Yes, I turned 50 a few days ago and at first, I thought WTF where did all the time go? Believe it or not, it wasn’t traumatic and my world didn’t come to an end. It did, however, give me time to think about the past 50 years and what I’ve been through and where I want to go.
When you’re younger there just seems to be so much time and you don’t think of turning 50, but it’s going to come sooner or later. I have very few regrets about my life, where I come from, who I am as a person and I’m not scared of what’s ahead.
High school for me wasn’t pretty and I don’t spend my time reflecting on that period of my life. But when I say I was bullied I mean it. It was brutal and how I managed to survive I’ll never know. This is what high school gave me; low self-esteem, no social skills, very little respect for myself, and no self-worth.
Then there was the gay social scene, pile on top of that was body image issues, and social class issues. This would cause me to spend the next 6 years going from job to job, drinking too much and drugs.
At 26ish I made a decision that this is not what I wanted my life to be, there had to be more out there than this vain, shallow, narcissistic existence. It was at this point that I went in rehab to clean up. I spent 3 months at rehab and there I learned to value myself as a person, to make healthy choices and live. So, yes I’m an addict.
It wasn’t easy, and I had my ups and downs, but I was determined to make this work.
The journey of who I am today, started when I applied and was accepted to Northwestern University in Illinois. Regardless of the progress, I made I was still very reserved, some of my friends still tell me they didn’t think I could even talk. Despite everything, I managed to graduate and head to the University of Michigan to complete my master’s degree.
Throughout these years I continued to work on myself and by the time I was 32 my perspective on life had changed. I was going to do my own thing, live life for myself and just not care what anyone thought of me. Their opinion(s) were now irrelevant. I just didn’t care anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t perfect and my life had its ups and downs but I managed to stay clean and work hard. I had a few failed relationships as we all do but I also learned something from them.
In 2008 I made the decision to move back home to New Orleans from Chicago. Moving back home was somewhat bitter-sweet, I was now facing my early 20’s and it wasn’t something I wanted to do. I was out of a 4-year relationship that didn’t end well, my parents were getting older, and the possibility of running into people I knew so long ago.
To be honest, it wasn’t that difficult, I was a different person, with different values and outlook on life.
Then 10 years ago I would meet a man that changed my life in ways I never thought possible. To meet someone that would allow me to be me, accept my faults, doesn’t judge and to explore my sexual side. Our relationship isn’t traditional and to some, it may not seem like a “true relationship”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Before my husband, I believed that a relationship should be monogamous, never looking outside of that relationship for any reason. You have to understand that my husband is into the leather scene and some sexual proclivities that I just couldn’t do. The realization that if I wanted my husband to be happy I had to rethink the whole concept of what a relationship should be. Now I’m not saying that all gay relationships should be this way, but for us, it works.
Before you start inundating me with comments and questions, no I’ve never gone through his cell phone and vice versa. I don’t repeatedly call or text my husband to find out where he is and what he’s doing. There is a level of trust and respect for one another that allows us to be open and honest. There is no need for us to lie, or go behind each other’s back and yes we talk openly and honestly about everything in our lives.
So, that leaves me with turning 50. I really thought there would be some apocalypse, that I would wake up and somehow feel differently. Look in the mirror and good god to find an array of wrinkles. Guess what it didn’t happen, I still look pretty much the same. The world didn’t end and I celebrated by having a quiet dinner and thank all my friends for their birthday wishes.
I find that being 50 gives me some freedom. The freedom from having to explain myself to others, not caring if you think I’m too fat, I’m not attractive, like/ dislike me, or impressing anyone. There is no desire to be popular or well-known or strive to be seen. People who know me that I always try to be honest and direct, which causes some to think I’m a bitch but then again I don’t care.
As I move forward, 51 will come in about 353 days now, and I’m looking forward to it. I tend to stay on this course of my life, building what I started (this blog), and never look back. I’ve learned some lessons over these years, I’ve misjudged some situations, and there have been some forks in the road that I shouldn’t have taken. But overall I learned the lesson that I needed and built a life for myself. It has all become relative to me and I’ll just embrace it, yes that’s a good plan!
I say thank you to all my friends, readers, and my Facebook friends for the many birthday wishes. I look forward to hearing from you.