Happy New Year.

I have never thought much about those words, Happy New Year.

You say them. It means it’s a new year, go have a good one, a better one than last year. Go do all those things you have been not doing in the previous year.

Now is your chance, it’s a brand new number!

This year I struggled with the words. I said them, multiple times. Texted them. Emailed them. But I didn’t really mean them. I felt a bit like new year’s is a crock, some arbitrary date on a calendar that people use as a milestone to make a bunch of plans for their lives that they can and should make on any day of the year. You wanna quit smoking or lose weight, just do it. Stop picking some meaningless date for yourself that ends up creating disappointment and sadness when you can’t find the motivation to continue after a few weeks.  (Also, it makes the park I run at really crowded and it’s annoying.)

Don’t get me wrong. I have my share of ugly shit that needs a New Year’s Fucking Resolution to fix. But I am not foolish enough to believe that I will walk through the magical door of a new year and suddenly accomplish all my goals. I am, unfortunately, aware that the only thing holding me back from all that I want to be and become is ME. I am the problem. I can fix it all and I am not doing it because I don’t really want to badly enough.

It’s hard. To fix my shit. It’s hard to work through the pain I am holding onto, the anger, the fear…all the things that are keeping me from being the person I want to be.

I have the secret. It’s me.

I don’t do what needs to be done because I don’t want to. This truth is so hard to swallow because it is…well, really hard to swallow. And I don’t wanna. It’s yucky and unappealing.

So instead, I distract myself.

With busy. With projects. With love. With stuff and shopping for more stuff. With social media. With taking care of other people. With criticizing or finding fault in others.

I go, and go, and go.

Because what will happen if I sit still long enough to feel what I need to feel, to think about what I need to think about, to grieve, to settle, to accept, to heal?

It’s too scary.

Let me just get on Facebook one more time.

Let me just accuse my x-husband of bad behavior and obsess over what a dick he is to avoid accepting the reality of post divorce life and the struggles of co-parenting.

Let me work more hours.

Let me buy a new car.

Let me watch more TV or read more books.

Let me overly care for the people I love and do things they can absolutely do themselves and probably should do themselves.

Let me hate that person who wronged me and hope they have a terrible life.

Let me have another glass of wine, or another cocktail.

Let me go shopping and buy some clothes I don’t need and can’t fit in my closet.

I’m not alone in this behavior. It’s quite common. All addiction, I think, is rooted in escapism and avoidance of pain or reality.

I see all the folks on the book of FAKENESS (also known as the BOOK OF MAKING PEOPLE FEEL BAD ABOUT THEIR LIVES BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS HAVING MORE FUN THAN YOU ARE or THE BOOK OF WAYS TO HURT PEOPLE WE ONCE LOVED) who are obsessed with hating the government and beating on Obama and his “muslim ways”…anything to avoid dealing with their own shit.

The problem is the government.

The problem is the way other people drive.

The problem is the stupid people.

The problem is this or that or the other thing.

The problem is my crappy childhood.

The problem is my X or worse, my husband, wife or partner.

Anything to avoid the truth.

Anything to avoid getting real with yourself.

I went for a walk yesterday on New Year’s Day. I felt too shitty to run so I went to my local park and walked five miles. I had planned to make some new year’s day calls to family and friends while I walked.

God forbid I should just simply walk.

It was really cold which is rare for South Texas and the park was nearly empty. About a mile into the walk my phone died. I guess I hadn’t charged it overnight like I thought I had.

So I walked, alone, for four more miles.

I have been alone a lot this week. More than I think I have ever been alone in my life. I am a solitary creature and have always craved alone time. But this has been a very alone week, even for me.

Some weird thing came over me on that walk, some might call it a light bulb moment or whatever.

But I realized just how deeply distracted I keep myself to avoid being present. I’ve known for a while that I needed to work on being present when I am in conversation with others.  It’s something I took into therapy three years ago and have worked hard on, being present in rooms full of people or in one on one conversations. I have improved greatly on this problem.

