The Ins and Outs of Coming Out

I know I said I was going to write, and then I didn’t. Well surprise, surprise! I am sorry for that, transitioning to a new job really threw off my writing schedule. It’s hard to write a really inspiring post (jokes) when you work all day, and then come home tired. Doesn’t really help the bit of writer’s block I have been going through.

I did think this was an important topic to write on, and that is what made me decide to put my digital pen to paper and get going today. Coming out is something I feel like I talk about frequently, and I figured maybe writing some of those things out might help others struggling to do so!

A couple things before I jump on my soapbox here. First, I am not licensed to give advice in any way. I am not a therapist, nor any kind of counselor. I am simply someone who came out, and learned a ton in the process. Take this advice as you like, and as always I’ll try and keep it semi humorous!

Another point is that this is not my coming out story; it’s more about some things I have learned in the process. If I get a lot of feedback to post my personal story I will, but it’s definitely something personal that I don’t want to just put out there.

I think the most important thing I learned when I came out was that I felt this pressure to come out to everyone. It was kind of like once I had come out in my own head, there was this sense of obligation. Over the years, I have realized this was definitely something in my own head. You are not obligated in any way to come out to anyone that you don’t want to. I think many people feel like they’re required to do this mass coming out, and you’re not! The way I think about it is that a straight person wouldn’t introduce themselves and say “Hi, I’m so and so, and I’m straight”. That’s pretty dumb right? I agree. Coming out is an extremely personal decision and you should never feel pressured to tell anyone you’re not comfortable telling!

Another thing that I’ve always been told is that coming out means sitting down with someone and nervously telling them you’re gay. This is another huge misconception in my book! Honestly, I don’t really “come” out to people. but when they ask who I’m dating will simply tell them my girlfriend’s (wait, now fiance? more to come on that) name. Coming out to anyone can be as big or as small as you’d like it to be. I consider my sexuality to be really a small part of me, so I don’t feel the need to have to formally come out. After all, I’m a Libra, I’m short, I have green eyes, I love wine, and I’m gay. It’s just not that big of a deal to me.

When I first came out, I remember people asking so many questions, and I remembered feeling really put off by this. It took a while, but I realized that they were only asking these questions because they wanted to understand better. Often, it really can feel like you’re being attacked, but I think that ultimately those asking the questions simply want to understand. The people that are there to support you will have questions. I think this was my biggest misconception with coming out, that I would just come out and everyone would just shrug it off like it’s nothing. And for some people this may be the case. But it wasn’t for me, and I have answered a ton of questions since my own coming out.

It’s also completely okay to not know the answers to these questions. My mother asked me when I came out who walked down the aisle at a lesbian wedding….honestly, I still don’t know the answer to that one. It’s okay to say “I don’t know!”. In the end, it’s entirely up to you as to what you’re comfortable and uncomfortable talking about.

Well, that’s all I have for now, but I’m sure I will always have more thoughts on this topic. I’d love to know what your experiences with coming out have been! As always feel free to drop a line so that I don’t feel like I’m completely talking to myself here in Internet land 🙂

I probably am.

Coming up:

Big news aka I’m engaged! All the details to come campers!

Resolutions, Big News, and as always, Dogs

I am the worst, I am aware guys. Here I come with my big announcement about promising to post way more, and then I fall off the map for forever. If you’re imagining my short and stout self, please know that i’m begging for forgiveness. I’m so sorry! I hope other bloggers have run into this, but i fell into a bit of a dry writer’s spell. Ignore the obvious sexual connotation there please. Ya dirty birds.

So, let me start from the beginning. I have always been a big believer in not writing if you have nothing to write about. I know people say that you should write everyday, but I really don’t think that fits every writer. Really, every brain is different, and if its like mine it goes about 90 MPH. If you’re like me, major life events puts a huge stop on your creativity. And that’s exactly what happened. I was going through some stuff, and honestly I had nothing to write about. When I’m not emotionally intact, I don’t feel like I write great content. Honestly, it would be really fragmented, horribly spelled, garbage. And no one wants that hot mess on their feed. Consider that my apology, and now I’ll tell you why.

