volume six

well this turned into an essay - pt 1

each week, once I have decided what is weighing heaviest on me or magically pulling at my heartstrings the most, I start to write and then I don’t stop. I write and write and write until I don’t have any more thoughts (for now) on that topic. sometimes that turns into 3000 words, so welcome to part one of three.

When I was around ten years old my Mum approached me about something she had found in my room. It was what I suppose you would call a journal entry, but it was on a loose piece of paper and knowing myself at that age it likely would have been more like an attempt at song lyrics. She asked me about it because it was an angry piece of writing. I forget now what it said but I was mad and frustrated at something and the page was filled with a lot of hate and resentment (for myself) and she wanted to check in. I was an angry child who fought with my Mum and sisters a lot. I was at fault a lot too, but also…

I remember just feeling so frustrated and overcome with disgust for her for having read this thing I had kept in my room for the very reason of not having anyone find it. She argued that it was sitting on my bed and that she assumed it was there to be read. Look, I am not saying that isn’t a valid argument, but I am not saying it is either.

It is, for this reason, I believe that she read some other things in my room that maybe she didn’t want to talk about. To be fair I decided to find better ‘hiding’ places after that, but this was so long ago I am unsure what incident came first. In particular, a part of me always wondered if she ever read my writing about a dream I had. I was around the same age when this happened, living in the same house, sleeping in the same bedroom, so the memories are blurry and the timeline is unclear.

I went to a catholic school so my sexual education happened thanks to the boys in the playground. While I didn’t really know what sex or intimacy was yet, I had my suspicions and developed my very poor assumption based on what Isaac and Alex told the other dudes, and I eavesdropped in on at recess. The dream I wrote about on this occasion was what I can only describe as what I thought sex was, and it was with another girl.

I do not remember details now, only that I had a girlfriend and we were intimate. I was flipping out with the pen to the paper describing my dream and asking the paper questions like “am I lesbian?” and “what does this mean?” then feeling absolute dread. The thing was — the dream didn’t make me feel bad, that wasn’t the part I felt dread about. I was worried because I really liked the dream and had no idea what that meant for me and my future. I felt disgusted that I wasn’t disgusted. This was far different from the kissing JTT dreams I was used to having.

funnily while looking through old photos for the newsletter, I found this one at a school dance and was reminded that I once had a sleepover at this girl’s house where she and I pretended to be married. IYKYK.

When I was twelve or thirteen my Mum and I had a weekly ritual of doing a face mask and watching The O.C together every Tuesday. It was the one thing we did just us in a home shared with my two sisters and my niece, so it was a special time carved out that I looked forward to every week.

Come the second season, I was blessed with the presence of a bisexual in my life for the first time (to my knowledge). Olivia Wilde played Alex who was cool and beautiful and had a big heart and was full of queer passionate rage, and I was head over heels. When Alex had relationships with both men and women it was the first time I knew this was even possible. I was very invested in her relationship with Marissa. I had never seen two women with each other before. I had never seen two women hold hands or kiss or be intimate, aside from in my dreams. This was groundbreaking for me and my hormonal teenage body that had only discovered the art of self-pleasure not too long before by accident. Cue catholic school Lauren hating herself every time she went to bed and did the deed, telling herself every time that it was the last time, completely unaware of how natural this was.

Witnessing Alex date men and women was the first time I realised I had a choice. I didn’t have to choose between having girlfriends or boyfriends (my understanding of gender was limited then, I caught up eventually as did a lot of us). I knew from that moment I had options. Whether I had accepted they were options I wanted or not, there was no denying I desired equally both a kiss from Olivia Wilde and a kiss from Luke, a cute, popular boy a few years older than me at school.

There was also no denying I was extremely awkward watching the show now — making small talk, asking random questions, pointing weird things out that made it clear I was not interested in the two girls kissing. They could be kissing on screen and I could say how much I liked the vase in the background because that is what a cool, chill, totally unphased human would do, right?

continued next week.

I love you,

Lauren

xoxo

Three things I struggled with this week:

  • I feel stuck, oh gosh in so many ways.

  • Is Summer leaving us already?

  • Screen time fatigue. Ugh. I feel depleted.

Three blessings from this week:

  • As mentioned last week in my goals, I started Hit Record classes. First up is ‘Voice Acting with Naturalism’ — see how that is going at the bottom of this week’s edition.

  • Released a really special episode of my podcast with one of my oldest and dearest friends as the guest.

  • Getting a haircut = self-care and also means a chat with my hairdresser who is an anglophone (relief!) and delightful company.

Three goals for the coming week:

  • Write a list of the ways I feel stuck (like on paper not just keep going over them in my head) and split it into two lists - things I can change and things I cannot.

  • Using the 4 pm (Kiwi Hour) of Writers’ Hour to practice mon francais.

  • Speak up when someone says something that is out of line, unwanted or unsolicited ‘advice’. If it makes me feel icky in the moment, I have learnt that it will only make me feel ickier the more I obsess over it in the days following. The goal is to politely tell people when I am not comfortable with their comments. This is self-care.

What I am enjoying this week: I recently got to be the guest on the Intalksicated podcast hosted by Sarah MacLellan. We did a demisexual deep dive, spoke candidly about our self-care and I just felt very, very seen and heard chatting with her. It’s a really wonderful podcast, Sarah is a babe of a human and this episode is 🔥🔥🔥.