Yay ME!

But being present with myself?

Nah, I have got some serious work on that. And frankly, the realization that I am distracting myself to death to avoid it, is kind of significant. I didn’t know I was doing that.

So I suppose my new year’s resolution is to be more aware of my tendency to distract myself. To tune out those distractions and spend time undistracted and see what happens, what comes up, where I go when I don’t have anything external controlling my thoughts and actions.

That’s a good one to work on. I can totally do that.

Happy New Year, and I mean this time.



Gratitude and other thoughts

I read a blog the other day that was a diatribe against the “everything happens for a reason” statements. Someone dies and people say “she is in a better place” or “God has a plan”, or “She is at peace now”. I always thought that was bullshit but the blog articulated it really well. It got me thinking.

Over the past three years I have asked myself often if walking away from my marriage was a mistake. I try to avoid that thought pattern because I did leave and there is no turning back and I like myself so much better now than I did three years ago. I am comfortable in my skin, present, content, introspective…all the things I want to be and some things I hope to be someday and haven’t quite reached yet. So it’s good, I am good. There are lots of lingering feelings of sadness and regret and loss, I am exhausted all the time from working full time, managing a household alone, raising three kids and just living life. I struggle with watching another woman raise my kids in the home I once loved. It’s hard but I am doing it and learning and growing. In return I love who I am now, how I feel about myself and what I have managed to accomplish…on my own. I have great kids, a wonderful life.

So was it worth it?

Did everything happen for a reason?

Who gives a shit? It did happen. It is. And now I am living this life. Because it happened.

I think you can’t know things until you get to those things. The path you choose leads to discoveries. Maybe the discoveries are different than the ones you may have made had you chosen an alternate path. But I don’t want to think too much about that. It’s a waste of time and energy and frankly my time and my energy are limited.

I went on an official visit to a local University last weekend with my daughter. It was a pretty amazing experience because I didn’t visit colleges when I was a graduating senior, I went to a local Junior College. So it was cool to do that as a parent with my daughter. There were many moments of complete pure presentness over that weekend, moments of “this is amazing and I know it is and I am feeling it with all my cells”. I know three years ago I struggled a lot with that type of “being present”. If I hadn’t had so much suffering over the last three years maybe I wouldn’t be able to be fully present in moments like I am now.

But am I grateful for the pain so that I could be this fully present?

Um, no. That’s dumb.

I don’t know if three years of aging and living life might have led me to exactly this type of being present had I not gone through this shitty, hard period. You just can’t know anything about your journey until you are in it.

I have always felt this way about people who give bullshit advice.

I felt it when I was getting married and people would say, “enjoy this time before you have kids, you will miss it when it’s over”.

Or when I was pregnant and people would say, “having kids is going to change everything”.

Or “enjoy them while they are young, this time is precious.” Of course I see it now. But I couldn’t see it then, knee deep in dirty diapers and desperate for three consecutive hours of sleep.

So, I guess I am saying, you just can’t know things until you reach them and you just can’t feel things until it’s your time to feel them. Life is not some scientific equation where the goal is to solve for X.

You move through life and you go where you are heading based on the choices you make and you try to be present and happy and grateful, you try to find peace and love and a little joy along the way.

I am not grateful for pain and suffering so I could be grateful for the beauty I have in my life today.

I am simply grateful for the beauty I have in my life today.

I had one of these overwhelmingly grateful moments while I was driving home from the visit last weekend; my daughter was asleep in the car next to me. She’s always sleeping. Teenagers are always sleeping.

It’s so cute. (NOT)

So I am driving. And it’s finally sunny after a weekend of constant thunderstorms. The window is down a little and a good song is playing on the radio. I look over at her, her sweet, sleeping face and I am completely overwhelmed by the love i feel for her. It’s so much, i feel tears dripping down my face.

I have always loved her. My daughter.

