Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Going My Own Way

Someone else had something in mind for you, either your parents, a guardian or someone who looked after you while growing up. They envisioned a different life than you probably live right now. With good intentions, they wanted the “best” for you. In their minds, the “best” for you was to have a medium to a large size family with a huge nest egg. They wanted you to be loved by your children, who would eventually take care of you when you got much older and wanted you to have enough money to be comfortable and live well. Their dream: a husband or wife, a couple of kids, maybe a dog, and a house with a white picket fence. It sounds endearing– much like a neighborhood scene from a Lifetime movie.

Is it realistic for them to expect this from you?

In the bible, it says it’s better to be alone. Some people rather live with a family or a spouse or life partner. I grew up living in a large house with both my parents and 3 older sisters. We were all close and we all were expected to “live the good life”, just as my mother had. In fact, I was raised to find a nice man who made a good living. I was never told to go to college, find the perfect career or make a living for myself. If I were to find the “perfect man”, as my mom would put it, then even better. My mom suggested to stay home and raise children and let him support you. It’s old fashioned, but understandable for her to want that type of life for me.

When I was younger, my dream was the total opposite. I used to dream of finding the perfect woman and settling into a nice apartment– not a house. I didn’t want a big house and a yard. I wanted a nice modern apartment, with a nice view if possible. I saw myself surrounded by good friends, dinner parties and trips to my favorite places- not necessarily a “lavish life”, but a good life, which to me included having fun and being young at heart. I never wanted to have a husband or have any children.

My mother always told me that I would never live a good life if I were to continue being a lesbian. “Women can’t make it without men.” These words resonated within me. She then said, “Men can live a good life together because they make more money. If you’re a gay man, you’ll live a nice life, but you’ll live in fear.” Her main concern was money and a good reputation. Her intentions were good, but her thought process was old fashioned and distorted in my opinion. There are plenty of successful lesbian couples living good lives and even bearing children, starting families of their own. “It’s just not natural. Don’t you want your own children?”

We can!

I do understand that type of mindset. It’s hard to adapt to another way of living when all you knew was “this way”. I took it with a grain of salt. I refused to believe that lesbian couples couldn’t make it without men. I know for myself, I can’t live without men in my life, but not for the reasons my mother stated. I need them for more important reasons, like giving me their male point of views, having a great friend around, showing me how to fix a carburetor, even if I break a nail and even, if I were to have kids, it's important to have a good male role model in their lives. And if wasn’t for my “future donor” who I’ve already claimed and he has accepted, then I wouldn’t have the option of deciding whether or not to bear a child of "my own".

Even though someone had something else in mind for my life, I turned out okay. I didn’t “need” a man to make my life a “good life”, but they sure do make my life worth living!