probably what I like about him in the first place.  I'm nothing if not consistent in my general taste in friends/relationships.  

So, to get to the discovery of the week.  I'm 45 years old.  Yep.  Soon to be 46.  And in three years, my youngest child will be moving out--heading, if she has her way, to make her fortune in LA, the land of dreams and disappointments.  I like my job. I like my life.  And what in the f*** am I going to do with the next 45 years of it?  I know, I know.  I could technically be dead tomorrow, but if I were to make a guess at what will most likely happen, I'd have to admit that 3 of my 4 grandparents have lived into their 80s-90s, which means I basically could be at exactly MID-life.  My plan was to do what my parents did.  Marry.  Have kids.  Raise them. Travel. Build a successful career.  Retire with my spouse of a zillion years, and live happily into my golden years with grandkids tumbling all around me.  Serve in church callings.  Maybe serve a mission.  That was my plan.  But here I am, 45, not married, not religious... and alone, with no real prospects.  I am tired (out-of-my-mind-tired) of trying to create something new in the way of relationships at this stage of my life, especially given that most of the men who actually want to grow old with a spouse are still happily married to the one they originally chose.  C, I believed, was my last, best hope.  I believed this for a number of reasons.  But, that's so never going to happen, I now see.  The bridge has been entirely burned. And so here I am, wondering how to "restructure" my life plan in a way that makes sense.  I have the successful career-building thing going on.  check.  I've nearly raised my kids, (who aren't sure if they want any tumbling children to fill my house with). check.  But the marry thing, along with every additional, sad relationship attempt since my divorce, has basically amounted to 23 years of disastrous failure and disappointment, not to mention exhaustion.  I'm done with that, I believe.  The travel thing may never happen, given the realities of my financial life, although I do intend to keep working toward at least one trip to Italy before I die.

I used to imagine a romantic gondola ride through the streets of Venice, but I'm slowly letting go of such fantasies.  What I want, more than a romantic boat-ride fantasy, is whatever is actually real.  And what may be real about my life and my future is that it's time to develop a romance with myself (and when I get to Italy, a romance with the city, and the experience, itself).  I am coming to terms with the reality that I don't actually need a partner to have these experiences.  I really might prefer to wander Italy alone, lingering where I want to linger... taking in the beauty of whatever beautiful thing catches my eye.. without having to make it good for someone else, or without having to cater to someone else's whims.  No.  Traveling alone doesn't scare me at all.  Traveling alone might be ideal.

What frightens me is coming home each day to such quiet, day after day after day.. for 45 years.

I've used Facebook as a way to "feel" connected, and in some ways, it's the perfect connection for me.  I  can act all smart, all politically informed, all conscious and conscientous, without having to listen when Facebook talks back.  I can pretend that these "likes" and "posts" and "comments" somehow mean that I have friends, and a life.  But this past week, as my daughter prepared and left for her week-long vacation, it really settled in around me.  The quiet.  The reality.  In the end, Facebook creates an illusion.  I like it, but it doesn't fill up the silence when the long weekends loom, one after the other.  The routines of my daily life aren't enough to make up for the lack of meaningful interaction with other human beings.  Work fills up some of the gap, but my co-workers go home to their spouses and families each night.

And so do I.  For now.

I just wonder what will fill my time when I AM my family.  When the girls are gone and my old dogs have passed away, what will I be doing each evening?  How will I stay connected to the world?  What will I do for 45 years?

I don't have to solve this or fix it right now.  I imagine my life will unfold, as it always has, and in unexpected ways.  But I want to be realistic and know where I'm headed, at least.  Assuming that my kids continue to show signs of being healthy human adults with friends and lives of their own, I have to start looking at all my available choices for building a life of MY own. Is this house where I want to live?  Is this job where I want to stay and retire?  If/when I come home to the quiet every night, what will make my life meaningful?  What will make me feel like I'm living? I've already explored and had a myriad of sexual experiences. I'm already on a meditation/spiritual path.  I"ve done every kind of relationship configuration (ad nauseum).  I've raised kids, rehabilitated pets, seen births and deaths.  I've been religious. I've left religion.  I've volunteered. I've taken little community classes.  Besides traveling, there isn't much I haven't done. So what next?  A tattoo?  Lol.  Maybe.  But then what?

