A year. Everyone reflects (if they reflect at all) at different points in their years and for different reasons. I am Narcissus, but do not drown, I am mirrored, I am glinting in my own puddles.
I had just come out of being laid-off my office gig with the Reading Skills Company. I spent October on unemployment keeping busy every day with writing, researching political players, and applying for jobs. There was a good amount of yoga, walks and Ellen at 3pm daily. I was going on dates, most of them bad and luckily leading nowhere. I met Sharlene in November through the Chicago Reader Matches. We began corresponding while I was in a hotel room in Terre Haute, IN filled with ennui (both the room and myself). At Thanksgiving I was head-over-heels and coming out to my family members.
I went to my first queer dance party in November and drunkenly ground against Sharlene, filled with lust, pride, and fire. I was ecstatic to have finally cracked the code on the lesbian safe in my city. I met women who worked in abortion clinics, at Planned Parenthood, as political activists and Rape Victims advocates. They all seemed very serious, but also, very fashionable and quietly fucked up. I didn't feel a familial connection of any kind but I figured I'd fake it with authority. I wondered what they laughed about.
After my dreams of connection and partnership dissolved I remembered again my "bad" habit of losing myself into another's being when I fell in love with my idea of their person.
I made a lover, I read the Ethical Slut and declared it a useful bible. I proclaimed happily, "Swinger!", and was introduced to OkCupid. I went on more dates and had sex. I was too polite because of sex. I encountered my first bouts of drama and rejection based anger. The anger never seemed to be mine. I was pleasantly transient and self-focused. I wanted my own space. I wanted money. I wanted sex and clothing and independent strength and spirit.
I got everything I wanted. I worked hard for it all, but never felt I was working hard enough.