I have been thinking about an entry like this for a long time. Truth be told, I have been stuck in a place that has recently been making it harder to move forward with. They say, if you are looking back at your regrets you can’t be looking ahead to your future. And at my age my future is not the longest road left to travel.
But there are some points in the road that are places that I wish with all my heart I could go back and make a different decision. The truth is also, I might not be the same person I am now had I gone a different way. The person I am today is basically good and loving of other people.
My Military Service
The best single decision I made in my life was joining the Air Force when I was 17 years old on Nov 17th, 1982. I woke up one day, having never considered it before, and enlisted. By the following summer I was off to basic training. I loved my life there, even if it was hard, because I was a gay guy. But the regret comes when I decided to leave and took an early out in 1989 after 6 years. I should have stayed. I should have buckled down and been focused on my future, but I was too stupid to know what an amazing and good thing I had.
Bad choices were an ongoing theme of following my feelings and not what was really best for me. From a kid who grew up not really dealing with his feelings well at all. I had a lot of unhealthy life choices throughout my life and that was a big one.
That time for me was monumental. It was also my first time dealing with mental health issues. I was in a place where I was alone and felt so untethered as a young queer guy in Germany. It was the era of Ronald Reagan and the slow burn toward the end of the cold war. AIDS was in full bloom but I was miles away from it.
I knew the rules. They had to prove it. I lived my life. No harm. No foul. I left thinking the world was my oyster.
(Note: I wrote the above portion a month ago and it made me so wound up I had to step away. Anytime I take a dive into my own brain I really end up feeling very shaken in the end. It has also left me questioning a lot of personal choices and doubting my own feelings.)
My Relationship with my Sister (Lynn)
In spite of the very many things I wrote about in the past. In spite of the few short-sighted attempts to make some kind of reconciliation with my biological sister, I wish I had done a lot of things better with her growing up. We started off really really bad when I accidentally hurt her when we were super young.
Quick Story: I was around the age of 5 and she had to be around 2(?) when we were in the front yard of our house in the San Fernando Valley. Me, my sister, my mom and dad, were in the front yard. Someone tossed a ball and I had a bat to swing. When I did swing… I can still hear the words in my head… “I got it.” I swung the bat and Lynn ran for the ball behind me and the bat hit her right in the mouth.
I can still feel that story today. BUT, that is one of many things that happened between her and I over the years. One of my asshole friends whipped out his dick in front of her because he thought it was funny. I told him I did not want him too, but he goaded me into it. Major peer pressure from him and one of my other friends. I felt like a real asshole about that.
So, there were a lot of bad decision moments. She has every right to hate me forever. I have, about once every 5 years I bet, thought maybe we could reconcile and talk over coffee. I think when hell freezes over that could happen.
I was further deluded when my bio-dad and his sister somehow started a relationship again that was a good sign for us as well. The reasons to NOT reconcile have mounted over the years even if we have not talked. She seems to think a falling out with my dad had to do with money. And a falling out with my mom was on the same platform. When the truth was money was only the impetus that there was a problem and I had to step out of the way. Ugh.
(I have no images of me and my family at all. Is that weird? I have the pieces. And not one with the four of us.)
If you spent any time I this blog you know there is already a lot there on this subject. I will say that with my mother’s decline of her health starting in 2019 that a lot of things have changed for me. I thought my dad was the blame for a lot of this fucked up dialog in my head. I learned that my mom had a lot to do with it too. Now I regret the place I was at with both of them. But, I do not regret that I had to get away from that toxicity. Check out: Jack, Category: Family Drama, Catergory: NFM (Not For Mom).
Not BEACUSE of my parents. Maybe because I had no structure growing up and any healthy role models. Maybe because I was a Queer kid in a world that did not understand or embrace queer kids? I was a tough ass kid to have as your kid. I was a pain in the ass.
I grew up around an environment always charged with sexuality and phonography. My dad made porn movies as a hobby, had a porn collection that was always accessible. My own life as a kid, I was surrounded by kids AS A KID willing to experiment. It was the 70’s baby. It can make for a fucked up adult.
My parents never had the time to be parents. Whether it was putting food on the table, like for my mom. Or, it was hiding in a safe space with his creative work on top of a full time job, like my dad. He took great care of himself and was able to retire at age 55.
I will be lucky to ever retire. So, in some ways this nut (me) fell off the tree and down the hill into a pile of dung. Wah-wah. That one, is on me. The relationship we are left with today is up to me as well.
- When I was a kid, in the 6th grade, I was hanging out with some wild kids who lived in a creepy house ON Quartz Hill in Quartz Hill, California where I would one day go to High School. We killed a rabbit with a rock. I was about 10/11 at the time. The kid I was with was actually named: Leroy Brown – yes for real. He had some crazy brothers and they were a wild bunch of kids
- When I broke up with Adolfo, I thought it was the right time and reasons. I loved him so much. I would have gladly spent the rest of my life with him. We started making some bad decisions and those started mounting with sex and finances and I thought it was the right thing to do. I wished he would have fought to keep us together, because I thought at that moment he was also done with me. We were both wrong.
- When I left Las Vegas for California I was trusted by a friend in Vegas with money and I fell on some real tough times and I never paid him back. He said it was just money and forgave me, but I still have not forgiven myself. It was someone whom I really looked up to and was a real amazing paternal figure for me. I can’t redeem myself in my eyes and therefore I cannot redeem myself in his eyes.
4. I was a bad friend to a woman I knew really well in Las Vegas. I let three women from the community get into my head and took on their drama that was not mine. It made me look at people I cared about in a way I did not want to see them. Melissa was a woman of tremendous presence and while she could be a tough-cookie she did not deserve what ultimately ended up happening. Our friendship was lost. I missed her terribly and I said some super shitty things. She is, rightfully so, done with me.
5. I pulled back the curtain on Burning Man. I got involved too quickly and my sense of self-importance grew out of proportion to the facts. It has poisoned my belief in the culture handed down from the governing body of leadership, but it has also not dampened my core belief that there is a vital message at its heart that is very important. You can learn more about my Burning Man Life on the back section of this blog. (As of today: very out of date.)
I tried to short note some of the baggage in my head above. The things that I am hoping I can pull out of my head and let go of. Or I can find a way to restore and repair if at all possible.
Money has been a factor that has popped up in my life a lot as a catalyst for change or growth. I only started actually managing my money in the last ten or fifteen years with care. I still make barely enough to survive. And, in spite of my household income being what it is, I have to live off of what I bring in. I am paid okay but I am still having a hard time making ends meet. And this is nuts!