Wednesday, December 30, 2015

There Comes a Time in Your Life



Life is full of pain, sadness, loss, and frustrations. It's taken me a long time to realize and accept this basic fact of life.  But you know what folks? I don't let those aspects of life drag me down.  I just don't.  

Maybe it's an inherent part of my DNA but I absolutely refuse to succumb to that deep well of sadness.  I do not give up.  

Like many of you, my faithful blog followers (and you new ones too), I have had those "friends" who belittle and criticize me, attempting to drag me down to their level of hopelessness. 

I have had (some) family members who have taken me for granted.  Who have disapproved of me and my "lifestyle" (gay) and treat me like a defective human being who must seek forgiveness for simply being who I am (gay).  

A few years ago I cut loose those people.  And you know what folks?  My life is oh so much better.  

I harbor no hate or malice in my heart for those people.  They just "are."  I wish them nothing but the best but they will not ever again drag me down.

A good blogger friend of mine said not too long ago (and I am paraphrasing here) "If anyone says he has no regrets in life, he is lying."  

At one time I thought I had no regrets in my past life.  But you know what folks?  I DO have regrets. Actually, many of them from that time I stood up Vivian B., in 1958 for her Senior Prom.  I couldn't borrow my father's car so I stood her up.  To this day I regret that stupid and selfish move. I am sorry Vivian and I have never forgiven myself.  I hope you can.




Vivian to the far left

Do I have other regrets?  More than I wish or can post here.  But one of the biggest regrets I have in life is that I didn't cut myself loose from all those people who tried to drag me down either because of envy, jealousy or just because they didn't approve of me just existing. 

These days, in my senior years I have found the true path to happiness. 

It's not fame and fortune but having friends who truly appreciate me for who I am and who in turn accept my love without reservation. 

I am a good person, I've always known that.  

In spite of all my flaws (and I have plenty, believe me), I know I am a good person.  I've always known that fact even though I must admit that at times I have doubted it because I was lonely and wanted acceptance at any price. 

Those days are over folks.  History. 

I don't believe in prayer folks but I do believe in wishing well those who don't wish me well.  

So to those folks, take your drama elsewhere.  I don't need that in my world. 

I am one of the fortunate few.  Even though I wake up every morning in arthritic pain and need a daily nap to get through the day, these days are the happiest of my life and that is because I have chosen the path to surround myself with those who enhance my life and allow me to enhance their lives. 

One of my favorite paintings is of a ship that hangs over my bed. Bill gave me that painting on our first Christmas in 1964.  That painting to me folks represents my ship of hope and happiness. 

That ship will take me Home to everlasting peace and contentment one day.  That I know.



P. S.
That would be me at the far right, sitting with my Sousaphone wrapped around me playing in my high school concert band, circa 1958 in today's banner photo.

16 comments:

  1. Did you ever get in touch with Vivian? Or try, at least to let her know you were sorry? It's not too late.
    This reminds me of the new song from Adele, 'Hello' She tries very hard to say she was sorry to a guy she had hurt. So touching (that's why it's #1.....we've all been ther)
    Love this post! Excellent!
    Thanks for writing it.

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    1. Cindi,
      Yes, I did see Vivian. I apologized. She, as usual, was very gracious and we continued to be girlfriend and boyfriend until I graduated from high school (she was two years ahead of me) and left for the Army. By the time I was in the Army I came to the realization that I was gay and we drifted apart. By the way, another reason I didn't take her to her Senior Prom was because I had a black eye. My Father punched me in the face when I got into an argument about using his car. I was embarrassed and lost. But when I went back to school, mutual friends urged me to contact Viv and explain. I did and she accepted. The last I heard she had eight children. Need I say more? That wouldn't of been me. By the way, I would have married Viv if I didn't have to join the Army. I only joined the Army because I couldn't get a job out of school. If I had gotten a job, I would probably have been one of those gay guys who married a perfectly decent woman only to ruin both of their lives by coming out as gay later on in life. Things did turn out well for me and her. Having said all this, I would like to contact her someday and maybe I will. I haven't seen or talked to her since 1962. Any another "BTW", I LOVE Adele! She actually reminds me of Vivian.
      Ron

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  2. Happy New Year for tomorrow, Ron - just in case I don't get another chance before zero hour.
    Sorry I've been a bit behind lately (and feeling a tad guilty about it) with keeping up with your posts. I'll add a corrective resolution to my list.

