Being honest is often the hardest thing about it.

I’ve been saying for the longest time ever that I would get myself the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and I finally did. I’m the kind of a person who doesn’t like being part of the masses and at any given opportunity tries to goes against the grain, just because I can and I like to assert my individuality. So when I finally found this book, before actually buying it I had to ask myself why do I want to purchase this highly acclaimed piece, and if I really believe I am as capable as a man, then I don’t REALLY need advice from a woman on how to get ahead in my life and career. But the thing is I do, because at the end of the day I’m a woman. Yes, I said it. I AM A WOMAN. And an intersex woman at that and our experiences as women, as different as they may be, are very similar and are what bring us together.

So I bought it, and I am happy I did because I’ve just completed the first chapter and the last question the author the asked is, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? This question is what pushed me to finish this blog post that I had actually started writing weeks ago, but never actually got around to finishing it. So thank you Mama Sandberg. Anyway, that question is the same question that led me to coming out about being intersex on the 15th of May 2016. I was scared of telling the world I’m intersex or worse news coming out about it and not on my own terms. So I then decided to let everyone in on what I’ve kept to myself and a few others for some years.

Fast forward a few months later down the line, my answer has changed from coming out to actually being honest. So that’s what I would do if I wasn’t scared, I would be honest. Not that I wasn’t being honest then, but to actually continue being as honest if not more and to do that as hard as it may be, especially growing up black and being taught to keep personal matters private.

Truth be told, when I started my blog, I had AMAZING plans that I’d post monthly, with cute photos and all these interesting facts about AIS and myself. But after the second post, I got a bit of writer’s block, life took over, my mobile data contract ended and data never fell (so yah), but mostly I spent a lot of time procrastinating on what I really felt like I needed to write on, because that would require me to be honest and I found myself wondering how deep do I go? So now I’m taking the challenge again, doing what scares me. So here I go being honest…

Sometimes I wish my life was a movie. I mean, in the movies boy sees girl, girl sees guy looking at her and smiles, and guy smiles back. INSTANT CONNECTION. Eventually, after a few stolen glances and smiles, the guy approaches the girl, they chat for a while, he asks for her number, she gives it to him and they go for coffee. In the movie what would happen next, is that these two click on their first date, follow it up with more dates where they realize as different from each other as they are, they have so many things in common. It’s beautiful, it’s amazing. Here are two people who met just by total chance, but it feels like it’s meant to be. Like out of all the possible paths they could have taken that day, they chose to go to the same place at the same time and just like that in a moment two souls collide into this ineffable experience. Some may even call it fate. And now what would follow in this romantic flick is the blossoming of this new and exciting relationship where everything is in HD, smells like fresh rain and tastes like nougat (I love nougat okay). Close to the end of this amazing and heartfelt movie they have this huge blowout, he or she breaks off the relationship but nothing is lost because they feel like they can’t live without each other and she or he convinces him or her that whatever life together they may have is far better than life apart. Then comes the corny bit I really don’t like, where despite their differences, they drift off into the sunset and have 2.2 kids by the age of 30.

Gosh I wish my life was a movie because at least then I’d be given a script, go into wardrobe, hair and makeup,  I would get on set and then someone would shout “ACTION!” and I’d play out my life knowing the scene’s outcome. That would be so great because that wouldn’t involve any level vulnerability. And yes, I know there’s beauty in being vulnerable and all that  feel good stuff. But I tell you it’s hard, and gets harder every time you have to become vulnerable.  But my life is not a movie and the scenes in my life play out a little differently.

I usually get to meet this penguin and he’s amazing. No, fascinating. My brain cells somersault when we talk and my face does this thing where my mouth goes into an upward curve and my eyes become glassy when I talk to him. We spend hours talking about anything and everything and after those long chats the serotonin, dopamine, and nor-epinephrine in my system make sure he’s always on my mind and I envision the sunset before the rolling credits.

Except after the amazing first date and realizing this penguin doesn’t know a single thing about me, my genetic makeup or who I am,  and the blowout ensues. But I’m the only one in this storm. Anyone who knows me very well, will know I am super analytic and that I have an overactive imagination, so in true nature I start wrecking my brain on how to tell him about being intersex. Meanwhile he’s probably on lying on his bed staring at my cute WhatsApp profile picture (that I deliberately set) recounting our awesome conversations. And then snap, he realizes I’m actually cool people. So he musters up the courage to officially ask me to be his penguin, because that’s how I roll. Which is then the part where I would usually spills the beans, if I haven’t spilled them by now.

But before that moment though, this is what happened…

 

I’m out having fun, I notice this guy looking at me and I think “Oh, he’s cute… Wait, does he know who I am? Never mind, he’s super cute.”

Penguin approaches and starts chatting to me “He actually has a brain people, he’s nice and everything. Oh my goodness, look at his eyes…” (Concentrate Sharon)

“This conversation is going really well, okay ask me out already.” Which he does…

“YAAAAAAAAAAAAS.”

And then the date. “Ooh, he looks cuter than the las time I saw him, smells better too.”

