Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Learning to Breathe

It still doesn't feel so much "better," but it is better.  I know.  There is weight upon me still, and not in a good way.

At a recent business meeting, I talked with a colleague about it all.  It's like, now that I am out, there is no need to hide, no more pretense, no more faking it.  No more pretending.

And that's it, exactly.  No more pretending.

It seems like grief.  It feels like mourning.  I've given over so much energy (in the past) to bottling all of this stuff up.  Now the pressure is off.  The weight lifted.  And there's a bit of emptiness.  I'm saying any of that is bad stuff; I'm just describing how it's feeling.  Different.  A little empty.  I can no longer pretend I am something I am not.

So now, it's discovering who I am.  What does it mean.  And, yes, there is still a part of me that longs to be "typical."  By that I mean, "straight," married, happy family, promising career, etc.

[I'm coming to dislike the word straight as meaning "heterosexual."  Straight has too many other fine uses.  And I know a lot of straight people who are bent in their own ways.  I prefer the term typical because that is the norm.  There are more of them than us.  That kind of life is more, well, typical.  There are limits to that word, too.  But for now . . . . .]

I am mourning. And I can't pretend any more that it will ever be so.

Now, mind you, this is not regret.  I regret many things in my life.  But what is past, is past.  Can't go back, re-do, un-do or anything like that.  I don't regret my children, or event he many good years I had with a very good wife.  This is not regret.  But it is mourning.  Grief.

And there is much to celebrate, too.  And I'll get on with that, in time.

This is all new.  In this case, new IS good.  Now, I'm discerning how life will look, feel, be.

Another colleague said I'm beginning to breathe in new life.  New air.  New.

And in other news, it has snowed some more.  I'm ready for Spring.
You know, I'm ready for a lot of things.  Bring it on.

11 comments:

behrmark said...

Typical might work since its antonym, atypical means "not typical." But atypical also means irregular or unusual so I'm not sure. As long as you don't use the dreaded "normal." ;)
Sounds like you're adapting well to the new you. Okay, the old you just in a different light.
You mentioned talking it over with a colleague and now there's no pretending, hiding, faking...How is it different now? I mean, really, aren't you still you? Unless your inner drag queen has clawed her way out or suddenly you're waxing things that shouldn't be waxed, it would seem to me that your behavior and presence wouldn't have changed except for the aura of self-acceptance. I'm NOT faulting you, not at all. I admire you a great deal. Just wondering out loud.
BEHR HUGS for your continued journey, Joe.

rjjs8878 said...

I long for the day when people will not be defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Larry Ohio said...

I've been wondering when we were going to hear from you again. Glad you are still doing well.

Ur-spo said...

any time there is growth; any time there is incorporation of split off parts; any time there is something worth obtaining - it all causes some pain and mourning.

Lemuel said...

I liked your discussion of the use of the term "straight" especially your comment that a lot of "straight" people are "bent" in other ways. How very true and how very overlooked. I usually used the shorthand "het".

As to your feeling of emptiness, in a much more superficial way I feel a kind of emptiness or lack of purpose/direction when I have been busily involved in some effort or project and it comes to an end. Given the effort and energy that you put into your former life and now there is no need to expend that energy, I can understand that you would have a sense of emptiness. It would be natural. I think that as time goes on you will find another channel for that energy, one that will be positive and productive. You will find your fulfillment.

Neil said...

You've made me wonder... But my wondering will take time. I'm a slow thinker, you know. For now, let me say: good luck on your journey.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

It is ok to grieve. What's done is done. right. My father used to say that "Once you say the words, you can't take them back."

I imagine that you are feeling a little strange in that body knowing now you can't hide anymore. And that's ok too. Nobody said that comfortability would come overnight.

Labels are bad for everyone. They are limiting and sometimes derogatory. I think we should dispense with them.

Remember that the program works on a one day at a time plan. Imagine that the day you came out was day one, and you are working towards emotional sobriety. That is gonna take some time, one day at a time.

Feelings are good as long as they don't lead you into trouble. It is ok to feel, give yourself permission to feel, and not beat yourself over them. Stop fighting the FLOW and just try to go with it, if only for a day, one day at a time.

You've grown up now you need to figure out what to do with that new grown up level. It will come, I promise. Just don't dig yourself into a hole of grief. If we get in the hole with you, we can't lend a hand to get you out.

Keep it simple. Live and let Live.
Stay in your day. One day at a time.


Jeremy

Dyl said...

Any change takes time to get used to and easier as time goes on.

I think you've done briliantly :-) (I'm applauding from here.)

A Troll At Sea said...

BearToast:

Take it slow, take it easy. The more time you can take to let things reveal themselves to you, the more "natural" things will feel when they are revealed.

I won't lie, it's not an easy road, the road of self-discovery, but if you wait for that "still, small voice" you can find your way, even in the dark.

Hang in there.
We're all with you on this.
T@C

MICK said...

"Once you were tethered, now you are free." -- Mike Scott

Ice John's World said...

It is a new beginning for you and people around you. It is never easy to face a new beginning but there is also lots of excitment waiting for you too. Good luck!