Today I’d like to tell you all about the confusing, angst ridden ball of fire that was my girlfriend back when I was sixteen. She seemed great at first but everyone does. We met face to face but barely spoke, got talking online a few days later and suddenly I had a girlfriend. I was excited about the new relationship despite the fact that it was sort of long distance with her being almost three hours away which feels very long distance when you’re sixteen.
It turned out that she was a seriously selfish, self obsessed liar with no respect for me at all with no desire to show affection unless someone else seemed interested. She invented an eating disorder that she never actually had as well as lying about some other pretty big stuff. I think she enjoyed the attention that came with these lies but the lying cost her a lot when her friends found out the truth. I think it irritated me most that she had a job and I didn’t yet I was the one expected to pay a small fortune travelling to see her just for her to act like she couldn’t care less if I was there or not. If another woman was talking to me on Bebo (yep, Bebo was the big thing back then) she had to jump in and make her presence known by commenting with “Hey, how’s my girlfriend today?” or something equally intended to mark her territory. She told everyone that I was a great girlfriend so everyone thought our relationship was going brilliantly. Everyone except me. If I had any problems she ran a mile and didn’t want to listen but I still spent hours listening to her issues that ended up being totally fictitious. If I was randomly in her area she was always too busy to spare a few minutes for me. Needless to say that relationship didn’t last long but she did try to remain present in my life popping up every few months.
Years later she was mere background noise that I barely paid attention to anymore. I should have known that something was bound to trigger her possessive nature again and that something was my marriage. A few days before our wedding my wife got a friend request from her and before she could decide either to accept or decline she had also received a private message. This message went like this “Hi, I’m alesbianspeaks’ ex – girlfriend. I hope you’re happy with her and treat her right, like I never could, she definitely deserves it.” I would have perceived this message to be a lot more thoughtful if it wasn’t so self pitying and if it wasn’t also followed by a private message to my own account asking if I was sure I wanted to marry “this person”. She feigned interest in our wedding and the clothes we had chosen to wear before she gave up whatever she was trying to do. I didn’t allow her to penetrate my thoughts further over the days after this communication because, honestly, she was nothing more than my past to me and she belonged there. She wasn’t the worst and I accept that there was some good times with her too but I never had strong feelings for her so leaving her behind was the obvious thing to do. She hung around for another few months virtually before she decided it was time to unfriend me. Her presence didn’t bother me – I think I was beyond caring. Maybe she stayed for a while because she wanted to see if I really seemed happy. I don’t know.
Staying friends with an ex is a complicated issue that is everyone’s own decision to make but some old flames are more hassle to keep around than they’re worth. It’s okay to say see ya around to your past and move on because moving on is essential in life. A big mistake, in my opinion, is to allow an ex to control your future. Nobody should have that power except you. I don’t know anything about her life anymore and that’s perfectly fine by me. I just thought I’d tell you all about her to show you that it is easy for someone to retain power over you if you allow them to and you can only really move forward when you stop allowing this to happen.
John Legend – You & I (Nobody In The World)
This video actually brought tears to my eyes (yes, I’m a big softy!) because it brings together a collection of so many women of different shapes, sizes and colour and encourages them to love themselves. We are all beautiful in so many different ways. I hate hearing anyone put themselves down, especially because of their looks. I allowed my looks to hold me back from being more adventurous and I ended up regretting doing that. Scars, weight and stretch marks are all part of simply being human. I do my best to dress well and look good but I don’t allow it to consume my thoughts. I lost a lot of weight and as a result my upper arms have stretch marks and a small amount of loose skin. My arms don’t look really bad but let’s face it: you are your own worst critic. Last summer I allowed myself to get upset about my flaws and I let it stop me from wearing certain things. This year I vowed to put it to the back of my mind and do whatever I like while wearing whatever I like so that’s exactly what I did. I feel so much better now. Overlooking your imperfections can be an overwhelming task but you can do it and you can embrace the way you look too.
