Friday, November 24, 2006

Weird Thanks

Ah, we move toward the holiday season! Time with family and friends . . . . . . well, with family, anyway. This will be a truly weird year for me.

My wife and I have resigned ourselves to my moving out after the first of the year. No time-table has been set, and there is the possibility of my being able to engineer a job transfer to a nearby town. That would leave me close enough to stay in touch but living on my own. With a high school sophomore in the house, I want to be very close and involved.

For the last ten years, my family (wife, kids) have gathered with my wife's family for the holiday. It has been an important family time and a wonderful experience. I trust this year will be no different. But this will, most likely, be my last year with them. My last year in my present "role", anyway.

This is all so weird. I started this post before the holiday, and now it is the day after. More than ever, I have that feeling of "not fitting in."

From a few posts back: In an earlier post, I wrote about wanting to be out and to be with other gay men. Comments from several folk gave gentle admonishment about segregating myself from the straight world. They were so right. Now, with all of this newness and the glow of a familiarity that seems so unfamiliar, I want to "immerse" myself in "gay". When I come to my senses a bit more, I know in my soul that gathering with a whole, diverse, welcoming, caring, challenging community of folk is what I long for most.

I am very thankful for so many things. Particularly, I want to thank so many of you who have supported me in this journey. The alone-ness isn't so lonely. Thank you!

Cheers, dears, Joe.

9 comments:

Billy said...

There's nothing wrong with wanting to be out and with other gay men as much as you desire to be -- there's nothing like it, and there's a huge range of degrees of "being with other gay men." It does not have to mean segregating yourself from the straight world. It can be; it can not be. Celebrate being with gay men as much as you want to be -- and desire to be with them as much as you want to; and celebrate being with straight people as much as feels right to you.

john said...

Joe, this year while spending Thanksgiving with my best friend and his family, I had a flash of myself ten years from now.
It was rather weird and I am not sure if I liked what I predicted I saw or not.
I'm not out to anyone. But I almost came out yesterday to my buddy. Something stopped me, a sense that it wasn't the right time or a discomfort I felt about the direction of the conversation. All I know is that a second before I decided not to say anything, I saw myself as "out" ten years from now and how different things were going to be.
I'm going to post about sometime this weekend or maybe even later tonight.

Ur-spo said...

no one is alone.
you included.

BentonQuest said...

Hey Joe,

It will feel odd. All new things feel odd. Teens are awkward because all the changes their bodies go through leave them with a body that is "new" to them and they have to become accustomed to it. You are entering a "new" life and you will have to grow accustomed to it. And you will grow accustomed to it. As the year progresses there will be a series of new experiences and a series of mourning the past we remember. But you will move forward and gain more grace and stamina. You will retain the memories of the past and they cannot be taken away from you, but you will begin to gain new experiences that hopefully will have a sense of fullness because all of you will be able to participate, there will not be a part that is hiding away looking out the crack in the door.

Jeremy A. said...

Older men who make the transition from straight to Gay life, face barriers that young men don't. Namely the fact that assimilation may take some time, depending on the community you are trying to enter.

It is a long and methodical process, so don't rush it. Make some friends along the way and let them escort you into the community - ever so gracefully. Since gay can be arrogant and prickish, suggestions are trust only those you must and live in the moment.

All will be well, as long as you remember that nobody is perfect and that no one is better than the other. Use what you know and be true to yourself. We will be here to help you - but you must let us know when that would be.

Enjoy the holiday and don't dwell of moving out or you will ruin what you have started. The kids must always know how much you love them no matter what.

Jeremy

A Troll At Sea said...

Joe:

having just had my first Thanksgiving without my family, my heart goes out to you. But you will find a way to work with your wife and children to make it work for all of you. You will, because love guides you.

I have a friend here who has had, since his wife left him, an arrangement where they trade off Thanksgiving, and Christmas is divided and traded off. Whoever has the kids for Christmas Eve and stockings drives them to the other home, where Christmas dinner awaits, and THEY ALL EAT TOGETHER. And have done for a dozen years.

I hope and pray for something like this myself from the bottom of my heart. And I thought I would let you know that other people have found ways to live apart and still be together enough not to cause the children to be caught in the currents.

Ah, consummation devoutly to be wished.

Yr Troll

Jeremy A. said...

I've read this again today and this is what I've thought about since, "Gay" should not make you any different with those you know unless You make it different. What a difference a few days of thought make. How others see you is usually magnified in how we see ourselves. If you are unsure - they maybe unsure.

Are you sure ???

Just because you are out, does not make you less a father, friend or partner in your children's and families lives.

But finding like minds, such as yourself may prove difficult and may take a while. But you must persevere.

Now that the date has been slated, the severance of what was has begun and people may be dealing with that severance in their own way. Expectations are now on the table and the rough timetable is set. So you must accommodate what your immediate family needs to get through this with the timetable out there so the kids know, "do they know the specifics?"

They will experience a "Mourning" period, so to speak, knowing the inevitable is on the table.

Don't draw this out in front of the kids please. let them have great memories and do not shift the man you are prematurely, that would be to your detriment.

Enjoy the holiday.

Who you are today is the same man I will know tomorrow and respect even more for not selling yourself short as a great man, and father.

How you treat this next phase will dictate how everyone sees you in the future. Walk Tall and be respectable and they will respect you for being true to yourself.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Know that I am with you as we all are who read here.

God is good and all is well.

Peace
Jeremy

Michael said...

My parter Tom and I will host his family [including his former wife and her husband] for Christmas -- nine adults, a dog and two cats in a space normally occupied by the cats and two grumpy old men. It will be crowded but fun and strange. That Tom and his wife have managed to stay friends, involved in one another's lives and with their children is a sign to me that amazing things are possible when people do love one another and make the effort to continue to act loving, even when the time to move on to other ways of life has come.

I am back here after a long time away. Glad to see you are still journeying along.

Michael [The Blogger Formerly Known as Damien]

jeremy said...

Michael has returned from the dead. Good to see you - Is tom running around with his Pink Cowboy Hat scaring the Diner ladies?

tee hee

A little Bird in California told me that story!!!


jeremy