Does this sound like a talk show ? It could be !

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Hello there world ! This is your chance to connect with other people living life in the ‘closet’  as gay, lesbian and bi. You’ve come to the right place for a caring environment where I will express myself on a wide range of topics of things that I encounter on almost a daily basis. Feel free to post comments or contact me about things you would like to see or content you have written.  Negative, hateful or hurtful comments will not be tolerated.  Now get out there and live your best gay life, the journey has just begun !

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Dear Mom

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Dear Mom,

it is 2:39 AM and you would not be impressed under the circumstances. Its been a while since we talked and as my brother said we do have a special connection and bond. There are things I feel like I failed you with and wish we could sort through. They include the big three:  religion, marriage and relationships.

Religion is a big one with you and I have yet to give it a fair chance. Does watching Billy Graham count as a step in the right direction? I hope so. He’s been doing these 30 minute promo videos that focus on the lives of three people whose lives have been changed. The show paints a pretty picture of life with God in these peoples present lives. Do you think this can happen for everyone, even me? Do you still feel the same way? Your faith is amazing, I’ll give you that.

My marriage as you last heard was still doing well. It is doing well, but not in the sense that you think, it is not a true marriage. You see we are just two best friends doing the best that we can trying to remember to take life slow.  I wish I could report there was any sort of love in the room for my wife but my emotions have been punctured and beat up too badly to try and bring them back up to the surface to ever think about rekindling anything deep with this person ever again. On the plus side I’m sure that is how she feels about me too. It makes what I am about to say next a little bit easier.

On to relationships and what I do feel, where there are certain confessions I should make. While my marriage was imploding and I was in the long process of rebuilding myself, all of the pieces of the puzzle came together an I determined that I was gay. Everything I went through as a teen and young adult gave me the sense that they were lacking in meaning some how and now I know why. Perhaps where you are right now you can see through your old beliefs that this is not wrong. How can love when found ever be wrong? After all, God is love right ? Perhaps with connections with the guy upstairs you can accept this. Sorry to have it come out in this way, I should have taken the opportunity to tell you in person. please forgive me for that.

You see these are some of the things that weigh on my mind at 2:39 AM while I think about going back to sleep. I’ll try harder to give God and religion a chance and not speed through life without giving something so important to you a decent chance. I’ll continue to keep the family a priority and keep the bonds strong as everyone moves forward through life. You hopefully, will have forgiveness in your heart for me not telling you sooner I was gay. Oddly I picture you praying for me right now at the time of my confession 😉  Tell dad I love him as it was not said enough or in time. You can tell him the news and catch him up, I think he would like that. I have not forgotten him.

It’s getting close to 3:00 AM now and I feel the sleep creeping back again. Please give my dog a good night kiss on the head for me when you see her as I miss her too. Thanks for being there and listening, I knew I could count on you waiting till the end and hearing me through.  Don’t ever forget I love you too.

Good Night and God bless

 

Beauty and the Beast – Which am I ?

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Recently I had the pleasure to see the local production of Beauty and the Beast. Seeing a musical is always at the top of my list. Ive known the story for a long time although I still haven’t seen the latest Emma Watson incarnation which I’m sure would be brilliant sealing it in the hearts of future generations. Judging by all of the little kids dressed as Belle, I’ve already underestimated its popularity.

If you’ve guessed that this somehow ties into my life, you’d be right. I watched the production and was mentally tying in to it all of the similarities between myself and the beast. Did you think I was going to say Belle? Ok, that thought was worth a chuckle wasn’t it ? A thing that stood out was how the beast was seen as ugly/threatening by those that did not know him, how close he came to fulling bottoming out and losing it all and that he could display his inner beauty when he was able to drop his guard and trust in the people around him. It did take some persistence by Belle and I can see that working on someone like me.

Ironically, in my own life when I’m walking down town on my lunch break I often feel like a space alien that people steer clear of. Especially I would say women give off that vibe. When people react in this way it makes it feel like it may be impossible to ever be given the chance to open up to anyone. This I’m calling beast similarity number one: A loneliness brought about by the walls others put up around themselves. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, especially if it is walking down the street.

The second beast similarity:  being isolated leads to more isolation. How would the beast change the pattern of his existence if there is no one close enough to him to befriend? You can say about my life, how would I overcome loneliness when my house resembles the beasts castle? There are a total of 4 people in my house that make up my friend list. Unless I can somehow convince more people to come in to the house, that house will not be the key to making the house a place of joy.

The third beast similarity is that ultimately a hand/paw must be extended to draw people in. Persistence by both parties are needed to to start cooking up something meaningful in the friend department. This time it is Belle that demonstrates this point. If we had turned to run after her first encounter with the beast the whole story would never have happened.

Looking back at this list I could have titled this as What Beauty and the Beast taught me about life but I found it a lot more interesting to relate it to my life. Who knows, maybe its time to bring some new life behind these castle walls to start a whole new story.

Self Preservation or Being a Jerk?

