“It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
When my life is all said and done, my hope is that I’m complete. I hope that I would have found peace in what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve done, and who I was. I would be complete with whatever regrets I had and the knowledge that I forgave others and they forgave me. With all that said and done, I get to rest.
I would have become the Art of my own creation, as well as the Art that others created in me like Mom and Sensei. In the end, however, I’m the one who chose who I was going to be in life. (Hopefully, I would have granted myself the space of freedom and forgiveness, as well.)
In Director Greg Berlanti’s Love, Simon, Nick Robinson’s 17-year-old Simon chose to ‘come out’ to his family on Christmas morning. That did not land as he hoped or expected. Later, Simon has a touching conversation with his Mom Emily, played by beautiful and generous Jennifer Garner, inquiring if Mom knew he was gay:
Simon: Did you know?
Emily: I knew you had a secret. When you were little, you were so carefree. But these last few years, more and more, it almost like I can feel you holding your breath. I wanted to ask you about it, but I didn’t want to pry. Maybe I made a mistake.
Simon: No. No, mom, you didn’t make a mistake.
Emily: Being gay is your thing. There are parts of it you have to go through alone. I hate that. As soon as you came out, you said, “Mom, I’m still me.” I need you to hear this: You are still you, Simon. You are still the same son who I love to tease and who your father depends on for just about everything. And you’re the same brother who always complements his sister on her food, even when it sucks. You get to exhale now, Simon. You get to be more you than you have been in… in a very long time. You deserve everything you want.
We can finally rest. We can finally breathe when we are free to be. Freedom is getting to be more of me and not giving a f**k about what anyone else thinks, as long as I’m not harming others or myself, and that I have compassion and kindness.
Be it gay or straight. White, black or yellow. We all have “our deal”, our imposed limits. Yet, I’ve discovered that I create my own infinity within my limits. There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s a bigger infinite set of numbers between say 0 and 1,000,000. “Some infinities are just bigger than others.” Still, you create your infinity. And it’s not the comparison game of Facebook or Snapchat: how many “likes” you get. No. There are infinite possibilities in whatever my limitations may be.
I’m small. Yet, I am a 4th-degree black belt in Aikido. I found Sensei Dan, who saw the ‘greater than’ within me. He became the ‘father’ I needed to become the man I wished to be. Blessed, I continue the Mastery Path with my dear friend of 30 years, Sensei Bobby. Sensei helps me create my Aikido, and reinvent myself, as well.
Long ago in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, I had forsaken ever falling in love. That was mostly sourced from my childhood experience and not believing I would ever be enough. In recreating my new Art of self, I let that go.
Now, at 57 years old I’m on Match.com. I’m in the game of falling madly and deeply in love. I have my limitations, of course. I’m short, don’t look anything like Hugh Jackman, nor am I a millionaire. Yet, I’m finally okay with being me. I have purpose. I find joy in what I do– finally getting to breathe.
I’ve met several wonderful women on Match. Nothing has ‘stuck’ so far, though. So, I continue my journey of infinite possibilities within my limitation. I have hope, not like finding the love of my life shall define or complete me. Rather, I have hope that there’s a woman somewhere out there who will be an authentic partner, a soulmate. Her loving sushi and Marvel superhero movies would also be nice, too. Just saying.
I profoundly get that perhaps the greatest thing in life is falling madly and deeply in love. Realistically, that may not happen for me. Yet, I know that it’s worth giving my best shot, so let the chips fall where they may. Amen.
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