Making Friends as an Adult is Weird

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Remember when we were kids and everyone was friends? Looking back on my childhood friendships I can’t even begin to tell you how they started and if I can it was over something so minuscule that it makes me wonder why it’s so hard to do it as an adult. I had one best friend from first grade until 7th grade. We became best friends because she was new to our school and drew a picture of her family because she missed them and was lonely instead of whatever first grade assignment we had. Our dirtbag teacher yelled at her, she cried, I told her it was a really pretty drawing and asked her who each person was. BOOM! 7 year friendship. Sometimes I wonder where I’d be in my life right now if she didn’t get “sent away” in 7th grade.

Other friends I had as a child were because we both liked the same sports team or played in the same little league. In spare time we would just play catch or flag football after school. It was so simple.

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Even in high school it wasn’t all that hard. I mean, I had a rough first 6 months of high school.  I was a big fish in a small pond in elementary school – class president, all star on the basketball and softball teams, 3rd highest GPA in my class. Then in high school I realized I was a natural introvert until forced from my shell. I was 1 of 4 white kids in my class and was also in the honors program. I didn’t quite fit in with the smart kids and was excluded from the general public. Once basketball season started I made more friends. Starting with the common connection of sport and leading into all other bullshit aspects of life at the time. Thinking this teacher was cute, going to see that movie on Friday, how gross Tuesday’s lunch was.

I’m not even going to pretend I made a friend completely on my own in college. I was at my lowest in college. Any friend I made was through a mutual friend.

Then boom. You blink your eyes and your an adult. I literally just turned 27 and I’m like “What?” I’m “friends” with co-workers, but am I really? At my last job I LOVED my co workers. Texting them, hanging out for drinks after work, playing pool with them when it was dead. They never really knew me though. We were tied together by proximity and scheduling. We knew each others common interests, bought each other birthday/Christmas presents, I went to a few of their family members wakes/funerals. At the time I remember thinking, if I got married today – all these guys would be invited.

Then the place got shot down. Thankfully, most of us had moved on from the pizza place or were in the process of moving on. Since then we all only hung out one time. I’ve tried countless times to “get the gang back together,” but there is always something going on. Needless to say I haven’t seen all of them in about a year and a half. It makes me wonder if we were all really friends or just forced to enjoy each others company.

Even now at my current job. I talk to a lot of people. Follow them on social media. At work functions I always have a group of people to hang out with. Sometimes I meet up with a few of them for lunch and we talk about things other than work. I’ve met their families. Then I wonder, if I were to leave this job right here – right now, would I ever see or talk to any of these people again?

All of my friends are from childhood (or through a friend from childhood). They’re stuck with me. They all know a lot about me and a lot about my family, not all of them know EVERYTHING about me, but enough. I can say things without thinking and know at the end of the day they’ll be my friend regardless. I can get black out wasted, panic about what I said or did, have drinkers remorse, apologize to them for nothing, and they’ll be like, “Caitlin you’re fine! You were having fun! Don’t worry!” I love that. (Not the drinkers remorse – I hate blacking out) I love that even if I don’t see or talk to some people from childhood, they are always there for me. They want to hang out with me. We find time to fit each other into our lives because we care about each other.

It’s so freaking difficult to make friends like that after college. Maybe it should be? The world breaks us all ever so slightly. We become jaded and untrusting. How come I complimented my 6 year old friends drawing and we became best friends, but I can compliment some girl in a bar bathrooms shirt and that’s that? Not that I want to befriend everyone who compliments me, but I guess my ultimate question is why? Or how come I meet people at work and we’re cool, but we don’t want to see each other beyond that?

I think we should continually be trying to make friends. Real friends. And no I am by no means a quantity over quality kind of gal, but it’s nice to know someone out there cares about you and they should be reminded of it. My friends from childhood, I’ll send a text every now and again just reminding them how much they mean to me. They should know that. No matter how low they’re feeling in this world, they mean so much to at least one person. I’m also eerily haunted by Matt Kennon’s “The Call.”  As an adult any friends I’ve made, might find that creepy.

