I have been blogging now for so many years that I really have to stop and research when I first started…I think it was sometime around 2005 that I first started blogging on AOL. It’s been a good amount of years for sure. I printed out all of my AOL blogs when I stopped using AOL, so I have them in printed form – just not in digital form. I am thinking about this because I have been reading MiddleAgeButch’s blogs on writing our stories, which are really excellent blogs!
Telling our stories is an important thing, especially to leave marks on the history of the LGBT community. I write because I love to write; it’s an outlet for me and if I can tell my story and it helps even one person along the way then I will have made a small difference in the world. Everyone has their story. I have mine and you have yours. Sometimes we can relate to each other through our life stories; finding common threads and experience. We can all be storytellers.
My story is about growing up feeling very “different” and not understanding exactly why until I became more aware of sex and sexuality. Then it hit me that I was lesbian. I remember looking the word up in the dictionary. “Ah Ha! That’s me” My story is about holding that secret very closely, with a lot of fear and anxiety, for many years. It’s about coming out in a time when it wasn’t cool to be gay. And about life before we knew what HIV & AIDS were, never realizing that life was about to completely change for so many of us. Some chapters are about dealing with emotions and feelings in all the wrong ways, about drinking, drugs and wandering in the wrong directions. Then you get to chapters of growth, acceptance and realization. All of the stories of my life have brought me to where I am today. And today is a good day.
I love reading the other author’s blogs on WordPress. There really are some super writers on here. I follow quite a number of them, and while I don’t get to read every entry every day, I do catch up with my favorites every week or so. Some I do read daily when I can.
I think it’s really great that so many LGBT people have taken to blogging and writing down our stories for the world to read. It’s important to the coming generations to be able to find us through our stories and to understand the history of our people. I know it has been life changing for me, in many ways, to read the stories of those who fought this battle before me, of the Stonewall Riots, the Butch-femme histories of the early 20th century. I always look to read as much from other Butch-femme lesbians as I can. Some of my favorite reads are “Stilettos and Steel,” “Stone Butch Blues”, and “Butch is a Noun” and “Tomboy Survival Guide”…all of which are stories that address various periods and what it’s been like being Butch during them. All have made great contributions to the history of the LGBT movement, in my opinion, and I would highly recommend them to young readers looking to know more about our history.
I was also reading another blog about people we admire and the qualities that they typify that we admire in them. I found it to be really intriguing. So I made my own lists of people that I admire in my life, and what I admire about them. Because those are the qualities that I want to have myself, to make myself a better person. I think it’s important to occasionally take a personal inventory of ourselves and do some hard thinking about how we are presenting to the world around us, and if it’s enough or if we need to tweak things up and make some changes. Changes are not always easy, but they are a necessity in life. AND you can always make the choice to change.
So I made a copious list of the qualities and traits that I personally want to have. I am going to post it on my desktop where I can see it everyday and be reminded to live up to them. I’ll let you all know how it goes. I like to think that I already have many of these qualities, but it’s good to remind oneself.
I was talking with someone today about how everything happens for a reason. I think that’s kind of a lame old line actually, but there is some truth to it I am sure. Where I am in life today is exactly where I have put myself. You get no more than what you put into something. I’m pretty contented, but will always strive to make things better, and to be a better person for it all.
What makes me think of all of this is a very close friend who is having some really tough times right now and conversations that I had today with her. She’s saying crazy things like “I’m done.” and “I am giving up.” Words that scare me into thinking she’ll do something crazy. I would be devastated if anything were to happen to her. She’s very special to me, and someone I depend on in my life. Right now she’s having some financial troubles and I am sure she’s feeling overwhelmed and under a lot of pressure because of it. I am not in a position to help her out or loan her the money, which makes me feel bad. I wish I could help her in some way other than just giving her advice and trying to help her get through it.
I want her to look at her life and see all of the positives and not just the current negatives. I know it’s hard when the negatives are staring you right in the face though. I been there too. But you can’t just give up and throw in the towel. You have to work things out, and sometimes it’s hard and you don’t want to do the work, I know, but it has to be done. Hopefully she will get some rest tonight and will have a new outlook in the morning. I am hoping that she will come by for coffee in the morning so that I know she’s okay.
It’s all part of the story of our lives…these day to day happenings and problems. Hopefully better things come in the future.