As someone who's lived most of my life under the umbrella of socially accepted heteronormative relationships, it never occurred to me that at the age of 30, I'd meet someone I'd want to spend the rest of my life with. And this person happens to be a woman.
Fresh out of a two year relationship with a fiancé, I thought would end with us walking down the aisle. I was left to pick up myself again. This time, I told myself, I'm done putting up idealistic expectations for romance and love. Even in the melancholy of another failed attempt at finding love, I never regretted making the choices to be in love 'cause what came out of it were lessons and a beautiful son.
I followed every step I was told to lead a successful and happy life in Singapore. The status of being married, having children, a successful career - the satisfactory 5 C's and yet, it never delivered results for me as everyone else. When I decided that I'm done with following by the rules, and that my life was mine to charter through this tumultuous ocean, at the very least I am now choosing to steer my own ship.
When I met her, she was 10cm shorter than I am, a little weird, more importantly, a woman and had it been any other time in my life, I'd have dismissed her existence as nothing more than just a stranger or at the very least, a friend. But when she stumbled into my life that Jan 25th night, outside the toilet, unannounced, everything made sense but not enough for me to truly understand why it did.
When we met and she came at me with a silly pick up line, I thought nothing of it. Merely a friendly stranger making conversation while waiting to use the restroom. But when the conversation continued throughout the night, her seeking me out and wanting to get to know me and my stories, I was intrigued. She came at me with such coy confidence that's unassuming and soft. It was as if she knew, tonight, tonight had a purpose to exist for both of us.
I never placed too much thought about her, she's just friendly and that's all she'll ever be. But she continued conversations, making attempts to spend whatever time we could even if it's a 5mins catch up over a smoke. Without realizing, I began to slowly bring down my walls and this woman, in her ways, crept through this tough chamber of solid walls meant only for myself and my son.
It's been 2 years of us. Learning how to be in a queer relationship with someone who has always been so sure of her sexuality has it's many downs and the occasional ups. Coming out was never something I thought I needed to do or had to do. Everyone just expects me to be either single and if not, interested in cis men. It's hard to unlearn the notions of what society wants you to be. What you have to achieve to be successful. It's equally hard even for her to be in her own skin around me and my son. Cause she knows the boundaries and lines she cannot cross for my sake, to some, she's just a friend.
Under the covers of our blankets, we exist as individuals with goals and dreams, to want to be successful in our careers. And under those same blankets, we exist as partners with goals and dreams for each other, to want to be successful in our relationship despite knowing every turn has it owns trials and tribulations. We are aware that we don't get to love and live with the privilege I used to have. But we find each other in those times, and I hope to always find each other. I didn't think I'd be here with a woman in my arms, ready to spend a lifetime with, and yet here I am. I could be with anyone else or no one but the struggles and the pain we've had to go through and will continue to go through, I'd do it all over again and again with her.