But the love gets bigger. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know it would get bigger as time went on.

I suspect it will keep on getting bigger, but I won’t really know that until I get there.

It’s not bigger because she hated for me a while and i thought I might have lost her forever.

It’s just sweet, pure, beautiful, wonderful love. It’s gigantic. And I am so grateful to feel it.

And i think about my mom and I realize how much she loved me. I feel that loss for a minute. I feel deeply the missing of my mom’s unconditional love, especially now that I understand how much bigger it got for her too.

But you won’t hear me trying to explain that to people, trying to get them to understand something they can’t understand until they reach that point in their journey…if they ever do.

I don’t know if everything happens for a reason. I don’t know why people spend so much time trying to make sense of things or find meaning in pain. I have definitely tried to do that too. I don’t want to do that anymore.

I don’t know what it means.

I don’t think I care.


My daughter and I.

The Dark Side of Christmas

I work for an organization that takes care of children in the “system”, foster care, juvenile probation…that system. These kids have had a difficult upbringing.

That’s putting it lightly.

What they have suffered, I choose not to imagine. Although sometimes in my job I have to describe it, I choose not to think about it and just see them as kids. Tough kids, but kids all the same.

Christmas is a rough time for them. Staff is on high alert to look for signs of extreme depression, signs of suicide or runaways. Kids miss their families at Christmas. Many of the same families that abused them, neglected them, left them feeling unloved and unvalued.

And yet they miss them. They long for them. Even though Christmas is reportedly a very dangerous time for children who live with abusers, abuse goes way up at the holidays. Stressed parents, lots of alcohol, families packed into houses together, children home from school. It’s a dangerous time for abused children.

Christmas is filled with memories, many of them painful.  But they still long for them. In spite of it all.

The world, the loving, caring, giving world wants to help.

At Christmas they want to have parties and give presents.

There are so many parties for the kids.

And it’s good and the kids love it. And the givers feel like they are doing something, some tiny thing, to heal the brokenness.

But the kids know it’s only for the month of December and the parties will stop.

The presents will stop.

And they will go back to being alone, abandoned, neglected, unwanted.

It’s sad.

Christmas doesn’t make it less or more sad.

It’s just a holiday. A date on a calendar.

But something about it feels exposing. Like we are simply trying to cure a disease by putting a band-aid on it. And it doesn’t help. The band-aid wears off. The disease remains.

Circle back now to me, Lady blogger sitting alone in her house at midnight, watching the clock, knowing the alarm is going to ring in just over 5 hours for the start of a busy workweek.

What am i doing awake?

I am sitting here, dreading Christmas. ‘

I am dreading Christmas.

Post divorce Christmas.

Three beautiful kids, who just want the old family back, the one they used to know, the one who had Christmas all together in one house. But now there are two houses, two trees, two stockings, two parents desperately wanting to make kids happy without the ability to give them what they really want.

The old life.

They are angry. They have a right to feel that way, to a certain extent, to be angry about their circumstances.

Although when I think about the kids who live within “the system” who would give anything for one stable household to live in, I get frustrated with my kids and their spoiled, ungrateful behavior.

But the pain my kids feel isn’t any less real to them. It’s valid and it matters.

I owe it to them to respect it and allow them to feel what they need to feel.

So I will.

Let them feel it.

It’s our disease, their anger and my guilt.

I will step back and try to have as lovely a Christmas as I can. I will remain cheerful and loving, with occasional glimpses of frustration…I am, after all, a regular human being.

We decorated the tree. I put up lights on the house.

I have put lots of energy into picking out a selection of fun and exciting presents for under the tree. I spent a little more than I should have but nothing obscene.

We will bake cookies on Christmas Eve, which I will likely burn cause I suck at baking.

The gingerbread man will look slightly deformed. That’s how I roll. And we will laugh about it.

But they will miss their dad and they will be slightly bitchy because of it.

I know that every year it will get better. This is the 3rd Christmas but the first year with a completely separate Christmas. It’s time.

