Thursday, December 24, 2009

Both Sides Now

There is a wonderful song originally written and sung by Joni Mitchell and then Remade by Paul Young, "I Have Looked at life from Both Sides Now." The last verse of the song is:

I’ve looked at life from both sides now,
From win and lose, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall.
I really don’t know life at all.

I currently am in a situation where I am married to a extrodinary women whilst pursuiing a relationship with the most wonderful man, both of whom know about the other.
I know that this setup probably sounds strangely unique (we are just "normal" people), but show me life's rule book. To me the above song represents that there really is no correct answer. Sometimes it is about accepting that things are bigger than us, for me love and life defiantely fall into this category. One would be naive to think that we can understand it all.

Throughout my journey of the past few months, not once could I have predicted what awaited around the next corner. My journey has been full of surprises and intrigue all the while learning and growing. What I have learn't, is that if we are willing to open ourselves up to oppurtunity, and are brave enough to grab life's blessings whilst being honest and true to ourselves, beautiful things are possible along the way.

Yes there are many obstacles, most of these are enforced on us through society and so called rules and instructions as to how we should live.
My father is a very important figure in my life, and somehow he has always had alot of sway over me. When I took the important decision to move out of home, his response was one of not supporting me. As much as this hurt, for the first time in my life I knew I needed to live for me.
It was a hard time for me, and he was making it even harder. It was in a serious sit down and heart to heart with my Dad, that I got to express allot of my emotions, now that I too am a father, I know the role is about unconditional love and support.
This was not about him, and was not really his to understand, all he needed to know was that I was his son in pain, and I needed him

In our conversation I told my Dad that I felt so guilty, he started to cry and responded that he had been trying to make me feel guilty, this was the only way he knew how to try to get me to go home. I was shocked, not at this revelation, but at his honesty. I realise that my life has been swayed, directed and controlled by subtle maninupalitve tools to get me to be the person and man my parents wanted. Yes they never directly asked me to make them proud or to be perfect, but when I did not provide these things, they retracted there support and maybe even love. The saying actions are louder than words was relevant here and looking back I see now that this has been how much of my life was constructed.

Men will continue to marry and grapple with their sexuality, unless they have the absolute freedom to properly explore and understand it, without judgements and subtle manipulation, be it from parents, society, or the picture perfect scenarios that are portrayed as right.
For the first time, I have claimed my life as my own, and I enjoy knowing that it is never to late to paint the canvass white and to start afresh. I am finally free to make my decisions,however cautious to remember the consequences of such. It is a liberating feeling, one that I am sure many a gay man understands as the battle to be accepted into a still very difficult world exists.
We can not change our pasts, we can only write our futures, I prefer to say that we can 'right' our futures...

Another verse in the song goes:

Tears and fears and feeling proud to say I love you right out loud,
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds, I’ve looked at life that way.
But now old friends are acting strange, they shake their heads, they say
I’ve changed.
Something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day.

I guess what I am simply trying to say is that maybe, instead of trying to understand life we should rather just enjoy the fact that we don't.


  1. Life is unpredictable, which can be frightening or joyous depending on one's interpretation. It was good that you confronted your father and that he gave you an honest answer to why he acted the way he did. Parents have so much power over their children, more than they realize. Your parents may not have even been consciously aware how they were manipulating you. I can't tell for sure, but it doesn't seem that you told your father all that is going on in your exploration, but perhaps you did. Being honest, which is a more encompassing way of describing the situation rather than saying being out, is liberating. You don't fully realize the pain that it causes until the pain is gone.

  2. Everything you say is so true. You even manage to make some of the decisions you've made seem easy, even though I know that they are not. I guess you're lucky to have people around you that can appreciate and understand your situation and are able at some level to accept it. Not everyone is that lucky.

    Good luck!

  3. i just started reading your blog and it made me think about how we are essentially the same yet very different...

    i know this song well, having listened to it over and over again on countless road trips. i think you would appreciate her version of the song which i ran across in a movie that resonates within me called 'love actually'. if i'm not mistaken she recorded the song again after 2 decades and apart from sounding much older there is (in my mind at least) a haunting quality to it...tinged with a certain sadness(?) that is hard to describe.

    your blogging is much appreciated.