It’s a frightening and also terribly exciting thought, that you haven’t met all of yourself yet. You can’t possibly predict how you will grow and mature, the people you will meet, how they will change you. The concept of not knowing yourself, and coming to know new parts of you, may be anxiety provoking for some. For me however, I like to think of it as personal growth and exciting plot development in the story that is my life. Plus, how spectacular is it to know that you’ve still got a lot of growing to do? Not just as you come into adulthood, but over the course of your entire life.
In a way, this progressive growth gives me hope. Just a little spark of it, sitting in the back of my mind, reminding me that I haven’t quite bloomed yet. Over the course of my whole life, more and more petals will unfold and eventually I will be a beautiful flower. Plus, what a lovely thought it is that each of your petals holds something significant. Some may be bad, sad, scary, but ultimately they all come together to create something truly spectacular: you.
I think for many people, sexuality makes up a large group of your petals.
Often, sexuality sits right at the core of who you are. It determines who you like, who you fall in love with, who you are intimate with if that is something that suits you. If you’re the marrying type, it can even determine what the rest of your life with another person will look like. Sure, love is blind, but sexuality may come into play just a tad bit.
Fortunately for all of us who are trying to figure out who we are and unfold our petals one by one, sexuality is fluid!
You hear people say that, and agree, but do you really truly understand what that means? If I had to explain it, I would compare it to a bright white energy. It ebbs and flows, and with every new petal of your flower that unfolds, it may become brighter or dimmer. It may move and shift, take new forms. These new forms, will be new versions of you.
I suppose this is where that horrible phrase comes into play, “It’s just a phase.”
For many young people who have come out of the closet, this is a recurring theme. Again and again we are told that we are just too young to know, and then if we change our minds later we feel like those people are right. As if there is something shameful about sexual fluidity. In case those close-minded people hadn’t noticed, lots of really beautiful things come in phases.
Just like the moon, your phases are spectacularly beautiful.
They don’t symbolize immaturity, or a misunderstanding. Shifting on the spectrum of sexuality does not mean that you “just wanted attention” or “were just experimenting”. Our entire lives are just experiments really.
It’s normal and healthy it is to discover yourself. Sometimes trauma can affect that flowing energy, unfolding of the petals, and your experience of sexual fluidity. My own personal story is an example of that.
When I was sixteen, I went through an abusive relationship with a boy. Previously, I had been questioning my sexuality, but really liked this boy. Unfortunately the relationship took a very traumatic turn and ended with me being terrified of men. Because I had already questioned my sexuality previously, I wrote off men and came out as a lesbian. I lived this way for two years and loved women deeply and fully, I was truly happy.
Fast-forward to the present, I am eighteen. I have very few men in my life due to the trauma and a deep-seated fear that I work through in therapy. However, there is one man. One man who was a close friend, someone soft and gentle who I trusted. A man who I very quickly fell head over heels for. I didn’t know what to do, I had been so comfortably situated in my identity as a lesbian.
Did this mean I had to come out again?
Was it a phase?
Who was I?
I sat down and cleared my head for a moment, realizing something very important to my personal development. I don’t have to do anything, accept what makes me happy.
For two years, identifying as a lesbian made me feel happy and safe. It was not a phase in a bad way because I truly loved those women, however it was a phase of personal growth and working through trauma. But that doesn’t mean I’m heterosexual now. What it means is that I don’t always have to label myself.
To me, the only important label right now is love. It doesn’t matter who I love, just that I love them and I am happy. So maybe in the future I’ll choose a new label. For right now though, my label is happy.
My sexuality is blossoming and growing as I overcome a dark past and traumatic history.
Truly, there is no shame in personal growth. It takes a strong person to admit that they do not know everything about themself, and cannot predict the future. For that reason, I love to live in the moment. Live in my now, my love, and my happiness. I know that if I continue living there, my flower will bloom and grow beautifully.