It is hard to believe that another year has slipped away. 2012 is now but a distant memory. The advent of a New Year always brings a fresh beginning; an opportunity to metaphorically cast off baggage from the prior year, and to carry forward good memories. Memories that instilled in us a sense of hope that the coming year would move us forward toward a better understanding of ourselves, and those around us.
A new year also accords us an opportunity to refocus on what is important to us and to more fully comprehend what our life’s purpose really is. It is a clean slate upon which we can set new goals, create new opportunities, and look optimistically upon the future.
As I reflect upon the past year, and look forward to the New Year, I have to take stock of the many good things in my life, despite the adverse events, and negative news that seem to intrude and cause brief disruptions along the way. I am grateful for the many wonderful things in my life, that sometimes seem to get lost in amongst our daily trials and tribulations.
First and foremost, I am grateful for my family. I am still blessed with two loving parents, that have supported me and encouraged me at every step, even though they may not have agreed with decisions I made. I am thankful every day that they are both still here. I am also grateful that I have had the opportunity to live here in my hometown with them for the past 20+ years, being able to spend many hours of quality time with them and creating memories that I will always and forever cherish long after they are gone.
I am also blessed with two brothers, with wonderful families. I am so very proud of my three nieces and nephew. They are all growing up to be stable, happy young adults, who have many years ahead of them to shape their destinies and to leave their mark on the world.
I have also reconnected with cousins that had long faded into the distance, due to a variety of reasons. I am grateful that actions taken to assist an elderly aunt provided me with a deeper understanding of family and the ties that bind family together. I am hopeful that those ties may strengthen even further and become a solid rock in my future upon which I can rest, when those closest to me are no longer.
Second, I have been blessed with many years of meaningful employment working for the city in which I grew up. It has been a wonderful experience to have been able to give back to my hometown community in ways that many have not been able to. I have also met many wonderful people during the past 20 years that have enriched my life in immeasurable ways.
Third, I am grateful for a woman, who shall remained unnamed, who I met 6 years ago, that has changed my life for the better. She has provided insight to me that has helped shape my view of the world and my purpose in it. Without her guidance and love, and most importantly her encouragement to persevere in the face of difficult situations, I would not be the person I am today.
Fourth, I am grateful that I am not the person I was 20 years ago, or for that matter, a short 5 years ago. I have experienced a level of personal growth and development that I would never have imagined possible in my wildest dreams, in large part due to the woman mentioned above. I was reliving parts of my past in my head a while back and I could barely recognize the person I was envisioning in my memory. I kept saying over and over, “who is that guy?” I am excited for the possibilities and I can’t wait to see the person that has yet to emerge from the shadows of the future.
Fifth, I am grateful for the journey I have taken out of my dark, musty closet; a closet that was suffocating me, and making me live a life that was not mine. It was slowly strangling out of me what life was left in me, to the point where I contemplated the ultimate self-deprecation – suicide. Clearly, that drastic action was not meant to be, as I am still here, but I am so forever grateful for the forces unseen that took over and guided me away from that irreversible action. I am thankful that I have been able to make a contribution toward achieving equality for this nation’s queer population in a strong, forceful and meaningful way, through Diversity Rules and my gifts of the pen.
Last, I am grateful for the spiritual guides in my life that have been with me all of my life, watching over me from a distance; waiting for me to ready myself to accept what they were waiting to teach me. While I do not maintain the spiritual beliefs with which I was raised, I have a profound appreciation for the unseen forces in our lives and the connection to those who have gone before us. I am grateful for the understanding that we are all spiritual beings connected to all that “is.” This connection to universal powers and linkages to all other beings, has given me an inherent sense of purpose and commitment to helping others achieve what is inside them.
I have such a profound appreciation for and humble subservience to the power that is not mine, but yet it shapes my destiny and with the right choices, can beneficially impact me in ways that are unimaginable to me at this moment in time, and that allows me to ultimately achieve many great things that have only been fleeting dreams and unattainable aspirations.
New Years Day 2013 is the beginning of a new chapter of my life on many fronts. With the advent of a new chapter, old ones must end. I am sad in a way that those chapters must recede into memory, but I shall carry with me lessons learned and memories engrained into my consciousness forever forward in the subsequent chapters of my life.
Happy New Year and make it YOUR YEAR to rise above that which is holding you back. Become the person you are meant to be and achieve the things you are meant to achieve. Live your life and don’t look back. Let go of the past, as it has no bearing on what is possible in this New Year. Take charge and create the vision of yourself on your clean slate as we enter into this New Year.