Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Once More (It’s My Day!)

Here I am, celebrating another birthday!  Every year that passes is a success.  I’ve survived!  By no means has this journey been easy.  However, there does come a time when you cross that line where everything begins to make more sense.  There really is something to be said about age, and wisdom.

This is not a time to look at what I didn’t accomplish, but where I am going.  I’m looking at who I am, what I did, who I saw, what I said and how I’ve changed because concentrating on these areas is going to make me an even better person.

Birthdays are literally a celebration of life, and that’s the story I try to tell through my words and my photography.  I hope my message is clear.  Regardless of the ups and downs, my life is beautiful.  It’s been enriched by places traveled, conversations, etc.  However, nothing has fortified it more or made it more sweet than the company I keep.  I have the best friends.  They love me, and I love them – so very much.  This year I pledge to tell them that just a bit more.  Happy Birthday, to me!

The following are my thoughts from my annual birthday hike. – paerki

It Does Get Better

Time is flying by more quickly than I would like.  As I gain age, I realize just how important it is for me to appreciate every second of every minute, every hour of every day.  Be assured, I do my best! 

I often ask friends, if you could do it all again, would you – traveling back in time to relive your childhood?  As much as I ask this of others, I’ve never answered the question for myself, and as I was hiking this morning I thought about it – long and hard, and the answer was easy… Yes!  (Most people would only do it if they could retain the knowledge they now posses.  Otherwise, many feel it would be a disappointment.)

Regardless of the heartache and pain, moments of fear, desperation and isolation, often praying to God for answers – I look back and realize all those unfortunate moments have helped mold and shape my views of the world.  They’ve helped me persevere.  Without them I might not have met those individuals who would inspire me, giving me my wings to fly.

I always thought I was weak, but now realize just how strong I was because somewhere deep inside of me, I knew things would get better.  As I young gay man, there was so much uncertainty, especially growing up in a fundamentalist household.

I would like to know what it was, that one message I heard that helped me believe I would make it through because I want to share it with every young person who feels awkward, insecure, frustrated, helpless and alone – so that they know too, they have the power within them to succeed because it does get better.  (BTW: I do know the message is not a one size fits all, and that’s why young people fall through the cracks.)

Age Is Comforting

It has taken me a long time to get here.  I never want to admit how immature I really was (just writing that makes me cringe).  Through a daily ritual of sarcasm I hid my sadness and fear for so many years.  I never really came into my own until my late 30s.

I thought I knew everything, but I really didn’t know anything at all.  All I really knew is, I wanted to be liked (I dared not ask for love), but I never thought anyone would like me because I was gay, and many didn’t, but ultimately that would all change.  (Dearest Steve… Thank you for that first taste of real love.  It would enrich my life more than you will ever know, taking me on a journey I never knew was possible.)


We all have them!  I know I do.  However, I don’t spend anytime with regret, but rather focus on the lessons learned, and there have been many!  The one thing I don’t regret is not seeing my family.  It’s been 20 years, and I genuinely wish them all well.  Find your joy!

There came a point in my life when I realized I found a peace that I couldn’t find with my family.  It’s what I’ve been searching for my entire life.  There is a significant soul in my world, and there is an interesting story of how we became friends, but that remains between us.It’s through her inspirational words and guidance, I’ve been able to connect with my deeper self. 

I have learned much, and I in turn share my wisdom with others, most of the time through my blog. So many are painting an ugly picture of the world.  I’m here to tell you, it’s not all doom and gloom.  There is so much beauty out there waiting to be discovered, and I hope those who read my words and view my photographs will take advantage of the one thing that has the power to heal the complete you – nature.  The joy you seek can be found in the simplest of things – a sunflower, butterfly, stream, sky, animals, etc.

Try not to get caught up in material things.  We should attempt to focus on those conversations that feed into our happiness and creativity, laughter and love.  Treasure them as you would a special keepsake.  I always do, and they are worth their weight in gold. (I love you, Bharati.  Always remember that!) 

I Am Loved

To those special people in my life, know that I love you and deeply cherish our time together.  You keep me grounded, aiding in my ability to thrive.  I really do have the best friends in the world because they love me unconditionally.  Everything they do emanates from joy.

Related Posts:  Paulisms, Here's To Me, It Just Keeps Giving, Your Ugly, Whole

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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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