Which begs the question of why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? For a long while it’s like walking on eggshells around them. Also, it’s hard to find people who actually want to make time for you in their life as an adult. Being an adult is fucking hard. All we really want to do is sleep.  Then you get to toss in a lot of friends being married/in relationships, weird work schedules, families to take care of, kids. Who the heck has time to squeeze me in? You’re better off just keeping the childhood friendships who understand your chaos, seen you at your worst, and sneak them in for dinner with the family then some wine after the kids go to bed and be knocked out by 10 pm.

So here you have little old me, adult, single, no family to look after, shitty work schedule, but available at night, and just wanting to hang out with more people because most of my childhood friends are becoming legitimate “adults” and I just don’t think I’m ready for that. So when we make a new friend you gotta hold tight, hope they don’t suck, while also trying not to suck yourself. Then if you’re lucky, they become just as great and comforting as the childhood friend. Sadly, it just takes a little more effort. But anything worth having is worth a little but of effort.

 

 

I’m Not that Funny.

Hi, I’m Caitlin and I’m not that funny.

Many people would disagree. Hell, you don’t get “funniest” and “class clown” as your 8th and 12th grade superlatives if you aren’t funny, entertaining, and moderately quick witted.

I know this may sound arrogant or whatever you want to call it, but this is how I see myself. People can tell you something about yourself over and over again, but that’s all it is, what is important is how you perceive yourself. I take what people say to my to heart – far too often. Especially if I respect and care about you. At the end of the day, I wish I thought I was funny.

I guess in theory I am funny – as far as the definition goes. I’m always more than willing to be the butt of someones joke, do something, no matter how dumb it is, to get someone to smile, I say a lot of ridiculous things. For the most part, people enjoy me. I’ve been told countless times how funny I am. Yet, here I sit. Unwilling to admit it.

Flash forward to December 2017.

I’m an out woman to my best friends and closest family. I’ve gone on a few dates with women. I’m not “fully” out, but if anyone were to ask me it wasn’t something I planned to hide. I just didn’t feel the need to publicly broadcast it.

I’m at my friend “Leah”‘s house. I wanted to go out to a bar with her and tell her about me because she doesn’t know, but I want her to know. She’s the type of friend who would accept me know matter what, like I legit feel I could murder someone and her opinion of me wouldn’t change. I’ve known her since I was about 10 and she’s just always been one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Knowing her is both an honor and a privilege.

It’s snowing pretty bad out and she lives close to me so we decide I’ll come over and have a few drinks there. I think that that’s fine. Except her mom, who LOVES me decides to hang out with us all night.

In my friend group, we’re all pretty close with our parents. We talk about things with/in front of our parents that a lot of people may not. For clarity on that, one time I said to my friend Jess (in front of my mom), “I’d rather be fingered by Edward Scissorhands than go on a date with him.” Laughter ensued.

Finally after 3 rum and cokes, I decide to out myself to Leah and her mom. They’re both supportive as hell, which I expect (I’ll be honest Leah’s mom is pretty religious so I was low key concerned, but she’s also a pretty forward thinking lady).

Leah and her mom both think I’m hilarious. In fact, most people in my life do. I have about 4 people in my life that I’m actually serious with. Everyone else gets the comedic “asshole” version of me. Even on serious topics, I just glaze over them – giving just enough information to keep me in the conversation, but not enough for questions or letting anyone get to invasive.

As we talk about me, because this is pretty big news to them, I become increasingly more uncomfortable, I’m cracking more and more jokes. Leah’s mom must have had enough and wanted the nitty gritty and calls me on it. I’ll never forget it.

“Caitlin why do you always use humor as a defense mechanism?”

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Mostly because it was true, but also because no one has ever called me on it. I think most people just don’t recognize it. Others probably just enjoy the fun I bring and don’t want to discuss it or won’t force me to. I need people to force me to.

I defend myself with humor without even thinking a lot of the time. What’s weird is that I genuinely think I am being open and honest with people. I legitimately think people know shit about me. Then someone asks a question that I find personal or too deep and I twist it into a joke. I sit here, oblivious to myself.

I’m not sure if it’s because I try to block out all the bad shit. Or like Tiffany Haddish said (I’m paraphrasing), “You can either let the pain of the past hurt you or laugh at it.” I guess the difference is she actually talks about the pain in a comedic way, whereas I avoid it with jokes.

