Merriam Webster defines ‘adult’ as follows:
To ‘adult’ is to behave like an adult, specifically to do the things—often mundane—that an adult is expected to do. It’s also common as a gerund—that is, in the form adulting as a noun, as in “Adulting is hard” or “I’m not very good at adulting.”
Prior to my graduation in May 2017, I had no idea I would be catapulted into adult life in such a drastic fashion. But, as I reflect on the past 5 months, I recognize that dedicated adulting looks pretty good on me and my beautiful family too. Since moving to DC in August, it seems we are finally beginning to feel settled in our new home. We haven’t been able to get outdoors much, other than our amazing trip to Seattle, and we hope to get back out there soon. But for now, we have been growing and loving as a family, running around our front yard with Chaco, and taking the adult life adventure head on. I am in love with my job as a teacher through all its many challenges, Roz is gracefully managing the challenges of working in education as well, and Lo will soon begin a barber apprenticeship at a salon in DC.
Working in education is something that Roz and I get to share the joy of, which is such a strength of our relationship. Last week we were lucky enough to be sent, by our employers, to the Creating Change Conference 2018 (CC18) put on by the National LGBTQ Task Force. Oddly enough, this year’s conference was conveniently located basically in the backyard of our Washington DC apartment. We vigorously reviewed the workshop session descriptions a few days before attending, but no amount of research and preparation (Roz’s expertise) could prepare us for our fruitful and interesting experiences.
There were a variety of session offerings that piqued our interest like We Define Family: Alternative Family Models, Fundamentals of Training, Listening to Heal, Promoting Trans Mental Health and Awareness, Relationship Builders: Laying Foundation, Maintaining Structures and many others. We were able to take away so many ideas and lots of information about ways to enhance our growth as individuals and as a family. We may or may not have taken some small bites away that could possibly be applied to our occupations too.
While I wasn’t surprised at the beautiful array of Queer and LGBT+ people present, I was surprised at how often I heard someone mention their partners (yes in plural) and relationship dynamics when they opened up to share their experiences during sessions. It was so inviting and refreshing to be in a space where I could talk about my experiences without having to first explain my polyamory. It was evident that Queer and LGBT+ identity was not the only commonality between attendees. The number and variety of intersectionalities was overwhelming. When I sat down in any space, I consistently found that the person sitting next to me was Black like me, or poly like me, or kinky, or an educator, or 23 like me, or I found out that they grew up in the same neighborhood as me. I admired and appreciated the dedication to making CC18 accessible to all people. This fostered such a great sense of safety and community throughout the conference, that I have yet to experience anywhere else. We spent equally as much time in workshops listening and sharing as we did outside of them. Much of our time was spent connecting with people from all over the country talking, sharing, and laughing a whole lot! You could just sit in the hotel lobby, without attending any workshops, and still leave with a wealth of knowledge and shared stories.
One of my favorite parts of CC18 was the Advanced Polyamory caucus (you guessed it there was polyamory for beginners too!) We got a chance to talk about anything under the sun, and mostly things that we’re always dying to get insight or opinions about from other polyamorous people. How do you manage time? How do you deal with jealousy? Are you just a little compersive or does the joy of your parters and metamours give you all the yummy bright sun shining feels? We discussed so many kinds of relationship dynamics including ours which is an open triad. But, other people talked about being independent poly or having hierarchical relationships. For me, the best part of it all was the affirmation of my relationship that came from me simply reflecting on my happiness as well as our ability to face the challenges of our relationship with such brave and open hearts. I strongly believe that our success in life both together and as individuals is a testament to how well this works for us.
Our adult life adventures have been fun and fulfilling but, we hope to get back outdoors very soon and take all of our new insights and experiences with us. After all, our intense adulting definitely needs a generous reward. I’ve heard the phrase “The Outdoors is Calling” so often, but I’ve never had such a strong personal connection until now. Right now, I would give anything to be surrounded by trees and sitting by the fire with my beloveds. I think this year, our goal might be to continue the feeling of such great representation in one space, and translate that to outdoor spaces, inviting more people from our intersectional communities to venture outdoors with us. It is always a pleasure to combine our identity and love for our community with our love for being in nature. In the meantime we’ll continue to read books with children, create spreadsheets, and make sure the shampoo is fully stocked, but know that inside we feel just like Chaco.
Until then, if you’re out there, commuting, paying bills, going to therapy, answering emails, any of the things, know that we see you. You’re doing great! And we can’t wait to meet you back outdoors soon!
Love and Lavender,