Thursday, October 20, 2011

...and Autonomy Is Better than Money (although I have nothing against money...really.)

I've never had a wealth of cash. I own my own business and get to schedule my life around the people I love and writing. It's a trade-off. I've been offered some sweet jobs, too. Jobs that would make me a comfortable living, but I would give up something too precious to me: freedom.

Someday I'll figure out how to keep the freedom and have the wealth. Until then, I consider myself fortunate.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

...and Taking Action Is Better than Turning Away

When I was nine, I was beat up on a school playground.  It was summer, so no teachers were there, or I know they would have intervened.  At one point, as I kept refusing to fight back, the girl yelled, "That's what you get!  I hate your mom's face!"  I went home missing a basketball, with a black eye, and a bloody nose.  After that, when school finally started, that girl (an 11-year-old) would flip my mother off at drop-off every morning.

I hated her until I found out what horrible things her own father did to her.

When we take ignorance and run with it, ugly things happen.  That little girl needed to hate my mother.  She needed to hurt me.  She needed to feel that there were others she could disdain.  When her father hurt her, she needed to think, "At least I'm not them."  It doesn't make what she did right, but it makes it easier for me to understand.

Today my friend Duane Quintana, an openly gay man who is HIV-positive, will host Social Justice Sunday at Exposure alpha Interchange, a downtown thrift store.  Today's topic is hate crime - something that is, sadly, on the rise in Idaho.  We'd come so far in the last few years, too.  Now we're regressing into ugliness.  We can stop that backslide.  It's never too late.

I hope I see you there.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

...and Not Bowing to Society's Timeline Is Better than Missing an Opportunity

I've been spending a lot of time with someone lately.  A male someone.  We've known each other a while, too, and our friendship means a lot to me.  He means a lot to me.  For some, this is cause for concern; for me, this is cause for celebration.

Anyone who's known me knows my marriage was on shaky ground for years.  We kept trying because we have a daughter, and that's what you do - you try until you can't any longer.  I've mourned that relationship.  I've grieved for years, actually.  I'm ready to stop being sad.  Some say it's too soon to move on from that, though.  They say I need to be alone with that grief for a while and settle into this new chapter.  I disagree.  Something beautiful has presented itself.  I don't want to turn away from it just because society thinks I should wait.

And I've never had a romantic relationship with someone who was a friend first.  It's an amazing thing.  I'm enjoying it very much.  There's already trust and a certain level of comfort.  We like each other.  How fantastic is that?  He likes me.  What a gift.

Monday, October 10, 2011

...and (Sometimes) Shrugging It Off Is Better than Trying to Understand

I've started this post so many times, and each time it sounded like something Abraham Lincoln would write: "When, in the course of one's life, she has opportunity to forgive or forget, struggle to understand, or just shrug it off...blah, blah, blah..."  Apparently, I'm feeling very old and presidential, like the weight of the free world is on my shoulders or something.  Thankfully, it is not.

There is a heaviness about my neck, but I know it will lessen without me begging for campaign dollars.  If you'd like to donate to my living fund, though, feel free to mail checks to: GiGi LeGault c/o Illuminate Salon, 214 N. 10th St., Boise, ID, 83702.  Any donations will be happily cashed.  Thank you for your support and all that happy bullshit.

Let me continue on about the shrugging off of shoulder weight.  For the last, oh, almost two years, I've been working on metamorphosing into something I can be proud of - or at least live with without self-hatred.  To some who don't understand this, it looks like pure selfishness.  Oh wait, it IS pure selfishness.  There, I freely admit to being selfish.  For the first time EVER, I am looking out for my own happiness.  I am embracing every day like it could be my last.  It's what I want Rhiannon to do, too.  I want her to start out seeking joy and fulfillment for HERSELF.  This does not mean that I wouldn't sacrifice all I possess, even my life, for those I love.  That is an integral part of all of this - letting those I love know what they mean to me.

The hardest part of this change has been the rage it's brought out in some.  I'm not talking about my ex, either.  Last night he said, "You have my daughter with you.  I want you to be happy and successful."  He may not love the way things went down, but he knows we needed to separate.  He's moving on and finding his own joy.  We have uncomfortable moments, but ultimately we have the same goal: A happy and healthy daughter.

No, the anger thrown my way has been from friends.  I've tried to understand the animosity.  I'm done trying.  This is me shrugging it off.

There is nothing more rewarding than the relationships I have.  I've done hair off and on in Boise for almost seventeen years.  In those years, I've met some of my closest friends just because they needed haircuts.  It's the best part of being a stylist, and I am luckier than most because my clients are friends.  They support me (literally) and share their lives with me.  I have a diverse clientele, too, so I get to hear great stories about many different things.  These people are the reason I stand behind a chair for a living.  Doing hair will never make me a lot of money.  That's okay.  I know I'll get rich the old-fashioned way - by inheritance.  

I won't always be a hairstylist, either.  Someday I'll write the Great American Novel, Oprah will come a courtin', the New York Times will herald me "The Best Thing Since Barbecue-Flavored Potato Chips," and all the world will be my oyster.  I'm sure that will piss someone off who supposedly loves me today.  My pseudo-mom told me yesterday, "There will always be those who are better friends when the weather is foul.  The minute the sun starts to shine, they will be the first to turn on you.  I'm sorry this has caused you sadness.  I'm sorry you're angry, because it's a waste of your time.  I'm sorry that a couple of people can tarnish the great things happening in your life and take your attention from those who truly love you.  It's time to let them go."

I'll do my best.  Thanks for the love.