Maybe I’m afraid of giving people too much of me out of fear that these people will judge me or leave me and I’m left with nothing. I know people talk about what we say to each other with other people. I don’t want the deepest parts of me shared with anyone other than who I’m sharing it with. I don’t know how I developed these deep, paralyzing trust issues.

I do feel like if asked, I will tell. Maybe not to the extent people want, but eventually I’ll get there. We all have our flaws. It’s important to find people who are willing to work with the flaws you present.

In the podcast, “Guys We Fucked,” Corrine stated something along the lines of how we are all adults now and we all have baggage. We aren’t these little high school romances and friends where the world hasn’t hurt us yet. Every relationship we get into, romantic or platonic, you have to accept there will be baggage. We have to learn what kind of baggage we can work with and can keep in our lives. The baggage she can work with is drug addicts or alcoholics. That is just some peoples cross to bear and she feels she can accept those people in her life, help them, without compromising herself. She however simply can NOT deal with people with family issues and mama’s boys. It annoys her and doesn’t want to be around people with those problems.

That being said, I suppose the people I surround myself with must be able to accept my baggage. The baggage that I want to tell people things, but I really need to trust you. The baggage of trust issues. I need to know you aren’t going to tell anyone. Even if you say you won’t, I need to truly believe it. I need people who will ask, but not pry. Continue to ask and continue to not pry. Eventually, I will let it all out. It’s just not easy for me. Shit, I stayed in the closet for 26 years because I was afraid of being that vulnerable, but here I am. FUCKING OUT and not giving a shit.

A lot of people just assume I’m this constantly happy person who doesn’t have a lot of bad things in her life. I think I’m happy most of the time. At least I try to be. However, talking about feelings and emotions makes me uncomfortable. It could be because every time I’ve tried in the past, it’s ruined a friendship or relationship, so I just let others express their feelings and I accept it without rebuttal. I also hate the fact that once you say something you can’t take it back. It’s out there. Then with feelings and emotions everything is so “high” that maybe things aren’t phrased appropriately. That’s why I like and prefer writing when it comes to more serious shit. Mainly because I don’t have to see or talk about it, but people can know what’s going on. Also, because I can edit it. Reword things. Have time to reflect on what I said. Respond – not react.

If I care about you, you’ll hear my voice. I can promise you that. As long as you’re willing to stick around. Which is my biggest fear. Loss of people.

 

 

Wait, am I Dating my Best Friend?

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Damn, talk about foreplay! Always, gotta remind the people I’m gay…

Now that that’s out of the way…

In the standard life of a mail lady, I have earbuds in for 6-10 hours per day. It’s great because as an avid learner, I get to listen to a lot of great books, amazing podcasts, and a wide variety of music. My next adventure in education is going to be to learn a new language while at work, but that will take time. Honestly, some of my favorite things about my job is that I am getting paid to increase my physical health, talk to new people everyday, and educate myself. While the solitude can be jarring at times, I think it’s important to use time wisely.  So I’m going to use it to increase who I am as a person.

That being said, I’ve been borderline obsessed with this podcast I found by complete mistake on Spotify. It’s called “Guys We Fucked” hosted by New York based comedians, Corrine Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson. It’s hilarious, educational, and open minding. These ladies are seriously hilarious. After listening, I even went to go see them live in freakin’ dirtbag New Jersey (sorry Corrine), so you know they’re good.

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I clearly started from the very beginning and am flying through the podcast. Currently in March of 2015. It’s great. Anyway, in one of the more “recent” podcasts, Corrine commented that she and Stephen (Krystyna’s boyfriend) are very similar. Which led to a huge conversation about how in many decent, stable relationships, we tend to date someone who has a lot of similar attributes to our best friends.

They went on to say that it makes a lot of sense because if you choose these people to be your best friends and their personalities blend well with yours and these types of people are ones that you actively seek out and want to keep in your life, why wouldn’t you want to date someone similar? It makes a ton of sense, especially in a heterosexual relationship because normally a girls best friend is a girl, so to seek a man similar to your best friend adds up.

However, I think it gets a little more complicated in homosexual relationships. My question, and I’m just thinking out loud here, is that I’m a female, attracted to females, with predominantly female best friends, so where does the line get drawn in a relationship compared to friendship?

