N and I have a date planned for the day after I get back. L has officially moved there as well. About 75% of me is already planning out the next year of my life with N, including eventually moving down and in with her next year. I wish I was joking, or not taking this as seriously as I want it to turn out to be.
Taking this year from sex and moving to a different state (even if it was only for a few months) feels more than necessary. At first, I took a break from sex and relationships because I wasn’t interested in anyone, and hugely depressed. Then, when the depression transformed into a bipolar diagnosis, my focus warped around that news and how to live and deal with it. As the months have stretched on, I tried a few dates with guys and a girl and still nothing stuck. So I read more, and got on a normal sleeping schedule, and cooked more, and moved across the country for the summer. And things didn’t change much at first. I still had to work out here, I still drank and made instant friends with the rebel from work, as always. But slowly, things did start to change, inside. I started going places alone, forcing myself at first, but still going. Going to restaurants, bars, going dancing, exploring different cities (Taos, Santa Fe) , taking local transit, even traveling 8 hours to spend the night, Airbnb style, in Santa Fe, alone. I stopped worrying who was judging me for eating or traveling alone to the point where I don’t even think about it anymore.
I’m to the point where I deeply enjoy being alone, not because I don’t want anyone else, but because I’ve come to love myself that much. What started as depression and pulling away from relationships has become the best (and longest) relationship I’ve ever held, and it’s been with myself.
Since I was young, I’ve always had a vice. Porn, alcohol, drugs. When I lost my virginity at 18, I really lost it. At first, I slept with a few men out of heartbreak. Then dated a few, badly. I was terrible at relationships. Then cheated on one with another guy. Then really spiraled. I’ve slept with nearly 30 people, and I eventually expect that number to grow. There was no break in the sex either. Maybe a few months, that being the longest break in time since 18. Until last December, thats when I officially stopped. I’ve still drank and smoked a few scattered times while being out here this summer, but nothing sexual.
This is the most important thing I’ve done for myself. I know myself now. I know my beauty, my worth, my strengths, the things that have made me brave, that I’m more than my fear or my diagnosis, that it’s still possible for me to grow.
I found out the little silly things that take away from who you define yourself as. How I don’t only have to like beer because it makes me seem cooler to guys. Hell, I’m allowed to take myself to a fancy, candlelight farm-to-table restaurant alone, only to figure out that their homemade Strawberry Kombucha and Bourbon cocktail is a $12 drink to be proud of.
How I don’t have to propose my coming out as bisexual as a question if the other person is okay with it or not. I’m fucking queer and I’m not afraid of your reaction. I intend to date this girl because I really fucking like her and I just need you to know this about me now so you don’t have to figure out on Facebook, because I do value you.
How important it is to keep writing and drawing, not just saying it’s something you like to do. How cool it really is to love poetry so much that when someone asks what your favorite artist is, your automatic response is to list off a spoken word poet because you know that counts as music.
How important it is to know and love your body. To know how strong your bones are, and how many bruises they can birth. How much fun it is to finally get a visible tattoo, one that you see daily that simply reminds you how badass you are.
To enjoy your own touch.
I love myself. It was important to take this time in order to fall in love with myself. Whoever I come to date, to sleep with, to marry in the future will only be a compliment to the love that’s already inside me.