“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.” – Michel Foucault.
As I approach my daunting thirties, I find myself frequently reflecting on my life, as well as what different lives there are in this world. Specifically: “be this”, or “be that” mentalities, don’t assume anything, or force a belief. From being raised in a family with traditions, to watching things fall apart as family members pass on, to watching the world change, and realizing you’d be a fool to believe that anyone is the same these days.
Raised in Nebraska, USA, it has been an interesting life for me up to now. From moving to town, to town, to thinking I would never have to worry about the problems of the world, to those problems smacking me right in the face around my teen years. Sitting in a hospital room watching the only person I known my whole life and loved most dearly almost die, to again being in a hospital room watching something I personally gave life to join us in the world. I then watched it happen two more times. I watch all three of them grow, things that came from me, a part of me but different because of their perspectives and how they have seen life so far, is creating a unique plan for each one of them as well as so many others.
As I grow older, I appreciate the world being more accepting. Finally, after all these years I have begun to discover who I am and who I want to be. A man with a code unique from the ones around me, one I would have never created had it not been for my work, life experiences, and the people that have brought me to this point.
Just as the world continues to spin, new identities, thoughts, and ideas are created. Through the process of the world developing, America being the free country it is, and as the older generations moving out and the younger ones coming in, as well as people from countries all over the world, lifestyles and ideals come forth. It makes it easier for many of us who simply do not know our place to be comfortable taking the time to do so. The idea of having your life built and concreted with a firm foundation by “x” age is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Looking back over my life, through my eyes I believe it to be anything but easy or laid out for me. Seeing it from another spectrum though compared to various other places in the world it could have been much worse. It’s funny to think, had you had been born just ten minutes later, or 20,000 miles away, how different it could have been. Growing up in the Midwest learning to work hard, but also appreciating the good life was and still is to many the only way to see things. The idea of being in our own little “bubble” of society creates some with shallow ideas, while in others they look to the horizon wondering what is out there. Even more diverse are the views of so many other places and areas.
Now, however, within our own back yards a new perspective is taking hold. One that is something everyone should be able to get on board with. It is no longer necessary to have a road map to life! Did you catch that? Let’s read it one more time: It Is No Longer Necessary To Have a Road Map To Life. The woman in her twenties stressing about college entrance exams, essays, and locations, shouldn’t feel pressured or obligated to go right now. Is it a good idea? Sure, but who are we to stipulate that clause? A newlywed couple, just starting their lives in their newfound partnership barraged with questions from the newly extended family, why should they give birth to any other idea but their own? It is their life after all and their individual choices thereafter. What about the confused individual on sexuality? Sure, he was born with the body parts of a male, or female but just as anyone reading this has struggles with a decision for dinner, navigating your sexuality can be complicated. These people shouldn’t be shunned, or pressured. Everyone’s unique ideas, feelings, and thoughts should have the comfort they need to rise to the surface, to express what they want, and who they want to be.
Through the connections we make in life, we can discover where we want to go. There is no need to hurry it up; things will come in time. As one works, creates relationships both old and new, and navigates the feelings of the universe, take comfort in knowing it is ok to not know who you want to be, or who you are yet. Again, I’m almost 30 and never would I have imagined I would be where I am, sitting here writing what I hope to be an inspirational piece for some, and a reason for argument for others.
Whether you’re LGBT, straight, black, white, tan, purple, Chinese, Russian, Native American, gender confused, pan-sexual, heterosexual, and so on, I am here as one person to say that it’s all ok. Take all the time you need to figure it all out. Rely on your friends, family, and acquaintances to figure it out but, above all, rely on your heart to decide. It will eventually and when it does, your beautiful uniqueness will only enhance both the world around you, and the universe as a whole. Just as I have no idea where I am as of yet, I at least have a few solids I can rely on. I’m a proud father, a divorced husband, and a guy who still has faith that this world will continue to grow into something beautiful and wonderful where everyone can achieve the level of happiness they desire. Folks, its naive to think only one person can change the world, but as a person you can definitely keep it spinning for as many as possible. Let them and yourself decide exactly what you are, when you want to. Good luck, and best wishes figuring it out.