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My friends, maybe I’m being biased, but I doubt it, are hot as shit. Like they’re very attractive. Yet, other than maybe 2, I’ve never thought to myself, “Eehhh I’d tap that.” Does the line get drawn to me subconsciously because I know they’re straight? If that’s the case I don’t understand because I’ve fallen for so many straight girls. Then that teeters with the concept of emotions and feelings.

I have such a love for my friends. I’d do anything for them. They’re amazing people and deserve to be treated like royalty. So if I were to find one attractive, love spending time with them, and think they’re great, why wouldn’t I get those damn butterflies around them? I’m not asking for them because that makes shit awkward, but I’m just sayin’… WHERE’S THE SCIENCE?!?!

I also thought this was interesting because it dawned on me. Any lady I’ve spent time with or talked to for a significant amount of time, reminds me of a specific friend or a blend of a couple friends. Sometimes less physically attractive versions of said friends, but I’ve been “butterflies” attracted to the girl I’m spending time with. Feelings are fucking weird. So logically speaking, for me at least, I am attracted to people with similar mindsets, senses of humor, and morals as my best friends. And why shouldn’t I be? I think my friends are amazing! I deserve amazing!

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I think this can also be tied into the idea of wanting to be friends with a person before dating them (which I wrote about previously). That’s one of the reasons I hate dating. Meeting someone randomly, unexpectedly, getting to know them, then dating. That’s the way to do it in my opinion because then if you don’t work out as dating, there is still the opportunity for friendship. Also, you already have a baseline of caring for the person.

Last weekend we went out for my best friends birthday, long story short, everyone on our train ended up waiting in the cold at 3 am for a new train for over an hour to arrive and pick us up. My 2 friends started to bicker, so I zoned out. I saw this girl about 10 feet away, gorgeous, alone, getting hit on by this guy. She kept laughing politely, but looking away. Our eyes would meet, after the third time I was like fuck it. I walked over to her and talked to her until the train got there. She was totally feeling it. What can I say? Well this is what I can say, I did not seize the opportunity when she made a move. #failure

I annoy myself in instances like that. Here I am, walking up to a stunning woman, conversation flowing as easily as the third day of your period, then flopping on the close. I’m pretty good at flirting when the opportunity strikes and the person I’m talking to is feeling it, then boom, no close.

Alas, it’s for the best I’m sure, as I really need to work on myself right now even though I’d like the company of another person. I’m just not one to half ass something. If I’m going to date you, I want to be ready to treat you right. I can’t do that with where I’m at right now.

Talk about drifting…

This girl reminded me of two of my friends. For that hour that we talked and got closer, physically and mentally. The things she laughed at and made jokes about reminded me of one friend. Her quick wit and willingness to have a conversation with a stranger so openly reminded me of another. Her style reminded me of one of the aforementioned.

My longwinded point is, I agree we seek out people who remind us of friends. Those will likely be the happiest, most fulfilling relationships. If they remind you of friends and you’re unhappy, hurting, sad, or any other negative emotion, I think A, get rid of the person and B, find some new friends.

And I guess that’s why they say you fall in love with your best friend. At the end of the day, they remind you of your best friends, the best of what you choose to be a part of your life, then turn into your best friend. That’s all I want, I’m looking for my future best friend.

 

Author’s Note:

This post is all over the place and I have zero intention of fixing it.

I also think I should start proofreading, but that won’t happen until I get paid… so never…

Don’t Call it a Comeback!

 

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Damn you Joe Jonas! Here I am, 27 years old, attempting to suppress my high school Jonas Brothers obsession only to be revisited by your angelic voice and lyrical genius! I swear, once you guys “broke up” I thought to myself, “Well Caitlin, I suppose it’s time to grow up, just as these fine gents have.” Shit. Look at what my room looked like up until I was 19. It was legit wallpapered in the faces of you 3 and Miley Cyrus. (My parents said having girls on your walls made you look like a lesbian, I said that wasn’t true. Joke was on all of us.) I was brutally obsessed.

I mean honestly.  Joe, my dude, you did your thing, and flopped. Kevin went on and was the only successful purity ring wearing, settling down kind of guy you all claimed to be. Nick, you sexy mother fucker, blew up. I mean, come on. He is essentially the only reason you guys even were a famous band. Nick is totally the Justin Timberlake of the Jonas Brothers.

