Aug. 27th, 2017

mrdreamjeans: (butch)
As I age, I struggle with what the future will be in this stage of my life. As a single gay man with no children to carry on his name, I am very aware of the solitary journey I have chosen for myself, its positives and negatives. I have had wonderful men in my life, but never found a forever relationship. Being alone has been the norm.

I chose to make a career in musical theatre as my life’s priority. This part of my life was exciting, filled with triumphant moments, though I was most comfortable as a productive, talented cog in superior productions, not as the leading actor. I never sought out celebrity or stardom. (My life wouldn’t hold up to the scrutiny.) Having the limelight, applause was not my end goal; executing the work to a high standard was my motivation. It is also a profession with the highest of highs and lowest of lows, frequent gaps in employment and constant rejection. Yet, I was successful enough to qualify for a quality pension and I hold on to the triumphs.

Observing my brother and sister with their children and grandchildren, coupled with an awareness I’m no longer someone’s son, has triggered a sadness in my heart. I will never know what it means to be a father. This role offers a continuity and connection I will never experience. I have access to my great niece and nephews, a joyous feeling; but, not having a life partner, children, grandchildren, roommate ... even a pet ... makes me feel like I live in an underpopulated world. I am hyper-aware of the solitude and silence around me, though most times I embrace it. I am weary of being the center of my universe. I want more ... I want to live each day with someone else’s well being foremost in my mind.

Most of my LGBT friends are partnered, married or were married (even if the relationship is toxic), have children, grandchildren or a house full of pets. I must assume the feelings of isolation, of being on the outside looking in, present since my childhood, extending through my work life and now extending into retirement, are valid.

Why have I always felt this way? I don’t lack for confidence, but there is so much I would change about my life. It’s become clear to me that I desire someone, or something, in my life that will allow me to put them first and foremost. I experienced such a feeling when taking care of my nephew Ross, though something elemental, fundamental to my happiness, was still missing.

That feeling persisted when I shared a home, for the first time during my initial go at living in Minnesota. It’s become clear to me, as painful as it is, the friendship with that friend/roommate was ultimately misguided and one-sided. It was never my intention to be too intense ... or willful. I am generous and unselfish. I loved the idea and feeling of having someone else in the house. Yet, I was putting my hopes for a safe and secure future into an unwilling vessel. My mistake, not his. You can’t love someone who rejects emotional intimacy and isn’t comfortable with being the focus of your attention. I see that now ... clearly ...

So, how do I solve these feelings of treading water in place? More counseling? Activism? I’ve been retired since April. I work to be productive every day. So far, I’m surviving on my retirement income; but, it is insufficient. I am counting pennies, living day to day, hoping nothing goes wrong. There is no cushion. It is causing anxiety and a vague sense of dread. It leads to strong bouts of introspection as in this post. I can't continue to mourn for what might have been. It’s become clear I must continue to evolve, get a part time job and work till I can no longer physically do so. The expression is true ... Getting old isn’t for sissies.

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