The past few weeks have been transformative.  Since mid-January, I’ve been seeing someone who’s turned out to be quite special.  Raymond Salow, Ray, has glided into my life with a grace and ease that has simply taken my breath away.  He and I met online, like many of my most recent friendships and relationships, and we just clicked.  Easy.  Clean.  Refreshing.

We began from a foundation of simplicity.  We started by just being in the moment for as long as possible, every moment that we have had together.  No weight, no promises that are a risk of being broken, and with the understanding that we are always just going to be ourselves, and honest with each other.

This time around, I have had to challenge myself in ways I have never done.  Since the relationship I had with Cal came to an end last year, I’ve done some serious work on myself, and the demons that seem to crop up the more available I make my heart to someone.  My experience with Dan, one of the most staid and awesome connections I’ve ever had in my life, helped prepare me for this.  Finally being honest with him on levels I have never been honest with anyone else before (including myself) gave me the courage to carry that kind of behavior and approach to future relationships.  A mature, emotionally engaged, genuine, authentic connection is something that I’ve always sought, but was never really good at.  I can say, today, I’m better at it, with an appreciation of all the ways I still need to grow up and into my adulthood.

In the last six months or so, I’ve had to do some serious meditation and ownership of  the things that have happened in my past.  I’ve had to come to terms with the bad places I’ve been in my life, and the bad choices I’ve made.  I’ve stopped running, emotionally, from the things that are uncomfortable and disagreeable.  There are parts of me that I am not proud of, but if I’m going to grow and go further in my life, I need to be able to find a way to integrate all of the things in my past into the person I am now, for better and worse, in order to be a more honest version of the man I am.  That’s what the focus has been since graduating from Goddard.  That’s been the thing I focused most upon while unemployed.  As I kept facing those things down, it seemed that things in my life began to move forward again.

This started with work.  Then, a new home.  Now, a new person with which to open up to and share some time with. I’ve also started and continued to refine some writing projects.  The gym is starting to show on my body.  The thing that has become most noticeable, however, is the smile that is now showing on my face.  Today alone, I’ve had five different people mention this to me based on photos I’ve posted on Facebook.  I’ve had people I know comment on how happy I seem to be.   The fact is, with all of the things I’m managing now seeming to go in a positive direction, I am happier.  I am more contented.  I’m more balanced, a bit more grounded, and still willing to grow/change/develop in order to improve who I am even more.

There are plates that I need to keep spinning in the right direction, and so far, so good.  I do approach each day as another chance to improve myself, and for now, that optimism is carrying me onward.

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