The beautiful result of authentic livingCommentary, Latest Issue, Queerly Forward Thursday, September 28th, 2017
Commentary: Queerly Forward
There is something deeply inspiring in an act of pure authenticity. My husband coming out as transgender was the purest of such acts. His acknowledgement of his need to live a valid life at all costs began shaping the decisions we would make in the future. There was no more room for inauthentic living in his life, and therefore not in mine and ours either. We began to search for deeper meaning, asking ourselves at every turn: “How can we live this life we are given to its fullest potential?” His fearlessness inspired me. He had shaped our future for the better.
We were living in central Ohio at the time, a city without history for either of us. I had moved there for an ex’s job, someone I was with for mere months after, leaving me in a new state without a support system, yet desperate to make my first big move work out. My husband moved there for me, and thus we tumbled into creating a life – purchasing a house and creating a home together. We were two people who ended up in a place that didn’t fit by complete accident, who at first didn’t question the “why” of it all. We initially felt that achieving certain successes in life meant we were living valid, not realizing that we were building a life without a foundation, working toward a dream that didn’t belong to us.
Getting married, another beautiful act of authenticity was just what we needed to question things further. I had written our ceremony, so the promises we made in front of everyone we loved were specifically designed to address the deep and honest way we wanted to love. The power of those promises bled into every day that followed, shaping then the deep and honest way we wanted to live. One day not too long after our wedding day, we stopped, looked at one another, and asked: “What do we actually want with this life?” The answer was quite simple: “More.”
The ill-fitting nature of where we lived was easiest to recognize. To find our better fit, we made a list of what we wanted: a more liberal atmosphere, access to water and beautiful weather. This significantly narrowed our search, and quickly we heard the call of San Diego loud and clear. Transitioning from a material life came next. We had discussed tiny living before, but it seemed too far from reality when we had a household filled to the brim. We first downsized out of necessity, due to our plans to move into a studio and only move what we could pull in a trailer behind our car. An unexpected transformation followed; with each item we sold, a little weight lifted off. By the time we were ready to move, our house was empty, and it was as though we had shed our winter coats and were coming out of hibernation.
Now that we are here, we continue to search for more authentic ways of life. Our weekends are spent exploring and growing as a couple; our weeks are spent finding a routine that has balance and joy. The relationships we are choosing to cultivate are ones that give us genuine meaning. We are making plans for our tiny house, for a life filled with moments and experiences, instead of objects and expectations. Our life may be a constant work-in-progress, but it is filled with reflection about the validity of each action we take. We are now living each day true to ourselves, and there is nothing more authentic than that.
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