Finally Felix  Blooms 8Sometimes her magic comes to me in slips of stark vision. When I can see her face so vividly before me. Or taste the nectar of her lips on mine, even though she is far away.

At first I am alone. Then her essence materializes into my space like a precious mirage. And suddenly, I can smell her perfume, feel the softness of her skin against my fingertips, and when I inhale, it’s her air that fills my lungs.

She is so much me, that I clutch my chest and feel the beat that is both of our hearts working as one.

When I am low and near my breaking point, her magic slips beneath me, without question or judgement. It raises me to my feet. And cleanses me with words of support, enriched with honest belief in my strength. Belief that I may not even have for myself. She takes my face in her hands and lets me know that I am a lioness. Even when I’m feeling like a mouse. And somehow I begin to understand that yeah…I am a lioness.

I AM a lioness, dammit!

Yes, I have my own strength, my own deep reserves of faith and confidence. But having someone who amplifies that in me is nothing short of sacred magic.

Feeling blessed and beloved.

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the hump

Finally Felix Blossom 6I’m a 70s/ 80’s kid from a pretty large extended family. Growing up I had cousins as far as the eye could see. And somehow our parents had planned their child bearing perfectly, so I had about 7 cousins who all fell in my age range. On family outings, a group of us would cram into the back of someone’s car for a trip to wherever. Not a seat belt, car seat or other auto-safety gadget in sight. And the simple act of getting all of us settled in the car was pandemonium…

There were kids siting on other kids’ laps. Kids jockeying for window seats. One smart-aleck kid crying because an adult from the front reached back and a popped him in his smart-aleck mouth. One poor kid stuck up front with the adults (because cars had bench seats in front back then). And the inevitable fight over who was going  to sit on the hump. It was usually the smallest and youngest child in the back seat … and for a while, that was me.

I remember thinking that as much as everyone wanted to avoid the hump, it really wasn’t that bad. Yes, it was mildly uncomfortable. It was hard and awkwardly shaped, but it wasn’t horrible. With a bit of regular shifting, to keep my butt from falling asleep,  I could sit on the hump with no issues for a quite a stretch.

Looking back, I realize that I often volunteered to sit on the hump to  cut back on some of the commotion. A little bit of personal discomfort for the sake of peace. To me, it was worth it.

I brought that same mentality into my adult life, as well. Except now, the kind-of-uncomfortable but not-so-horrible hump I’ve been sitting on has been my marriage. It took me a long time to understand that. And as simple as it seems, the hardest part of being a volunteer hump sitter is recognizing the most obvious thing in the world…

…You can get up whenever you want.

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Felix in a 3D — Randomness #5

Finally Felix Bloom 3I created this blog as a very private and very personal way to get my racing thoughts out of my brain and into a space where they could exist unhindered. Over the years, I have come here to wallow in heartache, revel in love, exult in my quiet victories, and splatter the screen with all the emotion I could not express in my own 3D life.

The life I lived on these pages… the woman I was here…this Felix…was vocal throughout her journey. She wept, screamed, laughed, and poured out the contents of her heart in way I could not do. I watched her life play out on screen and I so admired her. I envied her. And I could not wait for the day when Felix could be a living, breathing part of my daily life. The face that I presented to the world — smiling, calm, always willing to bend for the comfort of others — was a mask.

How long can that last?  It’s not right. And it’s damn sure not healthy. Holding everything in one minute — the epitome of confidence — then, when no one is looking, turning to the keyboard, heart racing, mind a cyclone of emotion, fingers frantically trying to type the deluge of words. Quickly!  Before someone comes and spots the tear on my cheek, or notices the look in my eyes, so unlike what they are used to seeing on the ever-smiling  mask. Or before my poor mind gets so frustrated at this schizophrenic attempt to live in snatches of time that it just says “Eff this noise!”, pulls out a plunger, and jams Felix back into that box that she came bursting out of  years ago. But I know the outcome of that: DarknessHopelessness, Death. So I keep typing.

Someone once told me that Felix is the personification of all the bad I had done in my life. That she is the liar and cheater I used to be (and by that thinking, still am) manifested into this woman-loving, freedom-needing, freely-speaking monster. For about a split second, I believed that.

Then, Felix’s strength started seeping into my 3D life. Allowing me to say things that I dared not say years ago: I am entitled to happiness. I deserve love AND respectI will not suffer under a wall of guilt for the rest of my lifeI am capable of standing on my own.

If that’s not growth. If that’s not positive. If that’s not real and deep and true, I don’t know what is.

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Baby dyke-ing on a Thursday night – Randomness #4

Felix flower3 Is it just me, or are women really, really beautiful?