Honestly, the past month or so I just wasn’t very happy. Things at work had gotten really bad, and it was starting to come over into my personal life. I know people say that you should keep work and personal life separate, but its really hard to just be in a good mood after you’ve had an awful day. I felt like I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing anymore, and that the negativity from work was just making me miserable. I stayed in this mental pit for a couple weeks, before coming to the conclusion it was time to look for a new job. As a new graduate, I immediately thought, “what if I can’t find another job?!” So i started looking, and for a while heard nothing back. This only dug the mental pit deeper, and without the encouragement from the lady and family, I would’ve stopped looking altogether. But, as I’ve discovered the universe always has a plan. Out of the blue, I got a call from an incredible company in Charleston that I had looked at before. They had an opening, and wanted to interview me! Sometimes, the universe may take a metaphorical dump on you (not sure how that might be literal-sorry for the plethora of awful metaphors) I went through the interview and low and behold they gave your girl the job! Not only was this an incredible opportunity, but it made me excited to go to work again, and that was huge.

I think that negativity can truly do so much to destroy a person’s life. It was only when i started my new job did I realize that you do ultimately have the power to change bad things in your life. So it’s time for me to impart some wisdom on your angelic souls, because sharing is caring:

If you do not like something in your life, you are allowed to change it. You don’t need to explain or validate why you’re changing it.

So my biggest resolution was to start a new job and adventure which I’ve done. The lady and I have also decided we are going to stop cramming ourselves full of junk and eating better. And honestly, i feel loads better! I am not a fan of dieting but I am a fan of making healthy changes. I’m sure I’ll be talking about that soon.

And no, I didn’t cut out wine. Because I love wine. Next!

To make up for my perpetually grumpy leave of absence I’ve attached some pictures from the holidays. It involves the dog looking very cute, and me looking more or less presentable. Story of my life.

-C

Dennis didn't really understand what fetching is, but I sure do now.

Dennis didn’t really understand what fetching is, but I sure do now.

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First Christmas. He got more gifts than I did. Is this what having children is like??

Go Pats!

Go Pats!

Paint Expectations (like Great Expectations…get it?)

This is a story about deciding what you want, and getting it.

Just kidding, this is a story about getting piss ass drunk, getting a wild idea, following through, and having a great outcome.

I know kids, it’s the feel good story of 20 friggin’ 14!

Most people associate “wild” ideas with getting tattoos, or getting married, or getting a car. What was my wild idea?

Re-painting the cabinets! I know, I hope you were all sitting down when you read that. It all started one Friday night, when the lady and I had a main entree of wine and a side of actual food, and of course were watching HGTV.

“You know what?!” I stuttered, reaching for the now sippy cup my wine was in (I had previously lost my privileges for drinking wine out of glass objects). I couldn’t tell if the lady couldn’t stop staring at my red stained teeth, or was just waiting for the synapses in my brain to piece together my next sentence.

“We should re- do the cabinets!” I declared ….and cue gesturing grandly, knocking over everything on the coffee table. I also lost the right to drink on the couch that night.

It wasn’t a horrible idea, in fact it was something I had always meant to do, but in the war of renovation, you have to pick your battles.

Previously, the cabinets were standard white, and stained with cooking disasters from the previous residents. I’ll put that hot mess here:

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Here are my steps for successfully re-painting your cabinets:

1. Decide what color you actually want to paint them. I suggest doing this sober, as our drunken color ideas were probably not too solid. In the end, we decided to do an off white on the top, and a gray on bottom. I know, crazy right?

2. Go to Lowes, and try to resist the urge to not gauge your eyes out with a paint stirrer when you see that there are indeed one MILLION shades of white, and two BILLION shades of gray. Insert Fifty Shades of Gray joke here. Actually, more like Fifty Shades of WHAT THE FRIGGITY FRACK IS THE DIFFERENCE?!