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Some of you may have realized I like to write about my thoughts and musings more than everyday events. These thoughts usually leave me by the time I decide its worthy of a post but this one thing lately made me write down some notes to not let this thought escape me. The question my friend, is why are people I deal with such jerks?

I’m mainly talking about the physical people I run into at work not the loyal friends I follow on Facebook lol Right ! I don’t have many friends outside of work….but that’s another story and something I’m working on.

What I’ve seen happening at work is a common mentality of ‘not my job’ so don’t bug me. This is in contrast to the way things used to be here 10+ years ago where everyone had time for everyone and it was a mutual goal to excel and rise up to be the best you could be. Do I blame them ? no. It’s hard in this climate to stay afloat where the new normal is high output required and your worth is measured and based on how much you can do and not how much you can offer.

I’ve observed that sooner or later people learn that they need to ignore others needs in order to meet their own. If I look deeper it looks to be spread out over the spectrum of love, sex, marriage and family. BUT in making this their primary focus do they realize they become jerks to the others around them. Do they even care when the rest doesn’t matter?

Invariably I believe by obtaining these things people can over time revert back to being non-jerks. The prime example I can give to that are the elderly people around us. I think everyone knows someone that is elderly that will talk to anyone at the drop of a hat and offer whatever help they can. There is an openness everyone they encounter. An interesting lesson we can take away from those that have ‘been there done that’ and found an importance in others that does not fuel self gain.

A big shout out to the enlightened. I thank you for being there. These are the people that are able to do this at any stage in their life and not just when they are old and have found meaning in people outside of their immediate circle of friends. In my opinion this is the holy grail of existence we should all strive for. Am I there? no sir ! but perhaps knowing whats important in life puts me one step further at work or in everyday life from being a jerk.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Exercise

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What does Kimmy have to do with exercise? Truthfully it was the first show that I watched when I started on the treadmill and the arrival of its new season seems to be a sign that I take my first stab at trying to exercise again in a long while. It was the perfect plan …. it was the four seasons (?) previous where I started to make the weight melt off before so it seems like a sign that with the arrival of the new season, the timing was right to take another shot at this.

This is not a weight loss story. If you’ve read my entries before you’ll know a lesson often arrives with these little revelations in my life. Mental health is not something I understand but acknowledge is something I do grapple with. Typically a compulsive action starts to occur and I need to figure out what is triggering things. This time I’m quite convinced a lot of this was related to my quitting nicotine gum. I’m not a fan of smoking and I find I fall off the wagon every so often which I figured had to do with being on a nice strong dosage of the gum. Me and self medicating are a really, REALLY  bad combination.

Its also around this time that things are just off the charts going ‘bad’ when I remember that exercise did actually lift my moods to almost an acceptable level. Then along comes the new season of Kimmy Schmidt. I gave Kimmy and the treadmill a shot once again to try and re-align myself.  The result? Kimmy was great, the treadmill kicked my but, I schvitzed but I did feel the tiniest bit better taking it all in afterwards. Is this a sign of things to come? Did Kimmy save my life?  Sometimes we forget get to invest in ourselves when we suit up to fight mental illness and I’m going to try and keep going and see what happens.

 

 

Do you fear coming out? What happens when the roadblocks disappear …

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The way I see it, I have two big challenges front and center with me: Should I come out now that the road blocks are all gone and if I did what would I come out as ? Let me put out there that it would not be the worst thing for me to get outed via social media or by me being involved in pro LGBT activities or expressing my opinions. I think I could live with it happening that way. What I am talking more about here is coming out in the traditional sense of announcing it as a matter of fact to those that matter in my life and hoping they still remain close. Further to complicate this, announcing your new sexual orientation requires stating what your new norms are. A tougher thing to do especially if you don’t like labels and being put into someones tidy little ‘orientation box’.

After my mother passed away, it took me some time to realize there wasn’t a lot of reasons to remain closeted anymore. It was her I felt I was protecting from the radical turmoil that I could unleash on to my life and hers. Was I being a big weenie for holding this in? probably. If you mix in the problems with anxiety and depression that I have, you start to weigh these decisions more heavily trying not to have anxiety and depression controlling the outcome. Things are not always seen as clearly as others without these problems would see them. What I do know is that there is a sense of peace flowing through me regarding my ‘secret’.

I had a fight with my wife the other day at the end of the night as we were settling in to watch some TV before bed. I was ready to enjoy some quiet time together but she had other plans. It was time for the classic ambush and time for me to explain why the old me came back after an appearance of the ‘good’ me surfaced for two days after my mother passed. Did you know there was a ‘good’ version of me that I constantly try to live up to? I apparently was more thoughtful, kind, attentive and I became a good listener during this period. She did not like that life had gone back to the usual. I on the other hand did not see it. I was still being myself believing I was being more attentive, more kind and more appreciative of my surroundings and family. If there was an improvement in the situation I attributed it to us both being off work and having tons of time to think about things and be reflective. I did ask why she felt the need to attack me in this way and what kind of positive outcome could possibly come from having a ‘conversation’ this way. I didn’t really get an answer to this but let the blows fall as they may cursing myself for letting my guard down in the first place.  Thats when it occurred to me if I really made her that unhappy I could offer to leave, come out or both. That still blows my mind to think of the options now that the roadblocks are gone. As I reflect back on that event I feel a glimmer of hope that there might be something good on the horizon or perhaps just change.