I totally pined over Nick. For years. He may have been the youngest and younger than me, but mama always had a thing for some thick, long, fucking curls. His musical talent. A panty melter for sure. Even a song about bacon – if that doesn’t make you an National Treasure and a 7th World Wonder than what will? Like God damn Nick, toss in a vagina and you were my dream girl!

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Anywho, here I sit, about a year ago and some bullshit song “Cake by the Ocean” is all over the radio. I was proud of you Joe! As a former obsessed fan, I know this is what you wanted – fame and glory. The song was shit. Based on a misinterpreted order when you requested “sex on the beach” at a bar.

Fast forward to summer 2017 and I hear “Truthfully” on a Spotify playlist I downloaded. I started playing the song on repeat until I knew all the words. Then I’m all, “This voice sounds familiar.” And here you are Mr. Jonas. I’m prouder of this one because I actually like this song. Applying it to my life and relationships.

Flash forward yet again to about a month ago. I hear “One Chance to Dance” on yet another Spotify playlist I downloaded. Obsessed. Literally obsessed. The sound of the sitar just made me so happy. I’ve been having some tough times lately and even though the lyrics are average, the sound of this song just makes me smile. It’s like whenever I’m feeling down, a Jonas is there to pick me up.

The lyrics are somewhat applicable to me. At least the new me. Or maybe the me that I’m aspiring to be?

It’s funny how music works. I listen to this song for hours straight because it gives me the feeling of joy. So thank you Joe Motherfucking Jonas. You’ve somehow brought me out of some mentally dark places. I always knew you were a good egg.

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Sidenote, I really should stop writing when I’m drinking heavily. I hope this shit was legible y’all. Deuces!

Dear Dad.

Dear Dad,

I love you, I love you, I really love you.

I love you for all the things you are.

I love you for all the things you are not.

I love you for always being you.

I love you for always being willing to change you.

I love that you always hold the door for me.

I love that you make me a sandwich every morning to take for lunch.

I love that you clean all the snow off my car before I wake up.

I love that you always shovel out my car.

I love that you always say, “be safe” before I go out.

I love that you always leave the light on until I get home.

I love that you love me.

I love you.

 

I Thank You.

I thank you for always being there for me as a little girl.

I thank you for always volunteering to coach my teams because no other parent would.

I thank you for taking me for an ice cream cone after every little league game.

I thank you for playing catch with me every day when you got home from work just because I was sitting on the porch,

I was sitting on the porch. Waiting. Always waiting. To be with you.

I thank you for helping me move things.

I thank you for always giving me my space.

I thank you for leaving work to help change my tire on the highway.

I thank you for checking the oil levels on my car.

I thank you for your (slim) patience.

I thank you for all that you you do.

I thank you .

 

I Forgive You.

I forgive you for not being there for my in my teenage years.

I forgive you for withholding financial burdens from our family.

I forgive you for hating me.

I forgive you for all the fights.

I forgive you for kicking me out 14.

I forgive you for taking me back.

I forgive you taking my money to support the family.

I forgive you for the lying.

I forgive you for the drinking.

I forgive you for the various abuses.

I forgive you for all the yelling.

I forgive you for the broken glass.

I forgive you the holes in the walls.

I forgive you for your words.

I forgive you for your homophobic rants.

I forgive you for your racial jokes.

I forgive you for letting me hate myself.

 

I love you, I love you, I really love you.

I love you for coming back to my life.

I love you for realizing the mistakes you’ve made.

I love you for loving me.

I love you for accepting me.

I love you for being the best dad you can be.

I love you for showing me how a woman should be treated.

I love you for showing me how a woman shouldn’t be treated.

I love you being the first, last, and only man I will ever love.

 

I love you, I love you, I really love you.

Bad Days and Sad Days

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Let’s just jump right in because this is a subject very near and dear to my heart.

I personally believe, and also in my professional experience, that we feed off each others emotions whether we want to or not.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times my mood was in a flat lined state, meaning it could’ve gone up or down depending on who was coming in to resuscitate me. You kind of just sit there and expect to stay the same until someone comes in, also feeling the same, or lifts you up. However, there’s that other option, which is being attacked by a downer. It really irritates me when I’m in either a bleh or good mood and then someone comes in and is negative, angry, or just straight up unhappy and they try to put that onto you.

