Fabrication meets Realisation.
The fabric of my soul is something that I never truly realised or understood until I was well into my 30's. I had heard about this concoction of so called "fabrics", things that made the very essence of who I am, but I guess like most people of my age, I had never really given much thought to what it is that made me, me. Until now.
From as far back as I can remember I had been told how to behave and what not to do. Very rarely was I allowed to just be me. I did many things back in the day that were not the "norm", things that many times made my Father cringe and truly wonder just what he had help create. I loved to sing and at any given chance I would beg and plead for my family to watch me climb on top of our multi coloured leather poof, hit the play button on the tape deck and sing at the top of my lungs to Dolly, Diana, La Belle and any other diva that I had been blessed with listening to from such a young age. Oh yeah, there were dance moves too, boy did I love to move, still do. You can imagine the disdain I was met with, especially from my Father, to be honest, it seemed much more like shame.
I don't blame anyone for how they reacted, after all we are somewhat the product of our upbringing and the society that surrounds us. Sadly though, that shame has stayed with me for the majority of my life, a shame that has clouded my direction and understanding of just who it is I am and what my purpose is. Don't get it twisted here though, I am not blaming my family for this, I am not even blaming society for this, I am purely writing out loud and trying to understand just why it is we allow these forms of shame, disdain and self loathing to affect us to the point that it destroys those very fabrics that are woven together to create something so unique. A question I am sure many the world over ask themselves, then shelf it because it can just be to damn painful to explore.
Exploration has been something that I have been forced into, whether I have wanted to or not. I guess it comes with the territory of being gay, your life is decided and ousted by others well before you even have a chance to address or understand it yourself. Fact. Given this, I guess that is why the statistics of suicide within the gay community are that much higher than others, we don't even get a chance to inspect the very things we are going through, instead our fabric is taken and put on show for all to see and ogle.
The experiences that we go through in life, the encounters we have, the friends we make and sadly lose, the love that comes to us, sends us into heaven and then comes plummeting back down to earth with an almighty thud, are the very things that help contribute to that fabric and ultimately, the bigger picture that we know as our life. We are challenged and relieved, loved and hurt, befriended and then unfriended, but through it all we are the sum of all of our experiences. There is not one day that passes that I am not grateful for all of these experiences and more, without them I would not now begin to understand just what it is that makes up the fabric of my soul.
"Embrace the glorious mess that you are" - Elizabeth Gilbert