The Bright Side of Life:
Last week, a long lost friend stumbled upon my blog for the first time. He posed the following question: What advice can you offer to help others find the joy, fulfilling life, good friends and happiness that you have?
I was dumbstruck. How do I even go about answering this question? I wrote him back asking that he give me time to contemplate an answer.
There are signs that I am an oddity. When I first met Moby, he said I had a naivete that was refreshing. Durban Bud described me as a "man-boy". I have been told on more than one occassion: "You are so different. I don't know anyone like you!"
If my life were a Monty Python song, it would be Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. It fits perfectly.I was not born with a silver spoon. It was Carnation dry milk and hand-me-down clothes. Mama and Daddy were poor. Our family of six lived in a rundown 50 foot trailer. There were no family vacations, trips to the mall, trips to movies, cable, or any other luxuries. I hardly ever saw my Dad, as he worked four jobs. Times got really tough whenever there was a union strike at the plant.
Economic times did improve for my family, but I faced many hardships while in school. I was painfully shy. It rendered me unable to function as a normal person. Rather than run around and play with childhood friends, I was holed up in the library buried in homework.
I knew I was different from others. I distinctly remember feeling pathetic. I had no friends. I was gay. I pondered such things as, "If I were to get married, would I even have a best man?" "If I were to die, who would anyone attend my funeral?" Fate had conspired to cruelly condemn my life to one lonely existence.
There was some mental abuse. Being told constantly that I wasn't good enough shattered any chance of having a healthy self esteem. They didn't know any better. They themselves were raised by a verbally abusive parent.
Times changed after I graduated from college. I found other gay people and came out at the age of 23. I quite easily formed many meaningful friendships that have lasted until this day.
Perhaps the secret to a joyful and happy life is to spend the first half of your life devoid of any. Somehow, by the grace of God, my life changed for the better. So, if you see me walking around with a soaring spirit and a twinkle in my eye, it's because I have not taken my reversal of fortune for granted. I have been rescued. Amen.