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Monday, March 16, 2015

Fear

This is the 1st draft, raw, and unedited. Unfortunately I'm out of time to do any proofreading at the moment. Forgive me for the grammatical errors.

I will begin this blog with a disclaimer: I am far too often guilty of what I am about write about. Been there, done that, paid dearly for the T-shirt. The 2nd disclaimer is that this may be a bit more vague than my prior postings. This is a cathartic writing for me and in time it may become less and less vague as situations change. This is also not necessarily chronological with the rest of my blog, or it could be. I'm taking liberties here that I have not done as much of in the past. It isn't done disingenuously or without it's own purpose.

He was simply beautiful. Even at this point I can't look back and see anything I could flaw. Well, perhaps fear, but that is it. I write this from a place of love. Love I still have. Love is messy and skewed. My writings are only the assumptions my heart tells me feel right.

I could relate to his logic and I saw glimpses of myself in his assuredness and determination. Sure, I have determination today, but it is different. Back then I was determined to overcome and not be something that was constantly in the back of my mind. My determination was built on fear. Fear of being nothing, and even a fear of being something. For those like me who are driven, we all to often attribute fear in life as an action of being or doing nothing. In many ways I feel the true fear is that we will become more than we can imagine. It sounds counter intuitive, but the fear of realizing our dreams is real. It comes from the depths of self-doubt.

While it was only a mere few weeks, it was weeks filled with life among the mundane of adulthood. We could quickly dismiss it as twitterpation and "too fast, too soon, too deep." I understand. From an outside perspective I would probably say the same. I need to change that. I need to urge caution, but be more willing to celebrate the beauty of love.

Again, there were no flaws I could see, only my own ever-present self-doubts. Even as those self-doubts rose, they didn't have the same weight I had given them before. I had begun compiling a list of what I had been doing wrong in finding the wrong guys. This occurred while in the midst of a current relationship reaching it's demise. I had always gone for someone opposite of me. I guess there was such a lack of value in my own attributes that I wanted to find someone who didn't have the "weaknesses" I perceived I owned. I looked at men who had entered my life and who I should have let stay, but didn't. They would have treated me like a prince as I would do in return, but for some reason timing was always wrong or I was attached to the wrong man. Regardless, a list began writing in my mind.

And there he was. In front of me. Timing wasn't perfect, but it was better than it had ever been before and I was not going to miss this chance. Honesty was important to me. My ending relationship was not completed and would have strings attached for some time. There were no emotional strings, just the complications that arise from adult interdependence in a relationship. Sure, that threw up some red flags, but didn't seem an immediate deal breaker.

Then there was his moment of honesty. The moment of fear. I had heard it hundreds of times throughout my time working with other men coming out. I don't discount the viability of bisexuality in the least. It does exist. For those who have established a pattern of true bisexuality I appreciate there preferences in life. As for many, the claim isn't tested. Go for it. Give it a try. Try bi-curiosity on for a day, week, a month. Do it for the purpose of self-discovery.

Never do it out of fear.

I had a previously planned trip that interrupted the quick attachment I had to this soul. I left on a high note, happy for the long-needed trip, but also anticipating the return to him. The logic in me, and mostly the fear in me, tried for the week to find flaws, find other attachments, I even visited with one of those aforementioned friends that possessed and played a part in formulating that "need list" in my mind. He was the one taken this time and I was happy for this friend. I was still seeing no flaws.

I hesitate on over emphasizing perfection. Sure, this man I was seeing worked too hard sometimes and set goals too high. He was human, but "perfect" in my years was meaning less about drawing within the lines as much as creating beauty regardless of the lines. His self-observed imperfections only made him a better man to me. I will say that it is important to be realistic about some flaws. As I had previously thrown my heart at a man who had flaws/tastes that simply made love inhabitable, I did watch for those. It is possible for some things to be a true deal breaker.

Did I expect an easy life where there would be no hurdles? No, but, as just stated, there were no inherent flaws that created conditions incompatible with love.

Upon my return things had changed. I could sense it. Distance hadn't been good for this budding romance. Fear had colonized during my brief absence. I had tested fear as well in the distance, but I had returned more determined than ever to see what fruit might be born.

