Saturday, January 10, 2015

Small Steps

Four years ago this week, I wrote about how my entire world was changing as I raced to NJ to witness the birth of my best friends' children while that very same day I was really settling in to my changing sexuality.  I wrote about feeling excited and free and "on fire." That was the day that things really started shifting for me, the day that I knew there was no going back.

I wasn't even aware at the time that all of that change coincided with the flipping of the calendar into a new month and a new year. But this year, for some reason, I am exquisitely aware of the changing of the calendar.  And I feel overwhelmed by it.

I feel overwhelmed by the weight of all of the hope and fear that I'm realizing I carry around with me every day, a weight that I don't think I usually let myself acknowledge, for fear that it will crush me.  But for some reason, this New Year (capital N, capital Y) is really hitting me. The expectations of change, growth, improvement, and progress in the coming year.  The disappointment that I didn't measure up to the dreams I set for myself one year ago.

As I was writing this post, I almost wrote that I'm "not the resolution type" but then realized that last year I DID make resolutions, and actually posted some of them on this blog. Looking back at that post, I felt a bit disappointed, as I had vowed to publish my book last year, and didn't.  A lot of progress has been made with the book though (the book cover is designed, half of the book is done), and I did start a pretty great podcast with Elle, which I hadn't even begun to dream of one year ago, and which has allowed me to do a lot of the things that I wrote about in that resolution post. So that's good.
 
But even more than my frustration about not being done with the book, as I read that post from a year ago, I was struck by how many goals I had for last year that I didn't write down anywhere, but still carried and wanted for 2014, that didn't come true. Professional and personal goals that I did not or couldn't meet. I thought about things a lot, wanted and yearned, but I basically feel like I was treading water last year, and am now feeling the letdown.

In myself. At the world.

Because some of my stagnation this year was due to outside circumstances. I was broke, I got sick, my job that I bust my ass at won't give me the raise I deserve. My relationship with Elle took some big steps forward, but also some painful steps back. And I think I'm mad about all of that, but also feel that I don't have a right to be mad. I have a lot of really great things going for me, but at the same time, LIFE IS HARD. It's hard for everyone, in a thousand same and different ways. It's felt hard for me this year. I feel like 2014 was a hard year for the the entire world, with all of the tragic things that have happened and keep happening everywhere.

So I guess what I'm really saying is that I'm entering this new year feeling a bit hopeless. But also determined. But pessimistic. But driven. But also worried. But lucky.

But scared.

But fragile.

This year I felt I like if I could only do a little bit, if I could only make a small step forward toward a bigger, seemingly distant goal, then that wasn't enough and so what was the point. I'm starting to see now that of course its all those little steps that get you to the big goal. Nothing happens overnight. Nothing important and meaningful happens without time and lots of little, seemingly pointless steps slightly forward.

I forgot that this year.


I woke up on January 2nd in tears, from the most emotional and moving dream I think I have ever had. I don't feel ready to share the details, but basically the dream shook me into more awareness of how lucky I am, and how precious my life is, and how grateful I should be, and that there is beauty and joy to be found everywhere, even where you least expect it to be. I cried about that dream for an entire day. Even as I write about it now it makes me teary.  It was very powerful, and I'm still trying to figure out what it means, what my unconscious mind is trying to tell me.

I think I've figured some of it out though. And so my resolutions for this year are to be grateful, to remember what I have, and to just DO it. Just keep moving forward. One small step at a time. Those small steps are all anyone really has.
 
They are everything.
 

 





Sunday, December 14, 2014

When Home Moves Away


A few years ago, I decided for the first time not to go home for Christmas.  I made this decision after finding myself, the year before that, alone with my parents for almost a week over the Christmas holiday, without the buffer of my younger brother to help me carry the emotional load of their unique brand of loving-but-distant, present-but-unavailable. I returned home from that trip and made my closest friends SWEAR to remind me at holiday time the following year of how shitty I felt in that moment, so that I wouldn’t let my guilt land me in the exact same position again—at my parents' home, feeling unseen, alone, angry, guilty, and completely unable to do anything about it or really explain why I even felt that way.
(Sidebar: my best attempt at explaining why it's so hard for me to go home can be found here, "Home Visit", a post I wrote the next time I went home for Christmas, after my year off.  Let the record show that it was…still hard.)

So the next year, I stayed home. I spent Christmas with friends and it was great. I felt loved and happy and free to be (you and) me.  But I also felt a lot of sadness that year. I felt the irrevocable closing of the door of my childhood. I felt old. I felt that my home was gone, even as I was also walking away from it, toward the home I was creating for myself, with my chosen family. 

