Monday, December 18, 2006

Outside The Box

I can say that as far back as I remember I've always struggled with the sense that I didn't quite fit in. Its a difficult realization for someone in kindergarden that, "Hey, I'm really not like the other people here." As a result, I spent about 26 years of my life and more mental and emotional energy trying to please others and fit into the expectations of others, whether it was family, society, friends, what have you. It hasn't always been about being gay, but I think that was a big catalyst in things -- in a moment of desperation I finally accepted that I would never be able to fit myself inside those expectations -- the old cliche about fitting a square peg into a round hole comes to mind. At that point, I knew that my life, such that it was, would forever be changed.

In the past six years, I've gone through the process of tearing down just about everything in my life and trying to reconstruct things in a way that allows me to be myself and allows me to find the joy and connection I've always craved but always seemed fleeting. In that process I've had hopes and dreams spring to life only to turn to dust, I've met people I've loved and had to let go. In that experience, I've had the sense that everything was in a holding pattern, that I was just waiting for things to fall into place and then everything would start to flow the way I've thought it could. What I hadn't realized was that I had created my own box, my expectations of what I thought my life should look like, how my relationships should go, always waiting for the sign that "This is finally it!" Patience is a very good thing, I believe, and at the same time, so much of that time has been mired in that sense that I'm waiting, always waiting. Of course, the reality is that life wouldn't fit into my box anymore than I'd fit into the box of other's expectations that I'd spent so much time tearing down.

A year ago I met someone who really impacted me -- someone who embodied so many of the qualities I value and treasure and who's also been the catalyst in making me recognize those same things in myself. In so many ways he's exactly what I've wanted in my life for a long time. At the same time, he's had the audacity to want to live his own life and our relationship hasn't come anywhere near fitting in the box I'd created for my relationships. I suppose I can laugh about it now, but its been yet another exercise in trying to force life to fit into my expectations. Doomed from the start, but at least its only taken me another six years to figure it out.

A month ago I had reached the point where I admitted that this would never suddenly change and fit the expectations I had. I thought it was time to walk away, time to release this and try again. A funny thing happened -- the connection that had seemed to have faded away suddenly seemed stronger than ever. Color me confused. After a couple of weeks and a few chances to reconnect, I'm coming to realize that, as with the rest of my life, the expectations I've had really prevented me from enjoying what was in front of me all the time.

Whether its with work, DJing, relationship and love or my friendships, I can't stand here and predict how things will turn out, but I think its finally time to stop waiting and let the things in my life move and grow how they will, instead of trying to fit them into my expectations and always ending up disappointed. Its a little scary to let go of trying to control things, but at the same time, I'm finally ready to enjoy the possibilities.

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