Quite possibly the worst part (for me) about coming out is claiming a sexual orientation. It seems like it is socially acceptable to go to the same gender. ie. I liked girls but realize I’m more into men. It however seems like you break what is acceptable and you have a problem if you (as a male for example) want to be with women, men and then women again. This feels like a one shot deal and you better get it right. Oddly this worries me as I am one of those people that always has a backup plan. If I truly believe what I’ve said then you would realize there is plan B once you put it out there. You can only do this once and it will stick for always. No pressure …

No coming out discussion would be complete without doing some inner reflection on just how ready you think you are. Are you ready ? How much have you prepared yourself mentally, financially or socially? Is this something you can just roll with and everything will be alright? As an introvert, I can say that often I’m guilty of over thinking things, especially the larger decisions in life. I think that if you can keep yourself in a good place mentally you are more likely respond appropriately to whatever life throws your way and that includes whatever stresses come your way as a result of coming out. These days I think this is often referred to as self care.

Perhaps my hesitation to come out is why I push the envelope daily and express myself a little more each time. When it happens it will happen. Some day what is on the inside will be on the outside… and you’ll be first in line to hear about it.

 

 

 

 

Is there a Heaven ?

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I don’t know. I’d like think there is and I was taught that there was since day one. Now hit the rewind button and see what you recall was happening in your life on Thursday around 6:00 PM last week. What is the significance of this day/time ? That is when my mom took her last breath and passed away.

I could write pages of our experiences together good and bad that coloured the path I took in life. How she was a saint and the most selfless person I know and was always there for me. She was more to the point one of my best friends and confidant in all things.

She was devoutly religious in her baptist faith. The baptist faith is pretty rigid and things are spelt out in what would make you a good christian. Many of the comments from those I’ve run into offer comfort in saying we will meet again someday.

Quite honestly life has been a been a pretty rough ride so far as far as feeling that I even belong here at all. There has always been the depression and anxiety accompanying me in life with a good smattering of suicidal thoughts every so often. I have drifted away from the church, their beliefs and any thoughts of there being a heaven.

What if she was right? what if there is a heaven?  A place that for once, everyone can be in peace together. I am stuck with this thought now as I carry on. I have the funeral to go to tomorrow and that is going make this all real again, VERY real. Maybe she was right, there is a heaven, she is in a better place. This possibility may make this day some how slightly less painful and I can take a little bit of comfort in thinking she may actually be in a better place. Peace be with you and with my mom.

 

The One that got away

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I know what you thinking, or at least suspect what you are thinking. Ahead there is probably a journal about a one true love that got away. First, let me say: I wish ! Wouldn’t that be a recipe for some welcome high drama? In most cases people avoid drama like the plague but this is the one kind of drama we love to hear about. Actually the title refers to the job that got away. (No love story here and I can already hear the groans in the background lol).

To put it simply, I did not get the job I was holding out for. It was a city job, the holy grail of employers. Only the federal government could have topped the city as an favored employer. Getting a job with either of these crews would have made me feel like winning the lottery. Having an “in” ie. my wife as a reference I was banking on getting a fair shake.  I was told it would take 6 to 8 weeks to hear if I was getting an interview. they said ‘if you dont hear from us by then – then you were passed over’.  Even when playing my ace card things looked good. I would take a hefty pay cut to start out with what could be my next new adventure in life. the 8 week mark was a few days ago. I was passed over 😦   Onward and upward I suppose ….

It takes some pretty big life planning to make a career switch at my age (ie. 45+). How do you pick what it is that you would like to do next? If you had the choice, what new direction would you take? It really is my last shot considering my age to have a do-over (no pressure right?). I’ve been at my present job for almost 10 years and although I dont know what comes next, I know I do not want to continue doing what I am doing. You could say I sold my soul for a pay check and now its time to take ownership back. You only live once is a true adage. Its not that I want to change the world, but rather switch to liking my whole day and not just the part that starts after quitting time each day.

Advice is easy to give, not to take. I’ve always loved people coming up to me with their next awesome career idea. I always knew how to get there. It was just like looking at a straight line looking from point A to point B. They would throw up many obstacles that they regarded as insurmountable in their new quest. They were like me in that they already were doing ‘ok’ with their current job but lacked the vision to see how to get to their new career. The career that would finally make all of those days fly by as they became a person that ‘loved their job’. I think the one difference between them and me was they could see what they wanted to do, just not the path to get there.

To all those people that love what they do everyday,  take a quick look in the mirror and share a smile with the luckiest person out there 😉