There’s a fear of the unknown, a fear of what will be, and a certain comfort in what was. Our past is known. (No surprise there). It’s a book we read, we thought about, and maybe even reread chapters in our head at night as we lie down to sleep, or hear a song, or smell that one smell that reminds us of that one time, in that one day.
But it’s the future we live for, even if that past tugs at us. It’s easy to stop, to be afraid to step forward when all we can think about is the past. Over time, the good remains, the bad slips away, and our memories become cruel liars that beckon us with pictures, sights, and sounds of the good ole days.
It’s the future we must embrace. We know it will hurt, even if we can’t remember the pain behind us, the future promises the pain. It’s just when, and how much that it keeps secret. But it’s that pain that makes us grow, and it’s that pain that allows us to blossom. It’s that pain that lets us feel the love, it’s the cold that lets us realize the warmth, it’s the bad that allows us to experience the good.
I tell people that coming out was like running to the edge of a cliff about to jump off. With each step you force your courage up through your throat until you’re about to choke on it, and finally, even if you hesitate, finally you leap. In an instance you feel the ultimate freedom of flight as you fall through the air, a great joy, a burden lifted, but only for a short time and you realize that the ground is coming fast. You realize that this euphoria comes with a price, and the consequences won’t be known until you finally hit the ground. You will either survive the fall or you’ll be killed.
The leap is the forced uttering of those words, “I am……” the freedom, is the moment of time the person, you loved enough to tell, to register the words that just left your mouth. “I am…..” And that ground, that horrible realization and reaction good or bad will remain in your thoughts until the day you die. You know nothing can go back to the way it was, nothing will ever be the same, and yet you must jump. It’s the future. and it’s the future we have to live for. It’s who “I am…..”
Those people you told, the ones you care so much about, will either stay, or go. The people who you loved deeply may be no more. but, some will embrace you and love you with an even greater love. It’s like a great cleansing. And, of course, as you are finally you, people who get to know the real you, and didn’t know the walls you put up, the defenses you stationed, will know you at your very core, they will know your soul. It’s then, that you realize the gift that the leap gave, and a glimpse of how the future might turn out.
In our life, there are times when the past seems to end and the future begins, and I feel as though I’m at one of those times right now. I look back at the last two or three years, and I can see the twists and turns in the path that has been one of great trials, and great joys, and as the memories of the pain fade, and the ones of joy take over, I wonder what will be in front of me as I step out of my transition and into simply living. It’s almost as if an entire life was lived in that short time, and here I stand looking back on it as though I’m seeing my path as I climbed a mountain. My view is from a different perspective, I can see how it’s all related, the stumbles, the falls, the small steps forward, and now that I’m at the end of that climb, as I stand on this cliff, it’s time to leap once again.