I challenge you to think of at least three things that you like about your looks.
Remember, our imperfections make us human and your imperfections are so perfect.
Why on earth does your appearance have to matter so much? We live in a world where looks are so important that we even sometimes act like someone’s shell is too hard to crack through so we don’t try to see what’s inside. I was unhappy with my body before I lost weight. Now? I’m still unhappy with my shell.
It doesn’t help when the majority of the supposedly hot or good looking women out there, especially in the land of lesbian tv, are thin and super confident. I mean, really, who could possibly be that confident? The “best looking” women in both BBC’s Lip Service and Showtime’s The L Word are way thinner than the majority of the women I know. This is okay in tv land where perfection is normal but translated into the real world that equals to some pretty insecure lesbians of every shape and size. It seems to be believed that curvy ladies aren’t desirable but of course they are! I think the fight to lose weight should be done for health reasons not to impress anyone else. Trust me, if they look straight past you because of your looks then they are not a “let’s be together forever no matter how much wrinkles change your face or how much your goods sag” type of person.
Callie from Grey’s Anatomy is the type of beautiful woman that is the wonderful lesbian role model we need more of. She is normal while still being the object of many lesbians desire. (Below, right)
When I was heavy I felt like I needed to be like the skinny girls to be considered attractive.
I thought that I needed to have better clothes or cooler hair.
I thought that people saw me as ugly and I definitely saw myself as ugly.
Now I see that it was all in my mind. I need to learn to love myself and the person I am while challenging the things I am truly unhappy about and changing them, where possible. I still find myself becoming overly sensitive when I receive comments about my weight loss. Is there a hidden meaning behind these comments or is it simply a compliment? Or maybe just an observation? Usually it is just a simple comment. I will always be too skinny, too curvy, too butch, too girly, too whatever for someone somewhere so I no longer care what the someone’s think. The really amazing thing about us ladies is that we come in so many different packages but someone is always out there waiting to open your wrappings and find the real you hidden beneath. The even better thing about us lesbians is that in a relationship there will, more than likely, be two equally self conscious women who can understand each other’s feelings. Knowing that my wife loves my looks makes me feel more confident and more attractive. I feel honoured that it’s me that she desires. Most of us women love being told that we’re beautiful so make sure you tell your lady how good she looks everyday. I still need to tell myself that I look great until I finally start to believe myself. Being told that I’m beautiful by my wife is wonderful but I won’t feel beautiful until I embrace my body, flaws included. Love yourself.
Let’s talk about women. I’ve been throwing out so much randomness recently but it’s now time to talk about our love of women. The pulse behind the hearts of us lesbians. When I was a baby dyke just after coming out I found myself attracted to older women and that hasn’t changed at all since. Initially there was only a gap of a year or two between myself and the women I kissed or dated but then the gap grew bigger. There’s eight years between my wife and I and I can’t imagine being as happy with someone my own age.
Lisa Edelstein who starred in House caught my eye many years ago when I first watched the show. An older woman in a position of power seemed pretty attractive! I loved her accent too.
Older women seem to suit me as I need someone emotionally mature in my life. I even sometimes prefer hanging out with people who are older than me. I’ve never had a particular ‘type’ that appeals to me but Shane from The L Word was definitely never on my list! I was more of an Alice or Helena fan, myself. What about you? When I was almost 16 I gave up on relationships because it was so difficult to properly connect with someone my age or younger but then I ended up dating someone who was three years older and while that relationship was a disaster at least we could have a decent conversation. I’ve been involved in and overheard so many debates about what the perfect woman looks like but I’ve learnt that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and every woman can be someone’s perfect woman. Women are such beautiful creatures, aren’t they? I thought for years that being heavy made me unattractive and undesirable but after I lost weight I realised that it was my own personal opinion of myself that was injecting these thoughts into my mind and I was attractive to someone both with and without my excess weight.
So, this has turned into a bit of a rant but the moral of the story is… well, I’m not sure about that anymore but I am sure that older women rock!