Coming Full Circle

“There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme”― Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen

Life is funny.  Sometimes it feels like life takes you full circle right back to where you need to be. The chaos and turmoil that has been my life over the past year have managed to take me precisely where I need to be.  Ten years ago, I was young and bright eyed.  I was a preschool teacher at a prestigious academy.  I loved my work and I loved the environment.  I loved spending time with friends.  I loved enjoying the sunshine.  I loved quiet moments of personal reflection.  But inside, I was broken. I was a self-conscious, insecure girl completely unsure of who she was.  I was a closeted lesbian.  I was ashamed of who I was and I was ashamed of my past.  I was broken from years of trying to be someone I wasn’t.  I was seeking love and acceptance in the wrong way and from the wrong people.  But, ten years ago, I met Jade.

Jade and I worked for the same preschool.  Both of us were closeted lesbians afraid to admit who we were to ourselves, much less to anyone else.  We immediately connected with one another.  We immediately became kindred spirits who needed each other like we need air to breathe.  Naturally cautious of the implications of how our budding romance would affect our ability to remain closeted in our workplace coupled with the fear of loss of employment if our respective sexual orientations were ever discovered by management (or worse – one of the students’ parents), we felt it best that I should leave the school and enter a different field.  So, I went forward into the world working positions that gave me a sense of accomplishment but lacked the sense of daily joy that teaching provided me.

Now, ten years later, Jade is the one who has supported me and has pushed me to return to my passion:  Teaching.  While I can’t tell you what my plans are five years from now, since I have returned to teaching preschool, I feel alive.  Teaching is helping me refocus my drive and to take more time thinking of the positive impact I can have on the world – even if my world consists predominantly of two year olds! Life has brought me full circle professionally and has brought Jade and I back into the environment where we first met.  I find it incredibly ironic.  But, such is life.  I like to think my life is a spiral rather than a circle – I may repeat the patterns but ultimately I’m rising higher in life.

In other news:

  • Still no concrete baby making plans.  During my time of limited employment, our finances and our savings took a major hit.  As it stands, despite having some fertility coverage as part of my health insurance plan, we can’t currently afford to additional $1,000 per attempt (donor sprem + IUI procedure cost + co-pays) as a monthly expense.
  • PCOS is from the devil.  No period since last December.  I hate Metformin and can’t find the willpower to just suck it up and deal with the awful side-effects the pills cause. I’ve gained at least 10 pounds (which is precisely what makes PCOS worse).
  • I’ve missed blogging but since I’m not actively TTC, I feel like you lovely readers have better things to do than to listen to my oh so random posts.
  • My goddaughter started preschool this week.  So far, it’s a love/hate relationship.
  • My neice started preschool this week.  So far it’s definitely a hate/hate relationship.
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Changing Winds, Changing Places

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”  ― C. JoyBell C.

Where shall I begin?  To those of you who have followed this blog for over a year, allow me to begin by apologizing for my absence over the past five months.  My life has been a trying maze over the past several months.  I have been overwhelmed in a way that I cannot even begin to explain.  As a result, I have been just trying to keep my head above water and to find my way out of the jungle.  I also had to take some time off from reading all of your blogs.  To be quite frank, I just couldn’t deal and I needed some time and space.  To those of you who have successfully conceived or given birth, I am so very happy for you.  To those of you who have been unsuccessful at conceiving or who have lost pregnancies, please know that my heart is with you.  I am sure that I will go into my experiences in a series of blog posts in the coming weeks or months.  Through it all, there have been many, many times when I have wanted to write about my experiences.  I just couldn’t seem to find the energy or the motivation.  Ironically, I recently received an email from a new blog follower who sent me a quick email just to make sure I am okay.  This three sentence email gave me the nudge I needed to return to this safe haven.  I look forward to sharing my experiences with you when time and motivation allow.  In the meantime, I am very happy to have returned to this home and to following all of your blogs.

Quick updates:

  • Jade and I are still very much together.  We just celebrated our 8th anniversary and the past six months have reminded me of the love and deep connection we share.  Jade is my rock.  She is my best friend.  She understands me in a way that no one else does.  When I was broken, she stayed by my side and picked up the pieces and helped me fit them back together.  Occasionally, she reads this blog and if you are reading this, Jade, please know this:  I love you on a level that most people seek to find in their lives.  You are the best part of me.  And even if I don’t tell you often enough, please know that I appreciate everything you are doing for me and our family.  I appreciate the sacrifices you make and I am so grateful to have you in my life.
  • Jade and I are NOT actively trying for a baby currently but we do have plans to try again late this summer.  In the meantime, I am focusing on improving my general health which has suffered a bit over the past several months.  I am focused on being in the best mental and physical shape possible.  Thanks to the new health plans offered in my area as a result of the Affordable Care Act, my insurance now covers fertility treatment and most importantly, I now have coverage for the high cost fertility injections my body requires.  This is a HUGE help to us.

