So far it has been a very emotional week for me, a week filled with me celebrating my birthday, watching my son enter Grade 1 at school and of course the 1st week of my marriage being open.
Yesterday a friend asked me if I would be able to settle back into a simple life, to which I have given allot of thought. You see my life went from being pretty average, stable and simple, into a journey of tremendous challenges, self reflection and personal growth all of which to me have made life hard, but interesting to live.
Sending my son off to "big school" yesterday bought back so many of my childhood memories. In fact I found the picture of my 1st day of school and uploaded it to Facebook together with a picture that I had taken of him. As happy and brave as I look in my picture is as scared and emotionally distressed that I remember feeling. I was an incredibly insecure child, scared of the world and loved remaining within my safe little bubble.
I was so proud of my son yesterday, I could see the fear on his face, however he remained brave and was able to keep it all together.
He enters 12 years of schooling ahead, I remember those school years seeming to take forever to get through, and the friendships, experiences and memories impact on us for the rest of our lives.
School was a tough period of my life, looking back there is so much of it I would have loved to have been able to have changed.
When I was young I had a girlfriend from Grade 2 until Grade 4, it was a magical relationship filled with beauty and innocence. She gave me a inner strength and confidence which I lacked, she was a strong little girl, but was always extremely gentle and loving with me, we often would talk of marriage and how we would live our lives together.
I had a awesome tree house that my father had built for me, it was truly a masterpiece and was my absolute happy place to be. My girlfriend and I would get naked in the tree house, exploring each others bodies, with no knowledge of what sex was, but simply enjoying the feeling of our skin touching and the fascination of the others body (I never had sisters). She was my 1st love, and a memory that I would never forget.
Today she is a happy lesbian, in a secure relationship with kids, even so we hold a special bond and place in each others hearts, we were childhood sweethearts.
Unfortunately my birthday was pretty much filled with work meetings, but none the less was a special day. I guess on ones birthday reflecting back is inevitable. Having reached 34 (which I know is still youngish), I seem to be looking back wondering if I have achieved the things I had set out to achieve.
Part of me wishes I had done some things differently, but ultimately looking back is useless other than for the purpose of making sure that I do not repeat the same "mistakes" and ensuring personal growth going forward.
I love my family so much, having them in my life is with out a doubt the most fulfilling and rewarding aspect of my life, encouraging my children to learn from my mistakes, or perhaps trying to guide them with the knowledge I have gained along the way is part of parenting.
I have come to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect parent, all we can do is provide support and love. For a child the greatest obstacle I think will always be overcoming their parents, parenting is a huge responsibility and certainly not a perfect science
Opening our marriage was a bold and trying decision, but one that I think was extremely necessary for us. I wish that I had taken the opportunity to have properly explored my sexuality in my youth, but I was never raised open minded enough, or taught to consider the larger world.
I was not built for a double life, as much as a struggle with some of my actions in the past, I still like to believe that I do ultimately have goodness to me. I have opened my heart and in doing so I have found tremendous love in return, I have allowed myself to be vulnerable and yet have found safety, but most importantly I am getting to meet a whole new me, someone who has always been there, but just a little scared to come out.
Confucius said:"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated," this might be so true for me, but how else would I be able to grow if I did not challenge and question myself, as a black and white person I am beginning to realize that life sometimes needs to be lived in the grey.
The first man that I had a sexual encounter with had a header to his Internet profile reading "simplicity", it is ironic because in meeting him my life became anything but simple and for that I am grateful.
So the question remains, will I be able to live a simple life? I guess absolutely I would be able to, but would I want to?