It's National Coming Out Day, and I look longingly at the closet door -- from the inside. But there is a crack. There is a ray of light sneaking in. It is beginning.
I've just returned from my week of reflection, education, and discernment, sponsored by my "employer." What a week! It had some very relaxing elements to it, but it was quite intensive. A lot of work was done in eight days. Some plenary time was spent in looking at the kind of work we do and the emotional labor involved, labor that can be very draining. We talked about physical health and its connection with work and life, taking a very holistic view. There was time for spiritual work, as well. I spent as much time as I could getting in some hiking (well, walks in the woods).
The week moved toward our writing some goals and objectives for our lives and careers. It was a great exercise, but I am not a linear thinker. It was like I was pulling my own teeth, trying to get me to sit down and focus like that. Even taking my meds (I am ADD, big time), it was hard to sit still. Nonetheless, I made a beginning to it. Goals for me and the years ahead.
But being one who lives so much by the seat of his britches, returning home has been tough. It is easier to be goal-minded and resolute when you are in a secluded environment, where someone takes care of the meals and the details of life. Now that I am back home. The realities of the "outside world" catch up to me. Back to the routine, the everyday, the miserable.
How can I even bring myself to speak of my life as miserable!? I have so much for which to be grateful (and I am), that I should cut out the whining. But living in the tension of that closet in which I find myself is becoming more and more depressing.
I know that a decision point will have to come soon. I have been putting it off. And yet, so many have urged me to exercise caution and "take it slowly." Even on my week away, a trusted leader of the week urged me to take the time to "live in to this." Take the time to make the internal shifts necessary, he urged.
If I come out and everybody hates me (which I don't think likely, not everyone, anyway) I wonder how much that will affect me, since I have spent so many years hating myself for being gay. Now I am just hating myself for hurting so many people (potentially and already).
Oh, G-d, I'm whining again. Gratitude, patience, faith, trust. These are things to hang on to, to ive with, to act on, to practice.
I am grateful to all those who have gone before, paving the way for me to make a choice, to know that there will be life on the "out side". I pray blessings upon all those who will this day take the courage to come out, to be free, to live as G-d created them. Bless you, and pray for me.
Some day soon, I will open that door all the way, and dance into the party!