3. After successfully leaving your eyeballs in tact, laugh at all the ridiculous names of the paint samples. Seriously, the white we chose was called Quail Egg.

I know, just let that sink in. I would love to know what poor Lowes Employee had to crawl their ass up a tree to see what color a Quail Egg is?!

4. Sit for a week pondering about how in the actual hell you are going to paint the entire kitchen. Doubt yourself. Doubt your existence.

5. Finally, come to your senses and wait till your one day Father-in-Law visits, and just so happens to be a cabinet maker. Make sad eyes. Conveniently have to go to work so that girlfriend and father can bond, and paint cabinets.

6. Come home and obsess over beautiful cabinets.

I know, I know, I totally opted out of that one. But would they really have been that beautiful if I had helped? Probably not. The reason this has taken so long to post (other than the fact I’ve been too busy drooling over cabinets) is that we also go a kitchen full of brand new appliances!! And a big reveal wouldn’t be the same without them. So here it is!!

 

My two favorite things: coffee and non leaking fridges.

My two favorite things: coffee and non leaking fridges.

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After having to listen to a dishwasher that sounds like cannon fire every time it runs, this is a dream come true. If anyone needs me, I’ll be drinking wine and staring at the kitchen.

I’m still drinking it out of a sippy cup.

-C

If anyone is interested in learning more about kitchen painting, drinking a ton of wine, or both, please feel free to comment!

The Turkey-pacolypse: Thanksgiving 2014

Hello campers,

I’m sorry for the amount of time it took for me to write this all, but I just woke up from my wine and leftover food coma that I’ve been in for the week. I hope everyone’s Thanksgivings were great! In case you were interested, this is how my first Thanksgiving away from home went:

Actually, everything turned out awesome! Surprising, because usually everything I touch breaks or bursts into flames, but thankfully I have found a lady who is pretty much Martha Freaking Stewart. We started prepping everything the Monday before Thanksgiving, and we found this to be incredibly helpful. As I found, you will have way more things to do on the actual Thanksgiving day, so anything you can prep before hand helps. Here’s what we prepped in advance:

Place settings- I was informed that Chinet and China were not the same thing.

Place settings- I was informed that Chinet and China were not the same thing.

Finally got to use my Fancy place mats!

Finally got to use my Fancy place mats!

 

We also decided to put the food out onto the bar of our kitchen, because our kitchen is tiny, and there was no way we are all going to get in there to stuff our faces. We used a chalkboard runner, which is AWESOME because you get to draw and write all over it! It made for a really easy and creative way to display all the food. Doesn’t hurt that it was also 10 bucks!

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Because wine is important, and should always be clearly marked

Because wine is important, and should always be clearly marked

My AMAZING sangria!

My AMAZING sangria!

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The chalkboard paper ended up working great, and was ridiculously easy to do. For anyone who isn’t very crafty (me) it is an easy way to spice up the table!

Yeah, yeah, yeah….but how did the turkey look?

Well, after about five hours of worrying and googling everything turkey related, I would say it turned out pretty awesome. The reason is probably because I had nothing to do with the turkey, except making it dance on the counter top. The lady was not impressed. But here it is!

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I’m not a turkey expert, but that’s a good looking turkey!

 

To say the least, after a combination of turkey, sangria, and everything else, I was in a catatonic state to say the least. But the day itself was relaxing and full of time to think about what the holiday is really about. It’s about having someone that loves you enough not to kill you for dressing up the turkey. It’s for the Dad who doesn’t mind 40,000 phone calls about what on earth giblets are, or if there are illegal substances smuggled into a sketchy bag inside of the turkey (no worries, they weren’t!). I think that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in work and school, that it’s important to have a day to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I’m so happy I got to spend Thanksgiving with the person I love, and that we’ll have many more to celebrate.

 

What I'm really thankful for (PS, the lady is on the right, if you can't tell!)

What I’m really thankful for (PS, the lady is on the right, if you can’t tell!)