My head knows that this is reality. And it’s real and it’s ours and it’s really not so bad. It’s good actually.

Pretty fucking great.

My head knows.


But my heart, it’s kind of dreading Christmas.

And I wonder, how many people feel this way?

For how many other people out there is Christmas a time of fighting off the darkness?

I bet it’s a lot.

I don’t have the answers.

Only questions.

How’s that for Christmas cheer?

Pass the eggnog…

(also, does anyone really like eggnog? I think it’s weird, a really weird drink)

an ode to working mothers

When I started looking for my first full time job in 15 plus years, I knew things were going to change. For me, for my kids.

I called a working mom friend with four kids and asked,

“How do you do it.”

She laughed and said you don’t have a choice. You just do it.

“But how?” I responded.

I’ve always worked part time. My jobs have always been somewhat flexible. I have taken many a sick kid to a theatre to sit backstage during the show. I’ve done conference calls while waiting in the line to pick up a kid from school, hiding the phone on the dashboard to keep from being that jerk mom on the phone while in the parking lot of a school. I thought I knew what it was going to be like.

Less time.

And I have to hire someone to do what I used to do.

Ok, no problem. I can do this.

I can do it. I am doing it.

But it’s a problem. In ways I couldn’t foresee.

I am now three months into my full time job.

I’m on my third nanny.

Nanny one decided it was too hard to go to college and nanny 15 hours a week. We liked her but found someone else pretty quickly, thank GOD. The replacement broke her foot and is out for weeks. Nanny three is a miracle, a friend is unemployed and agreed to step in short term. I have no idea what we would have done. It’s ridiculous.

For the record, I can’t actually afford the nanny. I’m gonna be paying her off on my credit cards for a few years now.

That’s fucking hilarious. I am charging my nanny on a credit card.

It’s not factual, my nanny doesn’t take credit cards. She doesn’t have one of those iPhone credit card machine things. But I can’t afford her and the other expenses of living alone. So I overspend. Which is basically the same thing.

So childcare is hard.

There are no sick days in motherhood, I used to say.

It turns out there are sick days for nannies. Wimps.

(sarcasm, seriously, it’s sarcasm)

So onto less time. Less time? Yeah, I was totally prepared for the less time thing.

Are you freaking kidding me? What did I used to do with all my time. My lack of time has reached an all time low. Working mothers have no time. NO TIME AT ALL. I haven’t turned on the TV in weeks. Well, once I turned it on but I immediately fell asleep.

All my lovely, beautiful, amazing, stay at home mom friends who complain about how they just don’t have time for anything right now.

Shut the front door.

You have time. You have no idea how much time you have. Did you sleep seven hours last night? Did you go to the gym this week? You have time.

I knew childcare would be tough. Letting someone else drive my kids. Raise my kids. I expected that to be hard. I was right, it’s hard. No big surprises there. The unpredictable nature of childcare is what I didn’t predict.

The lack of time, I had a hard time imagining. I suspected it would be difficult and it is. Throw moving into the mix and you can forget about it. I have stuffed every closet with boxes cause I am sick of looking at them. And there is no way I am unpacking any boxes in the five seconds i have to sit down and write this blog. I don’t have time to write. And that’s poison for me. Writing, reading, being creative…these things nourish my soul. That’s not about time, that’s about feeding my spirt. And balancing that need and the lack of time is horribly difficult. It sucks. I haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe I never will until my kids are grown and that’s the trade off?

So the big thing…the thing I didn’t foresee, couldn’t predict…is how exhausting working full time can be.

Trying to build a career is hard work.

Yes, it’s called work. I get that. I knew it would be hard. I didn’t expect to sail through it, like some sort of super hero.

