I had a rough day yesterday. I let myself go to a dark place and the resultingbig ass pity party wasn't pretty.
The trigger is always something trivial or on the surface silly. In this case,a distant semi-relative posted about their engagement on that awful so-calledsocial media site, Facebook. I threw in my congrats because that's what youdo. Of course the little green jealousy monster started whispering in my ear.Everything is so perfect for them…health, youth, love of family andfriends…why them?
Erma Bombeck warned us about the color of the grass and what it isprobably hiding.
What if I had announced my engagement? Would my so-called social media familyand friends enthusiastically like my announcement and share congratulations?I'm sure they would if my betrothed was a woman. But if my soon to be betterhalf was a man? ….
I can hear the crickets already.
That's when it hit me. I have so much emotional baggage that I'm cartingaround, the odds of me finding anyone willing to love me despite all theemotional crap, the odds are very, very low.
And then so was I.
Why? Good question. I'm relatively intelligent, well read, good company attimes, funny on occasion…but I'm also damaged goods. I've got a lifetime ofemotional deadweight that I've been and still am carrying around. All thenegativity of the past, all the hiding who I am and all the lying. All thewishing things were different, the lifetime of isolation and desperation.
Am I alone? No, not in that sense, but peers are few and far between. Andthat's no ones fault but mine. I've been trained through repeated Pavlovianconditioning that I'm better off alone, hidden and quiet. People can't hurt meif I never let them near. But that's not what I want.
What I really want, what I really need to dump all the crappy deadweight ishope.
The hope is there. I see nuggets of good in people everyday. I've got one ortwo friends that I trust and who provide a positive influence in my otherwisegloomy life. People often surprise me, and I should trust that more.
But there is a lot of negativity in the world. Heck, look at NorthCarolina. The preachers wife on the radio this morning was so proud of thewedding cake she baked to celebrate the state's anti-equality amendment. Toher it's a party.
So what else gives me hope? I'll tell you. Standing here, metaphorically, andsaying once and for all, I'm gay. Yep, I'm a gay man. Duh, right? Perhaps, butnot openly stating the fact has been bugging me. I've come out to a couple ofpeople over the years, but not many. Am I worried about loosing my job? Notreally. And if I do because I'm gay?!? Then I would be much better off. Am Iworried about losing friends? Nope. The folks I call friends already know.
So why now? Why this statement? Shouldn't I do what that preachers wife inNorth Carolina wants me to do and stay hidden and in the closet?
No. Sorry if that goes against your beliefs, dear reader, or rubs you thewrong way, but there's no hope in that closet for me. What I need to work onnow is me. I need to drop the deadweight emotional baggage I've been cartingaround all my life. I need to live in the present and not the past. I need toenjoy the wonderful life I have and the people around me that make my lifewonderful. I need to thank them and appreciate the treasure that these peopleare.
Congrats young couple on your engagement. I mean that sincerely.
Goodbye old baggage. I'm done with you.