Check Back When I Am 25.

Im not very good at sharing about myself. My therapist says I am a quiet person, but she would be the only one. The truth is, I am a somewhat loud, eccentric and energetic young adult.

In cliche' fashion, the person many great people know today, the person I know as myself, has had a long journey to be as comfortable as I am.

Obviously, since it is already hard to share my stories with a therapist, I wont be delving into much detail here either. But I will give some light background. Growing up, I encountered many hiccups to a joyous life. Although I had both of my parents, they were divorced. We dealt with the deaths of some close friends. I dealt with the molestation of my brother. I struggled in myself with coming to terms with my sexuality.

So many times, I thought the easiest thing for me to do would be to just give up. Not in a suicide kind of way necessarily, but to transplant myself somewhere completely new away from the bullies I grew up with, the family I resented, and the memories attached to growing up in a small town with no close friends. I kept myself withdrawn from social events and activities and crucial experiences for many years.

I once heard a graduation speech. The speaker really liked quotes, and I dont know how she was able to fit so many into one short speech, but it was in this time I was introduced to a quote that started me down a path of fulfillment: "Twenty years from now, you will regret the things you didnt do rather than the things that you did."

As a shy, somewhat overweight high school-er who was severely depressed, afraid of people, and afraid of himself, I still had so many dreams and wishes that I would share only with the paper in my notebooks. I liked to sing. I was rather creative. I had a zest for art and could get lost in a painting. I wanted to perform: to act in a play and be seen and dance carelessly in public. I wanted to take control and prove myself. And for so many years, I had repressed these wishes.

I was a social chameleon. I changed with the leaves and the people who filled the branches of adolescence. But somehow, I decided I had to run toward what scares me, a quote she also used in this graduation speech.

Things easier said than done.

But at the brave age of seventeen, it needed to be accomplished. I was rather intelligent and had the grades to prove it. Now, it was time to make a plan. But first, I needed to become more comfortable with myself. I didnt really have friends, so I started to see people; to see what they were like and what they valued. If I let people influence me, I decided to start letting it help me instead of them.

I met a girl. From her, I began to glean a sense of independence.
I met a girl. She accepted and supported my love of musical theatre and art, inspiring me.
I met an outspoken girl. She taught me to stand up for my beliefs. She also supported the gays.

I used this support, independence, and steady beliefs to come to terms with who I was. I came out, and could finally see myself without the haze of youth.

I tracked my progress in my journals. I began to find attributes from these people I liked, and was able to recognize things I didnt. I never said no to anything, even when I probably should have.

After high school, I realized I was still at the mercy of one person, my mother. I quit college, something I would NOT recommend, moved out of my house, and became a rather successful portrait photographer. By being without influence for once, I could then have the opportunity to meet myself.

I met a girl. She helped me formulate goals. Stay organized, and allowed me, in many ways, to realize my dreams. I fell in love with what she stood for. And I continued to never say no.

I went to rock concerts, museums, gay pride parades. I saw a culture that my small down could never offer. I traveled to New York and celebrated great theatre and good company. And somewhere in here, recognized that I was actually sustainable company. I had something to bring to the table: knowledge and zest and an introverted but informed opinion.

I started back to school. I didnt want to commit to anything too specific, so I played around. I had wanted to be a writer, so I took some English classes. I wanted to perform so I took some theatre classes. I always loved science, so I took Geology...I hated geology so I crossed it off the list.

I discovered poetry, and then with something else, I fell in love. I would sit on my porch swing on long summer nights with a glass of wine and take an emotional journey in about twenty lines of Mary Fell or William Carlos Williams.

I met some boys. I felt the subtle feeling of lips against my own. I felt attractive, attracted, somewhat dangerous, and overall nervous. I felt the comfort of being held tight, and it wasnt this feeling, but my ability to feel it that I fell in love with myself.

I am twenty two. And I realized that I finally had started living.

I wasn't hoping the lives of others would be my own, I was making it a reality. I know I have so much left to learn, so much more to see. My therapist says her favorite attribute about myself is that I make everything an informed decision.

I can finally state that I am a writer, an adventurer, an activist, an artist, a gay man, who doesnt need anyone to feel complete. What does a chameleon become when it goes through metamorphosis? No really, Id like to know. To say butterfly would be to easy and to say myself would be corny as ****.

I recently stopped taking antidepressants. Although it was only for three months, I didnt want to be dependent on something I myself could influence. My therapist and I are unpacking years of pent up resentment and emotional denial. Although things are hard right now, I know that the years I spent working and the school I struggle through and the depression that never goes away and the friends I have lost and gained and the experiences I wished I had never lived through and the ones that I throughly enjoyed will help me to become a better man. Im still working to improve myself and that's alright, but except for a lack of motivation, I feel content.
springawakened springawakened
22-25, M
Nov 28, 2012