I get home, from a long day, maybe it was stressful, maybe i was working on a deadline all day, maybe I am behind on something, or struggling to figure something out. I worked later than i planned, I sat in traffic for 45 minutes coming home. I am late picking up one of the kids from practice, I am worn out. I am done. I have very little left to give my kids. I get home, I have to make dinner, I have to do chemistry homework with my teenager or help write the argument for debate with my son. Or play with my little one. A game, or cars or whatever. And i wiped out. The best part of me, it’s all used up. I have given it to someone else…a job.

This is not complaining. This is an ode. To all the moms who looked wearily at me as I whined about working fifteen hours a week while managing my “household” and I was just so overwhelmed.

Silly little me of the past.

The moms who do it, and do it well…you all are amazing. I am in awe. And my goal is to be like you. To figure it out. As well as it can be figured out.  Because it’s impossible to be all things to all people, the perfect mom, perfect employee, perfect partner. Right now, I am struggling. But I can do it. I know I can. I’ve seen you other moms out there, leading the way…managing successful careers, loving your kids as well as you can in spite of your exhaustion…showing up at the basketball meeting with your business suit on and still managing a smile and a pleasant discourse. You rock, you working moms.

In closing, I want to say that I realize dad’s work too. And single dads with custody of their kids, even half the time (like my former spouse) are dealing with the same stuff. There is no difference, assuming the work load with the kids is 50-50. I am being completely sexist in addressing this to mom’s only.

Cause I am a mom, and we mom’s stick together.



Divorced Parenting

I am working a traditional full time job for the first time in 15 years. I have mostly worked, at least part time, most of my children’s lives. But I have worked from home. I have worked from 9PM-Midnight. For 15 years, I have been the one who picked them up, drove them places, attended every event. I have a strong memory of watching my former husband arrive home one day from a business trip and receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the kids and I commented on the fact that I wish they would be so excited to see me when I come home. My oldest laughed and said, “Mom, you are always around…there’s no reason to miss you.”


But not true anymore. I work full time now. I have joint custody so I don’t see them for two days sometimes. It’s weird. I think we are all getting used to it. Maybe. I guess we are.

Tonight my 13 year old son called around 4:40 while I was work and asked if I was coming to watch his band play at a fundraiser. I told him I probably wouldn’t make it in time.

“No one is coming to watch me?”


My heart stopped and I grew instantly defensive.

“I don’t get off work until 5:00 honey, and I work downtown. I have to walk to my car and fight traffic. I won’t make it in time.” I wanted to say that it was his dad’s week and I was  going out of my way to pick him up. But I stopped myself. Another thing about divorced parenting, holding your tongue…a LOT.

He wasn’t happy. And my heart broke a little.

My boss had overheard the conversation and told me to leave. At this point it was too late to make it anyway but I rushed to my car and got on the freeway. And sat in traffic. And crept along. And hoped I would make it.

I arrived at the event at 5:30. I ran in high heels through the parking lot and walked in just as they began the first song. And I cried like an asshole. I actually cried. Because I made it.

They played beautifully. I took a video and pictures. I told the band instructor how good they sounded. Even though It was the 100th time I have heard them play, It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard.

Working parents everywhere have been dealing with this shit forever. I have been lucky to be able to do a job that didn’t require so much time from me. I have been lucky to be married to someone who could support the family without my income making a big impact.

Those days are over. And I am ok with that it. It needed to happen. But it’s hard. Harder in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I can imagine them now. I am living them.

Parenting is tough.

Working and parenting is hard.

But working and parenting while divorced is really, really extra

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious hard.

(this blog post needed some humor so I threw that in)

You can never assess what’s happening with your kids again without it becoming about the divorce. If I weren’t divorced it would probably be something else but I am, so every bump in the road becomes about the divorce. A choice I made. My fault.

And then comes the guilt.

Parenting with guilt is incredibly ineffective and dangerous. It causes you to make choices that you definitely shouldn’t make. Buy shit you shouldn’t buy. Say yes to things you shouldn’t say yes to. Let kids get away with things you shouldn’t let them get away with. You know you shouldn’t feel that way, but you do.

