People say your twenties can be a period of intense growth. You're constantly changing. Your personality is beginning to solidify. You're building significant relationships. Perhaps most importantly, you are making a myriad of mistakes - big ones. While I often like to think I'm special, this was one instance in which I was just like everyone else.
We all have fears, anxieties, insecurities. Most of us are scared to death of being alone. We all get angry, or sad, or confused. Simply put, we're all human, and that shared experience is worth remembering at all times, because when we forget it, that's when we go wrong. That's when we miss each other, stop listening, and resort to hurting each other deeply, violently, or maliciously.
YOU WILL LOSE SOMEONE YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT,AND YOUR HEART WILL BE BADLY BROKEN, AND THE BAD NEWS IS THAT YOU NEVER COMPLETELY GET OVER THE LOSS OF YOUR BELOVED. BUT THIS IS ALSO THE GOOD NEWS. THEY LIVE FOREVER IN YOUR BROKEN HEART THAT DOESN’T SEAL BACK UP. AND YOU COME THROUGH. IT’S LIKE HAVING A BROKEN LEG THAT NEVER HEALS PERFECTLY—THAT STILL HURTS WHEN THE WEATHER GETS COLD, BUT YOU LEARN TO DANCE WITH THE LIMP. — ANNE LAMOTT
In admitting my fear of the ordinary, I hope to re-understand the ordinary, mundane, banal, plan and simple in a new light, with grace and welcome. I hope to let my needs be more simple and plausible rather than these grandiose, larger-than-life, unattainable apexes of impossibility. I hope to let myself languish in the love already given me instead of having a truly insatiable appetite for attention that leaves me feeling actually rather unseen and unheard.
It wasn't until I sat down at lunch with Audrey today outside of the Chase food court on the steps next to the fountain, listening to the rush of the water and feeling its spray on my recently buzzed scalp that I realized it's been a decade since I stop saying I was "struggling" with same sex attraction and started identifying as gay. That summer demarcated the era of denial from the era of acceptance. I didn't know it at the time, but nothing would ever be the same.
I lost the Jesus who is overly concerned with how people identify themselves, with labels or monikers, with inside or outside. I lost the Jesus who thinks that holiness is black and white with clear cut answers and definite rights and wrongs. I lost the Jesus who demands to be white and handsome and flawless. I lost the Jesus who is obsessed with being involved in politics when politics are more concerned with my rights than they are with your needs. I lost the Jesus who has little grace for those who, for one reason or another, find His story less compelling than that of someone else, say Buddha or Mohammed.
In any twelve-step program, as I understand it, step one is taking ownership and responsibility for who you are and what your struggle is (I warn you, I will fumble over this, so please be patient). I begin with this phrase because my addiction is not singular. It isn't just alcohol or nicotine or drugs or sex or porn or *insert possible addiction here*. My addiction is any or all of these at any given moment. How I've made it this far without any one of these crippling me is a miracle, but still, I struggle. And I'm tired of pretending that I don't. Secrets are too much, and they take too high a toll on one's life...
James... His name was James...
Originally from Kent, just outside of London, he was in Rome working as an au pair for a gay couple on the southwest side of the city for a couple of months. He was a writer, a nomad of sorts, who defied labels and categorization. He hated conformity of all sorts. He was himself, and no one would ever take that away from him.