When difficult, painful things happen, I feel as though people often refer to “the other side” when talking about when said difficult, painful thing is considered to be over. But when that difficult, painful thing happens to be the end of a relationship and you’re a demisexual, what does “the other side” really mean? For most people, I think it’s assumed to mean when you “get over” that last person or when you start dating a new person, but what milestone are you supposed to look for when you’re a demisexual and dating someone happens once in a blue moon to begin with? That’s sort of what I’m wondering one year later.
This post is one I’ve been trying to write on and off since late this summer, and I’m still not really sure why I was never able to finish it. What I write here probably won’t come as a surprise to many people who know me well, even though I’ve realized that I haven’t really talked about this much with a lot of the people in my life. In all honesty, I’ve probably written more Twitter threads on this specific topic and elaborated on it more in that fashion than I have verbally to the majority of my friends.
But in the spirit of National Coming Out Day yesterday and the fact that I’ve been realizing just how much this other aspect of myself really does impact my day-to-day life and relationships, I finally decided to sit down and get myself to hammer out this post.
Something else people will need to understand prior to me really starting this post (and let’s be honest, I’m probably going to make a little series on this, but don’t quote me on that, because clearly it took me ages to write this one) is that the catalyst for this entire revelation was my glamping trip with the internet queers earlier this summer. I’m sure that I would’ve made this connection and realized this about myself eventually, but being able to spend several days surrounded by only fellow queer people all along the spectrum of sexuality probably expedited this process quite significantly.
While I was there, I was telling a story about a series of interactions I had with a guy earlier that summer and upon finishing my story, one of my friends who was sitting there remarked to me saying: “That’s a really demisexual thing to say.” In that moment, I had a simultaneously really profound and really simple revelation at the same time. I’m demisexual.
Today is September 19th, meaning I’m another year older, and perhaps that’s gotten me thinking about what this day has been like in all the 20something years past. Something that’s particular salient this year is the multitude of things from both my past and present that have been melding lately, and I specifically refrain from using the word “colliding,” because I don’t think any of those things are at odds. In fact, similarly to what I’ve written about intermittently over the course of the last year, I think right now is one of the points in my life where I actually feel more whole than ever, the point where my 11-year old self is meeting my present self.
In that moment, I think there’s a mix of emotions. My present self feels heavy and protective of my 11-year old self, knowing so vividly all the things that are going to happen in the next decade or so that my 11-year old self could never know about or be prepared for. And at the same time, my present self almost feels more jealous of my 11-year old self because of how simple and clean things were during that stage of life, before realizing that despite all the things that have happened in the last five years or so, things are slowly starting to return to a similar simple state, sometimes through the oddest and most trivial things. But then again, that’s what simplicity is, isn’t it? And maybe that’s what feeling in this odd between place, this sensation of simultaneously feeling 20something and 11 at the same time, this sensation of returning to a simpler age.
I suppose you could say this is another one of those cliche blog posts about needing to take some time to rest and recollect myself, but here I am, writing it anyway, perhaps just because I need to remind myself that it's okay to slow down for a bit every once in a while. It's one of the things I simultaneously love and hate about myself. I'm the kind of person who believes I should be able to go blazing full throttle through life, doing absolutely everything at the same time without needing to take a break, and DEFINITELY without having a breakdown at some point in between. But that's not very realistic, is it? It probably has something to do with my Enneagram 3 wing that I find myself frequently leaning into, mostly when it comes to life things more than anything else.
Because why shouldn't I be able to work full time, do grad school full time, exercise every so often, actually see my friends and family, and have time to myself to process the high speed life I'm living without something breaking down? That's a small fraction of my internal dialogue on any given day, and I'm not necessarily saying it's a good thing.
If there's one common thread that's been running through this entire year of 2018, it has to be the fact that everything about this year feels incredibly different and new than any other and in a different way than any other, something I've already talked a little about.
Something that's been a big part of this unfamiliarity is perhaps how I finally found my way back to church and how it's finally become something meaningful again. I write a lot about being queer, and if you follow me at all on Twitter, you'll notice that I tend to float around the queer, progressive, #exvangelical circles. Those places have provided me virtual community I've never been able to find before, and at the same time, I know that my faith is still an integral part of my life and who I am. And for all the ways and times I've been burned by Christians and the church, there's something deep inside of me that reminds me that isn't who God is. And so I'm still here. I still call myself a Christian, albeit hesitantly sometimes, just because I know of all the different connotations and pictures people will get in their head associated with that word. But if there's been anything about organized Christianity that's been particularly sticky for me (anti-queer theology and the like aside), it's worship music and the often problematic relationship Christians have with it.