blog by ViJo

I’m back… It has been a while since I hung up the keyboard to focus on other things, but it is time I returned to something I am passionate about… blogging. I don’t have an agenda, or topic of focus, I just write about whatever I am feeling in the moment.

2020

I had such hope for 2020 because 2019 sucked. Although, in retrospect, I will take 2019 back. Alas, there is no time machine, no TARDIS to transport me back to a time I unknowingly took for granted. I say “sucked” but it really was not that bad. I just wanted and needed a new chapter, and the start of a new decade seemed like a good place to begin. I know I was not alone in this thought, so many people were expecting a better tomorrow with 2020.

Needing a new chapter, for me, was like needing to come up for air after being underwater for a little bit. I was not drowning, I was doing okay. I was just going with the flow, but it was time for oxygen. Setting a date, such as 2020, set everything up for failure. I put too much pressure on a date; on an idea that is merely an expression of time. However, 2020 has been really, really bad. 2020 has not possessed the healing, and life altering power I had hoped for, instead it has thrown down some ugly punches.

Pandemic. Mic drop. Show is over. Everyone, go home.

In the early stages of quarantine, I felt uneasy. With places closing, such as theaters, museums, trails, parks… everything! I was not doing well. I needed to find something I could do within the confines of the safety parameters. Going for walks and being mindful of social distancing was an easy way to get out of the house to get exercise and fresh air. So, one early misty Saturday morning in mid-April, I took my dog for a walk. 2020…. 2020 is the year that broke me. Literally smashed me and snapped me. That, my friends, is a story for another day.

Murder. Protests. Riots… more murder… I have been quiet on this front. It is not because I do not care, it is because I care SO much. I care about equality and I care about humanity. Everyone has a voice and a right to be alive. There is a quote, believed to have originally stated by George Santayana in 1905, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It breaks my heart and rips my soul that humanity continues to not only repeat history, but refuses to learn from it. It is not until we realize the mistakes we have made, and identify the awful injustices we continue to commit, that we will end this war on humanity. There is a need, but the need cannot be met without a want and a drive for change.

The placebo effect is exactly what I had intended to experience crossing the time line from 2019 to 2020. I am an educated adult with realistic expectations. I, personally, do not believe in magic, however I believe in the power of thought. Believing in something and wanting a specific outcome is the ground work for change. Application of an idea and manipulating the variables within ourselves makes change happen. 2020 was my placebo and I was ready for that psychosomatic high. It was going to give me the energy to swim to the surface; I was going to get the breath of oxygen I knew I deserved.

Almost eight months into this promising new decade and I am deeper under water than I was when I cheered “Happy New Year!” to 2020. The lights on this bright new beginning dim with each passing day and hope feels like a dream I am trying to remember but am slowly forgetting. There was a need to come up for air, but not an emergent need. Now, my body is starting to feel the panic for oxygen. Poetically painful. Emotionally and physically wrecking. Life unhinged and simply falling apart. 2020, what is happening and why are you doing this?

Blaming a number, a year, for everything that has happened and continues to happen is easy. 2020 does not have cognition, no abilities to maliciously want to hurt me, or the world for that matter. 2020 cannot take back or apologize for the wrong doings caused, or, may continue to cause. 2020 is life reminding me what is important. 2020 has been a train wreck that has forced me to stop. Just stop and listen. It is not what I wanted it to be, and it continues to be one of the biggest struggles I have ever endured. If I do not walk away from this seeing and hearing the messages this year (alone) has been giving, then 2020 has not failed me… I have failed me.

An assumed NASA quote by Gene Kranz is “Failure is not an option.” Not saying that life is a pass or fail mission, it definitely is not. It is that falling down means getting back up. The beauty of life is forgiveness, chances to learn and grow from mistakes, failures and struggles. 2020 has smacked me across the face, grabbed me by the shirt and spoke to me in a stern tone. “The time is now,” it said, “to alter yourself and grow.” 2020 reminded me that life is here and gone in a heartbeat. Pain and struggles are real because the journey is not easy. There should never be shame or blame for having a hard time making it through a moment. Scars are stories about struggles and perseverance. I have a lot of scars because I have a lot of stories. I am here 2020, because I am a fighter, no matter how defeating the moment may seem. I woke up in 2020, a part of me did anyhow, the part of me that needed to wake up. The part that saw I was drowning. The part that, without hesitation, dove in to save itself.