If you’re still following this blog, thank you for your ongoing support.  I look forward to sharing my journey with you and continuing to follow yours.

Life’s a Little Crazy…

Ten Days.

I have ten days until Jade and I move from our lovely two bedroom semi-urban condo into a house in “the country”.  To be fair, the area we are moving to isn’t that far removed from where we live now.  It’s exactly 15 miles south and in a quaint, small town.  The problem is, the vibe of the area is very different from where we live now.  The area is quieter.  It’s not nearly as accessible (think two lane road into and out of town).  There aren’t many of the conveniences we are used to having.  There are only two restaurants, two pharmacies, and two grocery stores.  We are used to having no less than 25 restaurants within a three-mile radius.  I’ve been spoiled by having a Fresh Market, a Publix, a Winn-Dixie, and a Whole Foods within a five-minute drive.  Our condo is right off of a main thoroughfare.  But, there is a season for everything.  And it is time for us to move.

Anne’s health is failing.  She is becoming less mobile and less coherent.  She is heavily reliant on the use of pain medications.  The woman I have grown to love over the past nine years is waning.  It is truly sad to see.  Her birthday was last week and per her request, we went to Red Lobster to celebrate.  While in the restaurant, she looked so small and frail.  It’s heartbreaking really.  Anne’s daughter, Farrah, is having a hard time with processing that her mother is likely going to die within the next year.  Anne and her husband, Greg, have started making funeral arrangements which is simply overwhelming to Farrah.  I am doing my very best to be a good sister-in-law and friend to both Anne and Farrah.

With everything going on, in many ways, I feel selfish for even thinking about having a child.  I am focusing my energy on getting through this move and being a support person for this family during such difficult times.  But still, the desire to have a child lingers and I’m a bit bitter that I have to put it on the back burner, especially when we were so close last time.  My body isn’t cooperating.  Today is cycle day 26 and there are no signs pointing to ovulation.  I suppose it doesn’t matter since we won’t be trying this month anyway.  But still…. what woman doesn’t want to know that her reproductive system functions properly at 30 years old?  A little reassurance goes a long way.

And so, life moves forward.  We’re all just along for the ride.

P.S. To my new readers, by request, I’ve added a page that gives a brief overview of each of the people in my world.  You can find it here.  And thanks for following me!

Because You Asked…

Mommy N from Hearts of a Feather and Kate from LesBeMums both nominated me for another Liebster Award.  Since I have recently completed a blog post all about the Liebster, I decided to accept these two nominations and do a combined question & answer post.  I won’t be nominating additional blogs simply because I don’t really follow so many blogs that I could avoid a “tag back”.  So here goes…

Questions from Mommy N

  • What is the first commonality that you look for when meeting someone new?  Sense of humor.  I believe that to enjoy life, one must be able to laugh.  Laughter lightens any mood or situation.
  • Books or TV? In most cases, books.  But there are a handful of TV shows that I absolutely love (e.g. The Young and the Restless, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and The Fosters)
  • What is your favorite time of day? Without a doubt, I am a morning person.  I love waking up early and watching the Today Show with Jade.  I like watching the sunrise over the ocean when we are at the beach.  I bask in the feeling the morning sun on my face.
  • What is your passion?  This is a tough question.  I have a lot of passions.  I’m passionate about helping others.  I’m passionate about equality.  I’m passionate about family.
  • Are you currently living or operating in your passion? My passion to help others is well served in my profession.  By trade, I manage nonprofit associations.  Every day, I get to help people grow their passions through the associations I serve.  I am striving to put myself into a position to fight harder for equality.  As for family, this blog is my testament to my efforts.
  • Do you still believe in the kindness of humanity? I travel a great deal for work.  My work has taken me to various cities and countries.  In all of my travels, I have seen the very real kindness of humanity.  Kindness transcends cultural and language boundaries.  I’m definitely a believer.
  • When seeking hope, where do you focus?  Again, this is a tough question.  I find hope in a lot of places and in a lot of forms.  For certain, I am a woman of strong faith.  I believe in God.  I find hope in God.  I find hope in my life partner, Jade.  I am a spiritual woman so I also find hope in other areas.  I find peace and strength in the morning sun and the feel of a soft breeze.  I find hope in the face of my goddaughter who represents all that is right in the world.  To be frank, in this TTC journey, I also find hope from all of you with your support and well wishes.
  • Bandwagon or walk to the beat of your own drum?  For sure, the beat of my own drum.
  • Chocolate or vanilla?  Chocolate.
  • Grits or oatmeal?  I may have been born in Baltimore but I was raised a southern girl (my mom’s family hails from the true deep south complete with red dirt roads and cotton fields) so Grits all the way (though I am pretty fond of steel-cut oatmeal with fresh blueberries).
  • If given one day to make an impact on someone’s life, what would you do?  Wow, N, you know how to phrase tough questions!  I think we are all given the opportunity to make an impact on someone’s life every single  day.  I learned many years ago that you never know when something small you choose to do will have a true impact on someone else’s life.  Sometimes, just listening can make an impact on someone’s life.

