Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Past Life Crashing into Present

My blog is usually a happy place. Looking back at the past three years, I haven't written many sad things about my life. There was this bit about my life growing up. When I broke up with E.Shrew, for what I thought was for good, I made a Goodbye Video. In one post that took only minutes to write, I was flooded with emotions when I wrote Winds Of Change. Then there is the typical Birthday Post.

I have been feeling great anxiety about tomorrow when I join a local tennis league. Don't bail on me yet folks. Keep reading. By joining this local tennis league tomorrow, I am definitely going back to my past life. You know... that prior life I lived before I was gay. Yes, that one.

I looked at the tennis league member list and found three classmates that I went to school with in my past life. I am truly terrified. I live in a Parish with a population of close to 100,000. Everyone knows my dad in the Parish. Worse, everyone knows that I am the gay son of my Dad. I came out over 10 years ago. I was quite the talk of the Parish back then.

So, how will I deal with merging my second life back to my first life? Surely, the members will whisper "I went to school with Brett! He's queer!" Can I handle that reality? From my blog, you would think so wouldn't you?

But see, I have mentally partitioned my life into two: BEFORE I CAME OUT and AFTER I CAMEOUT. I have never been to any High School Reunions. That was my past life. I don't know that person anymore. My twin brother told me at the last class reunion a lot of fellow classmates were disappointed they didn't get to see me. They said I was always nice to them. I was surprised when I heard that, because I didn't think anyone would even remember me at all. I was invisible to everyone.

Now, I must confront the uncomfortable reality that I have been living just one life all this time. It scares the living shit out of me. The sum of all my fears is about to happen tomorrow. I am going to meet classmates from my prior life 19 years ago. What's scarier, is that these three classmates are now team captains in charge of judging my tennis skills and deciding whether to pick me for their team. Makes me shiver! How will I handle this? Will I have sudden anxiety that will make me freak out and quit on the spot? Or will I be the brave gay man that I am supposed to be now?

Everytime I think of facing these three classmates again, my heart tightens. I feel great dred. Will they remember how much of a loner I was back then? How friendless I was? Or how I would sit at a cafeteria table all by myself every single school day? How many times I would sit alone at a library table every single lunch period rather than play with any friends? Will they remember that pathetic Brett? Or will they give me a chance to show them how great I have progressed? Perhaps the biggest question we should all ponder is... will I give them a chance?


Anonymous John said...

You'll blow their minds... go for it !!

September 05, 2007  
Blogger Lewis said...

You know, the cool thing about those "confronting the uncomfortable" moments is this: That the moment you've done it, it's then BEHIND longer IN FRONT of you. The sooner it's confronted and actually happens, it no longer holds that power of fear over you. Hold your head high, rack up whatever confidence you may have, and go for it. Remember: It's their problem, not yours. You just be the strong, handsome, responsible man that you are. Nobody's son, nobody's gay son. Just a great guy. That, alone, will stand.

September 05, 2007  
Blogger CJ said...

You had me in tears Brett. Till I realized what the post tomorrow will say.
Brett says. "I kicked ass today. Why all the anxiety I don't know. They were in awe of my backstroke. They said I had a powerfull serve. And one of them said he always wanted to suck my dick. Who would have thought that?" ;) Sleep tight you ragin cajun.

September 05, 2007  
Anonymous durban bud said...

Go into it as if this is the first time you are meeting them. It kind of is, especially after 19 years. So, really, they know nothing about the real you, so who cares what they think.

You've come a long way, and I'm sure you look and feel better than all of them.

I would have sat with you at your lunch table.

September 05, 2007  
Blogger Drew said...

I completely understand about the life before coming out and the life after. It feels like my life truly began just 4 years ago.

And I can't honestly believe you were invisible in high school. I pictured you as one of the Mean Girls. Hmmph!

September 05, 2007  
Blogger Lewis said...

Let your fear turn into curiosity.

September 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony said...

Just be yourself Brett...but you could heighten your chances by allowing them to win a few matches. LOL.

September 05, 2007  
Blogger TimQ said...

cheer up dude!

even though i dont know u and u dont know me... haha... i know u will be alright!

September 06, 2007  
Blogger Lacey said...

I truly do understand the feeling of having two different lives. I'm sure almost every one who reads you knows the feeling. But remember, the reality is that those two lives are both part of ONE life, and both make you who you are today. Be proud of yourself. You have every reason to be.

September 06, 2007  
Blogger One Half said...

Regardless of whether you have one life or two, you are a different person now than you were then. You're out, you're open, you have friends, you're in a relationship, you have done some amazing things. Blow them off the courts and just be yourself.

September 06, 2007  
Blogger Paul said...

Just remember ... you're there to play tennis, not recruit.

I just wish you were in my tennis league. I love to play with someone that will charge after every ball!

September 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Brett...embrace this as an opportunity to overcome your fears and heal the past. I am confidant these high school classmates from the past will accept you and like you for who you are. I think when we were kids we felt different and was our perception. Other people did like us. We didn't necessarily like or accept ourselves....So have accepted yourself, and you can also enjoy the acceptance of your peers. They will like you for you. Have fun. Just be yourself. If someone doesn't like or accept you, then....shrugg it off...we can't please everyone. By the way...I just got home from NYC...I was at the US OPEN and saw some awesome tennis this past weekend...I'm ready to compete now!

