Monday, May 16, 2011
Winds of Change
I awoke at 4:30 am to the cheerful sound of bird song and the quietness of my home. This may be the very same bird who held watch and kept me awake all night on Saturday some 300 miles away. At least it sounds remarkably like him? I slipped on a pair of worn jeans and a thick sweatshirt and stepped outside onto the front porch to survey the beginning of a cool and clear day. The moon, near, full and luminous on the horizon, shone like a bright white beacon and stunned me with her beauty. I sat down on the porch and took it all in.
It is time for a change.
Now, typically, when one hears those words, one may get a certain idea of altering circumstances or possibly making different choices. I feel that this is something far deeper and more subtle than making a few decisions that will change the outcome or picture of my life. This is more of a momentous shift in being not in doing.
I have had time to think. A space to pause. A short trip to clear my mind and blow out the cobwebs of the whirling circumstances that are my life and it has been good. My conclusion, while not easily found, is this.
I do not like who I have become. I am not pleased with the choices I have been making. What I have been doing has been at odds with who I should be being. My focus has been wrong and my life has become a direct result of these choices.
Vague statements aside, I find it rather easy to put into words what this means for me. I will try to spell it out rather briefly, if only to see it in writing for myself.
Faith: I have lost my way. I have been ignoring God. I no longer was spending any time praying or reading the Bible. I continued going to church as a social activity but have not really had my heart and mind open to anything that may have challenged the choices I have been making. When others attempted to guide or help me, anything that was offered that did not fit my selfish and narrow world view was discarded as an attempt to control or hurt me. I have been confused and frustrated about my emotions and how I relate to the people around me and as a result have sought out comfort in all the old ways that I am so familiar with. It is time to start listening and seeking once again.
Vocation: This last November, I made a rather poor choice(in hindsight) to enter the service industry again. I felt I had a rather good grasp on what it entailed and felt that with the maturity I had gained in the past years that I could keep a firm handle on the drain on life that it can become. I started working in a restaurant with high hopes of enjoying my time there and picking up useful skills in my goal to attend culinary school and become a chef. In this attempt, I have failed miserably. To be clear, I have made some great money, had a "good time" and made plenty of friends. On the surface, it is the picture of a good career move. In reality, it is a complete mess. My life, both personal and public, has become entangled in the lives of those I work with and the days have dissolved into long hours at work that blend directly into the long hours of partying that tend to follow such a high stress and intense environment. I do not like who I am and what I have become there. I have been working hard and playing even harder. The reputation and person I have lived out to my peers at work is not who I wish to be. I no longer feel this environment is healthy for me emotionally, spiritually and socially. Today I will be resigning. I feel that anything less than total separation from this place and those people I have called friends will help attempt to repair the damage I have done to myself in such a short time.
Identity: The tug of war between my faith and personal identity has been a struggle writ large across the entries of this blog. I have battled back and forth with myself as to how to resolve that interior juxtaposition that is my belief in God against what I consider my most raw and basic foundations as a person. No where has this been more plain than in the conflicting and baffling posts that have come out of my head on these pages. I do not have any simple answers. There will be no broad general sweeping statements.
These things I know. I am a Christian. I am gay. I do not know how or even if these will ever agree with each other in my soul, but I know them to be the truth of my life, as I understand it. The decisions, choices and actions that I have engaged in over the past few years have not brought peace and comfort to my heart in these areas. Trying to mesh my old life with my new life has not occurred in the seamless transition I had hoped it would be. When in a relationship, my mind did not rest easy for many different reasons, many which were tied to faith and the conflict I was experiencing within and without.
This was brought home to me in a conversation with a new friend over the kitchen table in his home. My other friend had gone on to bed around 1 am and I had stayed up to talk to his room mate and his roomies girlfriend. I shared my story with them and we had been discussing things for a few hours when he asked me a very simple question. He asked honestly and quietly...
What if a gay guy came to you as a friend, said that he was new Christian and wanted to live his life for Christ but had no intention of changing how he lived. What would you tell him?"
This pierced me to my core. I could not answer that question. I still cannot answer that question. I hope that soon I may be able to in some tangible and real way.
Now, before you worry that I am going to run off on some ex-gay jack ass rabbit trail, please be assured that I am not. I do not subscribe to the idea that one can alter or change ones sexual orientation for whatever altruistic reason someone may have. I do believe that I have a choice in the actions and choices that I make with my body and heart. What I am saying here is this...
As a Christian, I feel that there are things in my life which have not lined up with what I profess to believe. To be blunt, my life has been a picture of how NOT to be a Christian, or an illustration of how God wants me to live. I party hard and am better known at my local gay clubs and bars than I am at church. When I am not working, I am out drinking and hanging with all of my old friends from my old life.
When I am single, as I find myself right now, I am as promiscuous as I have always been. I have sex with whomever I want with no concern as to the consequences to myself or them. I have done nothing except please myself for quite some time now and it has not worked for me. I have run away and am so tired of running. My soul is thin. I have to stop. For a season, I will remain sober and celibate. Let me see how I fair then. I want to explore the ideas of Repentance and Purity.
The winds of change are blowing. I am not sure where they will be taking me, but my sails are filling even as I speak and I know that this port of call has not been my friend. I am headed out towards open water and my eyes are starting to fill with the early morning gleam of the rising sun. The horizon beckons. It is time to set a new course.
Feel free to tag along. I think this is going to be an amazing journey.
at May 16, 2011