 

By this time we’re off to a great start, but I’m already thinking how I do it bring it up. How do I slip this into the conversation? Do I casually bring it, like what I did last summer? Or do I give him the whole “We need to talk…” speech? The latter would send his mind in a million directions in a split second (I mean what would go through your mind when a penguin you just met says you need to talk?). So I resort to the former. Blogging has definitely made it easier though, I can bring it up in conversation that I occasionally blog and when he asks about what, I just hit him up with a link (sometimes technology is not that bad). Easy, done… Except it’s never that easy

It’s usually what happens in between and afterwards that is challenging.

As different as I’d like to believe I am, I am in a lot of ways very similar to a large portion of penguins in that I have hope of one day finding or being found by someone I’d get to call my penguin and I’ll be his. I mean, I’m just a penguin going through life looking for another penguin dancing to the same song as I am in the hope of being mates forever and always and out of 7.5 billion “penguins” in the world, you’d think it’d be easy to find this other penguin. But like many other things in life it’s not that simple.

I’ve had a few interesting experiences in the field of dating as a 20-something and being intersex. And in the event of the demise of a relationship or the start thereof the hardest thing I’ve found was separating reasons whether it didn’t work just because it didn’t or because I’m intersex and he can’t handle it. Granted there are a lot of contributing factors that could lead to things not working out such as differences in faith and belief, expectations, timing, and just simply compatibility, but it seems awfully peculiar that SOMETIMES everything seems to collapse right after I tell you I’m intersex. And some may even assure me that’s not the case and it’s fine because instead of spending time trying to figure out if you’re telling the truth or not, I chose to actually live and enjoy my life. And for whatever reason, if I’m not your penguin, that’s okay. But if my being intersex was the reason, the least you could do was at least tell me truth, believe me when I said I could handle it, because I can. It’s not that deep bra, I’m just not your penguin whatever the reason may be. But anyway… Let me live my life and enjoy it.

So there it is, one of the hardest things personally about being intersex is openly admitting that it might be possible that one of the reasons why I’m not the next person’s penguin MIGHT be because I’m intersex and what it means, which as a whole sucks. It also sucks that someone might feel like I can’t handle the truth so he thinks giving me some fluffy reason why HE’S not my penguin would be better so he can let me down easy. Or worse Mr. Always-There becomes Mr. Gone-Guy-Without-A-Trace. But here’s the thing, I don’t want to be let down easy, I mean! I told you the truth, so I expect nothing less from you. However I’ve learned that, that won’t always won’t be the case. Some penguins might not tell me the truth and some might not even tell me anything at all and abandon our WhatsApp chat with the last text I sent when I said “Good morning 🙂 ”). So I’ve also had to learn that, if it that’s the case that it doesn’t take away from what an awesome penguin I am. Like come on, I’m quite a catch. Wouldn’t you say? Like I think I’m decent looking, I dance like a noodle being tossed in a wok, and I have awesome taste in music.

I’m just not your penguin and that’s okay.

So as tired and reluctant as I may get to open up each time I meet a new penguin and let them in into my space, for whatever reason I know out there is a penguin that is waiting to show me love and I will get to show him love because the very same Creator that has created me without making a single fault has and is always showing me love.

So in true Sharon-Rose style I found a song that captures my honest feelings but unlike Laura Mvula’s song mine ends a little differently because it is not too late, I will find a better love, and my penguin is out there probably singing and dancing to the same song.

 

“Show Me Love” – Laura Mvula

 

Oh, God, I need to belong to someone
I miss the breath of a kiss
I miss the wonder of a future with somebody
Oh, God, show me love
I miss belonging to someone
I miss the kiss of another
I miss the morning, I miss the waking up
I need someone to hold my hand, bigger than mine
Oh, God, where are you?
Show me loveIf it wasn’t real, then why does it hurt so bad?
Cause the thing that we had seemed like everything
Never thought we would be torn apart by a change in the wind or a cloud in the sky
We were alwaysAnd you showed me love of the deepest kind
And I will never find another love like you showed me love
And now I see

If it wasn’t real, then why does it hurt so bad?
Cause the thing that we had, it was everything
Never thought we would be torn apart by a change in the wind or a cloud in the sky
We were always

You showed me love of the deepest kind
I will never find another love like you showed me love
Now I see

In time, this heart may heal (in time, this heart may heal)
Take a while ‘fore you know the way to be whole again
And together, we will move mountains far
Take a reach for a prayer that begins with a story of old
Never ended here

You showed me love of the deepest kind
I will never find another love like you showed me love
Now I see

Now I can see you
And you showed me, showed me love of the deepest kind
And I will never find a love like you
You showed me love of the deepest kind
No, no, no
Nobody, there’s nobody like you
Now I see you
Now I see, hmm
You showed me love and I thank you
And I need you and I miss you
You
You showed me love

Of the deepest kind, and I will never find a love
A love like you
You showed me
You showed me love of the deepest kind
I will never find a love

I will never find a love like you

I’m so sorry; now I see you
Oh, God
And it’s too late, it’s too late
Oh, God

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14 thoughts on “Being honest is often the hardest thing about it.

  1. What an inspiration, thank you for being courageous, I am going through my own things but what I read just made everything clearer and I am taking your spirit with me…thank you Penguin…..

    Liked by 2 people

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