It causes you pain. And you will never know whether you would have had the same problems with your kids that you have if you hadn’t gotten divorced. You can’t know. You can blame you. They can blame you. Hell, even society can blame you.

Divorced parenting is also exhausting. On my weeks with the kids I am in charge of everything. The day begins at 5:30 and doesn’t stop until 11PM when the teenager finally finishes her homework or pretends to. It’s you and only doing all the driving. Unless you ask for help from the other parent. And thank GOD I have his help. Thank GOD he’s a good man who wants to stay as involved as I want to stay. But he isn’t there all the time and I can’t say, “you deal with it…I am done.” It’s all you.

You don’t get to be done.

I think you just have to stay on top of the guilt feelings. You have to do the best you can. And when you suck at it, screw it up, say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, forget something important, get frustrated, yell, feel guilty…you just have to forgive yourself. You have to ask your kids to forgive you for being human.  And you have to love your kids and hope they can afford a really good therapist in a few years.


It finds you.

You can run from grief, but eventually it finds you. I had several moments of grief today. They just snuck up on me, out of no where, unexpectedly.

Today is an anniversary of sorts. One year ago today, I knew the trajectory of my life was about to change. I knew I could no longer stay on the path I was on. I was sitting in a concert, September 22, 2012 and I looked over at my husband and I knew. It had to change. I wasn’t sure how or what or when but I knew it that moment that I was living a lie so gigantic that I could no longer contain it. The lie was killing me. 

I remember going to the bathroom. I have a habit of hiding in bathrooms. It’s good because I pee a lot, so hiding in bathrooms is convenient. I cried in the stall. I felt panic, sheer terror. I felt incredibly alone. 

The next day, which…because it’s after midnight, is one year ago today…I looked at this man again. A man I had loved for twenty years and I decided I was going to tell him. 

That I was gay.

I can feel that moment, deep inside me, the memory of that moment. I can actually play it in my head, like a movie. The memory is attached to pain, to grief.

It’s ok. I am completely ok with the emotion that is welling up inside me as the memory passes through me, reminding me. I don’t know why the anniversary of that painful memory is welling up in me today, but it is. And I am happy to feel it. 

I know there is more coming. 

September 23, I knew I would tell him.

October 2, I told him.

November 11, I told my kids.

November 17, I moved out. 

From September 22 until November 17 2012 is, without a doubt, the most terrifying and painful two months of my life. There were days when I didn’t think I would survive it. Looking back I am not sure how I did it. I had a good support network, thank god. Even the friends who thought I had gone completely insane were there, still loving me. 

I think the brain, the soul or spirit or whatever, protects you a little, from the full extent of the grief. And now, a year later, as I reflect and assess the damage, I can feel the trapped grief erupting around me.

The difference now is that I can handle it. I know I can. I can feel the pain and the sadness surrounded by the joy and hope for the life I have now and the life I intend to have. I know I am going to be fine. 

Yeah, I know it’s silly to say it…but I am practicing some serious self-love right now. (you dirty birds, not that kind of self-love). I am talking about feeling it without allowing the feeling to overwhelm me and take control. I am able to quietly observe the emotion without being carried away by it.

I can look at today’s date, remember, reflect, even cry, from a distance, almost as an observer. The pain doesn’t own me anymore. 

That’s progress. I have to admit that meditation is helping me with that…after years of scoffing at the absurdity of meditation. I can see the benefit of allowing my mind to quiet, to become an observer of the intensity of my emotions. To disconnect slightly. 

I can feel the pain and still feel all the good emotion that circles around with it, joy, hope, excitement…

I couldn’t imagine being where I am right now on September 23rd last year. I have a job I love. I am about to buy a house…all by myself. I feel independent and free and generally peaceful and happy. My former husband is moving on with his life. I think we will salvage a friendship. My kids seem to be adjusting…it’s not ideal but I think they are going to be ok. I have great friends, some wonderful family, I am filled with hope.