For me, if I’m having a bad day, I usually try to go into a room with the hopes that someone will cheer me up. Not everyone is like that though. Some people will have a bad day at work, walk into a room, and try to put everyone in a bad mood to justify their bad mood.

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That’s why I normally try to surround myself around positive, good hearted people. I get we all have our bad days, but if you’re having a bad day, it can legitimately be turned around so quick, you just have to “want” to not be in that bad mood anymore.

(Before I get attacked, I am not talking about serious shit like depression or PTSD or anything like that, I’m legit talking about “I spilled coffee at 9 am so the rest of the day is a bad day” attitude.)

Which leads me to me and my fatal flaw. I want everyone to be happy.  It’s almost sickening. I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me after I smiled and said “Good Morning” and told me how they were having a terrible day, but I just made it better.

It literally makes me hurt that something so simple and easy to do happens so infrequently that it seems like a grand gesture.  I want to be a person that people are happy to see. I want to be a person that makes peoples day turn around. I read this quote:

“My goal in life is to be one of those people who are just—light. You see them and you suddenly feel so warm inside and all you want to do is hug them. And they look at you and smile with the warmest light in their eyes… and you love them. Maybe not in a romantic way, but you just want to be close to them and you hope some of their light transfers into you.”

It really spoke to me. This is a person I aspire to be. I want to work toward being this person every single day of my life. I never want to be a person that makes others feel sad, less, flatlined.  I always want to be the person that brings a smile to someones face, people want to be near, make them feel warm – wanted – visible.

Selfishly, this makes me feel good. Like, I want to make people feel good, which can’t be the worst thing to want, but that makes me feel good. Doing good makes me feel good. Seeing others smile makes me smile. Hearing others laugh makes me laugh. Why wouldn’t anyone want that?

Yet, it’s a blessing and a curse.

I feel as though I’m not allowed to have a bad day. I put too much pressure on myself to make others happy and smile that I tend to compromise my emotions.

The other morning, I was driving to work, sitting at a red light, and I just started to cry. Uncontrollably cry.  Deep belly sob – cry.  Nothing happened in that moment per say, but I tend to lock all my bad feelings deep inside, dark thoughts, bad experiences, I turn a blind eye to them. Then one day, your driving to work and it all festers up out of no where and sobs.

I called my friend when I pulled into work and was a little more in control of myself.  I told her how now I felt stupid and was going to have to paint on a smile to go in there and make everyone feel good. She asked why and I was like “because that’s what I do, I make others feel good about their bad day.” She was literally like, “You’re allowed to have a bad day too. You’re not responsible for making people feel better.  They’re mad because they have to work – they’re just negative, you’re sad because you have a lot going on.”

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She’s right. I do have a lot happening right now. I’m very zero or sixty when I deal with myself. The sick thing is though is now I feel like I’m expected to be in a good mood always. I’m not worthy of a bad day. I don’t want people to ask me what’s wrong. I don’t want people to know somethings wrong.

It’s like being good and positive most days tarnished me.

It’s pathetic.

I’m so fucking guarded – damaged. Why can’t I just let people see me sad? Why don’t I let people see me cry? Why is it that if I have a bad day, I can’t let others know?

I’m pretty sure I know the answer. I’ve seen a lot of these people I cheer up be upset over the dumbest fucking shit. I know they wouldn’t reciprocate what I’ve give them.

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So I pull up my big girl pants, walk in, and make everyones day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to be the light of someones day. I truly think we should all try harder to help other people. We are what we put out into the world. I just feel if more people focused in more on positivity, everyone would be able to have their seldom bad day without feeling bad about having a bad day.

 

“I Wish I Was Straight.”

A thought that has crossed my mind hundreds of thousands of times.

“I wish I was straight.”

My whole life I always knew I was a little different from the other girls. I was a tomboy for sure. I grew up around boys. I wanted to emulate the looks and styles of my cousins and friends. I was a kid. My parents, mostly my mom, let me be me. For which I am eternally grateful. A tomboy in and of itself made me different from the other girls.

“I wish I was straight.”

I remember asking my mom if I could get a haircut like Todd or Kyle. Somehow my 6 year old self was able to swindle my parents into letting this happen. I assume they let me because, hey, I was 6. What’s the harm? That haircut and tomboy look lasted until I was 12. Honestly it may have lasted my whole life if I didn’t feel peer pressured to fit in with the other girls.

