Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Life Is but a Series of Moments

There are a lot of things that I was lucky enough to have learned from my father in what has been a fairly short stay in this life. Although he and I have issues, as all parent-child relationships do, I must admit, his wisdom in life ordeals has helped me throughout my list of experiences. One of the things he would always tell me, even when he was the one punishing me was, "This is only one moment in your life. Don't get hung up on it." With that thought in mind, I have a bit of a confession to make. Tonight, I was on my way to make a very poorly made decision. I had, somewhat cryptically, told a certain someone to meet me at Starbucks for a cup of joe and what would have been a startling conversation. Now, before some of you jump to conclusions, this meeting wasn't a poor concept because it was some random stranger off a shady sex website. Rather, this person and I know each other very well. Better than most in our respective circle of friends. For the sake of keeping some mystique, we'll call him DB (for it's obvious crude double entendre. DB and I haven't really spoken since a situation in our relationship reached a boiling point and the proverbial shit hit the metaphoric fan. Regardless, I had some things I still needed to sort out in my mind for my own sanity, so in vain I tried to set up a meet-cute.

I had just arrived to our usual meeting place and ordered myself a tall coffee. This was after a half-hour of contemplation before that of whether or not I would even go. See, despite being that one to set up said meeting, I was only 5% sure DB would even arrive. Anyone familiar with mathematics can see how much doubt I was playing with in that half-hour. Alas, I decided I shouldn't be the one to be the no-show and drove myself over.

There I was. I picked a spot on the outside patio, hot coffee in hand and freezing everywhere else. I had brought a book with me, "Eat Pray Love". Despite the movie getting horrible ratings (which I loved) the book is also insightful. I made a mental promis to myself that I would stay at least thirty minutes or until I had finished my Starbucks concoction. Huddled into myself, I would read some, then sip some, read some, then sip some; all the while nervously looking at the clocked face of my cell phone. In the back of my mind, so many thoughts were zooming across like aberrations I couldn't exorcise: "Will DB even come?" "What would I even say if he does?" "If he chooses to stand me up, what will I have even gained from this thirty minute deep freeze?" Sipping, reading, glaring; I couldn't stop thinking. All of a sudden, one of the aberrations was comforting: "This is only a moment. You have millions more." That thought, out of all of them created a settling in my mind. I finished my coffee, found a natural stopping point in my book and had maxed out my 30-minute limit. Now what? I sat there, giving a bit of a grace period just in case. To my dissatisfaction, DB did not come. Granted, I didn't truly expect him to.

Slightly defeated, I went to my car and started driving home. I was on the short trek when I heard a honk that seemed to be in my direction. My initial reaction was, "I don't think I was doing anything incorrect or annoying" so I began to look around. Behind me was my sister, waving and smiling. I waved back and began to crack a smile. Albeit, I don't ascribe to any particular doctrine or belief, whatever cosmic static is out there seemed to have sent me a small bump that broke the tension, the warm smile of a loved one. Now, obviously, the scientific part of me says, "Well you do both live in the same city, it's an appropriate time for both of you to be out and you both frequent the same areas", but still, that was a reminder that I needed. We can so often get wrapped up in the thoughts or feelings we have about just one person in our lives. We can forget that there are tens if not hundreds of people around us that we either know or love or have the opportunity to bond with. We drift through life wondering when the next big thing is going to happen to us and how to survive it if it's not exactly what we want. It's important to remember, there are always people around you who care. Another confession I have to make, only I wish it weren't in such a "public" fashion is that I am clinically depressed and medicated for it. That sentence in itself is still one of the hardest things to admit because of the taboo surrounding it. In a way, those who are depressed still have closets they have to come out of. Everything being equal, I know I've given those who already disapprove of my "lifestyle" more ammo than necessary. I'll have them know that I've always struggled with depression, even before I came out. It was actually worse when I was living the "Christian lifestyle".

In short, remember you're not alone. I know when you are depressed, there are times that your mind will convince you you're alone and it simply isn't true. This is but a moment. That itself is a hard concept to swallow but if you can grasp it, even for a second, it will help. Ten years from now, the same problems you're facing won't have the same value they do now. Let's take my life only a year ago. I was 17, living on my own, dating a clinically diagnosed sociopath, two of the people I admire most (Jeff and Mandy) had literally moved half-way across the country, I was living with people I didn't know very well, I was working full time and didn't see how I'd even be able to attend college. Now, all those things are different. Sure, I have a new set of problems but that's the thing about life. It's all so cyclical. Another phrase my father always told me was, "Life is like Houston weather. If you don't like it, wait. It'll change." I hope you all know I am here for every one of you, especially the one's I've yet to meet. I'll leave you with a quote: "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door." -Harvey Milk...and if I may add, even the closet doors of the clinically depressed.