Monday, December 30, 2013

Scraps of happiness

In the last year I started filling up a small jar with little scraps of paper. The bits of paper were full of good things that had happened, and I'd intended to read them all on solstice.

Unfortunately I was sick on solstice, so that didn't happen. (Then I got better, only to get sick again. Dangit! This has not been a great last couple of weeks.) Now it's almost New Years Eve, and I'm finally getting around to looking at what good things happened in the last year.

I didn't write everything down, so this is hardly an exhaustive list. Here's most of what I found in the jar.

Duck pond with Murray, visited a farm where I got blackberry honey. -- summer 2013

Discovered that Murray can pick out the perfect pair of sneakers for me.-- summer 2013

Finished inspecting cells at work. -- summer 2013 [this was a special assignment that I was very happy to finish]

I was hired on to a temp job -- 6/14/2013

Murray and I had Valentine's dinner together at [a favorite restaurant] ♡ -- 2/15/2013

The smell of fresh rain at night -- 8/22/2013

Drank a whole Guinness, realized I'm developing good taste. The one drink made me tipsy. -- 3/16/13

Portland Highland Games -- 7/20/13

Beka is recovering. She's more active, and takes her meds more quickly. :) -- 12/31/2012 [this one is painful to read since she then took a turn for the worst and we lost her]

Birthday date with Murray-- 3/9/2013

Figured out how to clean the honey jar -- soak the lid in hot water, then wet a paper towel with hot water and wrap it around the rim. -- 1/25/13

Sabine, Kora, and Aniki move in together -- 3/6/2013 [and then were separated...but oh well!]

Temp job got extended -- 6/13

Started my new job -- 6/17/13

Sabine is recovered from her spay and is off her meds :) -- 3/3/2013

Got my first bra fitting -- 3/29/2013 [I know, I know...I can't believe I waited until age twenty-four, and it turns out that a properly fitted bra makes a HUGE difference]

Had my first Guinness. -- 3/16/2013

Drank my first cup of black coffee. -- 4/4/2013

I brought home Kora and Aniki. -- 2/1/2013

Got my birthday presents from The Belly Dancer-- 2/3/2013

I reached 200 blog posts on Dancing With Fey -- 2/11/2013

Learned how to hand wash bras -- spring 2013

Spring has sprung! -- 3/8/2013 [I don't care what the calendar says, when it feels like spring it's spring]

I could make a few comments on the previous year based on what I wrote on those scraps of paper, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Scraps of happiness

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow in Portland

Ah, snow. That wonderful white fluffy stuff that wrecks havoc in Portland almost every winter.

It's pretty easy to tell who's local and who isn't when the white stuff appears. The locals freak out, start canceling plans, and ask how our lives can continue while it lasts. Those from out of state hurt their sides from laughing and point out that it's not even a whole inch of snow on the ground.

The problem is, we don't know how to drive in snow. I've even seen a bus driver pushing down on the gas pedal to get traction while stuck, and I'm pretty sure they're supposed to know better than that. After all, bus drivers drive for a living.

Disclaimer: I have yet to drive in snow. In theory I know what to do, but I don't know how well that would translate into practice. In a way I'm glad to be taking the bus to work regularly.

We had our first snow Thursday night, and it was a very dry snow that was lovely. Yeah, my hands were freezing while I waited at the bus stop Friday morning, but I mostly didn't care since I was watching at how the snow blew around in the street. I'd heard about that, but I didn't know it could really happen! :)

There's supposed to be more snow tomorrow. It remains to be seen how much trouble it'll cause this time, in a state where we don't know what to do about snow.

In the meantime, enjoy a song. It's Let it Snow, Star Trek style. I kept thinking about it last Friday.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Getting Bi: my thoughts

I just finished the second edition of Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World edited by Robyn Ochs and Sarah E. Rowley. It took me a little while to work my way through it because of mixed feelings, but I must say that it's an excellent book.

It's exactly what the title sounds like. The editors looked around to find bisexuals -- and those who do not identify as bi, but who are not monosexual -- from around the world to write on various topics related to our sexual orientations. This book is mostly a compilation of what others have contributed, with some notes and comments provided by the editors.

