It is amazing how quickly life can change with no warning in just one day. All your plans and hopes and expectations turn to dust or completely transform when you discover things about your body and yourself you never knew, when the people you thought you knew become strangers, when the place you called home is no longer yours, or when the members of your family are no longer all here.
But you’d think I’d be used to change in my life – startling change.
One day we moved out on my abusive father and never looked back.
One day I said “I’m gay” out loud and, also, never looked back. (Hard to say which of those freed me more.)
One day I went to the doctors for something I thought was minor and was diagnosed with a disease that altered my body, sex life, and other aspects of my life forever.
One day, I gave into a coffee date with a pestering man who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and we are celebrating 14 years together this December.
One day, I went from planning pool parties to searching for a new home.
One day, I went to the vet’s with my beloved friend and came home without him.
As a man enamored with structure, control and organization, the randomness of life befuddles me immensely. It causes me to hesitate to commit to anyone or anything, any place and plan. I never know how my health will be one day to the next. I never know who will be in my life tomorrow or next week. I never know what financial crisis will hit wiping out whatever money we had set aside for other things. I never know if the moments I’m spending with someone I love or care about will be my last.
Intellectually, I accept this is the nature of life, the universe and everything. Emotionally, it terrifies me.
And with each change and loss, I hold on with a looser grip to what is because I can’t prevent what will be no matter how hard I try. I will continue to make choices and try to steer my life the way I want it to go, but with far less expectation that what I want and expect is what will actually be because if I’m not flexible, I’ll surely snap when life suddenly changes direction again without warning.