“This week for Think About it Thursday, I ask you to tell us what you thought you wanted to be when you grew up. Did you become what you dreamed of?”
This is a tricky question for me. There are things you, as a child, would say you wanted to “be” when you grew up…like I wanted to be an archaeologist focusing on anthropology. Yes, I was a brainy kid that way. I loved to discover things about history, anything old fascinated my young brain. Arrow heads were totems from the Gods to me! I still have my first arrow head, found over on Manson Road in Kittery at my Aunt’s house when they were putting in a baseball diamond on her property. It’s pretty cool and it’s still a treasure to me.
I still love that stuff today. I will read National Geographic magazines cover to cover. I am deeply interested in Anthropology, or the study of human beings. Archaeology is more the digging for the relics of old, and that is still something I love to stay up to date on as well. I never did go to college, so obviously I never became a college educated archaeologist or anthropologist. But I think I am an amatuer at both, and I still love both fields and am interested in anything to do with them.
The second part of that question “Did you become what you dreamed of?” Now there is the rub in this TBT theme for me. Yes, I became the person that I had dreamed of as a kid. See, when I was small, and growing up, I always dreamed of loving a good woman and having a life with women romantically instead of boys or men. I kept this a secret until I was an of-age adult to the best of my ability. Maybe there were a few I didn’t fool, but I damned sure tried. My self-imposed closet where I kept my secret sexuality was a place of safety, because I knew those I was growing up with would never accept or understand this part of me at that time. It was too early in the 60’s/70’s for that kind of awareness, tolerance, and acceptance to be available to me – or really anyone! Thus, I just had my dreams of a very different – yet kind of the same – kind of life for myself. I wanted to be in love like those straight friends and relatives of mine that I grew up around, just that I wanted it to be with someone who was female like me.
I didn’t fully understand my sexuality as a child. But I knew that it was definitely different, and different could not be good. Funny how a child can comprehend when something should not be told or talked about. Personally I kept my own secret locked away deep inside of me until I was 19 years old. By that time I had left home, left those I knew all my life and who knew me, and was far away in the military, serving my country.
That’s when I discovered that I was not the only “freak” who thought this way! I met other women who desired the company and love of other women. At first I had some serious homophobia about it. They talked about it, they acted on it and they seemed to enjoy it, which in my well trained brain was wrong. Like most in my era we had been brought up straight and to believe that homosexuality was wrong. I personally never heard the “God wrong” scenario back then, but perhaps that’s because we were not overly religious in my household. Church was something we did on holidays or when Dad got into it for a few Sundays. I could only dream of a life of living as an out-lesbian – a word I never knew until I was about 14 years old and heard it from other kids, then looked it up in my dictionary. I dreamed of it being normal that I would have a wife and we would live together in a little house with a picket fence and a dog.
Today is a different era. Today I do live as an out lesbian and without much fear. Sure, there’s always some fear, fear that you will run into someone who hates you for just being you, because they for some reason hate LGBT people. I think it’s more that they do not understand that LGBT people are just people with different sexual desires and practices than our straight counterparts. Although I think most of us are doing the same basic things in the sack, just in slightly different ways! *smirk*
I usually try to be considerate of other peoples beliefs. I know my lifestyle doesn’t always agree with their ideals or their religious convictions. I try to steer clear of those people and just live my life. And I have a damned good life. I have a loving family that accepts and supports me; that loves me as I am. I have friends who do the same. I keep a nice home and have a dog and I date women exclusively. So my life IS as I dreamed it would be for the most part. I also dreamed I would be a writer and one day write books…well, I write, but I have yet to put that book together. One day I do hope that that part of my dream will also be a reality.
So while I never became an archaeologist or anthropologist, I did grow up and find the dream of being true to who I am in this world. I was lucky to learn many trades, most having to do with construction of one sort or another, thus I have a knack for building and fixing things that I am always honing. I had military training that taught me focus, determination, and how to be a dependable, respectful person in this world. I have a Masters Degree in street education, learning the seedier side of life during my 20’s…learning about homelessness, addiction and the challenges that people face daily in life. I have learned about inequality in this world, seen it first hand, and have stood up to fight for equality for all people. I’v stared death in the face and chose life. I’ve buried friends and their dreams all because of a fierce virus that took us all by surprise in the 80’s. By 1999 I had lost 14 friends to AIDS and was living with HIV myself. But I chose life, I chose to live my dreams and to fight like a wildcat. Modern medications have been my friend and have kept me alive and healthy for many years now. I only wish they had been available earlier for my lost friends.
So my answers to the questions of today’s Think about it Thrusday, is yes, I am living life as I dreamed it could be for the largest part. I’m not rich or famous or some highly recognized anthropologist, but I am a good, honest, loving person who lives life every day, in the present, to it’s fullest as much as I can. I wake up happy and warm. I take care of business as it needs, and I tend to my relationships with other people with care and consideration. I hope I can continue to spread the love and continue to make changes in my life and the world that are good for both! Rock on.