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A New Leaf


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I've been doing some thinking. Oh, I over-analyze like crazy, but sometimes I actually put the analysis on hold and just coast. Or I'd like think that.

So what prompts the new leaf in the title? Have I gained a sudden interest in botany? OK, it's not that, though that would help.

I have done a lot of fussing lately. A lot of fussing. And whining. And if you look at how I post on other forums, you'd see I don't do that nearly so much there. Yet here, where I feel I can be more open and air my feelings, what it is to be gay and be me, it seems I have been playing the violin, pity party, a lot lately.

Why?

Sure, life sucks sometimes. I've had some crap in my life over the years, and growing up. OK, but everybody has some crap to deal with in life, and some of us have more. So why focus on it?

Heck if I know. But it felt important to cry and beat my chest and say, woe is me, why me, I don't like all that! And I can't guarantee it won't happen again.

But you know, I'm tired of that too. Yes, I'm 46, lost a lot of people in my life, and things are not great right now. OK, sure. But darn it, this is also a fresh start, if I take it, if I make it one. I have tried to tell myself that, and sometimes I make progress and sometimes I don't. There's been a lot of uphill going on, and a lot of sliding back down, or standing stiil. But...assuming I don't give in to the negativity or get taken out by some unforeseen absurdity, then I should have anywhere between about 24 and 56 years left. (But please, if it's 56, I don't want to go senile.)

That's a heckuva long time. I really don't want to spend the rest of my life being miserable, sad, and angry. It isn't the better me I want, or the kind of life I want. I want that optimism and positive outlook I used to have more often. In person, I'm friendly, sometimes very, though often quiet or not as articulate as I try to be in writing. I'm also kinda shy and a loner. But I want more than that, you know? I have hated seeing the bad sides of people, the kinds of things some people will do. Yet I'm still me. I still want and need other people. Besides, I have to rely on others for some things, because I simply can't do some things by myself. (Eyesight.)

Yesterday, I was looking for where I thought I had put my old yearbooks. I was telling myself it was story research. (I'm looking for a couple of particular comments written in my yearbooks by school friends back in the day.) I haven't seen any of those old school friends since college. But I also wanted to look back through those yearbooks, because there are good memories in there too. High school was actually one of the best times of my life, aside from some less happy memories in there. Most of it was good. I matured socially along with the physical and mental maturing.

Sure, although I really, really miss the couple of friends I had big crushes on, and a few other good friends, and several good teachers...and although there were some bad times too...even so, despite bullying and teasing and gossip, there was also a lot of good going on there, especially in high school. I mostly liked high school. I was mostly happy and felt things were going good, and I was looking forward to the future. Hah, I had some sort of internal compromise about my gay feelings, even, despite questioning and confusion about it. Um, hey, I knew I liked it when I could simply accept it and go with it. And it was me, it was what did it for me, if I had to be honest to myself. I didn't know quite what to make of that. But it wsa true. It was guys I thought about, not girls. And that was certainly not the be-all and end-all of my life. I wasn't and am not only focused on being gay.

I was better adjusted, if anything, back then, even with the questions and confusion about it all, and even though I wasn't telling anybody, except when I tried to see if a friend or two would accept it enough to talk to them...or to see if a friend or two might like me and want to do something about that, like I did. (Yes, even the questioning and religious "good boy" has a sex drive and a romantic drive.)

It came to me that I want that self back. I want that better adjusted guy, the one I try to be when I'm in public, or when I'm elsewhere online posting long-winded posts. (Sorry, short posts and emails are likely never going to be me. Deal with it! :) )

So. I am tired of being unhappy and venting all over the page about how damn unhappy, poor me, waah-waah. -- I want that better me that I know is also there, right here along with that guy that is not happy about how things have been so long.

I know that sad and angry, wounded side, may still appear from time to time. There's a lot of healing that still needs to happen. Why have I been like that? Because I have been through years of a personal nightmare, thrust into responsibility 24/7 for someone else's well being, with no possibility of a positive outcome, and during that time, there was a lot of loss, sadness, anger, and a lot of seeing the worst that people can do to each other. So yes, there are reasons for why I've been so down, and why, here and a few other places, I spilled that out on the page, needing to say just how much I was not happy with how life had been. I needed to tell someone, anyone who'd listen, that I'd been through some crap I couldn't tell others, because who else would understand how it feels to be gay or to go through those other things.

I didn't find those yearbooks. Sometime lately, after this hurricane or that, or simply moving things around to do this or that, I moved the box...somewhere. So now I have to find the stupid box, just to see those old yearbooks.

But it made me stop and think about that teenage self, who he really was, what he wanted and believed, and the things that were so right in life at that time. -- Boy, there was so much I hadn't been through yet, thank goodness. I'm now older and wiser in some things. I've been through crap and learned from it. I've learned to be more cautious about who I let really close and what I say, even though I have also learned to open up about some things, and some things just don't matter so much.

I want to get back to that better me that's been so buried under things for far too long. Not just that high school self, but the adult self who increasingly had more and more stuff to go through, and kind of ducked and covered and felt overwhelmed. That wasn't just the me who had realized he was gay in college, and put himself way too deep in the closet. That's the me who had things happen in life that I never could have foreseen or wanted, but yet life dealt those things out anyway.

There's still a lot of things before my life's back in any very good situation. My budget sucks. My support system of friends is almost non-existent. I'm basically rebuilding my life from scratch. (And from the contents of way too damn many boxes, most of which is probably ultimately going to be gotten rid of.)

But blast it, I want that better, freer, more well adjusted life, the positive, optimistic self. I miss that guy, that me. He's been buried under too much crap for too long.

So...here I am. I may not be much different right away. I may have times when I'm pissed off at the world, or very sad. There are some real reasons for that, I can't deny the truth of those either.

But that better me has just got to see the light and be me again. Whether it's 24 years or 56 years or whether a rock falls from the sky tomorrow, or whatever is in my future, well, I've still gotta be me every day.

So here I am.

Where the blazes did I move that particular box? Or a few others? ..And dang, I will be so glad when all the rest of these are unboxed and over and done with, and life's back to some sort of normal again, whatever that is.

Hi, I'm Ben. I'm here.

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