Tuesday, August 04, 2009

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.

18 Comments:

OpenID gvlrx7mes said...

You are perfect in every way. I myself had your kind of childhood... shy, kew something was different about me, etc... We are alot alike!
-Markngvl

August 04, 2009  
Anonymous Larry said...

It takes a rare man to come through adversity and find the balance necessary to live a content life. I grew up made to feel inferior in many ways but in high school was voted Most Optimistic. the caption under my pic read "He knew the hostages would come home" -- referring to the Iran Hostage Crisis. I have definitely hit speed bumps along the way, most recently a blindingly hurtful relationship, or the end of one. You get through and are thankful for what you have and what you give to others. I try to keep that philosophy as a sort of rudder through turbulent waters. Peace and thnaks for sharing your thoughts.

August 04, 2009  
Anonymous Jeff said...

-LOL- You just reminded me of when I first met you. Your open and honest attitude took me by surprise, but it was amazingly refreshing.

(Although the "church mouse" remark doesn't jive with what you said about your childhood.)

August 04, 2009  
Blogger Brettcajun said...

What "Church Mouse" remark?

August 04, 2009  
Blogger Mike, Studio city said...

You are such a nice person. We love visiting you (your blog) every day. Thanks for sharing. Hugs Hugs Hugs

August 04, 2009  
Blogger RG said...

You, my handsome Cajun friend, rescued yourself.

August 04, 2009  
Blogger Ken in MS said...

Beautiful post, Brett. It was college that did it for me, too. I was poor, but everybody else was, too, so I didn't notice. I was unhappy, but didn't notice. I was fucked up by church, but again, everybody was, so I didn't notice. Finally, in college away from the people I grew up with, I really grew up.

And while I don't wish anyone to be without happiness or money, claiming those things is so much better for you than just having them given to you. It takes a good man to realize that.

And I've heard you're a good man!!!

August 04, 2009  
Blogger Brent said...

Very well said.

August 04, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for your poignancy. perhaps all too common the same story for most gay men in th USA. appreciate your honesty

August 05, 2009  
Blogger cb said...

From reading your blog, I never got the impression that your life was all joy and happiness and rainbow unicorn farts.

I must have missed something.

August 05, 2009  
Blogger Ice John's World said...

Great post, Brett!

August 05, 2009  
Blogger Raybeard said...

Even apart from your deeply moving blog, the sight of two little pussy-cats being transfixed by your appearance really does it for me - and who could blame them? Would so much like to cuddle all three of you.

August 05, 2009  
Blogger Blobby said...

I applaud all you did to become you. In the end, it's really all we have.

So many of "our" feelings have little to do w/socio-economic issues and I see this again and again - it comes down to friendship.

August 05, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"eh... what did he say??"

He said, "blessed are the cheesemakers."

August 05, 2009  
Blogger Lacey said...

good post...

August 06, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many gays hide their true selves behind many things (a blog, dark window, a wall) b/c they do not want to be seen in what might be perceived as a negative way by acquaintances in the gay community. so much emphasis is placed on looks, the superficial aspect that really does not define a person. alleged good looks and cock size do not define a person, but the fabric of a person's being comes from within, naturally. good fabric helps build good relations with your partner, b/c at the end of the day when you lay your head down on your pillow, all the drinks and compliments from bar patrons really make for a hollow existence. one must dig deeper than a blog to find the depths of a person.

August 07, 2009  
Blogger FDeF said...

I think many of us share some childhood anguish, for sure. Ah, but you do have cuteness going for you! Very honest and heartfelt post. Thanks.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Moby said...

Ya know, for the first time since I met you, I feel like you are finally on the right path. You have begun to take stock in what it is to be Brett as well as your behavior. More importantly, you seem to be learning to value yourself as much as others.

You have a bright shining soul and anyone with half a brain can see that. We don't always agree but that is perfectly normal. I'm happy for you my friend. Keep it up!

August 17, 2009  

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