The times they are a changing

Fuck! It seems like weeks since I’ve written. Oh look, yup, it’s been two weeks. What could have happened in that time? Well a lot. I’ve been a busy boy but it’s all in the past now. This blog is about the moment… and about my mind and the fact is my mind has not really been in the moment lately. I am in a period of transition – just as much of the world is it seems. The past two weeks have been spent appreciating that fact and poising myself for what is to come.

I expected Pride to be different this year, what with same-sex marriage recognized both here in Minnesota and by the Supreme court. We have our first male player on a professional sports team to come out. These are major milestones in what continues to be a long struggle for equality. What I found different this year was just how “normal” being gay is (at least in Minneapolis). Pride really felt more like St. Patricks day only instead of wearing green and being Irish for a day everyone dressed in rainbows and was gay for a day. It was also a helluva lot bigger that St. Patty’s day but hey, June is a helluva lot better of a time that March to have a celebration. I don’t know how everyone else feels about gay being the new green but I’m pretty okay with it. We are all part of some minority group and we are all judged for it but if we have reached the level of acceptance enjoyed by the Irish – I can work with that. Pour me a Jamison, bitches!

But most of this “period of transition” that I have been processing is purely personal. A year ago, I was engaged to be married, had my son living with me and was seriously struggling after a suicide attempt. I wouldn’t say that my life is any less stressful now but the things I’m dealing with are quite different.

The biggest change, and the one that concerns me most, is that none of my support system over the past few years are still playing that role in my life. They have all either moved away, moved on or been kicked out. I’m not sure that is a bad thing. Much of who we are and what we do is effected by the people closest to us and I am clearly getting ready to do something different. I’m going to need some different people.

What concerns me is that none of the people that know me the best are currently keeping an eye on me. I think that I am heading in the right direction; I think that I am making good decisions; I think that things are getting better; but I could be wrong. Without anyone else around I am left to my own devices.

Perhaps that is what this blog is for. Perhaps for what comes next I am going to need all of you to be my reality check. If I’m truly to do something different I’m going to need as many different people in my life as I can find.

 

NOTE: the title of this post is an homage to Bob Dylan who is playing tonight in St. Paul.

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A simple smile

“Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn’t suck.” – Joss Whedon

Tuesday was one of those days. I was deeply moved by the out pouring of  support and generosity I had received.  It wasn’t just gift I received in the mail. It was being taken out to lunch. It was the restaurant re-tweeting my check-in, thanking me for my business and wishing me a good day. It was a friend sharing her hair dye with my daughter. It was even the customer service person at the bank who expressed understanding of my situation and took the time to kindly explain the bank rules. It was in the eyes of the countless random strangers who smiled at me throughout the day.

All day long, I felt like I was part of a community, a group of people who were willing to do what they could, as simple as that may be, to make the world a slightly better place. At least for that day, I found reason to believe that we really are all in this together. I’m not naive. I know how cruel the world can be, but I can also see it’s potential. When I’m open to it, when I look with un-jaded eyes, I see the kindness and compassion alive withing the human spirit. I believe it is there burning within everyone. Perhaps the flame has gone out, extinguished after years of abuse or trauma,  but an amber remains, waiting for a breath of oxygen and the fuel to sustain it.

Filled with the kindness I had received I set out to share my love and compassion with others who were hurting. There are a number of other Facebook groups with the theme, “Life Sucks”. There is Life Sucks, but I Love it anyway, LIFE SUCKS!!!!!!!! and  MY LIFE SUCKS, to name a few. I figured my page should like them. Reading what people had posted touched me deeply. There are a lot of people in pain. There are a lot of people going through hard times. I wanted to reach out. I wanted to share whatever wisdom I have acquired through my life. I wanted to encourage them to hang in there, it’s hard, but it gets better.

I stayed up all night reading about other people’s struggles and offering support. That’s what I really want to become of this blog, eventually. I don’t want it just to be some narcissistic one-way rant about my life. I want build a community of people supporting each other, learning, sharing, and growing together. It’s going to take time, I realize. I haven’t even written my “About” page yet. But that is my dream. That is what I try to hold in my heart each day when I write these posts.

Without a wink of sleep, delivering my CityPages route was a real challenge. I had to go slower, I had to focus, I had to fight through the pain and I had to consume a lot of caffeine. Still, when I got a txt from a friend asking if I could baby-sit, I was there. Life sucks, anything I can do to make it a little bit better, I will do. Sometimes there is not much I can do. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to give, but I know every little bit helps. In these times, I have to dig deep, muster up what little strength I have, to even produce a simple smile. But if I can do that, if other people can do that, if we all do whatever we can each day, we can make this world suck just a little bit less. We may even be able to find those moments when life doesn’t suck.

“If nothing we do in this world matters, then the only thing that matters is what we do.” – Joss Whedon, Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1

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