My Mother probably prays daily for the demise of my relationship. She’s openly admitted to me before that she prays often for my “clarity”, but I think when she talks to God she’s a bit more….direct. Her secret thoughts become clear in her tone when she asks me about my “roommate” (my girlfriend and I have been living together since this past October). She can barely hide the way she holds her breath when I tell her how unsure I am of my romantic future. In short, she’s ready for this “phase” to end.
My mother is not homophobic. She merely wishes that her only child, her daughter, was in a serious relationship with…well…not a woman. So much so that when I told her that my ex (a person with whom I am at peace with parting ways with) had been blessed with his first child, she told me that “it could have been her grandchild”. Insert stale face.
But…I understand. And in her own way, I can see that she tries.
I’m not ignorant to the fact that the majority of parents raise their children with hopes that they will achieve certain milestones. My parents expectations of me were typical: finish school, attend college, start a career, obtain a higher degree, date seriously for a while until I find “the one”, get married and pop out some grand-babies. For 23 years, this was my mothers road map for my life..and then I went and got all weird on her. I say I understand because these expectations are human..and if you are not “other”, there is no way to completely understand. Even people who fall on the spectrum of “other” have complex feelings when it comes to their own children. To my point, I once had a conversation with a former co-worker whose 16 year old daughter came out to her. Being a young mother and bi-sexual, I expected her to state that she had no qualms about her daughters sexuality. Surprisingly, she told me that a small part of her was disappointed. Primarily because she didn’t want her daughter to suffer through prejudice..but another part of her felt sadness for the loss of her daughters “normal” life.
The thing is, I’ve struggled considerably with the “romanticization” of marriage and the traditional family lifestyle. This wasn’t always the case. At one point in my life I was all about being a wife and mother, with very little reservation. A bit too little, however. I was dating my high school sweetheart for a mere year before I began rifling through old bridal magazines and planning our wedding. When we split three years later, I had time to break away and breathe…time to allow Cierra to grow. But there were relapses of love induced insanity…many of them. Whenever a relationship began to hint at a higher level of seriousness, my mind began to drift towards ideas of marriage and children. I was unhealthily altruistic. I didn’t argue for compromise. I was a frequent victim of “destination addiction”…distracting myself with the other persons potential for the sake of fulfilling a primitive biological need. So, I would settle again and again, allowing myself to become emotionally, physically, and financially hijacked.
Oddly, this has only happened in relationships in which my other halves have had penises. I’m not sure if I have a twisted sense of submission, but either way I have historically lost myself in relationships with men. Conversely, I function very healthily as a romantic partner to women. It could very well be that my great revelation occurred concurrently with a healthy dose of maturation, but I have a freedom in my relationships with women that I don’t/didn’t have with men. Instead of thinking of baby names, I brainstorm on how to accomplish my personal goals. Gone is my fixation with the wedding, allowing for a deeper and more intellectual personal conversation on “marriage” the institution vs. “marriage” the commitment. I fall hard with women, but I don’t fall blindly…and I fall at my own pace with welcomed inhibition.
So here I am. Soon to be 26 and in a long term relationship with a human toting an anti-penis. And in being “here”, I’ve found that with this happiness and comfort comes complexities. My current girlfriend and I discuss marriage and children (objectively) occasionally. We both agree that we want children, and I have told her before that I would like to raise children with her. Logistics, however, pose an obvious issue for us. Beyond that, there are other considerations. If our child were to be born naturally, who would carry and how would the pregnancy come to be? How do we introduce a child to both families that is loved by both of us equally, but is of flesh to only one of us? How do we introduce this child at all, considering that my parents minimize our relationship and hers barely recognize it? I don’t have many examples to try and model after. Meanwhile my hair continues to gray as I anxiously await the publication of “What to expect when you’re lesbian partner is expecting and the baby’s grandparents will probably never acknowledge it’s existence”.
Now my thoughts on marriage…are difficult. She doesn’t want to get married. She’s just generally, all together not here for marriage. Personally…I don’t know where I stand on marriage. In the context of my own relationship and beyond. I was raised in a Christian household where marriage has never been anything other than a vow taken between a man and a woman. Which is where a part of my subconscious hesitation regarding marrying my same sex partner originates. I would likely opt not to be married, but to instead have a commitment ceremony. The guest list would be small. There would be no Facebook announcement, no 500 likes. I wouldn’t even count on my parents or siblings to show. My parents are far from religious zealots…they are simply products of the 60’s who were not exposed to anything that would have made them consider an alternative definition of love. They birthed me, a product of the 90’s, with an innate sexual distinction and a different understanding of love. I’ve been surrounded by failed marriages my entire life, but have a clear understanding that marriage provides feelings of fulfillment and gratification for many couples. But I question marriage, on the basis of relevance and purpose. If one were to extract religious motivation for the institution, what would be our understanding of it? Is there an evidence based argument that two persons who remain strictly monogamous for their lifetimes can’t achieve the same level of “happiness” as a married couple?
In short…who fucking knows. I’ve committed to trying not to think too much about these things. Primarily because I’d become certifiable if I spent too much time trying to figure out how all of these pieces of my life can interact cohesively. For right now, just like every other person in their mid-twenties, I’m content with taking it a day a time. I survive the endless engagement and pregnancy announcements by reminding myself that 50% of marriages still end in divorce and those pregnancies were probably unplanned. I try to ignore the part of me that cares what my parents think. I tweet my angst. I read Humans of New York posts and revel in the human experience. I eat my feelings in pizza. I’ve returned to writing. I just…live. And considering that some people aren’t even that fortunate, living should be just enough for me right now.
*disclaimer-the tiny person in the ultrasound photo featured lives nowhere near my uterus. He is tucked away safely inside a very close friend of mine and we are anxiously awaiting his arrival!