I have had many lovers in my life…I did not discriminate by race or intellect, or eye or hair, but they were all magnificent men…some were assholes, but magnificent nonetheless. They each taught me something valuable about myself, good and bad, about different cultures, ways of thinking, ways to stand up for myself, and ways of attacking life. They helped shape the person I am today. Most people, if they really knew this about me, would probably sit in judgement…but contrary to some people’s beliefs (my mother and her six words), I am thankful for the experience.
I was told my value was based on my purity, I could never understand that. Why would this God give us the sexual desire and it be wrong to enjoy it? Yet, apparently it is, unless you follow the rules of monogamy and marriage. I tire of hearing of this and I am weary of fighting it. I’ve written about this before, deprogramming all the warped ways we were taught is an ongoing battle. It seems that any time I am around those that feel that I should conduct myself within certain parameters I shrink back into the box they designed for me. Every time, and I mean every time, it takes me months to climb out of the box and find myself again. Many times I have had to go to some extreme measures to jerk myself out of it and I am tired of the process. I want to feel free of mind and body and spirit all the time. What is it about those people in our lives that we climb back in the box so that THEY are comfortable?
There are a lot of things in my life that I did not do because of that fucking box. I never believed that a person’s value is based on other people’s judgement, yet I allowed it to influence many of my decisions that would affect the rest of my life. I guess you could say I rebelled somewhat, but of course always came back and wrestled with the “guilt” I was supposed to feel but did not. I found joy and heartache and growth in my insurgence, and I thought that was what life was to be; you know, actually lived! So I lived it…for awhile. Then, once again, I was who they thought I was, not who I was.
I have been wondering if there is something wrong with me, as lately I tend to think a lot about my old lovers, even though I have been married for 20 years and most of it happily (anyone who says they have been happily married for the entire time has to be lying, HA! it’s a tough gig, worth it, but tough!) My husband loves me because of my real self, yet I admit I have forgotten that at times, thinking I need to be “this way or that”, when in truth, I am sure he misses that wild horse he did not want to tame. He has seen so many versions of me the original is lost somewhere. I will not apologize for my reminiscing as I have discovered it is coming not from a place of regret, but from a place of wanting the authentic me back.
I have had the good fortune to be in contact with one particular old lover and friend, one that could have been forever. My head and heart are filled with nostalgia, a want for being 20 years old, to do it over, different; again. I want to feel that lump in my throat and butterflies in the stomach that I felt in anticipation. He was beautiful and smart and considerate, and sometimes an asshole, and a closet nerd just like me (only I didn’t admit it then) and only now, 26 years later do I understand I had an impact. It is a rare gift that we get to find out how someone really felt about you after the fact. But I do feel anger; anger at, you guessed it, that goddamn box, and those who expected me in it; that I let someone’s judgement define almost my entire life, even though I deeply do not believe that is how it works. (Singing “Let it go” in my head right now).
My old lover had the pieces of me that I yearned for but could not find. He had that old wonderful energy and through our communication all these years later I felt it again. He had kept it alive because it was the only me he ever knew, the real one that refused the damn box. Somehow, that young beautiful man really knew and felt my essence. I kept chasing love and validation because I thought that was how it worked, I was blind to the fact that he had already accepted me. All so long ago, and while I love my life, I wish I could start it again and again to live each possible path, to go through the adventure again. I will remain to have a bit of anger, to have been so confused that I would not believe it when someone truly felt me, to feel like I could only make certain choices; boxed in. But life goes on and I hold this unique gift now. I have been looking for her for a while and now that I have her back I plan revel in the aftermath that will surely ensue! Thank you Mr. Gray, for keeping me safe all these years…
Photo credit: K.K.