This week’s blog is from guest blogger, Vanessa Park, a brilliant writer and editor with her own business, VKP Editing. She has clients all over the country for whom she ghost writes, edits, and consults. Vanessa also writes her own personal blog, Spiralwoman.com.
Imagine loving someone enough to marry him, or her. And yet every minute of every day, you are living a lie. You are not being true to yourself. Now imagine it the other way around. How would you feel if your partner in life was keeping an enormous secret from you and the rest of the world. Something fundamental.
Is it possible, in either scenario, to love genuinely? Or do we need to be genuine to truly love?
Caitlyn Jenner is finally living her authentic life. As a woman. She is still the same person who won the Olympic gold in the decathlon, who has six children, and a long career in the public eye. None of that changes, but something huge shifted for her when she allowed herself to be a woman, not just in the secrecy of her own heart, but out loud, in the world.
There are an estimated 700,000 transgender people in this country, or people who exist on a spectrum not easily compartmentalized by the words “male” and “female.” They either live in the shadows, or are victims of prejudice and hate crimes. Usually both. Caitlyn has it easier than some, in that she has the means and the support to make this transition successfully and the way she wants to. Still, due to the amount of ignorance and hatred still out there, it is not easy for anyone in her shoes.
Why is this story important for you, who is just trying to find the right partner to spend your life with?
There are a few things I can guarantee everyone wants out of a relationship, including you.
• To be seen for who you are.
• To be loved, just as you are.
• To be chosen, with all your perfect imperfections, by someone whose eyes are wide open.
• To be free of judgment to live as you are, to love as you do, and to strive for your own true self.
How can you get what you want? Easy. Be you.
Okay, sometimes not so easy. Because people do judge. The moms in the carpool line may think your earrings are too big or your bumper sticker is too risqué. Do you care? You need to decide. The cashier at the Stop ‘n’ Shop may look down her nose at you because you left your reusable bags in the car. Do you care? The dude who parked his Beemer next to your Hyundai at the movie theater may have scoffed. DO YOU CARE?
Be you! If you are lucky, it will require no surgery, no pharmaceuticals, and no wardrobe change. If it does – go for it anyway.
Once you can say beyond a doubt that you are exactly who you want to be—and that you are okay with your bald spot, love handles, funny sneeze, strong opinions, career choices, math phobia, addiction to Dancing with the Stars, and even the fact that your favorite color is mauve—you can indeed find love.
I try to imagine what it was like for Caitlyn all those years when she had to spend every day hiding who she was. Lying to the world by simply keeping the truth hidden. What a toll it had to take on her.
Don’t let that happen to you, for any reason. Be you. You are so wonderful and special and uniquely fine that to be anyone else would be a shame. When you find that someone who is just as flawlessly flawed as you—you’ll recognize each other right away.