WELCOME! And Thanks :)

I’d like to take a moment to say WELCOME to Gays in the Life’s new followers. We’ve been much more engaged on social media and work-shopping ideas for the blog and it shows with a great increase in your support and daily interaction. For those of you just joining us, be sure to keep up with us on the following platforms:

Facebook: Facebook.com/GaysintheLife

Twitter: @gaysinthelife

Instagram: @gaysinthelife

I’d also like to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all of you that have been with us from the beginning  – that’s now over two years ago – and THANK YOU to all of you new followers. I cannot express how appreciative I am of you all taking the time to read whatever mumbo-jumbo I’m serving up throughout the week.

Life has been an interesting ride and I know it’s not anywhere near over. In three days I’ll be celebrating my thirtieth birthday. The fact that I’ll be thirty on Saturday is wild in itself. When you’re younger, thirty seems so far away, but I fully plan on  continuing to embrace adulthood and share S and I’s lessons along the way.

Please know that you are all loved and welcomed with open keystrokes. Continue to share the blog, Facebook page, and social media accounts with your family and friends. I strongly believe that we can build a better world by educating each other through shared experiences and conversation. My only goal with Gays in the Life is to do exactly that.

If there’s ever a time you have a question or want to learn more about a post I’ve written or information I’ve shared, let us know in the comments or on our social media! Getting to know our followers and readers will only benefit the relationship we have with you and can only enhance the content we have coming down the pipeline for you.

Here’s a bit of a bonus for you all. S and I the night of our first date back in September 2011:

first-date-night

We look a little different now 🙂

thank you, thanK YOU, THANK YOU. Be well,

J.

Our Father’s Anger, Our Lessons.

The men in our lives can shape us in ways we never realize. The recognition, and understanding, of the lessons their most honest energy projects, can strike as sharp as a burn to the finger. As a child you’re too young to recognize any damage adulthood has inflicted upon your father. As a teenager, you’re not allowed to comment on anything that is said between two adults. “Be seen, and not heard… Don’t speak unless you’re spoken to…” were regular instructions throughout my upbringing, and little did I know the effects of these instructions would only sharpen my understanding of my father’s unshared emotions.

In the world of adulthood, you tend to catch comments, expressions, and reactions of older members within the family; especially those of fathers.  My dad was an Army man with a tough exterior, social superpowers, and a strict confidence that ruled our household. He knew how to have fun, and we felt his love, even though we never really used the “love” word growing up. At the age of sixteen I watched him morph into another being. Divorce had blackened his insides, and bitterness flowed infinitely. Not knowing how to fully process this new man – a poisoned shadow that danced inside my father’s body – or his reasoning, I was forced to grow up and assumed that he was just setting a negative example for my siblings and I. We’re on good terms now, but it took us a while to get back to a settled place where we could begin to understand each other; although I still don’t get him all the time.

S’s father is a warm, honest, and gentle soul. I tried to offer him some of my hippy-dippy zen advice – after hearing enough complaints about something he and my mother-in-law had been left out of by his family – only to receive a sharp, and deeply planted response. “I don’t care to get over it.” My advice was to find a way to get over the issues he had with the family, for his own health. “Well, everyone handles things differently, I suppose. It definitely doesn’t help if no one is communicating” was my exit from the conversation. I know my boundaries, respect my S’s parents, and realize that you can’t help everyone, so I stopped responding to any opportunity to share my little bit of wisdom.  I still don’t have full details about what happened, but what was it that was causing him to hold on to that dark energy?

My dad is fifty years old, and S’s father is in his sixties. What I’ve learned from these two, completely different men, is more than I can fit into any closing paragraph. I’m only twenty-eight years old, and I know there are people out there that will say that I’m too young, and that I haven’t truly experienced life. Everyone has dark days, grey moments, and pitch-black thoughts in life at some point, and in mine, I’ve learned to let go. I search for the lesson in all of life’s curveballs and strikes, and try to move forward as positive as possible. Harnessing anger only turned me into someone I didn’t want to accept lived inside of me. The feeling was that of being stuck in quicksand with a speeding semi truck seconds away from barreling right through me; fear, uncertainty, and uncomfortable welcome. These gentlemen are a reminder to try. Try to accept, grow, and move forward. If happiness is faint, reward yourself in that happiness, and challenge yourself to gain more.

Past in Present

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, and marked his fourth birthday that we have celebrated together. Where has the time gone?! The wonder, curiosity of what and when, and the overall remembrance of the moments that have already past – and the subliminal preparation of those that have yet to arrive – proves to be one trippy ride.  I find myself, in this moment, trying to piece together every single day that we have shared. Good days, bad days, our bright days, and our grey days blend together to form a beautiful watercolor painting; as seen through memory’s hazy vision. Many memories approach, and my attempt to remember those already traveled prove to be nothing short of an intro to an odyssey.

