Transient Friends

I try to keep my circle tight,
That way I avoid squares.
An introvert by nature,
People think they know me.
Quiet. Reserved. Happy.

Then they get to know me.
And what do you know?
Surprise!
I’ve changed.
Loud. Talkative. Cocky.

I’m too old for small talk.
Please, don’t waste my time.
Surrounding myself with intellects.
Discussing ideas – thoughts – opinions.
Not people.

It’s grounding.
Sometimes it makes me feel small.
Sometimes I want to be small.
Sometimes I need to be small.
Unseen. Hidden. Lost.

“We’re friends – you have to agree with me.”
I think, “Because we’re friends is why I don’t.”
But, now I revert.
The noiseless introvert that made you want me.
I want to be wanted.

So if you’re wrong I won’t vocalize it.
That’s how this happens,
I just nod.
There’s no need to speak.
Why bother? It falls onto deaf ears.

The tension remains.
“The air feels heavy now.”
I say it’s the humidity.
I leave.
Distant. Lonely. Empty.

Held at arms length – where I prefer to be.
Don’t cuddle me with your body.
Strangle me with your hands.
That’s where I belong.
Pain. Broken. Worthless.

“Don’t get to know me. You won’t like me.”
“That’s not true!”
But it is.
I don’t like me.
So why would you?

The closer we get.
The harder it is.
Vulnerability.
I hate it.
I just don’t want to be forgotten.

Take me forever or leave me for now.
Because once I give you me,
You’ll  eventually get all of me.
Because I don’t give myself to just anyone.
And I don’t want just anyone to give themselves to me.

Special. Unique. Friendship.

26 Years and 6 Months

26 Years and 6 Months of living in this body,

Confused. Angry. Hating myself.

26 Years and 6 Months of denial, depression, suicidal thoughts.

Hidden. Untold. My secret.

26 Years and 6 Months of putting on this beautiful, God given smile.

A lie – show the world nothings wrong… and nothing will be wrong.

All the while, 26 Years and 6 Months of everything being wrong.

26 Years and 6 Months of living a lie and wanting nothing more than to die.

The only safety to be felt was in the dark abyss – never wanting to see light again.

26 Years and 6 Months of accepting that just maybe I can live this lie.

Get the husband, bear the child, buy the house, drive the minivan, feed the dog.

The blueprint of my life. Just follow the steps. Like I always have.

The life everyone expected from me – wanted from me. Be the people pleaser you were born to be.

Then – My world changed.

26 Years, 6 Months, and 1 day.

I looked in the mirror. I saw nothing.

Worthless. Broken. Empty. Misery.

The only self I’ve ever known, yet the only person to see it was me.

26 Years, 6 Months, and 1 day.

I decided to be free.

Weightless. Alive. Gay. Happy.

26 Years, 6 Months, and 1 day.

You gave me this. The ability of acceptance.

Strength. Love. Hope.

26 Years, 6 Months, and 1 day.

To the Woman who gave me myself, Thank you.

I love you.

26 Years, 6 Months, and 1 day.

The first day of my life. Reborn.

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…

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.

“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. 

 

I Miss Me More.

My current jam right now is Kelsea Ballerini’s – Miss Me More and I think everyone should listen to it because it’s pure brilliance.

I love this song for so many reasons. Let me start with my obvious section of… Heartbreak.

When we go through heartbreak, and we all have – don’t even try and play me son, music can be one of the worst things to help the process. At least it is for me.  When I listen to music it’s to put me in a mood, but when I experienced my first true heartbreak back in high school, I learned, no matter the “mood” you’re aiming for, every single song seems to somehow be a love song. No matter how you look at it, there is love.

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That leads to dwelling on feelings, sadness, pain, and being unable to “get over it.” What I liked about this “love” song is that, while it’s definitely about my girl Kelsea going through heartbreak, she is taking a different approach to her pain. In turn, when I listen to it, I’m like, “Yeah fuck you bruh! This shit hurts, but you don’t deserve me (and all that shit).”

My follow up feeling is, “Damn girl you is fuckin’ savageeee!”

I just really like that she acknowledged that like whole concept of we had something and when it ended it hurt, like it should, but I miss who I was before I was I was with you more than I actually miss you.

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It’s an interesting concept in general when you think about it. We are all individuals. When we’re born, we are all different, but the same. We grow into ourselves, we change over time, we experience the nature vs nurture aspects of life. We have interests, opinions, beliefs. We have hobbies, things that make us happy, things that make us sad. It’s what turns us into who we are.

Then comes the fucking feelings and emotions. We fall for someone. We spend more time with them. Whether we want to admit it or not we sacrifice parts of ourselves to be with this person. You may stop spending as much time with family or skip things that were once so important to you just to be with this person. Love is sacrifice.

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Then, to quote Dan Savage, “Every relationship you are in will fail, until one doesn’t.” We just don’t know which one won’t. So when this relationship ends, it’s confusing. Before you, I may have enjoyed bowling every Monday night. Then you came along and bowling on Monday’s became less important because I could do dinner with you on Mondays. Then you’re gone and Mondays are open. Do I go back to bowling? A series of refinding who I am as a person before you rocked my world.

My absolute favorite thing about this song is that, she acknowledges she lost who she was prior, but now that she’s done with the relationship, she is reminded of who she was before him. And she’s like “yo, as much as I thought I’d miss you and who I am when I’m with you, I miss who I am without you far more.”

It turns kind of into a realization that she isn’t going to lose herself completely ever again.  That’s something I can totally relate to. When I start to see someone I can get a little lost in our world. I forget about things that are important to me. I’ll skip things I enjoy just to spend time with that person. I’ll rearrange my schedule just to be with that person. I can’t do that. I can’t continue that cycle, because then when the relationship ends, I’m stuck, trying to get back to who I was.

I never want to do that again. I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done, as they’ve all been learning experiences, but this song reminded me of the importance of self.  The whole concept of a relationship, is partnership, which contains two people – two individuals. I’ll never lose my individuality again.

If reading poetry before bed, going to CrossFit in the morning, listening to podcasts during the day makes me happy, than that’s what I’ll do. If screaming incorrect lyrics to a song I love in the car while playing air instruments makes me smile, than that’s what I’ll do. If going to dive bars and talking to strangers on random Wednesday nights makes me forget about all the negative shit that went on during the day, than guess what? That’s what I’ll do.

 

That’s me. I like me. And if I don’t like me, how can anyone else?

 

 

Sidenote: I mentioned Dan Savage earlier and I just think everyone should follow this man. He’s amazing.