It’s been a hell of a year. 

So grief, bring it on…I’m ready. 





I am single. I have no idea how to be single.

My identity has been so wrapped up in the person I was with that it’s completely weird and also incredibly freeing to just be me, unattached to some other person. 

A good friend told me that he would encourage me to be single for two years.

Two years?


That seems excessive but I see his point. Your soul needs time to heal and discover. When you jump from relationship to relationship you don’t give yourself time to really figure anything out. You don’t give yourself time to heal. Another relationship is a band aid to avoid dealing with the repercussions of the last relationship.

But two years? Dude, I will be 45 in two years.

And what about sex?

Ok, I digress. But really, two years with no sex? I don’t know if I can go that long.

His response was “You can still have sex if you need to, just don’t get involved with anyone.”

Hmmm…I am not sure lesbians do that. They seem to get attached pretty fast. 

What does the lesbian bring on a second date?

A U-haul. 

Bahahaha…no really, it’s true.

So single life it is for me now.

There is a lot of love about being single.

I come home and when my kids are with their dad…it’s my house. It’s so quiet which I love. It’s just me and my dogs. I can sit around in my underwear if I want to. I love that. I can eat when I feel like it, I can go anywhere I want to go, whenever I want to go there. No one else’s opinions or needs is figured into the equation.

And when I am with my kids, I can parent how I want to parent. I can make my parenting decisions based entirely on what I think is best or what works for me, for us, in that moment. When you parent with someone who has fundamental differences in philosophies, that’s a really great feeling.

I made an offer on a house the other day. When the real estate agent asked me what I wanted to do I realized I didn’t have to talk to anyone about it first. I could decide…all by myself. SO I did. And when they countered with something I wasn’t interested in, I decided to drop the offer. Cause I can do that too.

I’m totally single. It’s up to me. 

I can date who I want to, go places with anyone I want to, stay home, go out, watch TV, whatever I want to do, I can do. 

But tonight, I came home from a trip. My flight was delayed a little. I didn’t really care because there wasn’t anyone expecting me to get home. The kids are at their dad’s. My friend is staying at my house so I called her but otherwise, my arrival didn’t concern anyone. If my flight had been delayed more than a few minutes it wouldn’t have affected anyone. As I exited the terminal, no one was waiting for me. That’s weird. I didn’t like that too much. It was a little depressing.

But generally, I love being single. I am in no hurry to change that. I doubt I will be single for two years but I am definitely going to be single for a while. A long while. 

I love what I am learning about myself lately, my likes and dislikes. I love hearing my own voice inside my head, instead of someone else’s telling me what to think and feel. 

Single is good.

It turns out that my voice has a lot of answers and it’s entirely refreshing to discover that.


No, but for real.

Renee is gay.

It was written in my yearbook. 9th grade? 10th Grade? I don’t remember. But I remember the words. I remember how they stung. An insult. Someone I had presented my yearbook to for signing had taken the time to scrawl those words in my yearbook. I can picture them, written sideways, in the spine. I wonder who did it? I spent a lot of time trying to figure that out when it happened. Who would do such a thing? Stupid Bitches! Ha.

I didn’t think anything about being gay until another girl made a pass at me my senior year.  I will call her Christina. And we had “sex”. I guess you could call it that. We were sort of girlfriends for a while. I have to be honest, it’s a little vague in my memory now. I remember sexual activity. I remember trying to be her girlfriend. I hung out in a wild crowd back then so dating a chick was kind of cool. I didn’t think a lot about it.