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    1. Ray,
      Always good to hear from you my friend over The Pond (England). I wish you the very best this New Year.
      Ron

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  3. Another wonderful post, Ron, and one than I can relate to. I have an enormous amount of regrets (you've heard that before......) but it's futile to lament about them now. Regrets are part of this Vast Complication called "life". All we can do is learn from the bitter past and move on.

    I spent the best part of my life trying to please other people, and all it did was to sap my own self-worth. You can't please everybody so don't waste your time trying. Surround yourself with those who truly appreciate you - - and let the extra baggage go.

    I love the painting of the ship and the sentiments that you've said about it.
    I hope 2016 is a fantastic new year for you - - and I'm looking forward to hearing about your upcoming adventures in California.

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    1. Jon,
      You reminded me that I do have a lot of regrets in my life. So many times I wish I could do a "do over." Alas, it is not to be. All we can do is learn from our past mistakes. Sometimes we can't correct them but at least we can try not to repeat them.
      Like you I have spent way too much of my life trying to please others and as you say, and all it does is sap your self-worth. It has taken me a long time to come to the realization that if someone doesn't accept me as I am, then it's on them, not me. I just let that "extra baggage" go.
      The painting of that tall ship was the best Christmas present I ever received. It was our first Christmas and Bill knew I loved that painting but at that time (1964) it was way too expensive ($80.00, more than a whole week's pay for me). I have treasured that paining ever since. To me it symbolizes my Final Journey and Destination. All this (life) drama is just a prequel to the real Thing. While I don't believe in a Heaven in the clouds I do believe that this existence will end for the better and not worse. In the meantime, with what little time I have left on this earth I know what I have to do to live a good, productive and happy life. I have to like myself.
      Ron

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  4. Ron - someone suggested once - why give people who upset you free rent in your head. It's not always easy to let things go. Part of the suggestion was to imagine the dragging down person on a raft and watching them float far away. It's not mean spirited and it helps one to move on. But it sounds like for the most part you've achieved this. And Vivian (I like the name) reminds me a little of your mother.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      So you noticed that Vivian (and I like that name too) reminded you of my Mother. Hey, that's what attracted me to her in the first place. She looked a lot like my Mother. In fact, she was even born on the same street (Pennsylvania Avenue) in Downingtown, where my Mother was born. I plan to write a future blog post about the similarity between her and my Mother. First time I saw her it was like my Mother was reincarnated. I will have to look her up again for a reunion.
      Ron

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  5. Have a Very Happy New Years,

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    1. Thank you David and a very Happy New Year to you too!
      Ron

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  6. A very insightful post Ron. I, too, lost friends and family when I came out. I am still having family problems because I am gay. Thank goodness, I have a couple of younger nieces in their early twenties that are very pro gay. I have grown very close to them.
    Again, reading your blog lets me know that I am not alone in my struggle. I have also had a girlfriend that I had to let down when I came to realize that I was in fact gay. She wondered if it was her, a phase, etc..
    Keep the post coming Ron. You help some of us more than you know!!

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    1. James,
      Thank you very much for your insightful comment. It is heartening to me to know that my experiences are of interest to some others and may even be helpful. My best wishes to you for the new year.
      Ron

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  7. As always an enjoyable trip down memory lane.......

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    1. Roger,
      I too love these trips down Memory Lane. And I have so many of them to do yet. I hope I don't run out of time!
      Ron

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  8. this was a very wise and thoughtful post; thank you for sharing it.

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    1. Thank you Dr. Spo. This is my "therapy."
      Ron

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