My last post was in January, an in that post I am celebrating one year of blogging and stating that one of my resolutions is to blog at least once, if not twice per week. Heh, heh . . . In my defense, my life has been unusually eventful as of late. Thankfully, some of these events make decent blogging material and some have to do with my romantic orientation, so, without further ado, in the past six months I have
1)Come out as homoromantic to my mother
2)Finished the second draft of the book I’ve been working on for six years (the second draft has taken almost four years to complete)
3) Enrolled in a six week German language course in, you guessed it, Germany.
Romantic orientation, for me at least, has been infinitely harder to nail down than sexual orientation, particularly because I feel as if I’m at the “cross roads” so to speak, of many different orientations. I have had one crush on a genderfluid individual, experienced gray romantic feelings for two boys, and have experienced gray and traditionally romantic feelings for countless girls in the past year and a half, these feelings ranging from being in love to butterflies and the urge to flirt. Breaking those facts down, gray-panromantic would most likely be the most accurate label for my romantic orientation. However, I feel most comfortable with the term homoromantic; perhaps this has to do with the fact that I most frequently experience romantic attraction to women, and that I find myself increasingly fantasizing about what a marriage to a women would look like, and find myself saddened by the thought of never meeting a woman to be in a committed relationship with. Whatever the reasoning, homoromantic is the term I identify most strongly with, I have realized. Going from identifying as aromantic to gray-heteroromantic, a term I never felt comfortable with, if I’m being honest, to identifying as homoromantic has been quite a journey in self acceptance, and coming out to my mother was by far one of the hardest, most nerve wracking things I have ever done. Of course, having the difficulty that she has accepting that I’m asexual, she wasn’t skipping down the street waving a rainbow flag after I broke the news to her, but the lecture I was half expecting on the precariousness of my soul wasn’t given either. To really do the story justice, it needs its own post, but for right now I will just say that my coming out as homoromantic has, surprisingly, made her fully embrace my asexuality. She is still squeamish when I bring up the possibility of a future daughter in law, and the one time I talked about my homoromanticism in public – actually, it wasn’t that simple. It was finals week, I was beyond stressed, and I was talking about how annoyed I was that one guy in my weight lifting class had made it a habit to *blatantly* check me out. My mother found this rather humorous, and my response was “I just want to yell at him ‘I’m gay, you would have better luck getting it on with that treadmill over there’. I cringe to think of it, and I attribute my volume to my stress level, but I wound up yelling the words “I’m gay”. Later, my mom and I got in a heated discussion about this incident. It was late at night, the both of us were exhausted, and the discussion ended with me in tears. We had a much calmer discussion the following day, and all was forgiven, but the incident made me realize just how hard is for her to except. She has reassured me on multiple occasions that her feelings about me have not changed, and that, if anything, she’s more protective of me now. In the near future, I plan on making a much more in depth post about the process of coming out as homoromantic, but I would like to wrap this post up talking briefly about the painful, infinitely rewarding process of book revisions, and a bit about my first week in Germany and what I’ve noticed about the LGBTQIA culture here.
So, writing revisions. The project that I am currently wrapping up has, by far, been the most difficult to flesh out, but it is turning into the best thing I have ever written. It is a sequel to a book I wrote when I was fifteen about a monster Hunter who falls in love with a vampire she has set out to kill – not as cheesy as it sounds, I promise – and the first draft was absolutely, positively horrendous. I didn’t want to admit this and immediately moved on to another project, but, try as I did, the thought that I could do better, that I owed it to myself to do better, wouldn’t leave my head, and so, a year after I “completed” the project, I set out to revise it. The main problem, I realized quickly, was that the middle of the book was far too slow. This seemed appropriate at first, as the main character is dealing with intense depression in the sequel, and in my experience, times seems to pass more slowly while depressed. However, reading about a character simply navigating daily events while depressed isn’t the most interesting story, and a common trap that many books fall into is a good beginning, a painfully slow middle, and an excellent last quarter. After looking at numerous writing blogs, I came across an article an article that essentially stated that an emotionally state in and of itself is not a plot element, it is what the character does while feeling this emotion that makes the story. So, after a long, long three years of basically rewriting three quarters of my book, I am reaching the end. The first draft was 48,000 words, and it is currently at 120,000 words. To lend some perspective, the average fiction book is roughly 70,000 words long. I have never written anything this good, or this big, and though the process of finding a new story that is much, much darker than the original whilst I dealst with navigating some of the hardest events of my life has been extremely difficult. I often referred to this project as “the demon book” in my head, but now that it’s wrapping up, I have to admit that I’m feeling sentimental. This story, the main character and I have grown and changed together, cheesy as it may sound. I have worked on this book while graduating high school, coming out to myself as asexual, having the majority of my friends move away for college while I was stuck in my hometown, loosing my beloved dog, admitting to myself that I have social anxiety and finally agreeing to go on medication, and coming out to myself as homoromantic. It has been a long, wild ride with this story, and it has one of the few things in my life that has been consistently present while so much changed.
Now, onto Germany.
I have discovered that there is nothing quite like coming to a foreign country with the presumption that you can have a conversation and discovering that you are very, very wrong. I took a year of German at my college in the United States and studied on my own for about a year, and despite this, I struggle to ask for directions and recall grammatical structures that I am positive I learned in school. I just visited a coffee shop down the street from the student apartment I’m staying in, and instead of saying “danke” – thank you – the cashier when she pointed out the sugar to me, I said “bitte” – you’re welcome. I’m awkward in my native language and simply too awkward to handle in German. While my brain is doing its absolute best to recall all I learned in my classes, I’m seeing more rainbow flags and posters for queer meetups than I ever did while in the states; this most likely has to do with the fact that I live in a pretty rural area of California, but the amount of LGBT+ inclusion that I’ve seen in Freiburg thus far definitely is encouraging.
Happy Pride Month!!!
Until next time, keep on aceing it!