By Sarah Fancy
First of all, I do have to apologize for the length between posts of late. I'm going to be brave here: very brave. I'm gathering all my courage to share what has been going on in my life and what is in my heart. Get ready.
In my last blog post, I vaguely referred to changes in my life that I needed to make. I talked about my friends and the things I saw inside myself that weren't quite right. During my time in Croatia, with the help of my essential oils, I finally took the time to look inward and start acknowledge something I hadn't quite managed to admit over the past twenty plus years of my life: the fact that I am gay. Yes, I've identified as bi in a dark corner of my mind for a long time. But over the past few years, that voice has gotten louder. Those who know me have seen how often I post about issues around gay rights and discrimination and feminism on Facebook. I've been a feminist since college and have been vocal about my support for gay rights since I started at the University of Michigan more than twenty years ago. I had crushes on women. My best friend Leah and I once spent an entire rugby tournament chasing around on one of the US Eagles national rugby players. So this wasn't completely out of the blue.
So what happened? I always wondered myself when people came out after having been married for a while. I didn't doubt the authenticity, exactly, but I did wonder why it took them so long. And then I ended up in the same boat. I'm not sure why I didn't go in this direction long ago. Maybe it was the evangelical Christian upbringing and the guilt that was associated with sexuality. Maybe it was fear. My younger sister came out when I was in my late twenties. Even in my college years, I knew I felt most at home and comfortable in a community of lesbian women. I just never took that small step that would have taken me in that direction. But I somehow always fell into relationships with men. And I married them! First one, then the next. In between my two marriages, I dated a woman for a little while. It didn't go anywhere (probably because she didn't want to get caught up in the drama of a "straight" woman with two kids) -- and then I met Jan. I fell in love again, and mostly forgot about the woman thing. Thoughts popped into my head every once in a while. I knew what kind of woman I found attractive. I seemed to fall into friendships with gay women quite often. But I stayed where I was.
And then came Croatia. I met all these amazing women. And I took the time to find my why. Why am I here? What do I want in my life? Am I happy? I knew that I had been going through the motions in my marriage for a long time. We had talked about it before. We tried counseling when we lived in Ireland. But the distance kept growing. I hadn't been able to find my way back and I felt like I was living with a roommate rather than a husband. We bickered a lot, and we seemed to be constantly in state of stress, but otherwise, things were okay. I spent a lot of time feeling like I had to conform to some other version of myself. He is an amazing father and an amazing person. How could I possibly leave him? He even does the laundry. I knew people wouldn't understand. But something inside of me gave way to something else when I was away. I opened my mind and my heart...and someone was waiting for me. The connection I have with her is like nothing I have ever felt before. Maybe it took me twenty years to find my path because she was waiting at the end of it.
Now comes the hard part. I have to unravel my life with my husband and take extreme care with my children. We are being very careful to make sure they feel safe and loved and wanted. I am living five minutes away and we are splitting the school runs and the dinners and the rest. There is no fighting and there is no drama. He knows why I had to leave and he is being supportive and helpful and the kind of man I always knew him to be. I am eternally grateful that I chose this man, even if it is not the right path for me. He will be able to find his way, I know that. And I appreciate his goodness and loving care every day.
So to Jan, thank you for being you. And to Kim, who is there waiting for me as I come out of the woods and into the light.