I’m jealous of the people who came out early in life, who knew, with certainty that they were gay. I have no doubt that they struggled in ways I’ll never know, but to hear the song their heart was singing and to stand proud and claim it, how can you not be envious?
I am a 35 year old, soon to be divorced, quite likely gay, mother to two boys.
Even now, I lack the clarity of self, that others had early in their youth about who I truly am. In my life, I’ve both learned and forgotten many things, but mostly I seem to have lost myself along the way and now, finally, I am ready to find her.
But no matter how many articles I read, there is no road map to my self discovery and no shortcut to finding my future self. Because, quite simply I am an individual and each journey is unique.
So, each day I wake, fumbling my way through the day trying to find meaning in my journey as I rediscover the girl I once was, the woman I’ve become and most importantly the woman I want to be. The struggle is real and some days the success feels so sweet and other days I’m happy to make it through the day.
These mini mantras help guide and remind me stay the course through all the days.
Feel the Feelings.
The majority of my adult life, and probably much of my youth, was spent enjoying the good feelings and ignoring the less desirable. I re-directed my energy into other people or activities to avoid feeling things that might require real reflection and change. I’ve come to realize that was an incredibly ineffective way to live my life.
These days, I’m trying to live at a slower, more deliberate pace that allows me the opportunity to feel the feelings and honestly, its overwhelming. I’ve felt more sadness and melancholy in recent months then I have in years; but I know that in allowing it, sitting in it and truly feeling it, I will one day be able to stop metaphorically running away from it.
What’s in it For Me?
One of my biggest pitfalls is that I care too much for others. Your happiness, is my happiness, or so I thought. In reality, I simply stopped caring about my own happiness and instead learned to prioritize everyone else without a second thought for my own personal well being, wants or desires. Where others are learning to give of themselves, I instead am learning to ask, ‘what’s in it for me?’ Is there a genuine personal benefit to my actions, or am I simply trying to appease?
Although in life there must be balance, my experience is skewed so far towards caring for others that for now, I need to make it all about me; my wants, my desires and my life.
Two words that strongly resonate for me; I don’t want to be the candle struggling to stay lit, I want to be the bonfire in the night and the sunshine on a cloudless day. These two words remind me, everyday, to embrace all aspects of myself, to be confident in who I am, what I believe and who I choose to love. My heart deserves to sing and my soul deserves to shine each and every day that I am alive.
I can’t help but wonder when I’ll be ready to meet the gorgeous soul I know I’m supposed to be. But growth and change come with time and will not be rushed to meet anyone’s agenda. Today, I focus on my mini mantras and living my life as honestly and authentically as I can; in time I’m certain I will find the clarity I seek.