I meant to post this last Friday or Saturday, but stuff happened.
Anyway, it’s now been roughly two years since I started blogging. (The actual anniversary was last week. Though as far as WordPress is concerned, it’ll be a little later, ’cause I started out on a different site and re-posted all my earlier posts here in the first day or two.) Obviously, in the past few months, it’s slowed to the barest of trickles, but things are weird right now and my house is a disaster in progress, plus it’s crazy hot, which makes me not want to do anything. So once the weather cools off and my house gets less horrible and being back in school makes my life return to a schedule and I adjust to being employed as well as being a student, I should hopefully be able to settle back into a groove. (Y’know, I think I needed more commas in that sentence…)
I will post the myth of Arachne this week, even if I must flog myself in the face to do it. (Sounds painful. Good thing I don’t own anything to flog with..)
Okay, so that’s the blogging business taken care of. Now for the rest of the post, I want to look at myself now vs. two years ago. (So if you don’t care about my self-analysis (and who would?) you can stop reading now. I’ll even put in a read-more tag here to make it easier.)
When I decided to start a blog, it was to be an online journal of sorts, daily posts across the last year of my 30s. At the time, I honestly thought I was still going to try and find a romance, so that I wouldn’t still be a virgin on hitting 40.
The thing is, I didn’t. I didn’t even try. I thought about signing up for some online dating services, and even tried one for about 2 hours (maybe less), but that’s as far as it went.
In the past four or five or maybe six months, I’ve been thinking about that. More specifically, I’ve been trying to figure out quite what I should call myself. Our society, as most people are probably aware, has an excessive fondness for labeling people. Not content with labeling others, we’re supposed to self-label. We can’t really help it; it’s culturally ingrained behavior.
But how do I self-label my sexuality? Calling myself “heterosexual” would be a lie, because I’m also attracted to women. But calling myself “bisexual” would be misleading, because it implies that I have had — or expect to have in the future — relationships of a romantic or sexual nature with other people, presumably of both sexes. But to call myself “asexual” or “nonsexual” (is there a difference between those two?) would also be incorrect, because it’s not a lack of interest in sex, as such.
Honestly, how to self-label my sexuality shouldn’t bother me. I’m not on the dating market, and I’m both fat and ugly, so no one’s going to start making passes at me forcing me to decide where I fall on the sexuality scale.
But the thing is that in the past year and a half or so, I’ve been increasingly drawn to LGBT issues. Politically, those are the issues that most interest me (okay, actually, current politics are more like a bad joke, so it’s hard to call me interested in anything except maybe waking up and finding out it’s all been a nightmare), and I find myself more interested in watching/writing/playing things with LGBT romances than hetero romances. (Seriously, I’ve backed a number of games on Kickstarter in the past year, and all the ones that are visual novels are either same-sex only, or offer the option of romances with either sex.) That being the case, sooner or later I feel like someone’s bound to ask me “so are you a lesbian?” or “so you’re bi?” and what am I supposed to say to that? Because as I said, calling myself “asexual” would feel incorrect: I’m very interested in sex, so long as I’m not the one having it.
Which sounds really creepy when I put it like that.
It’s just that I’m only interested in sex at the fantasy stage, I guess. Because then it’s someone else having sex. Someone more interesting and better looking. Ultimately, I’d never be able to respect anyone who was romantically or sexually interested in me, and I think that’s always been the case, though I’ve only recently become aware of it. But as far back as I can remember, I’ve never had a firm fantasy about me being in a relationship with another person. As a little girl, I would have vague expectations about growing up to get married and have children, but there was never anything solid to it. When I would fantasize about kissing someone (y’know, back when I was too young to get quite what else there was), I was never me: I was someone else, the appropriate person to be kissed by the man in question. (So, usually, that meant I was Princess Leia, ’cause who else would Han Solo kiss?) And even now, when I lapse into the inevitable lewd fantasy, I never imagine that I’m the one being made love to by whoever I’m currently most interested in. (In fantasies and writing both, I tend to obsess over one couple and focus on them for however long the obsession lasts. In my post-college years, that’s probably had a maximum length of four or five years.) I still always imagine that I’m the appropriate partner for that person. (Which has had the creepy side effect that sometimes I’ve had to imagine that I’m a man, ’cause sometimes my favored pairing is male-male.)
So I have no idea where that leaves me, should the question of my sexuality ever be asked. Hopefully, it won’t be asked. But what if it is? I mean, it’s okay at work, if one of the other employees asks me about that, ’cause there’s only three of them (at the moment), and I know them well enough to feel pretty comfortable talking to them, and I could explain my odd state a lot more efficiently than I did just now. (I’m always at my most verbose when it’s words on a computer screen.) But if I’m asked by someone I don’t know well enough to talk freely to? Nightmare in progress, y’know?
Sometimes, this worry has led to the worry of “what am I going to do when I get old with no children to take care of me” but lately it’s hard to worry about that. I’m not going to get old. The condition in my arms is getting worse, and the pain doctor basically told me just yesterday that they have now exhausted all their possible solutions. So no one knows what’s causing it or how to make it better. And — of course — no one else cares, because it’s not them having to deal with this, and they can’t understand just how horrible this is. They don’t know what it’s like not to be able to lie down to go to sleep at night without tossing and turning for hours, trying to find the one position that might not be so insanely uncomfortable/painful that sleep becomes impossible. I’m lucky if I get four or five hours of sleep a night, and that’s been the case for years. I don’t think they get that.
And I don’t think they get that I can’t keep up like this forever. Because the condition keeps getting worse. It’s in fits and spurts, yes, but it does keep getting worse. And the worsening is spurred on by various other factors. Like stress. And hormones. So I’m going into an unpleasant semester that’s looking to be very work-intensive even though I’m only taking one course, and my shift from volunteer to employee status has meant that I’m working more hours and doing more unpleasant/boring/difficult stuff, and can no longer just call in and say “yeah, I don’t feel like showing up today.” So my stress meter is constantly climbing. And my hormones? My mother said she started the process of going into menopause when she was 40. I’m now 41. I’m pretty sure that the hormones go bats$%@ crazy right before they give up and go away. So my condition is bound to take a strong turn for the worse very soon.
And it’s already so bad that I have to wrap ice packs around my arm just to drive to and from work, to sleep at night, and sometimes just to get through the day.
So what the heck am I gonna do at school? I can’t take my ice pack to school with me. Okay, well, I could, but it would only be useful on the way there. Then I’d have to leave it in the car and let it get all warm, so it would be useless coming back. (Though, admittedly, my current class lets out late enough that it’ll be dark when it lets out, so it’s less of an issue. The sun streaming through the car window onto my arm is like the thing cruel little kids do with magnifying glasses and ants.)
I didn’t intend this to be such a griping session.