The book is four years old, but it presents what I suspect is a good snap shot of what bisexuality looks like in the world. It shows what being bi means to us, what we do about our orientation, and how we interact with the world. Since we are such a diverse group there is of course a lot of variety. Some who have always known, others who took some time to figure it out. Monogamous bis, those who are polyamorous, and also those who do outright cheat. Some who call themselves bisexual, others who don't label themselves. Some who have friends and family that are accepting, some who aren't so lucky. And of course, the chapter where bisexuals are defining what the word means has differing opinions.

If nothing else, this book shows the variety in the bi world. And that it's pretty pointless to make assumptions and stereotype people, since yeah some will fall into those stereotypes, but many others don't.

On a more personal note, I had to step away from the book for a little while. It was painful for me to read about those who take a while to figure out they're bi because of initially believing that bisexuality doesn't exist. It happens, and is inevitably going to be part of any work like this, but I found it unpleasant to read about. Probably because I've been there myself. I suspect that any bisexual will find parts that make them uncomfortable, though this isn't meant as a warning to avoid it.

I have to say, it's a good book. I especially have to recommend a small section at the end titled If You Think Your Child May Be Bisexual by Robert L. Barton. It looks excellent for anyone who has just found out that a loved one is bi, but is written to provide recommendations for how to parent a bisexual child. Barton points out some issues that bis often face and which parents should be aware of, he clarifies a few common misconceptions, and encourages both learning about bisexuality and communication with the child.

Although I would not suggest Getting Bi as the only book for someone who is learning about bisexuality, it is certainly a good option. And it provides many other resources to look into, from fiction and non-fiction books to organizations and websites.

Book cover

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Asking questions, maybe getting answers

I've continued to wonder how it took me so darned long to figure out I'm bi, and while reading a book on bisexuality this evening a possible answer occurred to me. Or maybe I should say, part of a possible answer occurred to me.

Reminder: I questioned my orientation some when I was 19, returned to lying to myself and insisting "I'm straight!!!", then when I was almost 23 I finally came stomping out of the closet and was upset with myself for not knowing it sooner.

Ok, so I guess I wasn't stomping out of the closet. After all, it took me about six months to tell my boyfriend. Don't ask me why, I really don't know. Probably because I was uncomfortable with myself at first, and then didn't see why it should be a big deal.

But back to why and how I fought being bisexual for so long, and lied to myself that I was straight. I think it basically comes down to two assumptions I had.

1) To begin with I believed that everyone was straight or gay. You liked guys or girls. I obviously liked guys, as was the norm, so I couldn't possibly be into girls.

Looking at it now, that was some pretty narrow thinking for me. Then again, it's what a lot of people assume. Plus, I was so busy struggling with ADHD and a speech disorder (I couldn't even say my own name correctly!) that I may have subconsciously tried to avoid being different in any additional way when I hit puberty.

2) I thought that everyone just knew their sexual orientation up front. I couldn't understand why people would have to spend time questioning it, or how they could even change their labels.

This second fact means that even once I learned about (and finally believed in) the existence of bisexuality, I was unable to apply the new found knowledge to myself despite my obvious attraction to my own gender. Heck, I even remember thinking things like "Why am I getting nervous around this beautiful girl like I do around cute guys? It's the same sort of feelings, but that's impossible. I'm straight!" That I wasn't should have been obvious, but I couldn't even consider it.

As you may have guessed from the last paragraph, I did deny the existence of bisexuality when I first learned about it. I don't remember who told me about it or when, but I thought it was a joke. Probably because it wasn't someone coming out to me, but rather someone telling me about this weird (to me) thing. I'm glad I can say, though, that I didn't doubt it when a friend came out to me as pansexual. Was I stunned? Yes. Did I argue? No. I took it for granted that someone would know their own sexual orientation.

...and while maybe not the whole of the answer to my original question, that last little bit is probably the biggest reason why it took me so long to come out to myself.