This year, I’m again not seeing my parents for Christmas, though not so much by choice as by circumstance. And I don’t feel so unhappy about it this year, as I’ve seen them a lot this year and will instead be spending time with my brother. I’m actually looking forward to a different kind of Christmas. The change feels good this time.

But.

This is the year that Elle is feeling her childhood door swiftly close, and it’s hard. Her parents are changing how Christmas happens, and she’s struggling with the loss of how things used to be. As I see her going through this, it hurts my heart, as I know how difficult that feeling of loss is. It’s hard when you’re just not quite ready for things to be that different—when you need one more year at your grandparents’ house, like it always was. When you didn’t know that last time was the last time. When you didn’t get to say goodbye.

But then there is the part of her, and of me, that is excited and ready to start a new tradition for the holidays, one where we’re in the same place on Christmas Day. That’s a big deal though, to want that. It feels very significant, a Moment in our relationship, which is also scary. And exciting. And scary. And as we look forward to having our version of home together, there are still the whispers of the home we can never go back to.

It’s hard when home moves away, even as a part of you is glad to see it go.





Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Gaysgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving lovelies!!

As my thanksgiving gift to you all, here is Episode 8 of New Lesbian: The Podcast for your listening pleasure as you try to avoid your family today!

Enjoy, I'm grateful for all of you!



It’s Thanksgaying at the New Lesbian podcast and Elle is a little drunk! In this episode we talk about how we handled yet another family gathering in the pseudo-south, the continued annoyance of having to endlessly come out, and how much of our hiding our relationship might be coming from…ourselves? Then it’s Props and Peeves, where we rant a little too much about Amtrak trains. We recorded this episode late at night, so bear with us, lovelies! Happy Thanksgiving!

Show Links:
Lesbian couple denied hotel room in Hawaii
New Lesbian blog post: Coming Out… Again
Daddy’s Out –www.daddysout.com  Twitter: @daddysout

Forever Links:
Send us your thoughts and questions on ask.fm!
Stitcher Radio app
New Lesbian blog
Advertise with us! Ediewyatt@gmail.com
DONATE: Help us buy a microphone!

Social Medias:
Twitter:  @edie_wyatt  |  @new_elle
New Lesbian on Facebook
Follow New Lesbian on Tumblr
Edie on Instagram




Friday, October 10, 2014

"Momma Says" by guest blogger Hunter Nhlapo

Lovelies!! Finally it's here, the first guest writer on New Lesbian!

This powerful and thoughtful piece is by Hunter Nhlapo, who writes at deathbyhoney.wordpress.com and is on Twitter at @h_nhlapo. Read more about  her in her bio at the end of this post. 

—————————————————

MOMMA SAYS...

 

My mom said something to me yesterday. This was in light of a topic that had suddenly illuminated my twitter timeline and initially broken my heart. You see unawares to myself, another black lesbian had been murdered in South Africa and I knew nothing about it. I, who had made it a habit to keep abreast of all things lesbian, light or heavy, celebratory or painful that occurred in this country in the small hope that my immersion into the culture would somehow help me in my transition. I was never ready for the embarrassment I felt from my lack of knowledge that yet another Lioness had fallen. Too caught up in my life of heavy rain and small fires . I'm ashamed that it took a trending topic to lure me back into my world and give me a wet slap of a wake up call. I'm ashamed still that I haven't gone to my usual sources to find out what actually occurred to snuff out the life of a woman who chose to live real and unfortunately died young. I am ashamed but thankful that the #homophobia hashtag started by Sly found me.

My mom has only experienced me as a lesbian for 4 months. Yes, prior to that my girlfriend and I had been visiting her monthly over weekends and even then, I suspect that for her it was merely a my-daughter-has-a-friend-over situation. I'm not saying that I hadn't come out to my mother, no. She knew that I had fallen in love and subsequently moved in with a woman almost two years ago. My visits to her with my girlfriend were not under false pretence. It was important to me that I showed my mom that I loved my girlfriend and that we were in a normal relationship. It was important to me that we remained authentic in relation to each other because if my mom was going to acclimatise herself to something, it would need to be the purest truth. But she still didn't see it that way, until I moved back home and was gay. The devil is in the detail I often hear and boy did satan make his rounds. A necessary evil that I am grateful for though because today my mother can say that she loves and accepts me for who I am, as is.

What she is struggling with is the having to deal with having a lesbian daughter on HER level. She says "I go to church to heal. Church makes me happy. Just the other day I asked the congregation to pray for me, and they did, although I did not tell them why". Apparently, although she has reached the point of being able to accept my being gay on my level, she has feelings of resentment and sadness with having to deal with it on her level. Her face is that of a woman who deeply loves but is strongly resentful when she tells me of being an outcast in groups that she so seamlessly fit into before. Her friends, family and peers have begun to show signs of change in their treatment of her whether it be subtle or outlandish. Her exhaustion she says comes from guarding her back and being defensive. "I am always thinking of comebacks, readying myself emotionally and mentally for hurled words. This is no way to live. Why is your lesbianism my problem? How do I feature into it?"

