Friday, October 09, 2009

When life throws you a curve ball

I recently experienced a change in my life, I saw it coming and saw the foundation being laid but I never anticipated the level of deceit and devious ways that people turn to when they want their own way. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in my adventurous life – it’s that every curve ball thrown at you, turns you onto a journey of discovery of the self and a new chapter in your life. Whether you believe in destiny, fate, God or forces in the universe, this new road is usually very scary and strange because once we get used to our comforts, we dwell in them and forget to look at what opportunities the world is throwing at you.

So now, here I am, a young black lesbian woman, strong, wilful, creative and a go getter sitting here in this unfamiliar world and thinking – do I sit back and take the devious blows or do I follow the light? Not too hard to figure out the answer once you’ve gone through all the emotions of pain, hurt and follow the light.

As human beings we always wonder about our purpose in life and worry about what to do when change is knocking. I know young people worry about money, cars, jobs and all the blissful worldly things and most times we don’t get them when we want but when the universe allows. We usually fall deep into depression, self pity and feelings of worthlessness but I have discovered that with each year, my outlook on life changes; relationships, pain, loss of loved ones, jobs, riches and so forth...all these change shape each time and when you resist, you delay your growth and strength. Whoever came up with the phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” knew that the lesson of life is learning to let go in order for you to see that path to the end of the rainbow. I always ask my friends this question “What do you do when the unstoppable force meets destiny? And my answer is always...”you move!” because if you try to ignore it you would be trying to change the inevitable and when that force hits you, it will throw you off, so the best thing is to move and let it pass without hitting and hurting you first.

One great example is that of relationships. We all look for love, that one person that will make us feel like no other but is there such a person or do we learn to love... and anyone that we choose to give a chance to could be this potential person?

When you've found or have learnt to love this person and one day down the line, you realise their time in your life has passed and they need to move on; do you hang on for dear life and rather succumb to unhappiness than accept the inevitable and appreciate the love you had, whether for a month or years or do you move and let them fly away?

Everyday in my life I've met people I have loved or felt some kind of connection to; these people have come in the form of friends, lovers, neighbours, colleagues etc. and every time I sit back and see their worth in my life; sometimes there's none but at times you learn so much from one person than you would from any book, scientific analysis or academic seminar; that person helps you understand yourself more and learn more about acceptance, love and humanity.

What am I going on about? Life is a mystery but while we have no answers to most of life's questions and wonders; we must embrace what life throws at us and find the silver lining. If you lose a loved one, take some time and see how many new loved ones you gain from the departure of one...yes it will hurt like hell and yes, it is unfair but what does it give you? People lose people everyday but they live Because it is the inevitable that you will adapt, heal, learn and move on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why ‘Coming Out’?

Just the other day I was thinking about the whole idea of coming out and how I broke the news to my parents about my sexual orientation.

I let my memories take me all the way back to my childhood and the games we played as kids. I was always so jealous and overprotective of my female friends, some would say possessive but to me it was just caring and loving my friends too much, maybe just a little bit too much. At the time I had no idea what those feelings meant, there was nothing sexual about my behaviour, just a warm fuzzy feeling.

I think about my favourite toys and how I was never interested in dolls, when all my friends wanted all types; the crying baby, the peeing baby and the all time famous Barbie doll that I cared less about.

I was into playing house and never wanted to be the mother, always the kid because I was never allowed to be the father; “Only boys can be father” I was told all the time.

Now back to the whole idea of ‘coming out’. What’s my childhood got to do with coming out? Here’s a scenario for you to think about; imagine the days when you used to play ‘hide and seek’ and the fright you got each time your brother, sister or friend jumped out of their hiding place without you realising where they were hiding, scaring the living daylights out of you! Now think about how some people ‘come out’ to their parents; without any preparations, they just utter to their parents; “Ma, I’m gay”, what’s stopping your mother from having a heart attack if you just pounce out of the closet just like that?

I laughed when I thought about it; the thought of someone literally “jumping out of the closet” was quite dramatic and scary and would definitely give me a heart attack.

Maybe if we didn’t call it ‘coming out’; it would have less shocking effect and drama. It’s the same as saying to your parents; “Ma, I’m having sex now!” your mother would probably collapse right there, not because she doesn’t know you have sex but because you just pounced on her unexpectedly.

We need to prepare our parents, step out of the closet while you’re still ‘alone in the room’, let your parents start asking themselves questions, let them see your friends because personally I think if you’re yourself through and through, your parents will not see you any differently when you do ‘come out’ because you stepped out of the closet a long time ago. Slowly they get introduced to the ‘real you’ without any shock factor or hide and seek games.

I do know though that there are same sorry excuses for parents (forgive me) out there that will go to the extent of throwing their kids out of the house. It’s a shame that after nine months of caring another human life inside you, you would turn your back on your very own flesh and blood.

I understand being shocked and worried about what people will think but after a short while, a child’s wellbeing and the need to be loved and cared for takes priority to what your neighbours will think.

This is by no means a solution or guide to ‘coming out’, just my usual crazy thoughts about life and its mysteries.

To all my brothers and sisters that have taken the step out of the closet only to be met by judgements and hurt from their parents; hang in there, it might be hard for now but you will pull through.

To those still in the closet; when you are ready, it will happen. Take your time; a single step out of that closet will make a huge difference in your life, how you view life and how you view yourself. All I know is that when I stepped out, a warm light and a free soul took over me and I would never go back in there for any reason (it’s terribly hot in the closet, no air).
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