Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I Still Think Of You

Something that may be of surprise to know is I was a loner for most of my childhood. Elementary school to middle school was such a lonely time for me. Most of the time was spent alone at home staring out of my aunt's bedroom window hoping for the phone to ring. Anticipation was clear. I desired to be around people my own age who wanted to play with me. Human interaction was needed. 

At some point in my life I achieved meeting someone and becoming best friends with that person. There was a lot of commonality in our life, cultural similarities and family issues. It was cosmic how alike our daily lives were. At times I felt the friendship was a dream. Why? Well I had gone on without friends for a very long time. Thoughts of inadequecy crept in. Even what I would say now to have been depression. So when I would be called many times throughout the week by my friend Nick, I was exuberant. Ecstatic! Someone wanted to be around me. 

It is such a huge blow to yourself when someone you've known for such a huge amount of your life is suddenly no longer living. The notice came via text. My friend Nick was dead. No longer alive. His sister had texted me from his cell phone. At first glance and by the audible specific tone I assigned him I knew who the message was coming from. What was in that message forever changed my world. 

My best friend of 17 years died so suddenly. His last words to me in our last phone conversation was, "Joël, be you, let your glorious light shine through. Many people don't and won't ever understand you. Yes, you are gay, Latino and sometimes there is a swish and sway in your walk. So what! What makes me love you and cherish you most is you truly don't care what anyone thinks of you. You are you. Yes folks have come and gone in your life. The ones that have always supported you will let you know by their actions. Words hold weight but the actions hold the impact. Go and impact this world. This land was made for you and her." 

The above statements are always in my head. I see him in my head. I feel him around. Sometimes I even get a waft of his cologne he would wear. Signs, feelings, senses and thoughts permeate every facet of my world. It is constant.

My friend was supportive of me blogging/vlogging, supportive of me as a parent and supportive of me as an individual. I never had the chance to thank him for that conversation. I didn't get to see him ever again and or hear that distinct voice of his. I feel him with me every single day of my life. His body may be placed to rest and his spirit may have left his body. However he has never left my side. 

Now I am able to call so many others friends and supporters of me now. It has led me to many groups, organizations, conventions, events and more. Life is full of many surprises. I welcome where it has taken me to. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

I Owe It All To You

Words are often my forte. They flow out so quickly. Expressing myself through that is a natural process. The ebb and flow of it all is not something that is difficult for me to do. Even when I have a quick witted reply to a statement, in my head I'm pondering where do I get these things from. 

Well it is currently something that I have had trouble with. Words have been slung at me that deeply hurt. Ignoring it is something that everyone can do. What is also a fact is there is a limit to the amount of hate in the form of words that can permeate even the thickest of skins. 

What I have learned over the year is if that is all someone can do then I am really truly winning. I've won where I am being heard, seen and I am having an impact. Somewhere someone who is similar to me is able to relate to my shared stories.  

So I knew. I was sure of it. I've known since a very very young age. My heart was into things that most would laugh at. It wasn't just my sexuality. Dance, theater, color guard and cheerleading. Volleyball and tennis. For some reason it categorized me automatically. My young mind didn't know what that was. People were very mean and cruel to me. It still happens now.

As I aged, matured and experienced the world I learned more. It was time for me to venture out and discover the land. It was made for you and her, right?! So I did just that. What a journey that has been. Oh it has! 

What I'm proud of is that I made mistakes, have stories to tell, learned more about myself and survived a hell of a lot more. Strife came and went. My previous husband passed away in my arms. A best friend of 17 years also left too soon. Even my mother passing away...I still think of all of the above. Life made me stronger and I learned a lot about myself. I owe it all to myself. 

Anyhow, my point of my story is that I am happy with myself. I love myself. I accept every single facet of me. The quirks and even the flaws. All of them. Now are all of these unique to me, no. Some are, yes. I have a lot in common with many. If you're a friend of mine then you will know exactly what I mean. 

Oh and if you believe the last sentence above then leave a comment as to what that brings to mind for you in reference to me. Remember that you are in charge of yourself. You are you. The best of anything is inside you. Stand tall, chin up and forge ahead. I pride myself on always marching to the funky beat of my own drum. Self love, acceptance and surrendering to yourself is how I've succeeded. Maybe it can work for you.