Seeing Beauty

After having not experienced any feelings of attraction for so many years, it’s surprising to me how many people I have felt flashes of attraction toward during the past two months or so, now that I am listening to my emotions a bit more frequently.

Remembering that I am allowed to feel attracted to people is still a bit of a conscious process for me — I have to explicitly self-talk my way into remembering that it’s not generally considered weird, creepy, or wrong to think someone is beautiful or lovely, provided you don’t stare or drool or stalk them or something because of it — but it’s coming a bit more naturally now, and I’m a bit shocked by how many people I simply didn’t recognize as attractive up until now due to how sincerely I had turned that part of my brain off. How much of the world have I been missing?

I’m finding that I don’t usually feel attracted to every single thing about a person, as a “package-deal” sort of approach. Instead, bits and pieces of people’s appearances stand out — a raised eyebrow, a confident expression, a jaunting hip, an elaborate piercing. Sometimes those elements are on people I would expect, with my idealized sense of romance, that I could be attracted to, but sometimes they aren’t; I’ll be attracted to the dignified crinkles around an older woman’s eyes, signifying a lifetime of serious consideration, preparedness, and humor, or to the confident motion of a guy sweeping his arm around his girlfriend’s shoulders. (I already mentioned, in an earlier blog, how disturbed I have been at times when I was the object of that masculine confidence; I feel no desire to be the woman who is being embraced in that context. But attraction to that image and that motion? Yeah, that’s there. So probably I have some element of autochorissexualism (thanks for the word, Alex B!) mixed into my lesbianism.) When I really look at the world and listen to myself, there are an amazing number of things people do that make my chest cavity warm and my fingers ache for connection. The world is filled with amazing people doing amazing things. I don’t know how I missed it for so long.

And then every now and then, multiple things come together in one person. A few weeks ago, now — I was afraid to write about it, because I was afraid I would break it with my words — I met a girl at a conference who made my insides do flippy-floppy things in a way I honestly had never experienced before. And from elements that I wouldn’t have thought would come together to create such an effect. I mean, sure — she was tall, athletic, and comfortably dressed. But she was also confident, and sure in her personality, with an easy smile, bold haircut, brushes of tattoos, and a penchant for sitting just a hairsbreadth closer than my typical sense of personal space would dictate. Conversation flowed, and she was beautiful and wonderful — and dating a guy, and living two states away from me, having just flown in for the conference. So not everything was perfect. But my interactions with her were so. far. beyond. anything I’d done before, with regards to my emotions. Looking at her, I thought, “If you were available, I would ask you out right now. I really would.” And I have never, ever thought that before.

Since the conference, we’ve texted a few times, but it’s not the same as being in the same place. I don’t care. I met someone that I was seriously, honestly attracted to. And it was all validated for me, mentally, by my reminder to myself that, “Hey, there are going to be four thousand people at this conference. I could meet someone here.” Those were the magic words at the beginning of the event, the words that, while not responsible for bringing my mini-crush into existence — because one of the things I was most attracted to with her was her strength of personality, the fact that no one thing could have created her or explained away all the layers — were the impetus behind my being okay with that attraction and going with it when it happened. All it took was one reminder — “I could meet someone here.”

I could meet someone. It would be okay — it would be allowed — it would even be lovely if I met someone.

I think that needs to be my mantra for a while.

I could meet someone. And it could be a positive and wonderful thing if I did.

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