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Also thankful for this.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and had a great holiday! On the next episode of The Hot Mess Express…..

THE KITCHEN REDEMPTION, or the kitchen cabinets get re painted.

Stay tuned. It could get ugly.

-C

 

To the one I never Met

To the one I never met-

I never met you, yet I have stared at your picture countless times.

I always wonder if you looked like the photographs.

I never met you, but I’ve heard stories of you.

Each one different, tinged in happiness and in sadness.

I never met you, but I wondered what you were like.

Were you the good stories, or the bad stories, or both?

I never met you, but you made me angry.

How could you cause such destruction so whimsically?

I never met you, but you made me sad.

Didn’t you ever tire of living life like a two sided mirror?

I never met you, but you saved me.

You brought me to someone who made me whole when I was nothing but organs encased in skin.

I never met you but I wish I had.

You seemed chaotic and stoic and wild and calm all at the same time.

You were a hurricane of emotions, wonderful and terrifying all at once.

I never met you, but I wish I could talk to you.

I wish I could tell you that everything ended up alright.

I never met you, but I feel a strange connection to you.

You were the catalyst that made my life better, and without you, there’d be no her.

I never met you, but I wish I could thank you.

You taught her to love, and to enjoy life. You taught her to be brave, and to hold tight to the things she believed in.

And in return, she taught me those things too.

This is the Weekend Report!

Like the Lion King, except I think it was “The Morning Report”. Get it? No? Too obscure? Okay, moving on:

First off, to those Monday-Friday worker bees (like me), congrats! You made it through the work week! If you’re like me, you spend Saturday reveling in the fact that you’re not working but around 4 PM on Sunday will sink into a state of dread knowing you will be back at work the next day.

Anyways, being that this is the weekend before the big Turkey Day, there are a lot of things we have to do. For one, we must actually obtain the Turkey we plan to feast on. This was news to me, seeing that I always had Thanksgiving at home, I was under the impression that the Turkey just appeared. Wrong, as usual Celeste. On top of going frozen turkey-hunting, I’ll also be hunting down the sangria supplies as well, cause that sangria ain’t gonna make itself!

The other big item the lady and I are tackling are doing some upgrades to the kitchen. Since i have severe trust issues after the experience of renovating the condo, we will be doing these ourselves. So, thank God they’re only minor. We’ll be adding back splash to the kitchen, as well as painting the bottom cabinets gray. I’m addicted to HGTV and two tone kitchen cabinets always look good in those giant kitchens! Of course, if the Property Brothers want to stop by and take care of that I wouldn’t mind either. In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I’ll put some pictures here, as well as pictures of the actual event in the next post. This should be interesting……

Ohhh….Ahhhhh. Except this kitchen is 3 times the size of mine.

Happiness, and Weird Ways of Finding It

I think happiness is a tricky emotion, and I have struggled with it for a long time. The holidays always are a time for me to review the year and everything that has happened. It also serves as an emotional checkpoint for me. I think this checkpoint for me is the most important to date because I finally feel comfortable with myself, and most importantly, happy!

I think happiness is something that evolves as we  evolve. I think that the things that made me happy years ago don’t really do so now. I can remember when getting good grades made me happy (those were the days!) and now, getting a paycheck makes me very happy. But most importantly, I feel comfortable with who I am, and that makes me happiest of all.

For a long time, I struggled with what it meant to be happy. I struggled with being a person that made others happy, but not myself. False

Me, hugging Dennis the Dog. Because why not? Also, Dennis was not having it.

