“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive”. – Oriah Mountain Dreamer
This thought elicits such a gut response within me…it’s so true, and as many times in my life as I have felt like I didn’t know which way to go next, I’ve always managed to choose the right path for myself. I’ve never lived dreams of grandiosity, I’ve always been a more simple type person, contented just to have a solid foundation and a roof over my head, and love in my life.
I read another blog today about dating over 50 and how we self-depreciate so much of ourselves…I thought this to be incredibly true. I like many have had those feelings of inadequacy and have encountered spots where I never felt good enough, or I felt like I didn’t fit. Even outside of dating I’ve had those experiences, as a Butch I’ve found myself feeling “less than” – or even “too much of” – at times. The blog made such sense and gave me serious pause for thought about life in general as well as life with happiness, romance and love. All big things to think of, but all necessary thoughts. I’ve always known that without loving myself first that I could never love anyone else the way that I should…thus I have really worked on developing better self-esteem and move self-love over the last several years. I am definitely in a different place mentally with all of these thoughts than I was years ago, and I like where I am now – a LOT.
I’ve learned that no matter how old I am I still don’t know everything, or understand everything about my life, my loves and my true desires. I’m still learning every day it seems. My answers and solutions vary with each day, according to where I am at in my life. It’s been a very interesting journey. I still would not change any of it.
I’ve survived a lot along the way. I’ve survived physical pain, emotional pain and being so screwed up inside that I didn’t ever think I’d survive, period. I’ve come out of every situation with some new knowledge, and renewed strength, as well as lessons to help me through whatever came next. The saying goes that we are never given more than we can handle…I think this is very true, it’s how we handle it that counts and makes the biggest difference and impact on our lives, and the quality of our lives. I know this has been the case with me for sure, it’s always been key – how I handled things. There were times when I was foolish and didn’t handle them well, when I chose to go into self-destruct mode instead of dealing with things head on. Funny, those times are far less solidified in my soul than the times that I did indeed deal with things straight up and with determination. I’ve somehow figured out how to let go of what I don’t want and need in my life, and opted for what that I did and do need very much. That didn’t come easy to me, but with some inner reflection, years of good therapy and some serious life adjustments over time I have honed this new “instinct” almost to perfection.
Romance and dating, love, lust and all that stuff that goes along with it with me has definitely changed and evolved over the years. My tastes have changed, several times I am sure, and my priorities have changed, and changed again. The one constant thing in life is change. Without it we grow stagnant and die. As people we must learn to grow and change; adapt according to the situations we find ourselves in, and continue to strive to be better for ourselves and those we allow into our lives. I used to be so afraid of change, until I realized that it was necessary and it was inevitable no matter what I did.
The world has changed as far as dating goes, as we all know. It’s more internet focused nowadays. Especially as you get older, the old ways of meeting potential lovers – and friends – has changed dramatically since the development of today’s technology. I know for me that it’s been the best way I have found to find like-minded women; and women I am interested in. I don’t miss the old days of bar hopping and cruising the clubs for dates at all. Sure, in my 20’s when that was the only way to meet other gay women that’s what I did. But now doing that is the furthest thing from my mind, and something that I do not miss one bit.
I’m much more interested in the convenience of the internet when it comes to finding a woman that I am possibly interested in getting to know better. It’s an easy way to talk, it’s easy because you can do it from the comfort zone of your own, plus you can weed out the riff-raff and focus more on the one who is most interesting to you. In my world, once I meet someone online and develop a relationship with them via cyber communication then I know if I really want to meet that person in the real world and see where it goes. I know that maybe I am a bit late coming to the table of internet dating…I did resist it at first, visibly scoffing at the idea. But then I began to see the positive aspects of it, and I have met some pretty incredible people via the internet. Some have become real time friends, a couple have become lovers, and a few have been blocked completely – a necessary evil sometimes! It’s not all roses, it’s difficult even at first, but if a person is worth it you find out quicker than I think you do in the real-time dating rituals of old. I also don’t end up wasting as much time on people who don’t spark my interest; there’s no suffering through half a dozen dates only to find out someone is psycho or just too weird for my tastes. Blunt, but true.
“Nobody is going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or making it, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what is unjust, sad, sucky things befall you. Self pity is a dead end road. You can make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out” – Cheryl Stryed.
Life isn’t predictable and solutions are not just automatic in life, love or living large, in my opinion. We have to make decisions and choices in our lives and sometimes those choices can be overwhelming to the point that we choose to do nothing, ignoring the issue and hoping that it will go away. If I choose to do nothing then I would have to accept a life of disquiet, unhappiness, sadness and no hope. There was no way that was going to happen once I realized that. I refuse to let negativity solidify in any way in my life now. I choose happiness, even if it’s more difficult to get there sometimes.
To move forward you have to let go of your past and embrace change. With change comes reinvention and if you don’t know who you are and what you want, it makes it a lot harder to move forward in your life. I know that when I let go of trying to be who and what other people thought I should be, and I decided to start living for myself and decided to BE my authentic self – no matter what – that my life completely changed for the better. No, it didn’t get easier, but it got far more clear to me as to what I had been doing wrong all along the way. I had to move forward and let go of my past, discard my shame of my mistakes, and take the proverbial life-bull by the horns.
I come to all of this deep thought lately as I am sort of looking at my life and pondering where to take the journey next. I’m at a very comfortable place – almost feels too comfortable sometimes. I am emotionally healthier than I have been ever, and far more stable. It feels different, and maybe a little strange. I’m used to things being a bit more chaotic – both inside of me as well as in my physical world. The last 3+ years I have gone through some major changes – again both physically and emotionally – that have brought me to a whole new place where I am feeling closer to fitting into the world than I ever have previously. It’s a good feeling, but it’s also relatively new for me and has taken some getting used to for sure. I do love the learning process and the evolution of me though.
The various people who have come into my life in the last 5 years have made differences beyond what I can describe here. I’ve had some great people, some really good friends and a couple of very special women enter my life and who I’ve stayed in touch with in more mature fashion than I did before. I used to not value people, or trust people, and thus I had very few close friends. Now I have a couple of much closer friends and I think if you can say you have a “couple” then you are rich in friendship. It’s not the quantity of people, but the quality of their gifts of friendship to your life. At least it has been with me. I find it very hard to trust, and when I do I do it with seriousness; I do not take trust lightly. I listen to my gut instincts with people, and when those instincts lead me to great relationships with people in my life I know they are for real.
So…those are my heavier thoughts for this blog…enough for now. MB