Words are important. Words are loaded. Words are confusing. Words need explaining. What I understand by X is probably not what you mean. Words are shorthand for something ineffable. Words are not reality.
I love the word Druidry because no one knows what it means. There is no authority handing down definitions. I can say things like “this is what my Druidry looks like today”. Those of us who use it, can never own the word, never define it for someone else. I explain what Druidry is to me by using it, sharing my story, all the while knowing that it is something both deeply personal and ultimately unknowable.
Other words are less free. For me, one of those words is “boyfriend”. I have story with it. His story. History. I’m noticing that I have a lot of judgement about what a boyfriend is. I have unexamined stories about what a boyfriend is. I have notions about what a boyfriend deserves, what I deserve from a boyfriend. Stories are “safe”. Stories make me anxious too.
I have decided to drop the word ‘boyfriend’; it blinds me from the reality of relationship. In its place, I am using Lover. Lover is exciting. Lover is alive. Lover is active. Lover is unexplored, mysterious, Unknown, wild. Lover has no story. Lover is in the moment. Lover is not safe. Lover is not contained by common definition. I am also dropping the labels “single” vs “in a relationship”. I am human and social. I am always in relationship. I am in relationship with with my friends, family, colleagues, lovers, my wise body, and my fellow adventurers in life.
I am reminded of people I knew years ago who refused to be defined by gender as either male or female. I didn’t get it at the time. I think I’m starting to. I know my ideas may change next week, but for now, this is my truth. This is my experimental journey. For now, I am not single or in a relationship. I am me. I am not defining my relationships as “boyfriends”, I’m using Lovers. And all this because I can’t rely on some external definition, I have to feel into the reality of each relationship, as it is now, as it unfolds between us.