A year and a bit ago, Stacey and I set up this blog because we wanted a way to document what we thought could be the last six months we’d have together. One year, 124 blog posts and a whole lot of hours invested later, not only are we still together, we’re looking to buy a house together, and I have just accepted a new job which will keep me in Edinburgh for the more-than-foreseeable future. I have written before about the fact that I refuse to pretend that the life that Stacey and I have is anywhere approaching perfect. I’ve also tried to write about some of the things which I have found really hard about our lives; from when I was signed off work for stress and bereavement right through to the frustration I felt when my phone, laptop and glasses all broke within just a week of one another. I’m going to be honest here; sometimes, our lives are really hard. Stacey has a full-time job which pays a relatively low wage, whilst also going to class two nights a week in order to get her LLB. She still has another two years of study before she graduates, at which point she will still need to complete a Diploma (a 9 month course which can cost up to about £8,000 and is the same hours as a full time job) before starting a two year trainee-ship. She will be 28 by the time she can get her first full time graduate job; I will be 30.
I’m incredibly lucky in that I have a good job which I really enjoy, and in an industry which is growing. I said to a family friend recently that I couldn’t imagine ever doing anything different in terms of my job now; when I look to my future, I can see that my career stretches out in front of me, an exciting and ever-changing path. That doesn’t always make it any easier for us though; Stacey and I often struggle for money, and trying to save money to buy our own place (let along saving for an engagement or *gulp* a wedding) is difficult, week in, week out.
Sometimes I look at other bloggers online, and I will admit – I am jealous of their lives. It all looks so perfect – stunning holidays in exotic locations across the globe, date nights in amazing restaurants, houses that have been bought and painted and decorated to become a home. (Don’t even get me started on those family bloggers whose updates I read greedily, feeling desperately jealous and yet unable to look away.) Even those long distance couples I follow on Tumblr – I admire their determination in being together, but I’m still sad that they get to spend whole weeks together, uninterrupted by working late or law classes or being so broke that you can’t even afford ice cream!
So it’s hard, trying to work out what to say and what to hold back, when to be honest and when to be deceitful by omission. And it’s even harder, reading the blogs of other people who are part of this online community, whose lives seem like they are so much easier than ours!
Then there’s this other level of insecurity, that because Stace and I live up here in Edinburgh, and because our lives are so crazily manic, that we’re even missing out on being part of that lesbian community that I admire so much. Back when I was a student, I went to the St Andrews LGBT Society almost every week, and I met so many of my friends through the society. Since then, despite the fact that Edinburgh has a perfectly lovely LGBT Society (BLOGS), I’ve felt pretty cut off from the LGBT community because we can’t go out to bars on week nights, and our chat is more likely to revolve around Law Diplomas and online marketing than it is who copped off with who last night. Because of this, I value the online LGBT community so much more, it makes me feel like I am part of something.
So some days I wake up and I am incredibly glad to be part of this online community of people who support each other through governments trying to decide whether we should be able to get married, or rounds of IVF, or first days at new jobs (my new job starts four weeks tomorrow, which is crazy). Other days I wake up and scroll through my blog reader and feel dismayed that other people are having so much fun, or that their lives are so much more settled than mine, and they’re younger than me too!
And that’s the pitfall of being a lesbian blogger; it’s really hard not to compare yourself, your life and your relationship to that of the other lesbian bloggers that you see around you on the internet. Even though I know that I am doing the right things for me, and for Stacey, and our life together, it’s hard not too look on the other side of the fence and feel like everyone else has it far far greener.Carley