I'm in this really weird phase of my life currently where I have so many questions I want answered right now, because I feel like my head is going to spin off my body if I can't make sense of it all.
I'm pretty open with my life, which I like because it opens up so many conversations with women who have been where I am, are where I am, or who need support—in relationships, marriage, divorce, fitness etc. So in this current phase of my life, I've wanted to be open with my relationship and what's happening for me, but then these thoughts arise:
- Rachel, you own a business called "strong chicks rock", you can't talk about liking women.
- Wait, I can't believe you just said that, Rachel. SCR is based in standing in your truth, why are you trying to hide it?
- But I actually like men, and I dated 1 woman, so does that make me gay or straight?
- Me to me: I DON'T KNOW WHAT MY TRUTH IS, okay?
Let me tell you what's been happening.
I was married, we got divorced. Then I was in a relationship with a man, and then I ended that.
1 pattern remained the same in both of those relationships:
I didn't want to have sex with them.
I had a honeymoon phase with both men, which when it ended, I would find myself repulsed at their touch.
They both would say things like: are you gay? why don't you want to have sex?
And the worst was: I'm just trying to figure out what's wrong with you.
In that moment, one year ago, I committed it as fact in my brain that yes, I am in fact **broken. I am defected. I can't love. What is wrong with me?
(note: when I say broken, I'm coming from a personal feeling, I am in no way saying that falling ANYWHERE on the spectrum makes you broken. With my lack of knowledge, and so many feelings, what I truly felt was that I was broken. I didn't understand why for 23 years of my life, I couldn't love like others like they loved me.)
Then I met, her. I was attracted to her, I was excited to talk to her and everything was good. I didn't care what people would label me because I was happy and for the first time in my life I didn't feel like I couldn't love, I didn't feel broken anymore.
If this made me gay, I didn't give one single fuck. Tattoo gay across my forehead I thought, I am happy. I thought all of my problems were wiped away, and this is now who I was. LOL.
Let me answer what may be swirling in your head: why does the label matter so much?
It doesn't. But when you live your whole life wondering why you can't just love the person who would take a bullet for you back, as much as they love you. You wonder what the heck is wrong with you. So when I met her, I thought finally! It wasn't that I was broken, it was just that I was with the wrong person (for me). Then, as you'll learn below...it all got mixed up and confused for me. I wish I could say that my first thought upon experiencing this journey was "ah, just go with the flow man." But it wasn't. For that I won't apologize. I won't apologize for questioning, and trying to figure out what makes sense to me.
The Guy In The Cab
One day when her and I were walking the streets of NYC, I saw a man get out of a taxi and within an instant I got butterflies. He was the most gorgeous man I'd ever seen. Straight out of GQ magazine, this man was beautiful.
WHAT IN THE FRESH HELL WAS THIS?
Why did I find him attractive? Why was I wondering how I looked, why did I want him to see me?
This guy in the cab confused my whole life...sir taxi man, are you reading this?
I started to play a game, and this game was super easy because NYC is full of humans. I would look at a woman and see if I found her attractive. Then I would do the same with men.
No, no, not her, No, not her either. Oh gosh, I'm in a panic, what is this, I thought I was gay, why don't I like women?
I didn't find myself attracted to any women, just men and my partner.
PSA: I know some random street test isn't going to make me feel like I have all my ducks in a row, and I know I don't need all my ducks in a row to love, but I needed to explore what I felt and at the time, this made sense. Bear with me.
This led to the downward spiral of my relationship. My desire to know who I was and what I want went into a full force. I questioned if I jumped too soon into this relationship and began to feel uncomfortable.
In my mind, I can understand that I don't need an answer. I could love her and be with her and that be okay. I could process the fact that it's not gender that matters, it's the human and their soul (which I truly believe).
But it was sharing my life so publicly and being scared of what people thought that put me into a place I didn't like to be.
See, normally I don't care about needing other peoples validation. But here I stood, wanting people to know that YES, I do like men. I watch 50 shades of grey and like penis too. Here I am, don't exclude me from your penis talk! I wanted to fit in, but it was true. And I felt like I went so full force into being with her, and all the labels that went along with it—I lost me. I no longer felt like Rachel. I felt like the girlfriend of a super out and proud woman. I felt like I now stood up for something I didn't know was me. Women were thanking me for coming out and that was amazing, but it felt off. I was lost.
Figuring It Out
When I first got into my relationship with her, I watched a lot of videos on youtube of women who shared their stories and I was like 'omg yes me too!'. So I want to share this article today, because figuring this all out in my head brought me to a place where I felt so broken and lost again. I felt like I should just be a nun and call it a day.
I know I'm not the only person who feels this way, so my hope is that if you're trying to figure it all out too—you aren't alone.
This doesn't go to say that there is anything wrong with being gay, straight or somewhere in between. I just didn't know an in between existed. Movies don't talk about in-betweens. They so cutely touch on the girl who "experimented in college", or Miley Cyrus's explorations with men and women, but at the time—neither of which I felt like I resonated with.
In my mind though, I wish it would have been easier. I wish that being intimate and loving humans was more simple than how it feels. Of course, I am the one over here making it messy I suppose.
So if you need a label for me, It's Rachel. because that is who I am.
A passionate business owner who loves the shit out of coffee and bacon. A mom who loves to paint dinosaurs and watch Spider man 98453640x. A woman on a mission to empower other women to love their bodies. That's who the fuck I am.
My sexuality, doesn't make me a better or worse business owner, mother or coach.
I am me, in all of my different phases of life, I will love me ,through all of my phases of life—even when they don't make sense.
Most importantly, I will sit with it all. Instead of watching every youtube video of a sexually confused person, and trying to wrap my brain around the fact that my love looks different than your love—I want to sit with it all. Tune in, to myself, and let what arises be okay.
Being in the work of self love, it's moments like these that really teach me what that feels and looks like. In the moments where I feel broken, I will show myself compassion because deep down, I know I'm not broken. I just like humans.
Here's to love, because that shit is messy AF. We are all just trying to figure it out (I know I am), aren't we?
Oh and if you were hoping for a clear answer, here's what I know:
I'm not broken, though some days I feel like it.
Gay and straight are just words, and labels confuse me. With that, I like humans. My ex-boyfriend once asked, "what do you find most attractive about a partner?". I said "that's not how it works with me, I don't care how cheesy it sounds but it's a human's personality and soul that matters to me." You can be handsome and beautiful, and have an ugly soul." So, I'm none of the above—I know, how annoying.
Rachel. Just Rachel.