I was taken back somewhat by his fear. He hadn't had the religious upbringing that condemned same-sex love. He had family and friends that supported and loved him. I am still a bit perplexed, but, the only hypothesis is that even with this support and lack of religious interference, he was still subjected to the cultural ideology that men were better off with woman. Somehow masculinity wasn't truly achieved until a woman had given herself up to a man.

I recognized this fear. It was me the first 28 years of life. Some perplexing differences existed that still confuse me. He had explored being gay and dabbled in heterosexual dating. I married my wife without the benefit of prior exploration of my homosexuality. I would simply have not married her if I had. It wouldn't have been easy, but I think I may have stayed outside the closet door had I allowed such dating and other experience to take place. Regardless, I saw this fear in him and hoped the colony would die before it killed the bud.

Those weeks had been wonderful. It didn't feel faked or rehearsed. It didn't feel like an experiment. Yes, we talked often of being cautious. I wasn't renting a uhaul anytime soon, but I was committed to see it through to one end or another.

I was caught off guard to find the bud surrounded by an army of fear. Fear of the unknown was real for him. Maybe he could finally go all the way with a woman and find he likes it. Maybe being "normal" would make him happy. Maybe. As a card-carrying member of that school of thought I can attest that it doesn't work. Not when it has to be so mentally rehearsed. Sure, sex was feasible, and even enjoyable, as a heterosexually married man. The cracks in the veneer were tiny and easy to overlook. Change happened slowly and though those cracks grew, they were slow enough to be easy enough to dismiss....until they weren't. At that point it was too late. It was either then a choice to lose my soul in the name of normalcy. Maybe I could have faked another 30 years as noble. I've seen men try. I have never seen a man succeed. Inevitably not only is your soul nearly trampled to death, but everyone who has touched that relationship is affected by the slow decay. This must stop.

I welcome sexual experimentation and soul searching. I don't welcome fear. Fear is dangerous. Fear is a poor motivator. Fear is lack of ethics, disguised as logic.

He needed to cut the bud before it could grow further. Fear of being hurt was real, but with love it always is. Even those happily married 50 years know that love isn't a guarantee. It is the road you choose. Sometimes you stop to rest, sometimes you get a flat, but it doesn't spoil the journey. There was the fear of not being "normal." There was the usual over-thought concern lingering. He never said it, but he didn't need to. He demanded perfection of himself and being gay wasn't perfect. Again, self-induced hazing I had endured on my way to join the club I am now a lifer in.

That fear is a lot, but it isn't the deal breaker. The true fear, I feel, is the fear of happiness. This fear transcends all ages, genders, sexual orientations, cultures, histories, etc. We fear happiness. I was happy and I sensed he was too. That happiness was too much. Logic can't compute these emotions. Love and happiness mess up a perfectly planned life. So we allow fear to set up house and keep us from being happy. What do we do with happiness? We far too often don't see happiness written on the path and instead manufacture destinations and milestones necessary to be happy. We even accept that Disneyland is the "happiest place on earth." Vacations are a way to escape the path labeled mundane and take a rest stop at happiness. We fail to see that mundane isn't a reality, but a chosen viewpoint. We don't want to accept the responsibility that happiness is under our own feet. It is easier to accept that we can't be happy unless we save up enough mundane to cash it in at some brief pit stop on the road of life.

Stop it. I mean that mostly rhetorically, but I feel I don't stand alone in the fog of mundane accepted.

I know the draw to be "normal" is powerful. I know that accepting happiness as a path vs a milestone is difficult. I know I lost this soul to the fear that happiness might look different than planned, even if it felt better than planned.

I couldn't put life on hold while fear ruled this man's path. I couldn't accept mundane . I had to adjust my view and work to clear the polluted thoughts that covered the path I was walking. I didn't shut the door. Until there was another man to shut it for me, all I could do is hope that he caught a glimpse of the sparkle on the path. If he did and he saw me there, I would join him.

I saw him as the imperfectly perfect companion on the road of a happy life. I hoped it would be me should that day come. I hoped he wouldn't have to endure the rough shortcuts I had attempted. I hoped a better life for him. Even if he doesn't see the path with me, I hope he will with someone. I hope he stops fearing happiness and sees that he is worth it.

Maybe it was just a fleeting moment of life. He breathed life in me when I was feeling beaten on the path. This song makes me think of him. I hope he sees the beauty I do someday.