December 8, 2009
I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that I love who I am and what I am as a person, as a human being and as a man. And while I say that I accept me for me, I also realize that I don’t entirely know who I am. However, having the will to accept myself, also means that I accept who I am today and that I am open to and capable of accepting who I will be tomorrow. I am on a life long journey of self discovery, meaning I constantly discover new things about myself. With these new discoveries comes a sense of satisfaction in knowing that I am more than a face and more than a name.
I may discover things about myself that I didn’t anticipate or expect to find, but that doesn’t mean I hate myself or can’t accept who I am. My turmoil stems from not yet knowing what I am, not yet knowing to which gender my heart is available to. Without that knowledge I am condemned to the fear of breaking the hearts of those who are willing to love me, man and woman alike.
There was a time in my youth where I absolutely hated who I was. Sections of my life’s timeline where I was not willing to accept myself and fought against the nature of my own being to please the people around me and to please my own vision of what type of man I was supposed to be and wanted to be.
Those sections of my life were filled with nights where I would cry until I fell asleep because I never felt like I was good enough for other people. By their images and standards, I felt as though I fell short. That I was never good enough for them. And so I came to believe that I was also not good enough for myself. So I created a mask and a persona to suit the needs of other people.
That mindset existed within me until the time I graduated from high school, when finally I felt accepted for who I was and not for who other people wanted me to be. It was a collective moment of clarity, a release from the chains that myself and other people bound me with. And I haven’t looked back. Not until recently.
Being open about your feelings, also makes you vulnerable. You have to take off your armor for people to see who you are. It’s a risk and often times it has been a painful risk for me. In accepting who I am, I am determined to live as me and not hide myself in the fear of what other people think. And it’s when their thoughts oppose my life and my choices that pain follows because it tests my own will to accept myself.
When people you loved and cared for can no longer accept you, you cannot help but wonder whether you have made the right decisions. In that, however, I am flawed; for I focus far too often on what I have lost and not enough on what, or rather who, remains at my side.
In this knowledge I was rekindled with the notion that I have made the right decisions. That indeed, one must come to know and love oneself, long before anyone else can ever truly love them. Otherwise you surround yourself with false love that is destined to abandon you as you grow, change and eventually find your real self and the true path you were always meant to travel.
So while I have come to accept the man that stares back at me in the mirror, I know that my journey is far from over. Many things still linger that I have not yet been able to face. I still don’t know where my life is headed, the direction that I am meant to walk. I don’t know what I am supposed to do with my life or how to find the motivation to figure that out. There are many things that I would like to do, but I have always felt as though I will never have enough time and the fear of making the wrong choice often makes me lose focus.
And finally, the thing that causes me the most conflict. The claiming of my heart. Some may find reason to say that this is where I still have acceptance issues. I don’t agree with that. For me, this is not about acceptance as much as it is about understanding myself. I am willing to accept myself no matter what gender I am capable of loving.
Trouble is I still have no clue which gender I want to be with. I like them both for different reasons and so there’s pros and cons to each of them. It’s hard enough trying to find the right girl or guy, but when you don’t even know if the person is a guy or a girl, you just feel as though the cards are stacked against you.
This essay is available as an audio track on SoundCloud: