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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Let It Go

2011 is one of the Best-Worst years I have ever had. I know the song above may seem a little down or depressing. It isn't. To me its a reflection on where life has been and a message of hope. A message to move on and grab life again. That is my 2011 story.

Started 2011 with a broken ankle, no winter income, just ending my first official relationship (after coming out), facing foreclosure, 20 lbs heavier, and still broken-hearted from the one who took everything and got away.

I was not in a good place and knew the road ahead was long. Because of the broken ankle all hope on saving my home had basically been lost. After sacrificing years of privacy with renting out every corner of my place it would come to an end and I would be homeless. My sons would be without a place to call Dad's. I would have to let go of so many belongings.

I had survived so much. I had fought with everything I could, but it was over. I had no fight left, no more angles I could use to survive. I was free falling.

BEST THING EVER

We all try to find our own place in life. Make a living, hold on to "things" we work hard for, try to be in a better position in life. All too often we hold on to too much. We fear letting go of the familiar. We can only hold on to so much before there is no room for anything else. And again, all too often it is too much; too much of the bad, too little of the good.

I had time to contemplate life while flat on my back waiting for the ankle to heal. Life was miserable. I wasn't happy. What happened? Coming out was supposed to fix it all. I was SO happy that first couple years after coming out. What had I done with my life that it had changed and I was back to feeling dead? I hadn't let go.

I grabbed on to what I thought was a good thing, I gave my heart to what I thought was a good man, I gave my time to what I thought were worthy goals. I stood there arms filled with once happy, worthy, good things. They had rotted and there wasn't room for one more straw. But, the straw came anyway. I held that straw for a few months, but everyday I got closer and closer to breaking. Every minute of every day was stressed or filled with pain from what I thought would make me happy.

Then there was a song (see previous Adele post) and friends and love. I had really no room for the song, or love, or friends but I tried to. I strained to hold on.

I had spent months trying to figure out where the happiness had gone. Why had it expired from what I thought were good things. Mostly I spent time wondering how I could get it back. How I could feel as free as I once had. I knew the answer. I had to let "him" go, I had to embrace the idea of someone like him. I also had to let "things" go. I had to let my roof disappear; lose the only home I had really ever know as mine. I had to remove the scar tissue from the broken dreams. I had to re-discover what really mattered. I needed to get back to being happy to be alive.

I stood in the "wake of devastation....insides crying 'save me now'....impossibly alone." I had to build up hope, despite feeling like I had only known failure. Feeling like there was no one to catch me. I stood defeated with nothing left to do but LET IT GO or find myself broken and buried.

And so I did. I let the house go. I let "things" go. I gave up what I had worked hard for. I cried tears on tears to wash away the stains of a broken heart. I stood up. I grabbed on to friends. I built a support group of men. I dropped the packages of rotten dreams and I let peace try to find its way in. I stood with my arms empty, choosing carefully what I would let them hold. I let go of the dreams I was supposed to have and emptied some space for dreams I wanted to grow.

I began to rebuild. I found a new home. I found a new job. I lost those 20lbs plus. I re-discovered great friends. I began to work on goals I wanted. I found peace.

The stains of a broken, bloody heart did start to vanish. I fell in love a little again. Even though it didn't last more than a brief period, I felt. That was something I hadn't done in a long time. I felt. My heart was beating and someone inspired me. I had't "felt" since "him." Not even with my first official boyfriend. But I feel know. "That's alright, I'll find someone like you" was no longer a practice in fake-it-til-you-make-it hope. It was a reality. There can be someone out there that makes my heart beat a little stronger. Finally.

So here we are with 2012 just hours away. 2011 I'll let you go just like I let everything else go. 2012 is a chance to fill those now empty spaces with what we want.

Choose wisely.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sometimes It Lasts In Love, But Sometimes It Hurts Instead


I know I should make a rule against blogging at 1:30 AM, but on the other hand, this is what this blog is. The pure, unrefined, raw side of life. Good and bad, here it is. Keeping to the integrity of it. For some its too much, so for you this is a warning. Maybe it seems sappy, maybe dramatic, maybe unreal. Feel free to stop reading here. But for others maybe you can relate, maybe you can see the raw honesty.