Me, hugging Dennis the Dog. Because why not? Also, Dennis was not having it.

happiness is a very real thing, but unfortunately its results just aren’t that satisfying. For a long time, I thought that maybe I just wasn’t meant to be happy. I struggled with coming out and depression, and in my mind, I thought that happiness was just something other people found. It took a lot of bumps in the road for me to realize, that ultimately, I was my own road bump. I used my identity and my depression as crutches to avoid trying to  be happy. I think I was scared of being happy, and to this day I really don’t understand why. But I took the first step and I reached out, and asked for help. I began to doing research, and finding out gay role models and following their stories. YouTube was a huge outlet for me, and I still follow many LGBT accounts like Kaelyn and Lucy and What Wegan Did Next. I’ve never met these people but they showed me that it’s possible to be yourself and be happy. I’ve linked their YouTube pages here as well, so if you’re interested I highly recommend their videos! I’ve often toyed with the idea of one day starting my own YouTube channel, so i’d certainly be interested if anyone has any thoughts on that.

Wow, I just completely strayed from the point I was trying to make. Back to Business!

I think that for me, I had to be brave to be happy. I had to have a lot of uncomfortable talks, lose some friends, and eventually gain a lot more. I had to learn to be proud of who I am, and my mother has always said that once you’ve gotten yourself together, the right person will come a long. And she did! If you had told me that 5 years ago, I would’ve said HELL NAH! If you told me I would be writing about this five years ago, I would’ve said HELL NAH! But I did, and I think if it’s something you’re struggling with, you can too. Sometimes, you have to bet on yourself, and take a risk.

As always, I appreciate the feedback and everyone who visits the blog! Thank you!

And also,  HAPPY FRIDAY!

-C

It’s that time again….

You know what I’m talking about:

The holidays, and everything that come with them.    

With this being the week before Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think that the holiday season is upon us. For one, I have a question. How did Thanksgiving go from the Pilgrims and Indians enjoying a meal together to me stuffing myself to the brim with turkey and becoming catatonic on my couch?

I don’t know, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This Thanksgiving is going to be different, because it will be the first one that I don’t spend at home. That’s right, Celeste is throwing on her big girl pants and having her own Turkey Day. I know, what could go wrong?

The reason I’m staying in Charleston is that my lady and I are having our first Thanksgiving together. Seeing that she’ll be loading up the dogsled to head back to Maine for Christmas, this is the holiday we’ll get to be together. Also, her Dad is coming into town, so he’ll be staying with us and having Thanksgiving as well. The lady is an incredible cook, and well, I basically have to wear a bib when eating, so she’ll be handling the brunt of the cooking. However, I am preparing my own covered dish.

When I say covered, I mean uncovered. When I say dish, I mean bowl. And when I say solid, I mean liquid. Cause I’m making sangria.

Ain’t no Turkey day like a boozy Turkey  day, am I right?

I think the holidays bring up a lot of feelings, and lately I think I’m feeling a sense of nostalgia. Thanksgiving means spending time with the people who mean most to you and eating a drinking a ton…if you’re my family at least. This is the Thanksgiving I have grown up with. This is my first Thanksgiving away, and I feel like I’m finally on my own path. This is the first Thanksgiving I’ll spend with the person I want to be with forever, and we’ll be creating our own traditions. Which will mainly consist of eating and drinking a ton.

Maybe it’s not so different after all….

What kind of plans do you guys have for Thanksgiving? What kind of traditions do you have? Who has an amazing sangria recipe??

Until Later, gobble gobble gobble!

A Great Day for South Carolina and Equality

Have you ever had a day that started out horribly? That made you dread just what fresh hell the rest of the day could bring?

That was my morning. You see, my lady and I seem to be running a close business to Noah’s Ark in our home. We have 2 cats, and a dog (which you saw earlier) and about 1,000 sq ft to contain them.

I know, we might be animal hoarders. In case you want a look at the critters, I’ve put them below:

 

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Dennis the Dog

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Thing 1 and Thing 2

 

The cats are the rulers of the roost, and though Dennis the Dog is rather big, he still cowers at the sight of the two kitties. The kitty that made my morning so miserable is the large black one. This demon’s name is Mishka. You could say Mishka values the finer things in life. For example, refusing to drink water out of a bowl, and only from a running faucet. He also likes to sing opera at odd hours of the morning. Which is exactly what he did this morning, at 5 AM. Though he does a mean rendition of Pucnini, it was not the way I wanted to wake up.