I’ve pondered this question many times, but I don’t think most people grasp the depth of it.

Women are fucking B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!

All softness and curves and smooth skin and juicy sweetness. I would absolutely dive into and never come out if I could.

If everyone simply took a moment to pay attention, they would realize that there is nothing on this earth as beautiful as women.  And yes … love is deep and blind, and women are humans with emotions and feelings and causes that they believe in and stuff … but dammit, this post it NOT about all that.

Hell, I’m a woman; I know that there is more to us than what’s on the outside. I realize that women were not put on this earth for the selfish  sexual and aesthetic pleasure of others. Yes. Of course I get it. I’m not a cave-lesbian, after all.

But right now … right this moment … I just want to make my way home to the most beautiful pair of breasts in the world, and fall asleep between them.

And that is exactly what I’m going to do.

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coming out as lesbian later in life – lightening the load

In bloom_finally felixPart of coming to terms with my sexuality at this stage of my life has been the need to tell certain people what is going on with me. Namely, coming out to the people whose lives will be deeply impacted by this change.

I can’t help but wonder if I had reached this point in my 20s, before I was married and had children, if I would have felt the need to tell people. Would I have stressed and stumbled over my how, why, and who to justify my life and my love for someone else’s understanding?

I like to think I would have just lived my life and damn what anyone else thought about it. But as it stands now, there are people who need to know.

Of course my husband was the first person I told. Uttering the words “I’m pretty sure I’m gay,” to the man with whom I had spent my entire adult life was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Admitting to him that I had been unfaithful with a woman was like cutting off a piece of myself. Explaining that my attraction to women is not a reflection on his manhood, nor is it something I can simply turn off, is an ongoing conversation. It may never be resolved.

I have come to understand that I can only be accountable for myself in this. I can take full responsibility for my role in the demise of our marriage. I can do everything in my power to make this transition as smooth and painless as possible for my children. I cannot force my husband to accept or understand my need to live fully in my truth.

I realize he will hold me in contempt for a very long time. I accept that, though I hope he will not allow it to eat away at his own chance for happiness in the future.

The conversation with my closest friends has ranged from enthusiastically accepting to cool and indifferent to fascinated and very curious. Wherever they fall on that spectrum, I know that I still have their unconditional love and support. I’m very blessed in that respect.

I have drifted away from one acquaintance in this process. I revealed my news to her out of some misguided desire to share my innermost secrets. Her response was to bombard me with scripture then lay out all the reasons that I should go deeply into the closet and wait for the perfect man to come along and show me the error of my ways.

No regard of my need for love in a form that is right for me.

No consideration for my sanity or emotional well-being.

We have drifted apart and I have not reached out to her in quite some time. I wonder if she understands why?

Moving forward, I will be more discerning of who I wave my rainbow flag for. I plan to travel very lightly on the road ahead and am only packing love and acceptance. Anything else is getting tossed.

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And still with the goats and a mini pig – Randomness #3

goatsI used to think that I was all I that needed to get by.

This belief came from years of watching the women in my life — from my mother and aunts to my older cousins  — make their way without the support of men, who may have passed away; left after a divorce; or just turned out to be useless as providers, fathers, and men in general.

These women showed a strength and courage that I admired and yearned to possess. In my eyes, my mother was superwoman. When my dad died (when I was 15 and my brother was 10) my mother whipped off her cape and used it to cover the gaping emptiness  in our lives. She guided us across the chasm and ensured that we had solid ground beneath our feet before letting us walk forward on our own.

She never remarried.  I never saw her date or have a love interest.  She was stoic and alone, and she seemed perfectly fine with that.

When I realized that my marriage had reached a point of no return,  I assumed my path would be similar to my mother’s. That I would spend the rest of my days alone, laying out a legacy for my children and enjoying my solitude. I would live in and expand onto my mother’s house, garden her land, take up a few hobbies, get some chickens (for eggs), buy a couple of goats (for mowing the grass), and raise a miniature pig (for being awesome!). And there I would be: content, alone, and the most countrified city girl you ever met.

A woman on her own was the norm in my eyes. Picking up the slack where men are not present and forging ahead on her own terms. She raises children, changes car batteries, and secures a solid future with scrimped-together savings and carefully manged affairs so her jaded and foolish daughter has something the fall back on in her old age.

That’s simply how it was done.

NEEDING a partner? That was foreign to me. Who NEEDS someone? Who even has the time for all that?

What do I know? At 44, I’m still learning that I don’t know much. But in my own defense…

No one ever told me that it was possible to want someone in your life, not because you couldn’t stand to be alone, but because you couldn’t stand to be without them.

