I’m grateful, are you?

So I’ve been thinking more about how to be positive in my daily life.  I’ve heard of different things but the one thing that seems to strike a cord is a gratitude journal.  Simply acknowledging the good things in your life in which you’re grateful. Simple enough, right?

What am I grateful for?

  1. I’m grateful for my cousin Scott, a wonderful friend.
  2. I’m grateful for Karen, a great boss.
  3. I’m grateful for my workout partner Rick, without whom I wouldn’t be going to the gym.
  4. I’m grateful for an empty BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) car on the trip home.
  5. I’m grateful for my very good friend Susan who’s always there for me.

Today I ask my boss if she grew up in a home where she was encouraged as a child.  I don’t really remember that about my childhood.  I remember the majority of my childhood being humiliated and bullied.  It was hard growing up different in a small backwater area of central Ohio.  I think that was the first time that I really ever spoke about my childhood and what it was like unemotionally.  Normally it’s a conversation filled with sadness or anger.  It wasn’t until I went to college that I found my people you might say.

When I went to college at Otterbein University (College) it was the first time that I met other people like me.  Funny thing is some of you might be thinking I’m talking about gay people.  That’s not it at all.  This was the first time I met other people my age who sought to further themselves with education.  Men and women from small towns around Ohio who came to college to better themselves.

As a member of the marching band we arrived at Otterbein a week before school started for band camp.  My first day I walked into my room and there sat my roommate, a football player.  I was a little shocked but made the best of it.  His name was Mike and come to find out his sister was a violinist with the Dayton Jr Philharmonic.  So he was OK with the band geek thing.  To this day I still have friends from Otterbein that I met in the band program 20+ years ago.

In today’s discussion I was able to say and feel that I’ve really accomplished something in my life.  In terms of education I went to Otterbein University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.  I went to Ohio State University for the better part of a year and did their Masters of Education program.  Last but not least I went to DeVry University and received a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology.  Which may I add I maintained a 4.0 GPA while working a full-time job.

Image That’s pretty freaking impressive for a kid who came from a family who doesn’t value education, grew up in a house where you could see the wind blow the curtains (the window was not open), where the blanket I slept with froze to the outside wall one winter, and a whole list of other stuff if I really thought about it.  Yes we lived in poverty and we were poor.  I never really thought about it though because my parents made the best of it.

So today I say I’m grateful that I’ve had enough ambition to move forward and do what some may call impossible in my life.  I’ve received education.  I’ve traveled domestically and internationally.  I’ve worked for major companies.  I started a company.  I’ve bought a home.  I’ve lived in New Orleans and San Francisco. I’ve made friends from so many countries I couldn’t even begin to count.  Man, that’s something!

Today I posted on Facebook the following message. “I stumble along through life. I haven’t really sought out as much as I dream of.”  Well my stumbling has allowed me to do far more than I’ve ever acknowledged.  In my stumbling I’ve met so many WONDERFUL people.  I’ve played tuba in places that are amazing and beautiful.  I’ve sang songs that have made people cry (not because it was painful).

“I stumble along through life. I haven’t really sought out as much as I dream of.”

For a kid from Knox County Ohio I’ve done pretty darn good!  That’s the truth, my truth!  I’ve come a long way baby and I’ve still got further to go!  So I’m grateful for somehow, someway finding my way to where I am today.

Child Missing Their Left Arm or Homosexual? 7% Say, Who Needs a Limb?!

So I found this great blog by a mother of a son who she think might be gay.  I mean he’s just a little boy but he’s effeminate and so she has questions.  That’s pretty understandable.  So she put out this blog about a little survey she did on her own.  I think it’s an interesting read and goes to show you how people (parents) really think.

Child Missing Their Left Arm or Homosexual? 7% Say, Who Needs a Limb?!.

I suggest you subscribe to her blog.  Take some time and see what’s going on out there in the world.

Toodles Dar’lin

Tuba

Protecting My Sons From People Like Me

Protecting My Sons From People Like Me.