“I wish I was straight.”

I get asked a lot by people how I know I’m gay. For one, I’m not into labels. I know how pretentious that sounds, but it’s true. I say this because I know up until this point in my life and continually, I want to be with a woman.

“I wish I was straight.”

How do I know though? Well how do you know you’re straight? I get the pressure society puts on people to be straight, however, it’s that feeling you get when you’re around a certain person. I remember being in the third grade and my heart racing a little faster around my female friend. The way a crush would feel.

“I wish I was straight.”

I know because of the thoughts I had during puberty. Wanting the attention of female classmates while pretending to want to kiss the boys. I know because of the attraction I had toward friends in high school. I know because no man had made my emotions, feelings, heart, body, soul, and mind fluster the way any female has.

“I wish I was straight.”

I know because of the day dreams I’d have about the bartender at work. How we were barely even friends, yet I was drawn to her. How I’d think about cuddling with her in her dorm room. Long to see her. Smile like an idiot when she was at work. Try stupidly to get my shifts to line up with hers. While still being “straight” I’d ask my friends if they thought she was gay.

“I wish I was straight.”

I know because of that girl at work that made me question everything. She was the driving force in making me come out. My final straw in lying to myself.  How I long to see her laugh. How I want to be better for her. How seeing her when I get back to the office can make or break my entire work day – even if we don’t talk, how I want to talk to her, but her beauty paralyzes me. I want to touch her. Smell her. Hold her. Taste her. I know that just seeing her face, watching her smile, hearing her talk, makes me want to sit and stare for the rest of my life. I may love her. She will never know.

“I wish I was straight.”

I know because who in their right mind wants to disappoint their parents. I know because who wants to constantly hear how they’ve let down their family. I know because this was going to happen, but I said it anyway. It’s freeing. It’s also emotionally destructive.

“I wish I was straight.”

It’s funny how being who you were always meant to be can feel so liberating.  I have a confidence that is astonishingly noticeable.

“I wish I was straight.”

It’s insane all the attention I get from males now that I’m out. I’m told it’s because I now carry this noticeable confidence and pride. I smile and I’m outgoing. Apparently I’m also a tease or a flirt. I say, I’m me. You can interpret things as you please.

“I wish I was straight.”

As happy as I am to finally be me, being gay is hard.  Trying to flirt with girls only to find out they’re straight is hard. Rejection is hard. Trying to sort through the emotions and feelings women are having, and trust me, there are a lot, is hard.

“I wish I was straight.”

I can walk into almost any room and it most likely contains people who are predominantly straight. Being straight means being able to walk up to someone of the opposite sex and there is a strong chance they will be straight, worst case scenario, they’re just uninterested, but hey, there is still opportunity in the room.  Not being straight means if there is one other gay person in the room, that can be your only conquest of the night.

“I wish I was straight.”

Before coming out I did everyday things with my friends. Now, just to meet more gay people, I have to go to support groups and outings. Things many straight people don’t have to do. While I’ve met some great and not so great people at these events, sometimes I just miss my Tuesday nights of watching TV with friends or Friday night drinking and dancing. Not being straight means if I want to go to these “gay” outings, my friends really aren’t invited. Things straight people never have to worry about.

“I wish I was straight.”

If I was born normal, straight, I would’ve had all these emotions and feelings in the ritualistic timeline. If I were straight, I wouldn’t have gone through all those struggles, pain, denial, that I went through while Sally’s biggest concern was if Tommy was going to kiss her after the school dance.  I wouldn’t have had thoughts about life, death, do I deserve life, would my family prefer a dead Caitlin over a gay Caitlin, at 10-14-17-21-24-26-27.

“I wish I was straight.”

 

Trust me, I think I turned out to be a pretty ok lady. I think I have a lot to offer the world. I like who I am… most days… admittedly though, sometimes I wish I continued the lie… continued to be straight… continued to be who I was… it was easier… freeing as this new life before is, my old life was just… easier

“I was I was straight.”

 

 

Note: This post parallels something I wrote when I first came out that I’ve only ever allowed 2 people to read.  This is a much, much, MUCH lighter version of my thoughts from when I first came out.  I am happy to be out and I love who I am, but sometimes we all fall into that dark place.