“If you want to know the person you will become, look at the five people you spend the most time with”
One of my favorite quotes from the twelve steps rooms is that you don’t have to change anything except your playmates, play things and play places. It really does encompass every part of your life that needs a new direction to see a new path to fruition.
I think one of the most challenging aspects of changing our lives is to remove people we are addicted to. Often, I don’t even realize that I have an unhealthy relationship with someone until a major event, or someone else points it out to me. I get so comfortable in a familiar pattern that even when discomfort rises to the surface, it’s easy to ignore or dismiss.
I especially can’t see a harmful relationship when it is someone I’ve known for a signficant period of time. All the stories I hear from friends or reunions I see on Facebook make me feel like I’m missing out on something if I don’t have a friend in my life that I’ve known since grade school. Somehow I feel less than, like I’m defective, and this is the reason why I don’t have a childhood chum who is still my bestie.
Truth be told, I have the opportunity to have these people in my life, but choose not to. One of the most painful experiences of my life was growing up feeling like a fraud. Not being true to myself and my sexuality from a very young age created a natural separation from me and others. Add on top of that a home life that wasn’t fit for friends to come over and visit and you have the perfect storm of self-denial and dissosiative disorder, probably in a mild form, but present nonetheless.
So learning to live my life ‘out loud’, through forums like this, give me an opportunity be bold and completely transparant when it comes to the ‘real’ me. Sure, it comes with some challenges, like people getting to know who I really am and how I tick, and some people just can’t handle that. There is always the fear that living my life Proud will have some repercussions from those not so open-minded about sexual orientation. But that’s the risk I have to take to continue to be true to myself.
So today, I am more aware and conscious of the people I surrround myself with. Individuals who I can trust to be completely me, and love me enough to call me out on my shit when I’m not being authentic. Who could have imagined just 5 years ago that I would want people to call me out when I’m not living my truth, facing my fears no matter the distress it causes, and wanting to live my life just as I am, not as I believe others want me to be.
Just for today I will be true to myself and those around me.