I don’t believe in God but I do believe the universe is more than just random chaos. I’ve noticed something about myself lately, which I think goes for lots of other people too: We seldom trust the universe. We often operate as if what we would like (or what we fear) to be true is true instead of operating as if what we know to be true is true.
I would like to offer you 10 truths I’ve been struggling to own up to, and I encourage you to scan your own life for true things you may be choosing to ignore.
Ready? Let’s hold hands.
Number 1: Someday I will be middle-aged. I was talking about participants in a group recently and I said, “They were mostly middle-aged.” Then I had a horri-fying thought: Am I middle-aged? People assure me that if it’s based on your life expectancy then 30 is surely not middle-aged. I have a friend who aspires to be a centenarian. Except for the fact that I might live to see “that’s so gay” and “you’re retarded” finally come off the list of acceptable playground taunts, the idea of 100 years on the planet is overwhelming. Maybe I want 30 to be middle-aged after all. Did you know there is a life expectancy calculator on the net?
Number 2: I will never be cool. I watched Canada’s Next Top Model — only once, I swear — where this girl was directed to do a photo shoot dressed as a geek and she said, “Some of us were just born cool. I can’t possibly play a geek, I don’t know how to not look cool.” The opposite is true for me. I need to start marching with the queer librarians in the Dyke March. I always thought they were so cool.
Number 3: I am never going to be the queer supermom I envisioned before I had a kid. I thought we’d be all organics, no TV, gender-neutral clothing, cloth diapers, no commercial toys, bury-the-placenta-under-a-tree-in-the-backyard kind of moms. Well, the dogs ripped up the tree I planted, cloth diapers are way too heavy to carry on the TTC, our relatives buy pink clothes and we are all in love with Elmo’s World. Now I’m the kind of mom who buys street meat and gives some to her kid on the way into Winners.
Don’t get me wrong, we do tons of amazing stuff with Gracie — festivals, playgrounds, the cottage — but we’ve also figured out that being a mom isn’t the only job we have to do every day, and if there are ways to make that job easier, we don’t resist them and everyone is happier.
Number 4: Somewhere in the world a queer person is always being denied freedom. I am lucky to live here, lucky to be employed at The 519 and writing for Xtra, lucky to have a child, lucky to be married, lucky to be able to kiss my partner on crowded street corners without fearing for my life. This means I do not have the right to choose when I fight the homophobia in my own environment. I do not have the right to quit working with vulnerable people and get a job at the bank. I don’t have the right to be ungrateful, even on my depressed days. I am lucky.
Number 5: This is the body I’ve got. I will never have another body. Even in Buddhism, I have to die before I get a new one. This is it for me in the body department.
Number 6: I don’t have to decide if I am a boy or a girl — not today, not tomorrow, not when I’m 80. True sexual freedom (which is what I am aspiring to have and what I trust my partner to provide) means I don’t have to choose, and it doesn’t make me less of anything. I can love having a cock made of silicone and enjoy my own breasts.
Number 7: Some self-help books are helpful, even when the author is a straight, white man. I would appreciate it if the straight, white author didn’t put his smug face on the cover of the book, but it doesn’t make the book any less useful.
Number 8: The world is a better place for my child than it was for me as a child. I can’t assume I know how things will be for her, in school with two moms, a product of her mummy and a sperm-bank donation. My own experience has taught me fear, but the truth is I don’t know how it’s going to be.
Number 9: The only thing I stand to lose in therapy is the idea that therapy is for losers.
Number 10: I can change my mind about anything I’ve written here.
Phew, I feel so much better! Thank you for taking that journey with me. “The truth will set you free” is a biblical quote and a little cheesy so I don’t want to use it, but the truth, is it’s true. So there you go.