To make matters worse, our garbage disposal also decided to go on the fritz this morning. Why, world, why? I am gloriously domestically challenged, and by that I mean that I thought “check engine” in your car meant to physically check to see if the engine was there.

I’m pretty dumb.

Aside from these two setbacks, I went to work, only imagining what else could go wrong. But, I got a pleasant surprise. A Federal Judge in Columbia, SC has overturned SC’s marriage ban!!! In case you want the details, the link is here. This is huge for gay couples in the state, and obviously for me. You see, I grew up under the impression that the role of government was to reward the people for following the rules. So i followed them. I stayed in school, went to a public university (go cougars!) and got a job after graduation. And I cry every time my paycheck arrives cut in half from taxes. I did all the right things, but I couldn’t marry in my home state. Explain to me how that’s fair?

Human Rights Campaign

I am so overjoyed that South Carolina has finally realized that all kinds of love, are indeed love. When I think about marrying my lady one day, i don’t think about the fact that she’s a woman. I think about how great of a person she is, and all the adventures we will have. I think it’s time our views of marriage shift from a definition of gender, to qualities like fidelity and commitment. If two people are committed and wanting to spend their lives together, isn’t that enough?

To say the least, today’s events have made my day much better. This morning, I couldn’t marry in my home state, and now I can! What a great moment for equality, and South Carolina.

The Tricky Art of Being Yourself

I think as children we always have ideas of what we will be like as adults, what our lives will be like. For some reason, I imagined myself being a lot taller.

But I never imagined myself being gay. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I wasn’t gay then, in retrospect, I see now that there were clues all along. I always grew up being told that I should always strive to be myself, and no one else.

As I have discovered as an adult, this is much easier said than done.

Once I realized I was gay at the ripe old age of 17 (making high school really fun) I was faced with a moral dilemma. Because unfortunately in the small town I grew up in, being yourself did not mean being your gay self. What if being myself didn’t fit in with other’s expectations? I struggled through college with this idea as well. Basically i had two selves: my straight self and my real self. Suddenly being yourself felt like keeping the world’s biggest secret. It means constantly having to fabricate excuses and lies and pronouns to cover the truth. And I’m not that clever to begin with, so this was really difficult for me. But humor aside, secrets are heavy. After years of carrying them, i felt my back straining under the weight. So I made a decision when I began coming out to my family and friends, that I would only be my real self.

I did this about as gracefully as I would dance in the Russian Ballet.

It was awkward, and clumsy and horrible. How do you say, “i know i’ve been telling you i’m straight all these years, but actually i am utterly and completely gay. any questions?”

There were lots of questions, and lots of feelings. But with all of these awkward and uncomfortable moments, i realized that one by one I was shedding the secrets that had made their home on my back for so long. As each one disappeared, I walked a little taller, and I felt a little lighter.

When I started to be myself, I thought the world would end and the town’s folk would chase me out of the city with pitchforks. But really, it was the opposite. I moved to a liberal city and was met with a lot of support and acceptance. Life went on, and I went on. Looking back now, I can’t imagine going back to that double life, not when my life is so great now.

I’m not a therapist, nor am I qualified to give any advice. Unless you need help choosing a clearance wine at Target on 8:00 on a Tuesday night, cause I’ve got your back!

However, I do have experience, and experience has taught me this. No matter how scary or how unorthodox it is, being your authentic self is the absolute best thing in the world. Because that self is the most beautiful version of you. I hope if you’re reading this and going through anything similar, know that you’re not alone. There’s a community who all have your back. If anyone reading this ever needs someone to listen, my proverbial door is always open. I would say physically, but it’s cold y’all and heat ain’t cheap! I’ve put the link to my bio page here, and this includes my contact info. Trust me, I’ll do a happy dance in my fuzzy slippers if I hear from you!

I hope that wasn’t too preachy. Or stupid. It was probably both.

-Celeste