I've stopped myself from trying to  advise her on how to deal with it. I've wanted so many times to tell her that her peers will largely learn from her how to treat her with regards to this. Empty words really because I'm still having issues with walking hand in hand with my girlfriend at a mall without soft utterances or blatant stares. And me throwing mini tantrums over it. Sandton...Vaal Mall, anywhere. I guess it becomes better when I start not to care. I'm hoping the same lesson is revealing itself to my mom.

In the meantime, I'm grateful that my mother does not judge me for being who I am, even though it makes her life difficult.

 

Being a mom is tough.

-----------------------------------------------

Hi! I’m Hunter Nhlapo. I’m a singing entrepreneur from Johannesburg, South Africa.  I am also writing my first novel. I like to blog about my life experiences in first person and other people’s experiences from my own point of view.  My readers like to read about my encounters as a new lesbian, my struggles as a 30 year old starting over and articles from blogs I visit that Ifind interesting. I generally have a lot to say about everything. I think, I write.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Call for guest bloggers!

Hello lovelies!

I have some grand plans to actually finish my book this year, and while I do that (I'm really gonna) I would love to have some guest bloggers here on New Lesbian to keep things moving!

Do you have something to say about sexuality, being gay/queer, your experience of realizing that you were gay/queer, the coming out process, a dating tale, or any other experience you've had that you think it would be helpful for others to read about? Of course you do! 

Send me either your full piece or the first few paragraphs so I can get a feel for your writing, to ediewyatt@gmail.com with "Guest Blogger" and your topic in the subject line. If your piece seems like a good fit for New Lesbian, I'll be in touch! 

Fyi, any guest bloggers will obviously get promo for their own blogs/projects in their post, and some tweets too!

Can't wait to read and share your stories.

xx

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lesbian Hodgepodge (Episode 6 of the podcast!)

Hello lovelies! Episode 6 of the New Lesbian Podcast is here!

In this episode, Elle and I discuss some femme lesbian couples we are LOVING right now (specifically, Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli from OITNB), and how seeing femme lesbians in the media matters. We answer some listener questions sent in from ask.fm, including how to prepare for moving in with your girlfriend, then it's a new segment, Peeves and Props, and everyone’s favorite, Who Would You Do: Grey’s Anatomy edition! newlesbianpodcast.wordpress.com




Episode Links:
Samira Wiley on Instagram
Lauren Morelli on Instagram
Samira and Lauren at the Emmys
Lauren Morelli’s open letter
Angel Haze Article
Props of the Week: Blue Stockings Boutique | @BlueStockingsBo
Peeve of the Week: “Faux Lesbian” Weddings? What do you think?
Who Would You Do suggestions? Put ‘em in the comments!

Forever Links:
Send us your thoughts and questions on ask.fm!
Stitcher Radio app
New Lesbian blog
Advertise with us! (ediewyatt@gmail.com)

Social Medias:
Twitter:  @edie_wyatt  |  @new_elle
New Lesbian on Facebook
Follow New Lesbian on Tumblr
Edie on Instagram

Help us buy a real microphone!








Saturday, August 23, 2014

On Queerness (Podcast Episode 5)

Hi lovelies!

I wanted to share the most recent episode of the New Lesbian Podcast with you, called "Can I Be Queer Here." I'm really proud of it.  Elle and I talk about what being "queer" actually means.  There's a lot of misinformation that gets spread far and wide about what it means if someone identifies as queer, and we were inspired to do this episode after seeing up close and personal some of that misinformation being spread to thousands of people on twitter, and then being defended as truth.  It was really upsetting and disappointing to see, so we thought we would try to do something about it.

Please share this episode on your twitter and facebook--we all have to help educate people. Ignorance is the basis for so much of the discrimination in the world--fight back! (And now I'll get off my soap box.)

So, here is Episode 5 of the New Lesbian podcast. You can also listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, or any other podcast app!

xx



Links:
Edie’s Facebook friend: MJGardner.com
Derek Jarman (British Gay Rights Activist)
The Mighty Ducks Movie
Aaron Schwartz grew up nice
Emilio Estevez looked great in 1985
Send us your questions and tell us what you think on ask.fm!
Stitcher Radio app (please rate us if you like the show!)

Social Medias:
Twitter:  @edie_wyatt  |  @new_elle
New Lesbian on Facebook
Follow New Lesbian on Tumblr
Edie on Instagram