I met up with a dear friend this week and I've done nothing but think about our conversation since then. He is an "old" friend - I've known him now over ten years, though we don't see each other very often anymore. He contacted me out of the blue and we connected soon after for lunch.
He looked great! I was worried about him, because the last time we saw each other, he wasn't doing very well. You see, he's gay, too. In fact, a couple of years ago, we both came to terms with this fact in both of our lives at about the same time and over the course of several heart-to-heart conversations, and we both "came out" to each other. This confidential revelation has bound us together in a unique way, even if we don't see each other as frequently as we did or as we would like.
Our paths have not paralleled since "coming out" to each other. I have gone through a self-loathing and self-accepting process, while trying to keep my family together and marriage solid. He has started into the exciting and anxious world of gay-dating, ending with boyfriend relationships! And I can see that he's loving this path of discovery he's on. His personal dating standards, as misunderstood in the community-at-large view of things, involve the same "moral standards" of any other returned missionary dating scene (hand-holding / kissing / cuddling and the like, but not a lot more). He has established his own self-discipline regarding the church (kissing boys = not worthy to attend the temple) and has maintained a rigid sense of his personal morality (if you're not going to be committed to me in a long term deal, then why should I give you any of my goods?) limits. I admire him so much for this and for his strength and happiness in his quest. I wish him all the happiness and peace he can find... and I'd rather him be happy and wanting to live, verses miserable and wanting to end it all.
In fact, I find myself envious of his quest, of finding that moral and dedicated guy who will honor and be completely faithful and devoted to him. I've been pondering about my own path and how I haven't gone down this road my friend has chosen and I wonder, yes, I still stop and wonder, what would it be like to be "out there" searching for the right guy. (NOTE: The dating scene terrified me the first go around in the heterosexual world - I don't know that I could handle it again in the homosexual world!) In my situation, particularly when I'm not that "hot" of a catch being a middle-aged average guy (though I try desperately to disguise the fact to no avail but my own deception), would there be such a guy for me?
Is there such a guy waiting for me?
Now before you slap me in the head... I know I need to be reminded of the great partnership I do have with my wife, the family and home we've created for ourselves and our kids and the relative peace, blessings and good times had together... but, I have to wonder, as I look back, what it would have been like if all this wasn't there around me and in front of me, the commitments and covenants already made, the lives affected by my being together forever with them, what if life did happen differently? What if I were younger and more "available"? And what if I were to have come "out" earlier in my life instead of so late as I did? What then? Would I have chosen any different path than my friend?
I doubt it...
And so, here I am, feeling a bit down, feeling a bit like life has passed me by... feeling a bit envious of the "what ifs" of life, and seeing the choices that others around me are making. I'm not anticipating any change in my chosen course. I feel spiritually anchored and connected with what I should do and that this is the right course for me despite my feeling very alone in this choice, but - I ask myself: Why do I feel so "skipped over" or "not included" in life? Why do I somehow feel "jipped", robbed of missed opportunities?
I know those are rotten things to say, but for today, a day that I am feeling VERY GAY, they are my true feelings.