Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What the HELL HAVE I BECOME?

Who the hell am I anymore?

I think I'm pretty damn smart don't I?

A lot of people here in our corner of the blog world have expressed an event they call "coming out to oneself." I don't know that that is necessarily the best description of my experience but I will elaborate a little of where I am and where I was. I knew that I was gay for a long time, but I didn't call myself gay. I was a straight guy who happened to like men. Sound a bit confusing? Yeah. But I was different. My parents knew from the very beginning that I was different. They took me to a doctor at OHSU when I was a 5 years old to find out if I was normal. Even so, the doctor reassured my parents that everything was just fine. But my parents knew that I was different. Telling them that I was gay was no big surprise to them. I guess it makes for an anti-climactic announcement. In any case, almost a year and a half ago I realized that the more I dug into the problem and faced it for the reality that it is, the further it took me from God and His Church -at least that was my perception. Once I came to accept this as part of my life, I began to live for the first time. I looked at my life and let go of all the false beliefs about myself and self hatred for being gay. It was empowering.

I have learned so much since then about trials and life. And I really feel like I have been able to make peace with so many things. Life is not a torture for me anymore. When bumps in the road come I don't get all bent out of shape like I used to. I can laugh at the ironies of life and I have NEVER been more honest with myself and those around me. It has been liberating.

But what the hell has happened to me?

I used to be involved in the world around me. I was part of so very many extra curricular activities. I volunteered. I did things for others. I had goals and dreams and now... I am a selfish son-of-a-bitch. What the hell has happened to me? Did I loose myself in finding myself? I really wanted to make a difference in this world. I wanted to contribute something -to give back to the world and the life that has given so much to me. Now, I am self seeking in so many ways. I act all proud and wise as if I know it all and I preach my own gospel based on my personal experience. But who am I to be such a know-it-all? I talk about God and how he has helped me to find peace with my life and being gay; and while I won't deny that I feel a measure of peace with it all and that I can cope with trials much better, I feel totally lost too. He is so silent to me and I feel like I have no foundation.

Fighting being gay used to be all that I thought about. "How can I hide this truth and bury it away so that I never have to accept this," I would say to myself. I would try so hard to pretend that I was straight and holy and perfect that I pushed myself to do things that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise, and while yes, it was nice to accomplish something, it was all for the wrong reasons. Now it seems that I have just let everything in my life just slip out of my control and I let life happen to me.

I believe in destiny or fate more now than I ever have. I look at life as the waves of the ocean lapping at the shore. Inevitably life will come and I must accept what happens and then use my agency to react. Can I control and manipulate my life into what I want and yet still be accepting of the things that I cannot change. [But I suppose I could only answer that question anyway by knowing what I want out of life and I'm pretty damn confused right now.] I've said before that I live twice the life of the average person and I still believe that. Twice as many experiences, twice the good and the bad, the positive and the negative. Those that know me and my life would tend to agree that well, things just happen to me. But can I control that? Or must I just accept that the God-given experiences I have are there to shape me as the patterns of ocean print on the sand? How much can I control my destiny?

I received a phone call from a long time friend of mine today. She is one of those special people who know your soul. You know the kind I am talking about. They can read you and hear your spirit. She said to me, "When I look at you and see who you were a year ago and then look at who you are today, I can hardly recognize you. It's not necessarily bad or good... Just different. It scares me. You used to really care about so much... It seems like you just don't care about some things anymore that used to really matter to you."

It seems that now, the very subjects that I write about take up all of my thoughts and energy, and seem to engulf my life. It would seem to take just as much if not more effort to cope with it all than the effort I took to bury my problems. The only real difference now is that I don't have the passions I used to and I am no longer contributing the God-given gifts I have to the world around me and I am getting more and more frustrated with myself. I am doing things that I never thought I would do and I am just accepting it as destiny and character building. I hate the choices I'm making. I feel like I'm slipping away and into a person I do not want to become.

Worst of all, I am hurting and scaring those I love most. I am so sorry. You know who you are. How can I ever expect forgiveness for stabbing you in the back? I love you.

I'm really mad at myself right now. I am no sage with wisdom, though I think I convince myself that I have found the secret to happiness. I won't deny that I have found several tools and that God has taught me so much and I'll even say that I am happier with me than I have ever been on so many levels, I have made peace with so much in my life. But I think I lie to myself when I say that I have the answers...

Somebody help me! Somebody who can speak my language slap me in the face and tell me the truth!

4 comments:

playasinmar said...

There's no reason you must abandon all your old extra curricular activities. You can still volunteer.

Your perspectives on life may have changed but you still know what makes you happy.

drex said...

Part of 'growing up' is going through a selfish phase or two. I think it's an automatic coping mechanism for when life throws so many pitches you can't keep up - not even necessarily curve balls, just a lot to handle. As we try to keep up with the insane pace at which our life is moving and changing, we can't help but focus on ourselves. Especially when we feel like the issues we're dealing with demand our attention more than those around us. I think this is normal, and to some extent, healthy. Trust me, you're not alone in being self-serving and self-thinking, if that is indeed the funk that you're in.

And sometimes we hurt those we love by trying to show that love. For example, pushing people away to 'protect' them (I know this isn't your situation, but it's an example). And sometimes the process of our evolution from the 'me' of before to the 'me' of now leaves some people hurt or confused - that's life, and we just have to see if we can plow through it, hopefully together.

I dunno, I think I'm probably babbling at this point. Basically if you're not happy with where you are, do a self-inventory and first figure out where you want to be, then the big steps to get there, then the little steps to get to the big steps. Get help from a close friend or even a therapist or life coach (those are becoming popular nowadays) if you think you need the outside perspective. Share the goals you have with someone who can kick your butt if you need it - I find that accountability to someone other than myself or God improves my results.

Anyway, I think I understand where you're coming from. If you have the inkling, email me sometime. drex[dot]olympus[at]gmail[dot]com. I'm not the best advice-giver, but I can listen fairly well. :P

Foxx said...

Nobody expects you to be a sage, except, perhaps, yourself. You say you have found tools, and that you are happier with yourself more than ever. You don't have to know everything to know something and to share it. The only way we can learn from you is if you share. You have value. Your ideas have value.

I think it's natural to feel disoriented with your new sense of self. On the other hand, it's entirely possible that you are less satisfied with where you are now than where you have been. I think it would do a lot of good to explore these seemingly contrasting ideas:

I hate the choices I'm making.

I am happier with me than I have ever been on so many levels, I have made peace with so much in my life.

What makes you hate the choices you're making? What makes you so much happier now than before? Are the answers to these questions related?

agirlwho said...

Remember that you only ever have to answer to one person... the Lord. You might believe this, or you might not. If you do, then please think about this: whatever changes you make in your life, you can know if they are for the good by seeing how close they draw you (or how far they set you apart) from the Savior. If you feel like your life isn't going the direction you would have it go, think about the small things that keep you on track. Are you doing them? This isn't mean to guilt you, it's a causal relationship. The gospel exists to help us feel joy and to make us whole. I know that when my life is off track I lose sight of who I am. Who else in this world is going to tell you that you are a son of God who has infinite worth? I can't think of anyone else besides the Lord. He loves you and he wants you to remember who you are.