From a young age I observed. Because I struggled with my sexuality I sought approval, in every avenue of life. Seeking safety. Seeking acceptance as my main goal in every moment, I watched, listened, learned, and then put into fruition what I thought was the 'right' way to live my life. While this 'worked' for a while, as an adult this unhealthy neurological wiring started to become extremely exhausting.
Being that much of my life was spent people observing, I developed a mode of hyper vigilance. Because of this, my awareness level and intuition tend to be some of my greatest strengths (I'd probably do well in the espionage industry). When managing and understanding the needs of my team (coworkers, family, friends, etc.), when attempting to diffuse a situation where anger is at the forefront, when an individual is feeling lonely and left out, I lead with communication and compassion. Even if the results are not what is wanted the first time around, communication and compassion need to be established at the roots. Communication, compassion, and a lack of shame need to lay the groundwork.
Coming out of my shell and starting the trek to discovering my true individuality has been a struggle to say the least, and is still an ongoing journey. Growing up in a hetero normative, narrative based society, I had no examples within reach of what it looks like to be a successful gay man in a way that resonated with me. So as I continued to follow the path of how a man is supposed to be and exist in life, I continued to dig an emotional hole for myself. It wasn't until I was a senior in college, ready to graduate and start the ‘rest of my life,’ when my head was pounding at a strength in which I could no longer handle. Due to the severity of the emotional pain at this point, I was very fortunate that something clicked. I met with the counseling services at my university and grabbed the rescue rope they threw down. I was emotionally and developmentally at the bottom of the pit I dug, and now with their help and the help of others, it was time to start climbing out.
I feel, right now, one of my purposes in life is to throw that rope out for others blindly reaching. To provide space for anyone struggling with their identity to seek the guidance and love they need to create self love at their core. To provide a place where people feel psychologically safe, they feel a sense of calmness. Feeling safe and then beginning to inquire is needed so you can begin the journey of cultivating self-love. Losing the shame so you can live a more limitless life is ultimately what we all deserve and desire.
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are," E. E. Cummings.
While graduating with an accounting degree in 2009, and obtaining my CPA in 2010, I left the accounting industry to work for my family's meat market in Chicago, IL in 2011. Now having thrown in my apron from the sausage kitchen, it is time for the next adventure, potentially my fate.
While crunching numbers spoke to me, and wrestling with natural casings peaked my interest, neither was able to fulfill my needs. Throughout most of my life one part of my soul has always tugged on me hearder than the rest. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I care about how people are actually doing. Not at the surface level, but deep into your strengths and weaknesses, your tender spots and unique abilities that are hard to reign in on. Subconsciously providing a space for people to truly be themselves around me, judgement free. I struggled with my identity for a large portion of my life, battling my sexuality until coming out at the age of 22. Through the ups and downs of this obstacle, I have found a personal strength. When others struggle with their identity, and feel insecure with who they are, my intuition kicks in. Subconsciously, the nurturing side of me wakes up and provides comfort, provides security, provides a sense of safety, whether or not the recipient realizes it is needed or wanted.
Motivation through unconditional love is in my blood, which I also believe can be hard to find in today’s world. Whether you are struggling with your sexuality or some other part of your individuality, know that I have been there. Through the help of a therapist, my family, and many friends, I have gained a security with who I am at my core and a security with the world that no one can ever take away. I know I'm not alone with my struggle. I hope, if it is needed, my vlogs and this space can provide you with a sense of safety so you can begin asking questions and embark on your journey.
Currently through vlogs and blogs I want to share the steps I have taken. I want to share the wiring in my brain, the narratives that developed over time due to my obedience to a manuscript I began to follow as a child, my original foundation. After acknowledging the countless stories and narratives I had locked up in my head, I then began to rewire. In all honesty, this is a painstaking process, can be painful both emotionally and physically at times, and a journey that not everyone will want to embark on. And that’s quite alright.
A New Language
These are the exact reasons why I want to document the journey I have been on thus far. While working with a therapist, I was able to learn a new language. The language of emotions. By understanding my journey, having a space to articulate what my past was like, I am now able to take ownership of it.
What once was impossible for me to do, to express my true emotions and opinions of my past and present, is now natural and a part of me. By sharing my past, articulating what I have experienced, my hope is that others who can relate will feel a sense of relief.
At the end of the day, we all have different means. Financially, physically, emotionally. A journey of rewiring will look and sound and smell different than anyone else’s. In that case it’s not a matter of comparing and following someone else’s journey, but more understanding the concept and pioneering your own.
‘Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could
become a page to someone else’s survival guide.’
– Morgan Harper Nichols