Questions from Kate

  • If you could be any person (dead) from history, who would you be and why?  Jade and I just talked about this question and you may find my response a cop-out but, I don’t think I would care to be anyone else.  I really like who I am.
  • If you could be any person (alive) from history, who would you be and why?  I don’t think I would care to be anyone else.  I really like who I am.
  • What song would best describe you?  There are a lot of songs out there that I love and that fit me perfectly.  But to summarize many of my ideals and features, I would say Jill Scott’s Womanifesto.
  • What would be you last meal on death row? Well, seeing how I am terrified of prison, I have never thought of this. But if I must, I would probably say indian food.  Or seafood.  Or one of my mom’s Sunday meals. Or sushi.  Maybe Thai food. Or pancakes.  Yes, probably pancakes.  With real maple syrup. And thanks, now I’m hungry.
  • What’s your favourite condiment?  Sriracha.  It’s so versatile.
  • What animal are you most like?  I would probably say a beaver.  I’m always busy and can constantly be counted on to get a job done.  I spend a lot of my time focused on my home.
  • Who would you like to represent you in a film? (This is a stolen question but is an awesome question – sorry!)  Kerry Washington as she portrayed Olivia Pope is Scandal.  She’s a badass.
  • Sunny day or rainy day?  Sunny day unless I’ll be spending the day sleeping.
  • What is your favorite moment in history?  I have three.  The day I met Jade (nine years ago).  The morning after President Obama won his first election (going into my very Republican office was loads of fun).  The moment the Supreme Court overturned the definition of marriage within DOMA.
  • Old School/Vintage or Futuristic?  Probably more Old School.
  • Who would you swap places with for the day?  Hmm… I don’t think I’d swap places with anyone else for the day.  Everyone has his or her own share of problems and I wouldn’t trade mine for someone else’s.

So, just for fun, here are 11 random facts about me:

  1. I have lived in eight states and two countries.
  2. I am a black girl who cannot (and I mean really cannot) dance.  Jade tries to teach me.  No luck so far.
  3. I believe cooking is a chore but baking is pure bliss.  Baking is beautiful.
  4. I love music.  Jill Scott, Michael Jackson, and Prince are my favorite artists.
  5. I’m an amazing listener.  But I’m also usually leading the conversation.  I believe that one’s intellect and conversational skills are among the sexiest features of a person.
  6. I love experiencing other cultures.  My best friend growing up was Punjabi.
  7. I never really came out.  My family had a strict don’t ask, don’t tell policy until one day my mom asked when Jade and I were going to have a baby.
  8. My favorite movie of all time is The Color Purple. Forrest Gump is a close second.
  9. There is a real chance that I suffer from Ophidiophobia.
  10. While I am able to talk to crowds of people for business purposes, I am painfully shy in my social life.
  11. I am not a gold star lesbian.

Phew! Now you know far more about me than you probably ever wanted to know!

We’re pioneers…

We’re pioneers and yes, not everyone is gonna embrace us for creating these types of families. But we have to start somewhere. And we’re hoping that as interracial couples were discouraged from having children 20 years ago, we’re hoping that 20 years from now, it will be no big deal that two men or two women are raising a family.  -Will Halm

Living in a relatively small town in the South while making this decision to start such a unique family is such a scary thing for us.  But at the end of the day, I know that motherhood is my calling in life.  While the people in my area may not understand our decision, it is our fervent hope that by the time our child is an adult, he or she will not feel so…different.  We know there are other same sex families in our area so our new mandate is to find more people like us.  We want our child/ren to be surrounded by other similar families.

Recently, I came across a group on Facebook called, Families Created by Love.  It is a “secret” group on Facebook of lesbian parents and parents to be.  It is such an encouraging place to build hope and to know that we are not the only lesbians starting a family.  In fact, there is another lesbian couple who live not too far from us who are members of the group.  I have reached out to them and hope to grow our network of lesbian and gay families in our area.