Archives for the month of: September, 2013

So, I’m coming up to the big one soon, and by that I mean of course my 40th birthday. Now I know I’m not the first person to reach this lofty age, and okay, I don’t look my age ( 32 was the most recent age guess I had – fuck yeah – in your face year forty ) but still, it feels sort of like a big deal.

This past year I’ve been thinking about all the things I thought I’d have done, all the things I thought I’d be, the place I would be in my life once I reached that age, and then thinking that very little of what I thought would of happened actually has.

Yeah. That kind of sucks.

For instance, I didn’t think I’d still be sharing a house with other people at forty. I didn’t think I’d be single at forty. I’m fairly surprised that I still have issues given that I’ve had nearly forty years to sort that shit out and I was kind of hoping to be earning more than like £15,000 a year as well, whilst we’re at it.

It doesn’t paint a pretty picture, and that’s before we even get to the alarming lack of sex going on here.

I do feel that I should be further along in life than I actually am, but if you were to ask me to quantify that in more detail, I’d struggle. I think it’s just that it feels like I should be, well , better at life by now.

That’s not to say I’m a complete fuck up, I think sometimes I do okay, but also, sometimes, okay just doesn’t seem enough.

Maybe this is just another symptom of getting older, maybe it’s just peer pressure, maybe it’s just societies expectations of what we should be when we reach an age where the term young person finally no longer applies.

All I know is that it feels too soon and I feel too young to be nearly forty.

Its not that I’m afraid of being single, more that I’m afraid of how long it goes on for. So far we’re talking a year and a bit, which seems like a short amount of time, and in the grand scheme of things, quite possibly is.

However, to me, it seems like a long time.

Thing is though, if I’m completely honest with myself, I’m not even sure if its being single that’s the problem. Maybe I should  break it down a little….

Things I fear that are a consequence of singleness….

  1. Loneliness – I’m not lonely, but I know that it is a possibility, and that possibility is a real fear. Knowing that I might never live with someone again, however unlikely that may be, is quite a thing to put right in your head.
  2. No Intimacy –  This is a big one. In the time I’ve been single I’ve realised that Intimacy is something I need. If too much time goes by between encounters then I start to feel pretty shit, which in turn leads to….
  3. Lowered Self Confidence – Most of the time I feel pretty good about myself. Sometimes it’s hard to do this though, and a particularly long dry spell really doesn’t help. The trouble is, the dark bit of my head can be pretty vocal during these times, and funnily enough it knows exactly which buttons to push.

So, it’s more the negative things that can come from being single that are the problem I guess, rather than the actual singleness as such.

If I was to confront these fears I guess that they’d be less of a thing, and I suppose by writing about them in a way I’m doing exactly that, I’m looking them in the eye and trying to see what’s behind their scary masks.

I think that once I do see what’s there, once the masks finally slip, that there’ll only be empty air behind them, and then maybe I won’t be so afraid after all.

Identity is a tricky thing.

I’ve spent a long time with mine, and even now I still struggle sometimes. I mean, at the most simple level I identify as genderqueer, or queer, or bi, or maybe even polysexual, or trans*, or……. shit. Identity overload.

I think half the problem is that I know about too many identities, and quite possibly, these identities are pretty alien to a lot of people, and so I try and find one that isn’t, in order to make it easier for other people to understand.

Yeah, I know, shaping your identity to fit around other people, that’ll definitely work, no problem.

If I look at it on a basic level, I think part of the issue lies in the fact that one major identity, something a lot of people don’t even question, was slightly off from the start. Many many people know what gender they are, it’s something that isn’t even questioned, because it just is.

Mine really wasn’t though. I know now that I identity as female, it even says so on my passport, so that’s like a serious thumbs up from the powers, and I am happy with that, but for a long long time I wasn’t so sure.

Something that is so simple for millions of people, was ( is? ) something so complex for me, so complex that it took nearly thirty years to even vaguely begin to comprehend, and that’s without the added complication of sexual identity.

I think, no, I know, I’m getting there, both with sexual, and gender identity, but man alive it’s a hard road sometimes.

Then again, in many ways I guess its a hard road for most of us. The issues maybe different, but the size and complexity, in relation to us all as individuals, is always going to be equal, because well, if it wasn’t it wouldn’t matter, and the road wouldn’t be hard sometimes.

 

 

 

Freiya Benson

Writer & Photographer.

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