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  • Writer's picturejohnny b

chicago: journey to my core

we all deal with hardship and pain in our lives. even those who you may think got lucky and did not have to attend life struggles 101, i can promise, they were sitting in the front of the classroom taking notes. know that in spite of struggles, struggle actually exists and will arise. know that pain and hardship runs deeper than some are able to acknowledge.

as a gay man who was raised in a church unaware of the truth. as a gay man who as a child was unaware of the truth, hardship and pain existed.

as a child, a momma's boy if you will, losing my Ma, one of my best friends at the age of 29, hardship and pain existed.

now at the age of 31, on or around my birthday a couple months back, i was given two gifts for the second time in my life. and this time i am at a level of awareness, where no one can do anything to take them away.

in order to share what i have received, i must also share with you who has helped deliver them. while going on my 5th year in seeing my therapist (my mind doctor), who we will call rachel as i'm 98% certain her involvement with my personal development will come up again, we have finally dug deep enough into my childhood where we are beginning to lay the groundwork for a new, healthier, happier way of life. a life where i am beginning to understand who i am at my core, beginning to understand my truth, beginning to speak my truth. this work has undoubtedly cost money, has taken up literally thousands of hours of my life (both in sessions, and the work outside of sessions), has been insanely exhausting both mentally and physically, but has been worth every dam second and penny. around may 10, 2018 i put in my three weeks notice at work. i worked for my family's business, a meat market in chicago, and in addition to running the sausage kitchen (a team of 6) i also ran the accounting department, which was mainly 2 including myself. i was there for six and a half years and breaking up with the business was something that was almost inevitable. while rachel and i discussed this final day for a some time, oddly enough, it never felt like it was going to come to fruition. there were always small battles at work that had been won causing a peak in happiness, causing an extension on when my true fate will take me for the most amazing perpetual thrill ride I will ever be lucky enough to board.

this was all true until a couple months ago, until the goods were delivered. and how it happened was basically a one/two punch, a ko that was not heard around the world, but only by myself and rachel.

i discovered that everything is going to be ok. for an indeterminable amount of variables, i never knew this. with every step i took in life, fear was at my core. the grandest variable i was able to shine a light on was undeniably my struggle with my sexuality. i tip toed all of my life, i planted myself in concrete, to hide a huge part of me out of fear of being seen. i built walls, unscalable walls, which were now being destroyed with the help of rachel. and now with this invaluable information, that everything is going to be ok, it was time to kick it into full gear, no turning back.

i discovered that there is value in me, as a human being. for as far as i can remember, well let's say once puberty hit, i rejected my sexuality. i was baptized and raised in a church which condemned anything outside of the traditional man and woman union. i was raised in a heteronormative culture which requested me to follow in line with what is expected of the male gender. what was expected of me, did not quite fit 100%. there were aspects of my being which would be approved of and there were aspects of my true being which would be dismissed. so what did i do? instead of being my genuine, unapologetic self (which to be honest, is hard if not impossible for anyone to do throughout their childhood and even adult life), i curled up. i rejected myself, hated myself. i fell into complete and utter comfort mode, not acknowledging what may be my own true passions and instersts, and followed what would be 100% approved up. walls were built. defense mechanisms created. silence ensued. these defense mechanisms created, these walls that were built, you guessed it, unscalable. unscalable for years.

things have changed though. i have been given the opportunity, once more, to nurture my true being. now it was time to bust through these walls and create a life of compassion for not only myself but all those i come into contact with.

as sigmund freud said, "out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength." and brene brown, "vulnerability is about having the courage to show up and be seen."

since having my final day at the family meat market on june 1, i filled a backpack with one

and a half weeks of clothing and on june 11 took off for south/southeast asia for a month and a half. this post is the first of many to come while i am on this journey. this journey will be physical, yes, but also a mental journey as i have made the decision to remove myself from the many scripts and distractions at home in order to burst through these walls that no longer carry any purpose.

when you unknowingly silence yourself over an extended period of time (say 15 or so years for this guy), it is hard to know who you are. there are many relationships and thought processes in your life that have been forced, and like the mental walls you have built, do not serve you well. as i continue on my journey of unsilencing my true being, i hope to have a therapeutic response for myself personally by documenting what i am observing, how it serves me, and how i decide to live going forward.

but honestly, compassion runs from my toes to the heavens. selfishly, i will benefit by sharing my truth, but my pure hope is that others will too. through this blog, past video blogs, and my words to come, i hope they can inspire you to start your own journey of self discovery in order to create the best life for yourself and ultimately all those around you.

know that coming out is an insanely cruicial step for someone who struggles with their identity. and, giving yourself the time and energy to work on and evlove parts of your life that just simply do not serve your current life and future to come, is work that will allow one to attain the promised life here on earth.

everything is going to be ok. you are insanely valuable. never forget.

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