For some people, finding yourself can truly be a lifelong process. Just when you think you know who you are, what you want, and where you’re going, something can happen and your life can completely change. Two years ago, this change happened to me. As an adolescent girl, I had always been quite insecure about my appearance and weight. This insecurity constantly influenced my relationships with people and particularly with boyfriends. Sexuality, in general, was something that made me quite uncomfortable, but I thought I knew myself and what I wanted out of life. Boy, was that about to change.
Through a work-related assignment I met a girl a few years older than me, and she and I bonded really quickly. There was something about our personalities that just clicked even though we were so different from one another. We were at different points in our lives and from opposite sides of the country, but we became fast friends. Even after just knowing each other for a few days, she became a great friend to me. She listened, she gave me advice, she was there all of the time, and we confided in one another about things that people close to us in our “real lives” didn’t know.
After some time, things became a little awkward and she began distancing herself from me, and I had no idea why. Due to being bullied as a pre-teen, a frenzy of negative thoughts flooded my head with what I was doing wrong and how I turned another amazing friend away. Although I was insecure, I knew that there was something different about this situation and this girl.. I talked to my closest friends from school about it in an attempt to get an outside perspective and one friend asked a question that ultimately changed my life: “Is this girl gay?” I immediately wondered where that came from. My friend explained that after reading through our conversations (Facebook, e-mails, text messages) and looking through her pictures, she thought that this girl might have feelings for me, but secretly struggled with her sexuality and was pulling away as a result of that. Thinking about the idea more and more, it actually made sense and things that I had questioned started to add up.
The next question out of my friend’s mouth was the scariest question I had ever been asked: “Well, how do you feel about her?” It was something that I had never thought about in those terms, but looking back on how upset this all made me I already knew the answer. Things between this girl and me have gone through cycles of good to bad to non-existent in the last 18 months and continue to be confusing. But even though this one girl may not be in my life, the effect her presence had will always be there.
Moving forward in my life I think about this idea of sexuality every single day, wondering who I am and what all of this means for my future. The answer is: I don’t have an answer. I consider myself somewhere between straight and bisexual, and for now that’s okay. As difficult as it is to admit, I don’t have to have all of the answers. Sexuality is something too fluid for society to try to label. In my opinion, people come in and out of our lives every single day. Some leave a bigger impression than others. Although I don’t know if I will ever speak to this girl again, she will always have a special place in my heart. Not only was she my real first love, but she helped me mature and grow in so many ways. By dealing with this issue in my life, I learned so much about the people I surround myself with and really what wonderful friends and family I have. I assumed that my friends and especially my family would never be accepting of something like this. But after talking about it and being truly honest with myself and others, the people in my life who love me didn’t care. As long as I was happy and being the best version of myself that I could be, they let me know they could deal with it.
The moral of my story is it’s okay to not to have all of the answers or know what is ahead. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. In fact, if you think you know everything, chances are you have no idea. Explore, question, wonder; it just might lead you to some wonderful self-discoveries.