As one ages, you are forced to stop and take stock of your life and the things you believe. In these moments of introspection, you have to come to terms with what you hold true, how you arrived at such a place, and whether you are still anchored to those beliefs. This is a four part series on things I used to believe. As you read along, I hope you can relate.
I used to believe marriage and kids were meant for someone else. Throughout most of my twenties, I was single. This was not by choice necessarily. I spent much of that time coming to terms with my attractions and sexuality. I needed to find myself in compromising positions and discover who I was. As I inched closer and closer to the idea that my sexuality might be different than those around me, the idea of marriage and kids seemed further and further away. I watched in fits of jealousy as friends began getting married, buying homes, and starting families. Their love was legal and ordained. Mine was illegal and in many circles sinful. My thoughts on this matter wouldn't change until I decided to come out and the Supreme Court decided I and those like me mattered and were equal in the eyes of the law. Then and there, my beliefs changed.
Before our highest court made such a decision, I had come to terms with reality. I made myself believe I could live without a wedding band and the movement of little feet running across my home. I looked at marriage as some ancient tradition. In my mind, I would create new traditions and wouldn't be held captive by what people expected of me. If this meant a civil union or committing myself to another in front of friends and family, then so be it. If this meant never being a father, then so be it. My life would be defined on my own terms. Then the Supreme Court issued their ruling and my whole world changed.
Of course, none of this changed the fact that I was perpetually single. There were many days and sleepless nights where I believed love was meant for some else. For the better part of my twenties, I went on dates with men and women. I tried and I failed. I had a lot of fun and a great deal of disappointment. Through it all, I learned a so much about myself. I amassed my likes and dislikes. I was beginning to shape my perfect partner. I was coming to terms with the idea, through trial and error, that perfection may never be found. I learned to stop hunting for perfection but instead focused my attention on finding someone who could fulfill my needs. In return, I worked on becoming a partner who could do the same. Slowly my idea of loneliness melted away. Finally, I felt prepared and ready. I felt worthy of love.
But first, I had to get rid of this idea that I could conquer this world alone. My move from Oklahoma City to Seattle cemented an idea in my mind; I didn't need anyone but me. For too long, I tried to get by without depending on others. Of course, I wanted to be liked and accepted by the collective people around me. I have tried to be a person others want to surround themselves but when it came to my love life I could never find the courage or bravery to make the trip across the bar. I eventually learned I wasn't being courageous or brave. I was being arrogant. It was foolish of me to believe I could do this world alone. Life is best when shared. To understand this, I had to retire some false notions; notions that could only be retired through experience.
To arrive at a point such as this, one must first admit they were wrong. I was wrong about marriage and kids. I was wrong about weddings. I was wrong about dating. I was wrong about conquering this world alone. I was wrong and now I know it.
Be good to each other,