I am driven: at work it has served me well – quite socially acceptable and rewarding in many ways. I am also sequential (or as a client preferred to phrase it once, a tad OCD) - a straight line approach to solving problems.
These skills serve me quite well professionally but have some real limitations in life, particularly as I try to navigate some hairpin turns. If my life was a car you would hear two wheels screeching and the ultimate crash. Navigating the Titanic – that would be me – full speed ahead.
This line of thought struck me on my way home from the gay dads support group. There are men who have been coming for years – five, ten, maybe more; there are men who have been divorced for years, men with partners. Yet here they are at the meetings, struggling with issues of children, struggling with coming out. As one man said tonight, coming out is an ongoing process, just part of our lives. And I look at my life and realize both how far I have come and how far I have to go. A culture of immediate gratification has taken its toll.
I stepped back from my blog last week when I realized that I was just repeating myself, hopefully well written, but repetition of a theme all the same. A whininess had seeped in, that uncomfortable feeling of watching someone embarrass themselves. Time for a break until there is something new to say: I do have some things to add, but as always first I must digress.
Recently there was a day when my therapist asked what it is that I want: my flippant answer – everything. That same evening I went to my Married Gay group – round five of a scheduled six rounder. Maybe it was random or maybe in the facilitator’s playbook that they can get feisty for the last sessions, but the question from the morning reappeared: “What do you want?” I hem and haw, I try to claim everything – the dollar and a dream theory. I answer without answering. Again Jim asks: “But what do YOU want?” Finally in frustration I blurt out an answer: to be with a man, to truly explore my gay side.
The next night an impromptu dinner out with just Carrie – kids off with their friends. We talk as only old friends can. I tell her of being pressed by the facilitator. I do not share my answer. No need: the truth has been clear to her for a long time and probably clear to me in the quiet moments I am willing to admit it. I am not only a gay man, but I want to live as one. We discuss the problems inherent with the current living situation. One of the older kids described it as toxic the other day. It is a comfortable toxicity - carbon monoxide, not sulfuric acid: but toxic all the same in a somnolent sort of way.
We do not expect to be back together, not in the sharing the bedroom sense. But even being back together for sitting on the porch as old friends could only occur upon my returning from these new lands. And one has to leave in order to return. We realize that this is not an overnight proposition and I am beyond "come to Jesus" moments. But the start of that road needs to be through my own front door.
Our timetable will be figured out - presumably the fall when I can get a winter rental in a nearby beach community. We then have the summer to prepare the twins and ourselves, time for us all to adjust to the changes ahead and be made comfortable that even with a new geography, we are still a family.
It would be a move with a beginning and an end - nine months to try it on, to grow into things, nine months gestation for a new life for all of us. And after nine months I suspect the decisions will be easier, the lay of the land clearer. But before the nine months, there are some days coming up: the day we tell the twins, the day I sign a lease and of course the day I pass through our front door, suitcases in hand. There will be many tears that day and hopefully a rainbow when the sun does come out. It always does.
So our journey continues. I harbor no illusions of the road ahead - highs and surely lows. I accept that there will be days this summer - frequent I suspect - when I will tell myself I can change my mind, it’s a nice basement. But my support team of Sis and Carrie will be there to remind me of all I have said, of all I have written, of who I am.
I do not want to grow old wondering who I am and it is no longer necessary for me to know where my road ultimately leads. It is no longer a matter of comfort and I am learning that happiness is a by product, not a goal. If I can live with honesty to myself and respect for those around me then the road will be fine.
It is time to take the ride where ever it leads. It is time to live book three. I'm in.
Posted with the humility the journey here has taught me.
There's a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I'm heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain't got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost andbrokenhearted
Mister I ain't a boy no I'm a man
And I believe in a promised land