Let’s not spark the fuse on dramatics’ canon too soon, as I’m not trying to live out any scene from The Notebook. It feels like yesterday that I was back in high school; living the last of my glory days in jazz band, graduating, and packing for my first semester at Indiana University Bloomington. It’s a funny thing, time, because it’s been ten years since those last days of high school. In an instant, and with the blink of an eye, I can be taken back to that moment in time, via memory’s influence and without notice. The realization of where S and I are now, together, is mind-boggling.  I merge from Memory Lane, speeding back into present day, and think to myself “…wow, where has the time gone?”

It wasn’t until this week that I really stopped to think about everything life has thrown my way throughout the last decade of my life. The ups and downs, along with their joy and misery, trace a path from then – whenever then may be – to now. So many things in life take time, yet we don’t feel the time passing. Four is a big number for me in this moment. October of this year will mark four years that S and I have been together. That’s four Christmases, four of my birthdays, and four of his birthdays… It’s crazy when I think of how quickly that time flew. I have to wonder that if, come tomorrow, would another four years have passed because I was so caught up in the present? The reality is that no matter what you do, those memories will linger and make their presence know as you need them. Live in the moment and don’t look back, because before you know it, you’ll be reflecting on more memories collected.

The Key

Communication is the key to life. Communication is the key to love. Communication is the key to us… Will you communicate with me? – TLC & Dallas Austin. “Communicate-Interlude.” Fanmail 1999.

Communication will make or break any relationship. What do people fear when they’re finally in their own relationships, or marriage? One thing I knew I would have to respect – maybe “fear” is the wrong word – within my relationship was the communication aspect.  This stems mostly from growing up in a two parent home, up to the age of sixteen, just to watch it all fall apart because my parents did not communicate properly within their situation. Do I think my parents would have stayed together if they did communicate effectively? No, probably not, but I think they would have gotten to a better place as peers – raising their three children together – faster than they did in real time.

Communication can be simple if both parties are willing to participate, listen, and learn. I remember a time during my husband and I’s first months of dating. I was usually the one to initiate communication – whether that be text or call – and after some time, I decided to give him the chance to reach out first. Well two days went by before I heard anything, and I was absolutely pissed.  I ended up calling him and making sure he knew how I felt. At the time we were living an hour apart, and during those couple of days of no contact, I didn’t feel wanted anymore; this worried me, but I had to test him.  From that point on, if there were ever any issues, I made sure to communicate them to S, and encouraged him to do the same with me.

You never stop learning when you’re sharing a life with someone. Flash forward to yesterday – married and three years into our relationship – when I was expecting my husband home at a certain time. I decided to call after the minutes on the clock totaled to an hour past his estimated time of arrival. Now, I was not mad at him, but I was worried. I don’t make excuses for anyone, and he is no exception. Any form of message informing me that he would be running late would have kept my spousal jitters at bay. There is no perfect way to communicate. The act itself can be as easy, or as hard, as you make it. The important thing is that you try. I’m a firm believer in communication, and as long as it’s present… you can’t lose.

Casualties

Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve is one of my favorite songs. “’Cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony this life” is the lyrical line that draws me in every time I hear the song. Back in 1999, the sixth grade or so, I had no clue that line was a lesson I would come to process as a continuing life lesson.  I had no idea then that on my twenty-fourth birthday I would get the lyrics tattooed on my left forearm under a trumpet – my musical weapon and tool – or that I would have to apply this lesson to people I considered quality friends.

Something happens when you enter a serious relationship, particularly with friends within your circle. There’s the process of getting friends warmed up to the new boyfriend – or girlfriend – the amount of time passing in which people in your life realize this new person is going to stick around, and the overall blending of two lives into one.  Most are happy for their friends when love is found, but there are also darker, more sinister feelings felt by some. If you’re lucky you will never encounter this problem, and I use the word “lucky” because the death of a friendship is sad and unfortunate.

If someone isn’t genuinely happy for you and your relationship, there is no reason why that poisonous energy should stick around. People that are jealous and unhappy within their relationship do not have the right to take out their internal struggle on those that have supported them through the ups and downs of their turbulent relationship. S and I are only twenty-eight years old, and have only had to lose one friend over similar nonsense.  Despite the individual’s lies and blatant cries for attention, we and most of our mutual friends – once shared with the ex-friend – remain close and stronger than ever.

I mention our ages because we are only at the rear end of our twenties, and a lot of bullshit goes down with friendships during that time. When you’re younger, the number of friends you have is the most important thing in the world, and as you mature you realize it’s not about the quantity of friends, but the handful of quality friends that strengthen your foundation.   Do people actually mature over time? Or is it similar to when people tell you that all the drama ends after high school… I just do my best to keep the good ones around.