Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Will it ever get better?
so, I've been out of town and slow to respond, but here's the deal...
I came to the conclusion that I am a sane person (relatively speaking) and that I can function maturely and in control of my passions and emotions (for the most part) and that surely I can meet a fellow MOHO in a public and open forum for good friendship and conversation.
And, so despite my personal commitment to promise to do otherwise, I took the steps and met a fellow community member that has gone from an on-line acquaintance to a friend, a brother, a dear man who understands me (which isn't always something even I can do), and who, for whatever strange reason I still can't comprehend, actually wanted to meet and know me face-to-face and appreciate who I am and to understand better my story.
We met in a very public space, in a very "sacred" space, out in the open, but private enough to have a conversation that I will remember with great fondness for many days to come. That's it... nothing more. A hug goodbye and we left, unsure if we will meet again, but sure (at least I am) for being better having spent that brief but wonderful time together.
So there you have it. Nothing earth-shattering (sorry to disappoint those who wanted more). And yet, personally impactful and moving nonetheless. Maybe I've disappointed others for having done so (again) without my wife's knowledge, I don't know, but it felt like the right and appropriate thing to do at the time, and so I did it.
I don't need to justify why I did what I did. Nor, do I need to explain my reasons for why the timing of this meeting doesn't fit well with a sit-down in-depth dialogue with my wife. Circumstances are such that stress and pressure keep such discussions currently at bay - at least to be had at another more calm and appropriate time when we are together. The HOW I'm going to tell her is something for another post on another day.
So, what does it mean? How have I changed? How am I doing now that I've broken my promise?
Well, to be honest, I feel really good and at peace. I feel the meeting has become a catalyst of sorts for a discussion that will be happening soon with my wife (that should have happened years ago) that can involve principles outlined in loving advice from MOHO Hawaii in the previous post comments. Maybe not as forcefully, but ending with a better direction of at least not hiding future meetings from her. Ultimately, that is my goal - to be able to make these connections of affirmation without repercussions or guilt and with her understanding the need, and not feeling pain or threatened by such meetings. I've lived my life "alone" for too long and such repression does no one any good.
I read in someone's blog a few days ago a quote that went something like this: "Even seven thousand years of joy cannot make up for seven years of repression" or something like that. Well... what about 30 years of repression?
My new MOHO friend asked me how I do it? How I manage to live the way I do? How I am able to keep up the facade and still function in some sort of sanity and normalcy?
It makes me wonder, too. If it gives him such pause as to how I am doing it month after month and year after year, and now decade after decade, how am I able to do it? And why do I do it?
And then I wonder if I would ever really change? Would I permit myself to truly be myself?
He asked me where I would like to see myself in 5 or 10 years. I said I hoped that I would see myself as being "free" - not free of marriage, or the bonds of the church and culture with which I am immersed and choose to be living my life willingly - but "free" from the guilt and repression, and "free" to be myself and hopefully find joy therein.
I've thought a lot about that answer since last Friday and I'm not sure if I'll ever get there. I wrote on Abelard's blog this evening that the "It Gets Better" campaign is wonderful for the younger set, those coming out in the teen and early twenties with their lives ahead of them, but as for those of us who are well into mid-life years, with years of repression accounted for and neatly packaged up and stacked in our tidy closets, I struggle to see that it really does get better from here...
All of this seems so self-centered and so self-serving. It's all about me, after all, no?
That's when I stop and count my blessing, realizing the "good life" that I do have, and that somehow, in the right time and place, all I want is the opportunity (and willingness and courage to take action) to LIVE and be real, and be me! Including meeting fellow MOHO brothers in public and "sacred" forums of face-to-face interaction and connection in plain daylight... no hiding.
Maybe then there will remain some hope that it's never ever too late for life to "get better".