Finding Your Door: An Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week Reflection
Language is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? It’s almost like a collection of doors that you can pass through to find worlds you never knew existed. As a child, I was always searching for my door. Like Mirabel from Disney’s epic Encanto, I felt like I was constantly staring at doors and hallways, waiting for them to magically appear with the answers I was looking for. I saw many other doors come to life for others, but they just didn’t make sense to me. Why didn’t I find them beautiful? Why couldn’t I see the magic in them? What was wrong with me? I would sit with my head tilted like a confused dog, wondering if their owners really were hiding the mysterious tennis ball behind their backs.
My friends and classmates found their doors to be the most interesting and necessary things in the world. I tried to sneak around the hinges and see what all the fuss was about, but once again, I was left lost. But I didn’t want to be different than my peers, so I played along. Oh my goodness, that is the most incredible, life changing, sparkly, magnificent door I have ever seen in my life! You are so lucky! My door looks just like that, yep, same crown molding and everything.
So there I was, hiding my true feelings behind a fake door, going through my teenage years and college and other early adulthood milestones, feeling like if I didn’t keep feigning interest in doors, I would end up in a sad hallway all by myself. It was exhausting.
But then, by some miracle of the Internet, I found the door I didn’t even know was there all along, hiding in plain sight: the aromantic door. Finally! I thought. Now this makes sense! Why couldn’t I see it before?
As a wise person once told me, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I could never conceive of a world that would open up to me, but the healing power of
language set me free. I am a non-partnering, childless aromantic (and asexual, but that’s a story for another day). A year ago, if you had told me that I could build whatever life I wanted for myself and never have to go on another nausea-and-hive-inducing date ever again, I would say you were messing with me. But here I am, single and sans romantic attraction, and I’ve never been happier.
Languages around the world have so many unique and specific ways of describing every type of love available to humanity. Why should our society put one love on a pedestal and the rest below, yearning for the same level of respect? My familial and platonic relationships make me feel like the best version of myself. And that is a pretty fantastic feeling.
My hope for you and all humans is to find the kind of love that makes you feel the most at peace, no matter what it is. Be free to love and hold on tight to your
people in the best way you know how. All types of love should be equal.
To my alloromantic friends, celebrate the arospec humans in your life this week. (Chocolate should be on sale, I’m just saying). It can be difficult to move throughout a cruel world when you feel differently than most people.
To my arospec family, thank you for opening my eyes to a beautiful life. Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week!
To anyone who is on their own journey through hallways and nooks and secret passageways, go. Find your door. It might be in the last place you look.
This article was written by Bri (She/Her). You can follow Bri over on Twitter here.