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I don’t do resolutions.  But I do have some goals for next year.  And I thought that for posterity’s sake, I’d post them here.  I’m a little early, but such it is.

-I need a new job. I need one that challenges me, gives me opportunity for growth, makes me feel good about myself (as opposed to bad), and increases my income a reasonable amount.

-I want my next move to be into the city. That means my next job also needs to be in the city.  The women I meet, the things I want to do, they’re all in the city.  So that’s where I need to be.

-I’d like to have a relationship sometime in the next year.  I hesitate to make this a goal, as I believe that relationships can’t be forced and have to happen organically.  So perhaps this one is more of a hope.

-If I were able to convince myself, I’d put something about health here.  I really need to get in a routine of exercise, in one form or another.  I went ice skating this weekend, and it felt great.  Just the act of physical exertion–fantastic.

So, we’ll see how it goes.  I feel as though these are realistic and would be good for me.  I’m ready, 2016: come and get me.

Oh god, holidays bum me out so bad.  Even when I try to be not bummed, they still bum me out.  Regardless, I just made cinnamon roll dough (in the fridge overnight) and cream cheese frosting for tomorrow morning.  It’s my one semi-regular holiday offering.  I say semi-regular because sometimes I suck and don’t follow through (like at Thanksgiving this year).

I’m experiencing some friend-drama, which I hate.  There is just no need for it.  Plus such bad timing, what with my being bummed out by holidays already.

I went on a coffee date today, which lasted four hours and went well.  I have that ice skating date on Saturday (with a different woman).  I’m totally working it, folks.  There’s another woman I’ve been talking to who I might try to set something up with, but three at once is a bit much for me.  Oh, and there’s a woman I just started talking to on facebook (yes, I know) who might be moving to Seattle.  Not that I’m trying to date her, obviously, but all new people take emotional energy.

I am hoping tomorrow goes well. Or, at least, better than Thanksgiving.

I think I’m setting up a date for this weekend. I sort of took a hiatus from dating, unintentionally, but I’m doing my best to get back to it.  The struggle, as always, is finding butch women to date–or at least androgynous, but ones that don’t want to date a femme.  Anyway, this woman wants to do something more exciting than coffee–she suggested roller skating or ice skating.  We’ll see.  Both might be too exciting for me, considering I suck at them.

I’m reading Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme.  I love reading the stories about butch women–the ones written by femmes don’t interest me as much, but I do my duty and read them anyway.  But the stories I resonate with match me on the inside, if not yet on the outside.  Other than the stereotypical butch/femme pairing that nearly every writer aspires to, that is.  I wish there was more written outside of the dichotomy that it seems everyone subscribes to.

I’ve been spending way too much money on clothes lately.  I mean, they’ve almost all been from thrift stores, but even that adds up.  Anyway, my best friend endorsed my bad behavior.  She said she thinks it is really important to feel comfortable in your clothes.  And god knows I haven’t felt comfortable in mine in forever.

Actually, I was talking with my supervisor about my work clothes and how I’m trying to find some that I actually like.  Her comment was that I have always hated my work clothes.  I don’t think I have ever liked them–they’re all very feminine (or so they feel) and fitted and perfect for women’s business casual, but not at all perfect for me.

So what is business casual for someone dressing a bit more butch?  (Do you like how I shy from labels as long as possible?  I tease them, I test them, I taste them, until they feel right.)  I need help dressing myself.  I can do weekends just fine.  But weekdays?  Ugh.

I’ve spoken about figuring out my style again, transforming myself into how I want to look.  I see this as reclaiming myself from the years of just wanting to blend in, fit in, be who I was told I should be.

But something I did not anticipate is how incredibly vulnerable it is to make these changes in public.  Everyone is watching.  And by everyone, I merely mean the people I know, my friends and family.  But that is everyone to me because they are all the ones that matter.

There are markers that make me know I’m headed in the right direction.  The thrill I’ve always gotten when I dress “like a boy” is one.  How good I feel in boxer briefs is another.  The comfort of men’s jeans–not so tight and constricting as women’s, plus they hide my everlasting hips.  The feeling of looking like myself with my shorter haircuts.  (Remember the breathe of relief when I cut it the first time?  Finally, I was myself.)

But I’m also making these changes while I’m going out with women.  First dates are still weird for me because the women I meet are making static judgments on me based on how I look that day.  One woman (another butch) tried to convince me to grow my hair out–assuming I cut it because I came out, not because I want it short.  I was actually offended at that, mostly because I feel as though no one has the right to try to tell me how to look.  If I solicit their help, that is one thing.