I was never informed that someone else could fill me up with so much love that I would wonder if it was possible to burst from joy.

That a kiss could ignite a fire in my soul.

That a look from across the room could release an explosion of butterflies that left my grown woman knees quivering like a shy teenager.

Who knew that I could yearn — from the depths of my being — to wrap myself in the comfort of arms designed just for me?

That I could ache, with a physical pain when she was far away, and I would need…yes, NEED to have her closer to me very, very soon, or I might lose my rabbit-ass mind.

To breathe her in because her very essence is oxygen.

To taste her skin because it’s nourishing and life-sustaining.

To watch her chest rise and fall as she sleeps, because each breath carries whispers of ancient knowledge that confirm the secrets many suspect, but I know to be true…

YES. It’s real.

YES. It’s amazing.

YES. I can be strong and stoic and even more empowered by love.

Just ask my smiling heart, my sparkling eyes, and the buzzing molecules of my being … newly awoken, energized, and adorned with the flourish of her name.

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Flashes of Light and Love… Part 2

Felix flower_lotusAs I was contemplating how I wanted to tackle the second part of this post, something happened. I received news that someone from my old neighborhood had passed away. She was a vibrant 50-year-old with a caring, open heart and a beautiful smile.

Being jarred by sudden death, especially when it happens to someone close to your own age, is an eye opener like no other. Yes, life is short… Yes, time passes very quickly… Yes, we should live every day to the fullest. So much wisdom has passed my lips as I have faced the untimely passing of my peers. Saying it is one thing. Living it is quite another. I have faced each day with my subtle smile and my easy-going demeanor and believed in earnest, that life would be fine. And often, it was.

I loved my husband for a long time, though love can change, and does not last always. I have had  two beautiful babies, but children grow and drift from our laps into their own experiences. I have made many mistakes, yet I learned more about myself with each misstep. And now, I stand at the threshold of something  brand new. Poised in front of an open door… one foot lifted from the ground… advancing  slowly toward what lies beyond.

And here is where I  freeze, slam the door and run back inside to huddle in a corner. I’m not proud of how many times that has happened, and I was glad to find that there are always more experienced voices to help me come to terms with my fear:

Your life is not ending, but a section of it has come to a close. It doesn’t matter that you are standing outside of the door that closed upon the story of you when you were married. What matters is that you are still standing. Your situation has changed, but …you are still you, whether you are single, separated, divorced or married.

Accepting yourself and your sexuality was a big step, but don’t make it the focus of your life. In hindsight, your marriage didn’t fail because of what gender you prefer to love, but because you grew apart from the person you loved. Worrying about the future and fretting over the past is a waste of time, and time really does change everything.

A year from now, it won’t matter if you call yourself gay or straight or bisexual. It won’t matter what the lady down the street said about you behind your back, or the time you got drunk and sobbed hysterically over the phone to your ex. You’re a human being and you make mistakes. So please stop blaming yourself for everything you’ve done wrong….

Joelle, Coming Out After You Married Him: Finding Yourself after Divorce and Living the Next Chapter of Your Life, First Wives World

Live your life or shrivel up and die like an old sour raisin. That is how I’ve expressed it before, with lightness and humor.  But to die in a holding pattern would be the worst thing in the world, I’m sure. With my song unsung, with my dreams unfulfilled. Or with this burning inside of me extinguished before I get the chance to see how brightly it lights up the night, how it warms the surface of my skin, or how it washes her face in the flush of sunset, setting her full lips aglow in phoenix fire.

Deep breath. Sure, steady steps. Turn the knob…

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Flashes of Light and Love

Felix flower_lotusIt’s easy to feel very alone on this path.

While I know in my heart that I’m headed in the right direction, I do have moments of extreme guilt and fear that are very good at convincing me that I’m a genuinely fucked up individual for even being in the situation. It’s hard not to internalize that negativity… and some days are darker than others.

This week I found a little bit of light at First Wives World, an online community that offers support, advice, and resources for women going through divorce. While clicking around on the site, I was very pleasantly surprised to find a two-part series called Coming out After You Married Him.

In the first piece, Divorce Support for Gay Women in Straight Marriages, the author (listed only as Joelle) explains the turmoil of doing everything “right” (finding a good guy, getting married, planning/starting a family, etc…) and still finding unhappiness siting on your doorstep every morning. Embracing the fact that she was gay brought little consolation:

“I definitely didn’t want to be gay. I felt as though if only I could get rid of the part of me that desired Juliette, or any woman, really, that everything could go back to normal. It was like having a diseased arm, and to save the rest of my body I would have to chop it off. The problem was, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I carried on this way for three more years, but inside I was completely lost.”

