It is almost four years since I started this blog and more importantly since I started my journey. While I no longer write often - pressures of time, sometimes too little to say and more often too much, it seems wrong to ignore an anniversary. Not so much wrong for you, anyone left reading, but wrong for me.
So where am I with my life? When people question where am I living I typically respond that I am a gypsy. I have my apartment in the 'burbs. It's been two years and I just signed on for two more. By the time the four years draws to a close maybe I will have spent a years worth of nights there.
And then there is Phil’s apartment in the City: another third of my life. (Let's be honest - an evening in a very quiet suburb or the center of one of the world’s great Cities. Throw in a boyfriend and the choice is pretty easy.)
And then, yes then, there are the weekends. The country "home", seeing the kids, time with family and of course Carrie. Now I would love to say she is the add-on, there because of the kids, not central to my experience. But that would be disingenuous bordering on pathological.
I do spend time with my children but at age thirteen, they come and go and as any parent should be, I am there but am also aware of the futility of forced face time. So Carrie and I share the house - her house - on the weekends. As I recently told a friend we share everything but bodily fluids.
As I started writing this in my head I realized that the gypsy description was broader than I first envisioned. I fear that I am an emotional gypsy, dancing in many camps yet not "all in" in any of them. Carrie would scoff at this saying I have it all. And she is correct, in most ways I do - Carrie who still allows me in her life, Phil who is learning to say the"L" word even without a few too many drinks and the many friends and colleagues who continue to accept me gay or straight.
So why the trouble with "all in"? I am the king of jumping feet first and assessing the long term consequences later. But I also have been a serial lover – always in love, always with one person, just not always the same person - but always one at a time. For one with my track record it may seem a bit self-serving, but there is an honesty to it all, one that allows me to look in the mirror with some sense of comfort.
As this post is written over the course of days, I share some of it with Phil who points out that I am “all in”, just with Carrie. I ask how that can be when she and I rarely touch. But he has a point; Carrie and I speak daily, the kids as the base but so much more in our lives (another post when I have real fortitude). I readily admit to loving her while accepting the inherent impossibility – I am gay and fear there is no changing and truth be told, not sure that I would if I could.
Phil is trickier. There are the structural issues. The eleven year age difference does not overly faze me.But he is semi-retired and as he eases into that world, he can float freely, time here but also time there, oh so many there’s, while I remain rooted – job and family. What will happen when he takes the “sabbatical”, a month in Florida, three months in Europe? I suspect there is a defense mechanism at work, hedging my emotional bets. Meanwhile, we also speak daily, share most evenings and even more nights. Sort of like the line from Fiddler – if that’s not love, what is?
I sit here – typing and thinking, looking for some magical words to elegantly end this post but uncharacteristically they do not easily flow… Four years is a long time and the words that come to mind are grateful and humbled: grateful for all that I emotionally have, “all in” or not, and humbled that I have it, considering how rough this road has been on so many.
As I do my final edit I realize that I glossed over what might be the essence of where I find myself emotionally – maintaining two "all in’s" simultaneously. It is so much easier to claim gypsy status than to address two “all in’s and the inherent instability that represents.