I’m reading book after book about being butch.  Not as a primer, but as a way to see how it feels, to explore thoughts, to find normalcy in something I’ve been told isn’t normal.  It helps.  It starts to feel like home when it feels familiar.  And if you can’t feel at home in your own body, where can you feel at home?

There is no big, important point to this post.  I just wanted to express how hard it is to reclaim yourself in your 30’s while your whole world watches.

I have laundry going, a good song in the background, and a happy cat in my lap.  It’s a great way to spend an evening. There are perhaps better ways, but if it’s just you and your cats, then this one is pretty damn good.

(Cuddling on the couch with someone is one of the better ways I can think of.  Depending on the night, dancing could be one, too.)

Just saw this on a friend’s instagram:

“A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.”
-John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Beautiful.  To be honest, that’s how coming out has felt for me.  I want that feeling for everyone.  I know I’m not going to be able to ride an emotional high forever, but I love being happy so much.  It’s not realistic to always be this happy, but I think that even when I’m not, I’ll still be able to remember the difference from before.

Life is great.  Still.  I love it.

I’ve been watching ridiculous amounts of Gilmore Girls lately.  I’ve also been devouring every Ivan Coyote book I can get my hands on.  This is in between a very active social life lately.

Oddly, I’ve been enjoying my social life.  I keep checking in with myself, making sure I’m not overdoing it or feeling stressed.  So far, so good.  I’ve had enough down time by myself that things have been good.  And the person I’ve been spending most of my time with doesn’t drain me, which really helps.  Actually, she more just makes me feel safe when I’m with her.  Don’t read into anything here–we’re just friends.

But, oh, the life of an introvert.  To sit on my couch and indulge in show after show.  Or book after book.  Sometimes, I put on a show I’m familiar with and then read a book at the same time.  I’m not even ashamed.  I wouldn’t say that I choose shows or books over people, but I would admit that they have equal standing in my heart…  The trick is getting someone to join in.

But back to Ivan.  Fuck, they’re amazing.  Something about their writing just speaks to me in a real place.  I’m not even saying that I feel the same or have gone through the same things–I haven’t, but there’s something very universal feeling about Ivan’s books.  Maybe universally queer.  You should check them out if you’re not already familiar.  Check out Ivan’s recent TedX talk.

When I first came out at work, my CEO (who is gay, by the way–we have a lot of queer folk at work, which I love), told me that now we just had to wait and see what kind of lesbian I was.  Last night at our holiday party, he mentioned it again.

The first time he said it, I felt unnecessary pressure. After all, I was just getting used to calling myself “gay” or “lesbian.”  Why would I then try to subdivide it even further?  And I’m not hugely big on labels.  I don’t feel a big need to label myself unless it’s useful.

Now, everyone knows I’m into butch women.  I can go on and on about how incredibly hot they are, beautiful, fantastic…  When I show pictures to friends/co-workers, they all try to find something nice to say, but apparently not everyone is as into butch women as I am?  I find that really weird, actually.  (And most of these friends are straight, does that make a difference?)

When I was coming out, I was told by multiple sources in multiple ways that butch women aren’t into butch women–they’re into femmes.  I am not a femme, nor is my spirit animal a femme.  But I thought, maybe I should try to toe the femme line to get a chance at being found attractive by butch women.  I’ve been doing that for these past months.  But in the last month or so, I’ve realized that this is stupid.

Yes, there will certainly be people who won’t be into me if I present how I want to present myself.  But that’s okay.  Not everyone has to–I certainly am not into everyone.  I just don’t want to be told that I should try to have longer hair or wear girlier clothing.  I did that game the whole time I was trying to be straight.  I’m tired of it.  I want to go back to what’s comfortable and natural and good feeling.  I want more plaid button-ups. (Fuck yes.)

This all comes down to hair.  Okay, not really, but for the purpose of this post it does.  I’m getting a haircut today that I’m really excited about.  It’s much edgier than my current cut or previous one.  It’s one that I’ve considered, but have been too much of a chicken to commit to.

And for some reason, getting haircuts that I feel represent me give me permission to let the rest of me represent me.  Is hair my superpower or my kryptonite?

But you know what else?  I’m finally going to buy myself a tie.  And a good button up to wear it with.  I have wanted a tie since high school, have wanted to rock the button up  and tie look for years.  Now I will have to learn to tie the damn thing, but that’s what youtube is for, right?

I like this whole rediscovering myself phase. It’s really fun.