September 06, 2007  
Blogger Brent said...

Someone once told me that although I may separate my life into "before I was gay" and "after I became gay" I was always gay. So if people liked me before, what's changed for them. I'm not going to suddenly jump them. And something I tell my children is that mostly people are nice. Yes there are a few assholes in the world but if you think of your daily life, most people are nice. You'll be fine. Enjoy.

September 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chris said...

I totally understand what you're saying in this post Brett. Just the thought of having to deal with some of the guys I went to high school with sends me into fits 19 years later. I'm sure you'll knock them dead and they'll all wish they had hung out with you in high school instead of ignoring you.

September 06, 2007  
Blogger Ice John's World said...

People change. Your old classmates will not be exactly the same as you remeber them either. You are who you are now and you cannot change what other people want to think of you. It will be their loss not to recognize the whole "you". Besides, it is really just a tennis league. Your tennis skill should the most important thing to them. Best luck to you.

September 06, 2007  
Blogger Steven said...

I appreciate the sharing of your previous blogs from a time when I was "blogless," particularly "Winds of Change." definitely provides a different perspective of you. However, it sounds like you're trying to go back into the closet when you readily acknowledge that they already know that you're gay. I say go full force as yourself and show them who the tennis champion is going to be!

September 06, 2007  
Blogger daveincleveland said...

you are a different person now, finally comfortable in your own skin andwith who you are, you'll do fine, just be your typical charming hot brett self and you will do fine and perhaps find that there won't be any problems at all.........go and have fun with it...i know you will

September 06, 2007  
Blogger Sorata said...

I think it will be different when you're actually there. The speculations and the worries before hand is often worse than the actual encounter of the situation.

I agree with icejohn above. Your classmate will not be the same as they did. They might also look forward to see you again, in a good way, after all these years.

I truly wish you good luck, in both facing of your past life and the tennis thingie. :D

September 06, 2007  
Blogger J. David Zacko-Smith said...

I wish I knew what advice to offer - I have always just never cared about people who don't accept me for who I really am, so I never stressed about it. I know everyone's experience is very different though, and all I can say is just be yourself and know you are valued and cared about for who you are NOW. Not everyone is going to like us or accept us, that's life, and it's OK.

September 06, 2007  
Anonymous Brian D said...

I could not imagine you as a loner or a quiet one.

Since your twin brother told you that your former classmates were disappointed not to have a chance to see you at reunion, that sounds like that you always had been nice to them.

You know a famously universal statement, "you will be treated the same as you treat others".

I think I've told you before that I was crowned a homecoming king at my former high school. After I came out, my former classmates were surprised, but I was surprised that they chose to remain friends with me. They said they always have had been comfortable being around me and considering me as one of their most trusted friends during our high school years.

Back in 1989, as the only gay man in early twenties in a softball team, it was consisted of many of my former male classmates and boyfriends/husbands of my former female classmates. They treated me normally as other teammates even they all were aware of my sexual orientation.

I even went to my high school reunion last June, and everybody including straight men, were very nice to me. They did the same to my long time childhood best friend who also is gay. We all had a great time together.

Brett, to be honest, you are one of the few nicest/most courteous hearing men I ever know in my entire life. So, I strongly doubt that you will have a problem with assocating with your former classmates again. That's my own opinion.

I asked myself if I approach my former classmate who asked such stupid questions like "why are you gay?" "Gay is so wrong, and that is against what the bible says, etc. etc. etc. blah blah...

I would remind myself to stay strong and then ask if they have a problem. I also would ask what is their own definition of God?

I would not be surprised if they define God as a harshly judgemental One. Then I would know where they came from..... That's their own personal view and perceptive of life. I would tell them that my own definition of God is an incredibly unconditional loving one, and I truly am so close with Him deeply inside my heart, even I am gay. In my own spiritual out of body experience, I've experienced God's awesome love.

I like what Lewis posted. I totally agree with him.

If your former classmates do not like you because of your gayness, you are their mirror. They will not like themselves if they happen to be gay. That's their problem, not yours.

Good luck, my friend!

Brian D.

September 06, 2007  
Blogger The Neighbors Will Hear said...

I suppose it would be wrong here to suggest that winking at the guy across the net from you is a good way to make him miss his volleys.

Anyway, good luck.

September 06, 2007  
Blogger Atari_Age said...

I had a similar question when I got an invite to my HS 20th reunion. There are actually other reasons I'm not too keen on going. (Didn't have a ton of friends and lost connections to those I did have)

But on the gay question... well, frankly, you're more out than me in many ways, so I'd be surprised if you finally just walked in and said "hi" and let the chips fall as they may. If they're cool, then great! Because if they're jerks, then fuck'em.

I hope it actually went fine.

September 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you remember me, Stacy- worked w/Bart. I'm just reading this so you have already gone. I hope you were just yourself-very confident in all your writing and very amusing. I hope you don't mind but I do read your blog. You should be a writer. And as far as all those people from the past. Nobody has a perfect life. Some are just really good at fronting.

Oh, I have a myspace. Go check it out: Stacy Sanders. My friend Rhapsody's Enchantress also went to NOLA for Southern Decadence Festival. She had posted a bulletin with history. Interesting!!!!!

September 06, 2007  
Anonymous Derek said...

I like what Lewis wrote! Stay strong! Thanks for the words of encouragement to me as well!


September 07, 2007  

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