Yass, Joelle. YAAAAASSSS!!!! That is it! That is exactly what it feels like when you would give anything to just be happy with what you have, but nothing in your world feels right. For me, the depression that stemmed from this was overwhelming and forced me to take a look at myself with unflinching eyes for the first time in my life, and what I saw was painful beyond imagination.

My identity, for more than four decades, had been an extension of someone else: first my parents, then my husband and children. Taking stock of Felix for the first time in my life … what she wanted and who she truly was … shattered everything I ever knew or believed about myself. I looked in the mirror and the reflection looking back as me was not only a stranger, but she was angry, and hurt, and tired of being pushed aside for everyone else’s convenience.

Joelle goes on to say “there are dozens of schools of thought about sexual identity, but the truth is that your identity is your own, and it’s for you to decide. “I knew that this was not a part of me that I could ignore. It would be worse to live with the longing.”

And there it is. Live your life or shrivel up and die like an old sour raisin.

Up next, I’ll tell you how Joelle made me weep into my soup.

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Life unlisted

Apparently, millionaires do not use to-do lists. According to this article in Forbes, “Ultra-productive people don’t work from a to-do list, but they do live and work from their calendar.”

So it’s all about the schedule.

It makes sense. While the to-do list causes stress,  is limited in conveying urgency, and doesn’t account for the length of tasks, the schedule gives each task its own allotted time period. This way, it doesnt matter whether you have a high-level meeting or need to make a quick trip to the post office; if it’s on the calendar, it’s getting done.

My to-do list has items on it from four months ago and is getting longer every day. It’s nice to think that I’m organized enough to actually keep a written list of tasks…but I’m not disciplined enough to manage my list efficiently. The unimportant stuff (or stuff that I just don’t want to deal with) tends to fall to the wayside, and frankly…some of that shit may never get done.

It’s my own fault. I have some items on my list that don’t belong there. Who puts “get divorce” on a to-do list like it’s picking up a carton of milk? Honestly, it’s just one of many bad habits I’ve employed that make this process harder than it should be. The other ways I complicate things are:
  • Avoiding my husband at all costs. Whenever he enters a room, I exit.
  • Strictly limiting our topics of conversation to kids and household stuff (like bills and whether or not we should order pizza) and avoiding divorce talk at ALL costs.
  • Constantly worrying about how the conversation with him will go, and most likely making it much worse in my head than it would actually ever be in real life.
  • Finding temporary solace in the daydreams of how my life will be at the end of this road, while avoiding the real work of making it reality. (Essentially living in a fantasy world, when the means to make that fantasy real are right at my fingertips…IF my fingers were not frozen in fear.)
So today, I’m putting my divorce on a schedule. Maybe it’s crazy. That’s OK. I’ve done crazy. I’m good with it.

With the goal of having everything finalized by the end of the year, a six-month schedule will allow me to map out what needs to be done in a realistic time frame. Talking to him about our options for a mediator or lawyers? On the schedule. Telling kids about the upcoming change? Scheduled. Apartment hunting? Check the calendar.  Start packing? Yup, got a date.

If its good enough for Bill Gates, it’s good enough for me.
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Sharing a beautiful becoming…

Blessed Love, writes from a place that few of us can. With her pen, she is unflinchingly bold, as fearless and graceful as an assassin. A flourish exposes raw nerve. A gentle stroke reveals blood and gristle. One sentence is a string of misdemeanors that steal breath, shatter souls, and slam egos up against walls.

The words this beautiful woman writes frequently leave me trembling with  emotion, deeply introspective, and always … always … yearning for more. 

Have a taste of her magic below, then go even deeper at Life of a Rising Phoenix, where you are guaranteed to fall in love.

I Am Becoming
I am becoming…someone unknown to me. I have never met her, but I know she is confident; I have never seen her, but I know she is brave. I am obsessed with my outer appearance, while her infatuation is the well-being of her soul. I am deafened by the silence around me, yet in stillness her spirit whispers wisdom. She tells me that my scars quilt the patchwork of her essence; my stumbling blocks, the stepping stones to her destiny. She is unintimidated by the things that frighten me…unflinching at what makes me afraid. She wears my dishonor like a cloak, unashamed and unabashedly pursuing that which fulfills her. She is not deterred by the distractions that beguile me; steadfast in her purpose, with blinders she progresses. My doubts ignite her determination; my trepidation, her certainty. She was conceived in my passion, birthed from my dreams.

–Blessed Love, Life of a Rising Phoenix

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