2020, you suck. There is no denying that. The world is burning and crumbling. If the people do not realize that they, each and every one of them, obtain the control to stop it… I fear this is just the beginning of an epic saga. This is not a script to a movie. Unless we do something to stop it, it is going to continue to rage on. I can only do my part and I am working on it.

2020, I hear you.  

Coming Out of the Dark… for Cake

I am coming out of the dark, not only literally but figuratively as well. It has been such a long time since I have put my thoughts and feelings into words to share publicly. Time has evaporated; my babies are teens and my career has a solid foundation. I sit here in the middle of 2020 wondering what has happened to the world and to myself. There is global pandemic, the country is falling apart and I am wincing due to the pain shooting up from my shattered hip that is on the mend. In the darkness there is light… right? While I struggle to find the positives of everything happening in the world right now, I recognize there is good happening. We, as a world, absolutely need to stand up, be loud and stop unjust hate crimes that plague this planet. When the pandemic hit, the mantra “we are all in this together” meant camaraderie, support and peace. Through the protests and riots, this manta continues to hold meaning. Humanity has the ability to hear it; they just need to stop and listen.  

Coming out of the dark has a personal meaning for me.  As I continue to reach new levels of self-actualization, life becomes clearer. I understand why life had, and continues to have, certain struggles. Coming out of the dark is a realization of my sexual identity. I lived in the dark as many have lived in the closet. I have lived in a state of confusion regarding my sexual orientation since I can remember.

In my mid-twenties, I had watched a documentary on Alfred Hitchcock. The documentary talked about Alfred’s sexual orientation and his relationship with his wife. Alfred Hitchcock was reportedly sexually inactive for most of his life, alluding to a definition of asexuality. This information resonated throughout me. I was under the misconception that asexuals were automatically aromantic, and it was inspiring to find out that was not true. The seed was planted, but I was living in the dark, and my asexual awareness needed light to grow so it remained dormant.   

Being attracted to the LGBTQIA+ community was confusing in itself. Was I gay? Was I failing at romantic relationships because I did not want a male partner? Maybe I was bisexual? Pansexual? I was, and continue to be, attracted to members of the opposite sex… girls are shiny, just not romantically. Education and awareness regarding asexuality was not available to me, so I was grasping at what was. The dark just kept getting darker.  

Every relationship I was in imploded. I would lose momentum of trying to be someone I was not. Worse, I blamed my partners. I was conditioned believing “you just haven’t met the right guy yet.” I did meet the right guy and I married him. Unfortunately, like all my relationships before him, my marriage suffered. My life suffered and my world was a chaotic mess. I was with someone I admire and love (always and forever), but I was nasty and mean. Struggling to find balance and not understanding what I needed, created an individual I am not proud of being.   

The journey coming out of the dark has been rough and unsettling at times (more often than not). I threw hate at others for being confident in who they are because I was envious I could not be as strong. The stepping stones, as cracked and uneven as some were (some continue to be), have been my path out of the dark. I remember saying “I am asexual” out loud for the first time to a friend in the car just last year. I said it without conviction. I am still in the dark as most individuals I know do not know I am asexual. Why would they? I felt like a fool for wanting to come out of the dark. I felt like I would be judged for behaviors and actions that I did not take ownership of. I felt, who am I to jump into the LGBTQIA+ community? I felt like I was trying to take something that did not belong to me.

A pivot occurred, where I carefully and cautiously placed a foot gently into the light… I had a conversation with my oldest son, in Vegas, on his fifteenth birthday, regarding his sexual and romantic identities. My son never came out as asexual and aromantic; he just grew and developed naturally into himself. I came out to him as asexual heteroromantic, my heart filled with pride as he gave me the same unconditional love and acceptance I have always given him.

I decided to come out of the dark to my brother-in-law, and apologize for slamming the door on him when he came out of the pantry. I was greeted with an understanding and acceptance I felt like I did not deserve. I told my husband (unfortunately now separated) and again, I was given respect and love I did not feel like I deserved. There is a lot of wrong I did, and I am humbled by the support and unconditional love all around me. 

I am asexual heteroromantic. I am no longer lost, confused or lying to myself. It is not that I have not found the right guy. It is not something I am just saying as a front to hide behind… this is who I am. I love romantic partnership but I would rather sit and eat cake with a partner than have sex with them… It really is that simple.