I bought Adele's 21 album as soon as I heard "Rolling in the Deep." Oddly enough, the song reminded me of the same person that this post is about. The song speaks for itself. I was angry, and it was a good angry. A controlled angry, an inner anger to never let someone do that to me again. To take control for once and be smarter with who gets my heart. The hope is that I'm not too "smart" and take some chances now and again. I have the following picture as my desktop wallpaper to remind me to push myself a little.


I loved the entire album. If I were straight, Adele would have a stalker. She has an amazing soul in her music that resonates with my life. I love the album, but 3 songs stick out. "Rolling in the Deep", "Turning Tables", and mostly "Someone Like You." As I listened to the whole album that last "Someone" gripped me and hasn't let go.

It unfolded me and summed up me.....and him. I didn't want to share it, but knew it was amazing and destined to hit the radio. I dreaded it. Many a good cry has been to this song. So many songs remind me of him, but this one has some bittersweet, distant hope that things get better.

I remember exactly where I was. I was headed home from a long, tiring day mowing lawns on my route, pulling the trailer, being ultra "butch" and the song played on air. Instant waterworks and I was worried I might hit someone from the blur in my eyes. And it has almost every time it plays. It is a mood changer, a thought provoker. I have sat silently as it played in my ears, and I have sung so loud in my truck American Idol could have taped it from California for their commercial break singers.

While there is always the part of me that hopes I will open the door one day and he will be there; his closet door shattered, facing reality, honesty, and accepting himself...and us, there is also that hope now that someone will fill in the few spaces in my heart I have left.

I can explain away part of the relationship as it happening simultaneously with coming out, being honest with myself, loving myself for the first time in countless years, and all the beauty, possibilities, and experiences the world held in front of me now. I can say it, I can think it, but he is still there. He was there for so many of those first steps as a "baby gay" who wanted to see so much and experience so much. He was there for the ups and downs of divorce, family distancing, and for the good times.

I needed him and he needed me. We filled an empty-ness in our lives that hadn't been filled. A place free of judgement. Filled with hope, texts of "Goodnight/Good Morning, I love You," and hugs. Not the manly pats, but the embraces of understanding and letting go of all the world had thrown at us that week.

Life is great over all. I have faced so many challenges this last year and there are many in front of me, but they are manageable and I feel life moving forward again. But, there is that part left unhealed no matter how many times I try to put ointment on it, or hope it will go away if I try to ignore it.

Dating sucks. I was perfectly determined to be single, until another boy happened along and asked me out. And then like usual (as I have a magnet that almost always attracts closeted men) he flaked and disappeared, even before the date. The idea of dating was left unwrapped and it drew me in. And so it has been, so many frogs kissed.

And the song plays on. Catching me here and there, clearing my throat, hoping no one can see the eyes filling; reminding me of those times I longed for again. For the person I needed. The one who seemed to love me regardless of our differences. The one who captivated me at every level.

The day may never come that I see the fire ring around his big brown eyes or feel his head on my shoulder as we embrace on sight letting the world melt away. I may not get that first kiss. We may never fight the world together again.

I could throw it all away, delete it, or sell it, but it would make no difference. You can't delete the heart. There is no wipe and reload; deleting it all. But there is hope.

Just as the haunting lyrics state, there may be someone like him. I see guys sometimes who carry themselves as he did, or dress like him, or have the same nose or puppy dog eyes. It doesn't compare, its doesn't fix. As I have listened this month for probably the thousandth time I hear the hope. While this guy doesn't know it yet, there has been someone wake chambers that I thought would never beat again. We may never meet, as Australia isn't next door, but even feeling that beat again has revived hope.

I will always love Vic. He will always be a part of my life, but I see hope that he won't be the only part of life I truly lived. I'm holding out that he won't be the only "glory days" I have. Sure I hope he wakes up and sees how beautiful life is outside the closet. Sure, I hope he runs back, but I can't wait longer. There is someone else out there who can make my heart beat. Maybe he's 8400 miles away in the land down under, or maybe he sees the same Rocky Mountains I do.

So there is hope that "someone like" him shows up and has the patience and will to fight for me, for us. The heart is frozen, but I have seen it thaw in spots unexpectedly. Here's to the frogs in the future, here's to this song that may always be "ours," but here's also to a good thaw.


Below is linked my favorite version of "our song."