I've spent so many years just giving.  I love to give, but I don't know how to even begin giving to my Self.  Being with C was going to mean having someone to share with, to talk to, to "build" something with.  I can build something for myself but I guess I'm unclear about what it is that I want to build.  And what is actually possible?  The trips to Cozumel that he promised are not an option, even if I wanted that--which I don't, actually.  One trip to Italy, might be my bucket list goal, and will be far in the future, if at all.  And planning one trip to Italy doesn't give my life meaning.  It gives me a project, but a project isn't enough.  

Age 45.  Generally content. Wondering what I want to be (and do) when I grow up.  It's an odd little place to be, this middle age. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

At least I'm consistent

Ironic.  The last time I blogged, it was about OKCupid.  Last night I got back onto that insidious site, and today I decided to, once again, get back onto my wild Twitter site, and my blog.  I'm going to have to call this a trend, I suppose.

It's funny how I circle into and out of these phases of wanting to be social then wanting to be alone.  It's also intriguing to me that when I go into the social phase, I move instinctively back into the habits, roles, and identities which are most familiar, even if they no longer serve me in the same way  (I'm sure that my 14 Twitter followers have been anxiously awaiting my Twitter return, BTW!)

I'm sadly inconsistent.  And I continue to feel as if I'm living two lives.  In my spiritual practice I'm working to integrate the separate pieces of my life. I've had a false belief that the inconsistency somehow has served to keep me safe.  It's a prickly wall of protection.  It keeps me from being fully visible in the world, but it also separates me, from myself, from truth, and from other beings.

It's time to practice something different and I suspect it won't be very comfortable.  But, if I can't own all the way through all of me, what can I ever truly have?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Catalog shopping

So, I've tried and tried to close out the OKCupid account, but in the same way mosquitoes go headlong into the zapper light, I'm finding myself being hopelessly sucked in.  I even posted some new pics tonight and made a few more answers "public," though the sex questions remain unanswered... or private.  Of course, after the pics and new questions went up my message boards went silent.  *deep sigh*  They were even good pictures, as pictures of me go.

I can't help but feel a little "cheapened" by sites like these.  I think I'd have an easier time coming across some horrible video of myself on a slutty porn hub site, honestly.  At least there would be no question about any of the viewers intentions.  When I roll my mouse over picture after picture, read profile after profile, I feel like I'm looking through a catalog, perusing the descriptions of each item as if I could add it to my cart and pay for it with paypal. Saying this probably won't make me popular, especially with any of those folks who really DO google before they go out.  But anyone who has participated on one of these dating sites and has NOT felt this way, is probably not someone I'm interested in dating anyway.  That will be the guy who is taking this whole "true love" thing too seriously.

And yet, the zapper blinks and tantalizes me.  The red flags are waving so high and flapping so hard in the wind with some of these people that I'm afraid I'll lose a limb if I get too close, and yet I still find myself searching for the perfect comments in order to keep the conversations rolling.


How did we come to this?  I'm serious.  How did our society turn into this safely distant, mail-order-romance-just-like-the-movies-frantic-peruse-all-the-options (until 3am) place where no one is really safe, accepted, or ... well.... known.  Everyone seeking to be known, and no one is really known.

I keep myself fit, and am seeking the same.  Love camping, hiking, and being in nature.  Hoping to find that  one person I can connect with on a deep, personal level.  Looking for someone who accepts me for who I am.  Seeking the love of my life.  No drama, please.

No drama.

It makes me kind of sad.  I'm not sad for these brave people who at least are putting themselves out there (getting their goods into the catalog).  I'm sad that this is how it is done. I'm sad that this is the option we all turn to.  I don't want to catalog shop for a mate.  Really. And I don't really want to advertise my wares. And, yet, as I've already noted, there is some kind of thrill in this whole thing that drives me closer to the light each evening.

I should probably find a sponsor, and just admit this is out of my hands.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sweet Avalyne.. the life giver.

So, I thought I was being pretty sneaky when I set up this blog under my gmail name. It also happens to be a URL name I've used for years on Yahoo and more recently on a Twitter account. Because my actual name doesn't appear anywhere public in any of these places, I was pretty sure that I could stay comfortably closeted while still writing about my personal experiences. I've used Avalyne as a little cover identity when wandering the Internet on poly sites and other bi, and sex-positive blogs, commenting here and there with a hope of maintaining some anonymity. Of course, that's ridiculous. This is the internet. And, as I mentioned, I've used this name for years. I've Googled my actual name many times over the years, curious to see what prospective employers and potential stalkers might find, and I have been pleased to note that aside from a poem I published and a few comments on a poetry forum I participated in a few years back, nothing significant shows up.Whew. Safe.

