On Being A Storm Chaser

Written by Kayln Bohl

I've never been a sunshine and rainbows, "good-vibes-only", painfully optimistic, naïve to worldly pain kind of person. I wouldn't paint myself as a pessimist or a Debbie Downer either, even if my favorite color is black. I just love storms, both the physical ones and the life ones.

I grow in the dark. I look for myself in the rain and splash in puddles when I find her.

The queer community is no stranger to storms. We bear down and ride the waves like well-seasoned sailors and find solace in the calm- when our humanity isn't being questioned and victories have been won but we're always watching the skies for the slightest change.

Love and loss can both be storms. The kind that knocks you down, rocks the foundation of the familiar, and makes you question everything you ever thought you knew about yourself. I consider myself lucky enough to have weathered that kind of storm twice; once while I was going through my divorce and then again in my relationship with Annie.

Divorce was the hardest thing I've ever experienced in my life. It took every ounce of patience, forgiveness, grace, and self-worth I had to get through it and most days, I didn't feel like I was getting through it at all. My marriage wasn't easy by any means. In our first year, my spouse realized they were Trans* and eventually changed their pronouns, their name, and inevitably the dynamic of our relationship. After a good year of trying to adjust to all the changes, we decided that divorce was the best option for us. "I don't know who I am on my own," they said. And while I respected the hell out of that statement, there was nothing I could do to try and save us. We moved forward, in different directions, and I fell apart. They left with all the excitement of living a fresh and new life and I was left picking up the pieces of the life I thought we were building together. Rain I could handle but this was a hurricane.

I had to completely rebuild myself from the ground up and over time, I knew I was ready for everything life could throw at me. I put in the work, cried more than I ever thought was possible, and learned who I was and started to become the woman I always wanted to be, unapologetically.

And then I met Annie, this soft butch with gentle eyes, a fiery and playful personality, and loving smile that could turn the coldest heart into a puddle. Our first date was nothing but straight-shooting (no pun intended). We laid all our baggage out like it was an estate sale and prayed our ghosts wouldn't scare the other away and thankfully it worked. We spent the whole night talking about our failed relationships, trauma, mental & physical health, family issues, debt, you name it.

Call me old fashioned, but there's something about healing, growth, and self-awareness that I find super sexy. By the end of that date, I knew that I couldn't let her go. She was a storm but not the kind you run from- the kind you chase.

This woman challenges me in ways that I never anticipated but every day, I choose to grow with her because I can’t imagine living this life without her. She is a constant calm amidst my chaos and I never take that for granted.

If living in Colorado has taught me anything, it's that you can't control the weather. And, if you wait a few minutes, it'll change anyway. Love and marriage aren't perfect- sometimes evacuating is necessary. Sometimes the storms you don't see coming are the ones that bring the most beauty and yeah, sometimes it brings a rainbow.