This is a wonderful blog entry from a father of a son who might be gay.  I say might because the son is only four years old.  It shows the depth with which this father has thought about the situations and put in into perspective with his own childhood.

I know I personally can identify with the child in this case but the great thing is that this blog is written by the parents.  This set of parents are doing their best to raise their son in a loving and nurturing environment.  As many of you know that’s not the easies thing to do in todays world.

Give it a read and see if you don’t get a little emotional.  These are the first steps by a father down a path that will be a little rocky.  I applaud the parents and wish them the best in this journey.

I hear that keeping a diary helps a person.

So I thought I would give this a try.  Who knows if it will help or if people will even find me out here in cyberspace.  I love technology and I thought this would give me a way to do two things at once.  It helps me learn some new technology and lets me spill my guts.  I mean what could be more perfect, right?

So I live in Columbus, Ohio and I’ve lived here pretty much all my life.  I grew up outside of Columbus on a small farm.  It was difficult for a young gay guy to grow up out there but I made do.  I wasn’t well liked and I didn’t have many friends but somehow I had the drive to go on to college and make a better life for myself.  Some of my friends who know where I’ve come from have been amazed at how far in life I’ve come.  There wasn’t any encouragement to go on to college or to follow my love of music.  My parents would have been happy if I would have become a mechanic or even a ditch digger.  I made a choice to become something different or more.  I really made something of nothing.

A few years ago I was offered a job in New Orleans.  I had been asking for a promotion so I could hardly turn it down.  The decision to accept that job ended a three-year relationship.  That was a good thing because it was a relationship that would not withstand the ages.  I was not able to make the emotional connection that I needed and I was starting to become angry and unhappy.  So I accepted the job and picked myself up and moved down to New Orleans.  While there in New Orleans I made some great friends and experienced a who new city.  People were amazed at how easily I made friends and became familiar with New Orleans.

I was extremely lucky to make a friend for life shortly after I moved to New Orleans.  His name was Bob and it was like finding a sister that I had never had.  He was from New Orleans so he knew everything about everything.  He know all the good places to go and things to do almost every weekend.

As I had lived all my life in the Ohio until I moved to New Orleans it was culture shock to say the least.  I did like everything that the city had to offer.  There was amazing art, music, and food.  There were opportunities to experience these things all the time.  Rarely was there a weekend that you couldn’t find one of these things to do.  The people sometimes drove me crazy because it was a different personality than I had ever experienced before.  I tried to just accept it and move forward but it was tough.

After about a year and a half after moving to New Orleans there was another job opening that I thought would be great for my career.  It was a job in the IT department and after spending approximately $20,000 at DeVry University on a second bachelors degree I thought it would be nice to use that education.  So after being offered the job, I accepted the position and moved back to Columbus, Ohio.

After moving back to Columbus I found that it was difficult to reconnect with old friends.  Of course I had been in a relationship before leaving Columbus and so I didn’t have as many close friends as I might have once had.  So over the last 2 years I’ve tried to reconnect with old friends and make new friends.  I found it difficult to say the least.  At the same time I was single and “on the market” again.  Being back in Columbus brought up some old feelings and presented some old problems.  I had always found people here in Columbus difficult to connect with and here I found myself back in the same ole boat.  I was trying to make friends in an environment that I found to be snobbish.

I was able to connect with some old friends and make a few friends.  Sometimes I think it’s good to not have to many friend.  I think true friendship is something rare in life.  To call someone a friend is to have someone who will be there through thick or thin and sometimes considers you family.  Friendships are something I try to value.  I started sending hand written notes to out of town friends a couple months ago to strengthen that bond.  Friendship is something to cherish and I hope that people know that I cherish their friendship.

So now I wonder where life will take me next.  I’m open to new challenges and experiences and I do have a couple things in mind but I’ll save those for another time.  Right now I should get out and enjoy the sun not to mention contacting one of those friends about going out for a drink.