And then, my delusional little "safety" bubble burst.  Last week, after years of hearing people's comments about their experiences on OK Cupid, I got curious and decided to check it out.  I'll be honest, I'm not  ready to date yet and I stated that I'm just looking for "friends." To drive the point home, I've listed "overweight" as my body type (which it is) and have refused to answer or make public any of the sex-related questions. I mean, seriously, if I wanted that kind of date, I'd reopen my old Swingular account. pffhh!

So far, I've had only one email from a guy asking if I was going to post a picture (at least he didn't waste my time with small talk!).  If you can't tell, I'm a dating site cynic, and to use my grandma's phrase, I'm "full of vinegar" when it comes to these internet dating deals.  I find them so annoying and stressful, in fact, that I had a full day of little anxiety attacks the day after I created my profile. My anxiety was made worse on the second night when one of the questions asked if I liked to Google a potential date before going out. I got the bright idea to Google Avalyne68.  Oops.  Up came a full list of references to me, my full name, my history, my old MySpace page, etc.  In fact, some website which asks for money to find people you are looking for, has pulled a not-so-great pic of me from somewhere, created a full profile of me, and apparently lists where I live and where I work.  Fabulous.  On top of all that, this blog, my Twitter account, and my Yahoo account, all those accounts which do not list my name, came popping up right along with the sites which do. There's no getting around it.  My name is associated with all my nutty history.  So, hey.  I guess I'm much more "out" than I'd hoped.  I guess it's a good thing that I'm not planning to run for President anytime soon!  (And, it's also a good thing that most of my family and friends know a lot about my life)!!

But, as I sat staring at the long list of wild links, all associated with a name I'd just signed up with on a dating site, I couldn't help wondering:  "What if I ever want to "pass?"  Okay, my bi and gay friends, before you throw tomatoes, you have to admit, I'm not the only person in the world who has fantasized about this.  What if, for instance, I wanted to date some nice, straight, stable, healthy, spiritual guy who might even possibly be interested in settling down for a quiet, healthy, grow-old-together life? What if I wanted to date a  prominent business man, or even a nice, wealthy CEO (and I don't mean in order to be his weekend bi-sexual fantasy--but what if I actually wanted to DATE him?).  What if he wanted to take me home to meet his elderly (because I'm not so young anymore, myself) parents, and some extended family member decided to Google me?  I suppose I could go through and systematically close all my accounts. I could reopen accounts under a different name.  I could eliminate all traces of Avalyne.  Honey Sweet Avalyne.  For some reason, I'm loathe to do that.

Avalyne is a handle I've used since before I divorced, since before I came out, since before I even knew who I was.  She was the life giver, a healer, pulled from a limited-edition Larry Elmore print. A woman whose magic could possibly save the dying man she touched.  She was me, separating from my husband of nine years, in my first year of nursing school, struggling to deal with my fears, my sorrow, the crazy stirrings of my feelings for the first woman I ever allowed myself to love.  Avalyne is my alter ego.  It has never been a stranger she was healing.  It was always me. I'm not hiding behind miss Avalyne.  I am her.  And, I'm not sure that I'm ready to put her to rest, yet.

And, I'm not sure that I'll ever again be able to "pass."  This is how it often is for me now.  I can't undo my history.  I can't (and don't want to) hide it.  But, I'm also not sure that I want to wave the banner for it anymore.  I'm tired. And I find myself longing for a normalcy that I used to believe was possible, but which alludes me here in the land of Avalyne68. I'm not interested in being the straight man's fantasy, always fielding his hopes for that threesome. I'm not willing to deny my sexuality for the woman-centered life that most of my lesbian friends require of their partners.  I've been a poster child for total transparency, but dating with "honesty" ends up feeling more like a bad scene from Chasing Amy, anymore. The stable guys and gals I'd want, don't want me... at least not without a very long disclaimer.

I think I'll continue to date myself for awhile.  I did go back onto OKCupid and change it to say I am bisexual (instead of straight), and I changed what I was looking for from "Guys who like Girls," to "Everybody." Why the hell not?  And after just a day, there were suddenly several new visitors to my profile;  mostly men with handles like "horny4you" and "Letsgetbusy."  Sigh. Here we go, again, folks. No need to fasten any seat belts.  Horny and I won't be meeting for coffee anytime soon.