I had the most interesting conversation with our priest the other day. What he had to tell me was so fascinating. Something that I really hadn't thought about really all of a sudden made so much sense. I felt it was so encouraging, and with the new year upon us, I felt I would pay it forward.
Can people change every six years? From 6 years old, to 12 years old, to 18 years old, to 24 years old and so on ... Could this really be true? I’ll tell you, for me, it is SPOT ON.
It is pretty obvious from 6 to 12, and from 12 to 18 there are going to be some major changes going on.
From Mississippi to New Orleans
Going back to 18 years old, I can tell you I had MAJOR changes going on. Sixteen years ago at the age of 20, I decided to move to New Orleans by way of south Mississippi and I dove right into the big gay pool on Bourbon street. It was like a picturesque swan dive, with little to no splash! I must say it was a score of 9 out of 10! (::crowds applause::)
Everything I knew then consisted of what I had been taught in south Mississippi. I was told what to think about homosexuality, the president, global and domestic issues, even drugs. It was all taught to me without argument.
This was the first time in my young life that I would form my own opinions about life’s issues. I can tell you – I am a very opinionated person, so this was the most liberating experience I had ever had at this time in my life. I had always been told what to do, and how to do it. Even who to vote for.
But now, in New Orleans, on my own, I was able to make my own decisions and develop my own opinions and start to become an adult. Every choice I made, whether it be a good or bad decision at the time, molded me into becoming a sharper, smarter even more of a compassionate and empathetic person.
Thinking About Kids
People often ask me, "Have you always wanted kids?" My response to them is, "I could always see myself having kids." At different points in my life it was harder for me to know if I actually would or not, simply because I was still a kid myself.
As I grew up and as I grew older, the idea really started to become more clear and I could actually see a timeline starting to develop in my head. I envisioned a little frog jumping from one lily pad to another: One opportunity that led to another, and then to another, and before I knew it, I was standing tall, with my head held high as an adult. I was able to think back on my past and wrap my mind around my future. To know that I was able to build it with Douglas gave me all the motivation in the world.
It was so important for me to understand that whether I wanted kids or not, I needed to take personal inventory of my life, of the feelings I had and the reasons I may have felt the way I did. Maybe it was my job that really stressed me out? Maybe it was where I lived? Maybe it was a relationship that really tore me down? It could even have been habits or a way of life that stopped me from becoming who I wanted to be.
I needed to realize that the only way anything was going to improve in my life was to make things happen. I needed to see that change was my best option.
Maybe you are embarking on your sixth year? Maybe the things you believe are not actually things you want to continue to believe? The only way I got to my next sixth year is to have enough motivation and endurance to change myself and what I thought about life and what I wanted out of it.
I needed to "sweep my porch" and cut out bad relationship(s), change my habits, and find my passions. I think most importantly I needed to move to a new place and to start a new life. I needed to be able to to live the one life I am given on my own, so I then could grow to love it, appreciate it and then own it. I needed to become who I truly was, so I could finally be able to smile, laugh and then ... pay it forward. It was then when my ah-ha moment really arrived.
I'm 35 now. This means my next 6th year is happening in less than 6 months! I can already see the changes happening daily. My beautiful Alli Mae makes it loud and clear for her papa. ❤️
Feature image photo credit: BSA Photography