Then I met, um…Jessica…yes, we will call her that. She had long brown hair and she was a real lesbian. I had a serious boyfriend at the time, someone I had dated off and on for years and was currently “shacking up with” according to my grandma. I was about 19. Jessica and I hung out for hours and hours and my boyfriend was insanely jealous but I considered us just friends. Then one night, I stayed at her house too late and ended up on her couch, making out for what felt like two days and was probably two hours. It was truly one of the most magical experiences of my then…very short…life. There were moments in the drama that ensued from that experience where I questioned my sexuality. But I didn’t linger on it. I decided I was bisexual and let it go. I dabbled in the “ladies” over the next few years but nothing serious and I mostly dated men. I met my husband when I was 22 and decided he was perfect, he had every quality I had ever imagined in a mate and I set my mind toward marrying him almost immediately. And I did, four years later, at age 26. By 27, I had my first child and my second at 29. I didn’t think too much about my continued attraction to some women. I noticed it but just decided it was simply bisexuality.

We moved across the country. I made new friends. I had another child. I drank a lot. There were some kisses, drunken kisses, with girlfriends over the years. I continued to claim bisexuality and wonder why I couldn’t connect sexually with my spouse the way I wanted to. I lived my life and always felt a sense of something not being quite right. I couldn’t feel happiness. There was always something missing and I filled that emptiness with alcohol and a steady stream of pot.

My husband and I argued over my continued experimenting with making out sessions with my drunk girlfriends. I told him he should loosen up. The other husband’s thought it was hot. Why couldn’t he? I tried to stop myself from doing it but a few glasses of wine and a willing participant and I would find myself smooching it up again. It never went further than that. The women weren’t gay, they were just being silly after a few drinks. All in good fun, right?

And then I got sober. That’s another story. Another blog. I committed to sobriety for a year. I didn’t know if I was truly an alcoholic but I knew I was messing up my kids with my partying ways, so I quit.

Boy reality is shocking when you first start living in it. I hadn’t been a daily drinker but near the end I was drinking a LOT. And smoking copious amounts of pot. When I quit I holed myself up in my house, I threw myself into projects, began writing about sobriety. I tried to stay busy and figure out what was really going on with me. It was during this time that I became friends with a lesbian. She was comfortable in her life, outgoing, friendly, likeable and 100% gay. I didn’t spend five minutes with her and instantly know I was gay too. It was more of an unfolding. I watched her. I studied her. I wondered what it would be like to be gay.  But I didn’t acknowledge being gay to her. I didn’t ask her if she thought I was gay. It didn’t cross my mind.

Until last summer…over a year ago. I was running with my non-gay friend and she made a casual comment in response to my announcing that I felt attracted to our mutual friend, the gay one. She said,

“Are you sure you aren’t gay?”

I responded with a scoff..

“I’m not gay. I am bisexual. You know that. But I feel lots of things toward her…lots of things.”

And then I blew it off. And off and off and off and off.

Sometime in August I settled on it. I was gay. I didn’t tell anyone. I just said it in my head.

“I think I might be gay. I think that might be my problem.”

And then when I knew it, I began to really know it. As in the knowledge took over ginormous pieces of my brain. I could think of nothing else.


Suddenly I found myself incapable of being sexual with my husband. He became a stranger to me. I became increasingly withdrawn and made an appointment with a therapist. I told her I wanted to tell my husband I was gay.

She tried to slow me down but it became a huge mountain of information that I could no longer contain and pretending became very difficult. I can remember the moment I decided to tell him. He was in the kitchen, being silly, making jokes with one of the kids. I looked at him and I thought, “holy shit…I don’t love him the way I should and I never will. He is being cheated by this lie. I have to tell him.”

And so I did.

And the shit hit the fan.

I moved out.

I started to divorce a man I had rarely ever fought with…who I had generally had a pretty decent relationship with. You know we had our issues, mostly, in my opinion because I was pretending to be something I wasn’t. And he was pretending nothing weird was going on.

I told my kids.

And the shit hit the fan. I mean it really hit the fan.

So now I am divorced, trying to heal my kids, trying to learn independence.  Trying to learn how to be gay this late in life.

Well I have always been gay, for the record, but now I am ready to actually be it.

A single, 42 year old lesbian with three kids.

So that’s where I am right now.